Goldman Sachs, Barclays top Canadian M&A rankings in first half

Thu Jul 7, 2016 4:06pm EDT
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian mergers and acquisitions slipped in the first half of 2016, with sluggish activity in natural resource sectors offsetting some large infrastructure deals, according to Thomson Reuters data released on Thursday.

Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote) topped the league tables, Barclays Plc (BARC.L: Quote) ranked second, and Lazard was third, followed by Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote), Wells Fargo (WFC.N: Quote) and J.P. Morgan Securities Canada.

CIBC, Scotiabank and RBC were the strongest performing domestic banks. RBC also advised on the highest number of deals.

Deal volume fell to $108.2 billion from $137.9 billion a year ago, the data showed.

The biggest transactions were TransCanada's (TRP.TO: Quote) $10.2 billion acquisition of Columbia Pipeline Group, and Fortis Inc's (FTS.TO: Quote) proposed $11.3 billion purchase of ITC Holdings Corp.

While energy and other resource companies started taking advantage of firmer commodity prices to raise equity, they have been cautious on acquisitions.

Cross-border deals were fueled by both outbound and inbound acquisitions.

"The most significant trend is the continued increase in cross-border activity by pension funds, asset managers like Brookfield and selected strategic operators," said Bruce Rothney, chief executive of Barclays Canada, which advised ITC on the Fortis deal.   Continued...

A sign is displayed in the reception of the Sydney offices of Goldman Sachs in Australia, May 18, 2016. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo