GE role helps JPMorgan top Canadian M&A advisor rankings

Fri Oct 2, 2015 11:18am EDT
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By Euan Rocha and John Tilak

TORONTO Oct 2 (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase, the lead advisor to General Electric Co on the sale of its finance assets, vaulted to the top of the Canadian M&A league tables following a string of GE asset sales to Canadian buyers.

Thomson Reuters data released on Friday showed $191 billion in mergers and acquisitions involving Canadian entities year-to-date, up 28 percent from about $149 billion from a year ago. The overall number of deals fell nearly 10 percent.

Royal Bank of Canada and Morgan Stanley came in second and third, respectively, the data showed.

A key driver was acquisitions of GE assets by Canadian financial buyers like the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Element Financial and Bank of Montreal .

The bullish data shrouded the fact that weak commodity prices have muted deal activity in energy and mining.

"In the last quarter, I think it will continue to be active, but in order for it to be really active we'd need a pick-up in energy and mining activity," said David Rawlings, head of JPMorgan Canada, adding that he is optimistic about deals rebounding in those sectors in 2016, but not in the next three months.

While Canadian M&A activity this year has been driven by domestic firms hunting for deals that will help them grow abroad, M&A activity in the latter part of the year will be predicated on the macro market environment, bankers said.

"Our pipeline remains very strong, but it's a question of getting deals announced and that depends on financing markets and the conviction of boards and management teams around the future," said Dougal Macdonald, head of Morgan Stanley Canada.   Continued...