ABA Business Law Section Spring Meeting: Business Law Q&A with Valerie Mann
We asked Valerie a series of questions about the cross-border M&A market, the active sectors and the future of the market for 2019.
Read the full interview immediately below:
Q: What are activity levels like in the cross-border M&A market?
A: It has been recently reported that over the past 5-6 years, foreign investment by Canadian companies increased by 74% and investments by foreign companies in Canada decreased by 55%. That statistic, though, does not really tell the story of activity on the west coast, which has been quite active. Over the past 3 years, in particular, we have seen lots of P/E and strategic acquisitions of BC based companies in a variety of industries.
Q: What were the active sectors?
A: I do a lot of work in the technology sector, and it has been very active on cross-border deals, particularly in ICT. Other sectors of note – mining saw a big increase in M&A activity over the past 2 years and there have been some big deal announcements lately. There has also been significant activity in the real estate sector. Cannabis is another active sector with a high degree of fragmentation and evolving regulations.
Q: What is shaping up for 2019?
A: The end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 are showing signs of volatility. There is still significant private equity and pension fund money searching for quality deals. Sellers have the benefit of an active and motivated group of potential buyers, including a number of P/E funds from the US. The very favourable exchange rate will help with making Canadian targets attractive as well. Even with 4th quarter 2018 credit markets stalling, the middle market will likely remain quite active through the 2019 year.
Q: What is your favourite spot in Vancouver for dinner or happy hour?
A: When clients are here from out of town during the spring and summer and it’s a nice evening, then enjoying our local seafood with a view is the way to go. Lift and Coal Harbour shows off our incredible seaside city, or for sushi I would recommend Miku Vancouver.