While U.S. M&A activity has reached pre-crisis levels, Canadian M&A has been unable to gather the same momentum.

So far in 2015, there have been 447 deals worth US$62.4 billion, down 16.2% compared to the same period last year, according to Mergermarket. During this time, Canada contributed just 4.2% to North American M&A deal value, the lowest year-to-date contribution.

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Energy, mining & utilities was the most targeted sector for M&A activity by value, with 103 deals worth US$39.8 billion, up 24.1% compared to the same period last year, and accounting for 63.7% of total deal value.

Companies within the pharma, medical & biotech sector were the most sought after by Canadian bidders, with 20 deals worth US$21.2 billion marking the highest YTD value on Mergermarket record. Deal value was boosted by the US$15.5-billion acquisition of U.S.-based Salix Pharmaceuticals by Valeant Pharmaceuticals, the highest outbound deal to-date, accounting for 73.1% of deal value targeting the sector.

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Another bright spot for Canadian M&A during 2015 has been private equity. Exit activity had 43 transactions worth US$8.5 billiong,overtaking all annual totals since 2010. The highest valued exit of the year was the US$2.3-billion exit of Shred-It International from U.S.-based Cintas Consortium, sold to U.S.-based Stericycle Inc.

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