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Canadian M&A in the first half of the year fell in line with a global cool-down, following record valuations in 2015, says a report by Mergermarket.

The country recorded 270 deals worth a total of $42.35 billion (US$32.4 billion). That’s a 38.6% decline in total deal value and a drop in volume by 57 transactions compared to the first half of 2015 (US$52.8 billion, 327 deals).

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In the first half of 2016, there were 114 transactions where foreign companies bought local brands (known as inbound transactions) worth $17.1 billion (US$13.1billion). That’s up 13.9% in value compared to the first half of 2015, when 152 deals netted $15.2 billion (US$11.5 billion), despite 38 fewer deals.

Two of this year’s deals are some of the largest Canada has ever seen. Lowe’s Companies’ $2.9-billion (US$2.2-billion) bid for home improvement store Rona, and McKesson Corporation’s $2.9-billion (US$2.2-billion) bid for retail pharmacy chain Rexall Health. Combined, the two deals accounted for 34.1% of all inbound activity into Canada for the first half of 2016.

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Worth noting is that in the first half of 2016, Canadian bidders looked for targets abroad – mostly in the Energy, Mining & Utilities (EMU) sector throughout the rest of the Americas – where they paid a total of $42.6 billion (US$32.6 billion) for 17 businesses.

This was a 100.6% rise in value over the total that Canada paid for EMU targets in the U.S. and Central and South America combined in the first half of last year, despite a drop in volume by nearly half this year from 31 transactions last year.

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The top two Canadian-foreign acquisitions (known as outbound deals) of the first half of 2016 were of U.S.-based Power & Utilities targets: TransCanada’s $15.7-billion (US$12-billion) bid for Columbia Pipeline Group and Fortis’ $14.6-billion (US$11.3-billion) bid for ITC Holdings.Together, the two deals were responsible for 31.9% of Canada’s total outbound activity.

Canada’s top transaction was a domestic deal: BCE’s acquisition of Manitoba Telecom Services for $4.3 billion (US$3.3 billion), which comprised 97.4% of the telecommunications sector’s total deal value. Further, the transaction was the main reason that sector soared 849.7% in value from its first-half 2015 total of $469.3 million (US$359 million).

Originally published on Advisor.ca
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