Private equity investment activity in Canada in the first half of the year was strong, boosted by large transactions in the second quarter.
“A staggering C$8.9 billion was invested across 170 private equity deals in the second quarter, 79 percent higher than the C$5 billion in the previous quarter,” the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, which released the data last week, wrote in its report.
It was the busiest quarter in terms of amount of money invested since the third quarter of 2015.
Two C$1 billion and over deals accounted for more than half of the amount of money invested: the C$4.8 billion privatisation of Toronto-based fintech company DH Corporation and the C$2.2 billion acquisition of Montreal-based security provider Garda World Security Corporation.
Nearly a quarter, or 23 percent, of transactions were in the industrial and manufacturing sector, while the next busiest sector was information communications and technology, receiving the second largest share, or 17 percent.
The majority of the C$13.9 billion transactions in the first half took place in Ontario or Québec. C$6.3 billion in 46 deals were in Ontario, while C$4.2 billion in 156 transactions were in Québec. Nearly 40 transactions were in Alberta, representing C$1.4 billion in deals there.
The CVCA also ranked Canadian private equity direct investors, both limited partners and general partners, that invest in Canadian-headquarters companies.
The most active player was Fonds de solidarité FTQ, a Quebec development origanisation that invests to boost economic growth in the region. It invested C$937 million in 66 transaction during the first half. Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec came in fifth position with C$294 million invested in 11 deals.
There were 80 exits in the first half of the year, with a predominance of M&A activity. Two IPOs included the C$445 million dual listing of Canada Goose on the TSX/NYSE and the $100 million TSX-debut of STEP Energy Services Ltd.
The largest exit was the sale of Garda World Security Corporation to Rhone Capital by Apax Partners.