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Canada-based Private Equity Fund Managers

by Jessica Duong

  • 21 Mar 2012
  • PE

Preqin’s comprehensive Fund Manager Profiles database shows that there are currently 187 private equity firms headquartered in Canada. The latest data from Preqin shows that collectively, these firms have raised more than $39bn in investor capital over the last 10 years, and have an estimated aggregate $11.6bn available in dry powder. A 55% majority of these 187 Canadian firms incorporate venture capital transactions into their investment strategy, and 23% target buyout opportunities, either exclusively or as part of a broader investment strategy.

The top five private equity firms in Canada, ranked in order of the total funds raised in the last 10 years, are Onex Corporation, Brookfield Asset Management, Birch Hill Equity Partners, Catalyst  Capital Group and ARC Financial Corp. These five alone have raised $17bn over the period, accounting for 44% of the total capital raised by all 187 Canadian private equity firms across the last 10 years.

Onex Corporation has raised $9.4bn in the last decade and has an estimated $1.8bn in dry powder at its disposal. The Toronto-based firm, which also has an office in New York, raises funds exclusively via its two private equity investment platforms: Onex Partners and ONCAP.  Onex Corporation participates in these fund families as the largest limited partner and through its ownership of the funds' general partners and managers.  Both investment platforms seek opportunities in North American businesses, but flagship Onex Partners focuses on large-scale acquisitions, whereas ONCAP funds target medium-sized companies that have an enterprise value of up to CAD500mn.

The other four top Canada-based fund managers similarly have a predominantly North American geography focus for their investment activity, with the exception of Brookfield Asset Management. Brookfield Asset Management considers investments all over the globe, particularly in the infrastructure, property and timber industries. The asset manager currently has a private equity vehicle in market targeting $750mn. Brookfield Timberlands Fund V focuses on acquiring high quality timberland assets, primarily in the US, Brazil and Australia, but will also target opportunities in Canada, Chile, New Zealand and Uruguay.

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