At the time of writing, the largest private equity buyout deal of the year so far has taken place in Canada, when Burger King, backed by 3i, announced the acquisition of coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons for $11.5bn. Typically, this accolade is awarded to the US, however, using data from Preqin’s Buyout Deals Analyst, we can see that Canada has been quietly performing well in the private equity industry ever since the global financial crisis.
In 2010, figures were looking particularly weak. Deal-flow, measured in terms of number of deals, was at its lowest since 2006 with only 63 private equity backed-buyouts. Since then, however, Canada has seen a prominent rise in both the number of deals and aggregate deal value, with 135 deals worth $6.2bn in 2013. Though this year’s figures are likely to be skewed by the substantial Tim Hortons deal, it is interesting to note that the aggregate deal value would still exceed 2013’s total by $900mn if it were removed. This is due to the announced deals into portfolio companies such as Lululemon Athletica, CHC Helicopter and Pioneer DJ.
When looking at private equity exits in Canada, the data displays a similar story to deals, including in 2012, when there was a sharp drop in aggregate exit value and total number of exits. Otherwise, 2013 saw the highest number of exits (45), with an aggregate exit value of $6.8bn. Nonetheless, with one month left until the end of the year, 2014 is already a record year for Canadian private equity-backed exits. The aggregate value of Canadian exits currently stands at $7.4bn, $600mn more than 2013’s total from 38 exits.