The Hostile Bid Is Dead. Long Live the Hostile Bid?

Evaluating Canadian public M&A activity in a post-pandemic landscape

Authors: Aaron J. Atkinson, Mathieu Taschereau and Shane Freedman

With much of the world focused on the immediacy of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its heavy human and economic toll, we have cast our eyes optimistically on the (near, we hope) future when companies regain sufficient confidence to re-enter the public M&A market in large numbers. Although attention has largely centred on businesses that are in a struggle for survival, certain businesses will emerge stronger owing to factors such as shifts in consumer needs and preferences or more durable balance sheets. As a result, the post-pandemic corporate landscape may be ripe for consolidation, with relatively larger and better-capitalized issuers seizing the opportunity to acquire their weakened competitors. It is also possible that in certain capital-intensive industries, such as mining, competitors may be more inclined to cast aside their differences and consolidate their balance sheets, a trend that is already showing some momentum.

As we mark the four-year anniversary of Canada’s new takeover bid regime, we present our preliminary analysis of Canadian public M&A activity from 2012 to 2019 to provide a framework for analyzing the next phase of public company M&A. In this report, we analyze the four key findings that emerged from our research and consider their implications for what lies ahead for Canadian public M&A activity in a post-pandemic world.

Read our report.


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