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Canadian firms buying lots of foreign businesses Add to ...

In the 10 largest Canadian-related mergers and acquisitions announced last quarter, eight involved domestic firms buying foreign ones.

That statistic was overshadowed by BHP Billiton's failed bid for Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc. Stripping that deal out, the environment looks vastly different and stands in stark contrast to the idea that foreign firms are buying Canadian assets without any reciprocation.

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Examples of the biggest deals include Kinross Gold Corp.'s $6.8-billion (U.S.) takeover of Red Back Mining Inc. and the joint bid by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Onex Corp. for Tomkins PLC, worth $5-billion. All third-quarter data were compiled by the Financial Post Crosbie: Mergers & Acquisitions in Canada report.

Outside the blockbuster deals, Canadian-led acquisitions of foreign companies outnumbered foreign-led deals by a margin of just over two to one. That's in line with the historical average over the last 10 years, the report said. The value of Canadian-led takeovers also outnumbered foreign-led takeovers by a margin just above four to one.

Over all, the total value of M&A deals involving a Canadian player hit $48-billion (Canadian) last quarter, the highest total since the fourth quarter of 2007 when the M&A boom started to flounder.

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