Skip to main content
streetwise newsletter

Here are the top reads on deals and financial services over the last week. Have a great weekend!

Husky drops plan to acquire MEG Energy: Husky Energy Inc.’s desire to snap up MEG Energy Corp. appears to have dissipated in recent weeks, the result of a recalculation of its financial prospects. Husky shocked investors Thursday when it received enough support from MEG shareholders to extend its $2.5-billion bid but elected not to. Story (Jeffrey Jones, for subscribers)

From stock market darlings to dogs: Manulife and Power Financial just can’t shake off the credit crisis: Manulife Financial Corp. and Power Financial Corp. have more than a few things in common. But here’s the big one: These former stock-market superstars have done poorly since the eruption of the credit crisis, underperforming other Canadian financial companies by a wide margin and leaving long-term investors exasperated. Story (David Berman, for subscribers)

Foreigners are taking control of Barrick and Goldcorp – but the miners made this mess: David Garofalo seemed to have everything going for him. A polished executive with a strong résumé in mining, he was hired to run Goldcorp Inc. in 2015, giving him control of what looked like a darling in a moribund sector. Unlike many of its peers, Goldcorp came out of the commodity crash with a favourable view from investors. It had avoided mega-acquisitions. The balance sheet looked good. Three years later, Mr. Garofalo has lost the confidence of shareholders. Opinion (Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

How the Goldcorp deal with Newmont came together: When Goldcorp Inc. executives sat down with their counterparts at Newmont Mining Corp. at an upscale restaurant in downtown Vancouver, it was supposed to be a casual get-together. The mid-December dinner had been on their schedules for some time, and was planned simply to build the rapport between the two senior gold mining companies. Story (Niall McGee and Rachelle Younglai, for subscribers)

The World Bank is in a leadership crisis but that’s nothing new: The unexpected resignation of Jim Yong Kim as the president of the World Bank is, in a sense, a high-stakes surprise. It comes more than three years before the expiry of his term in 2022, and U.S. President Donald Trump is now set to announce his replacement to run the global lender whose mission is to address global poverty – even as Mr. Trump works to disrupt the economic world order. Opinion (Devesh Kapur)

It’s time for legislators to crack down on abusive short-selling: Short-selling – a strategy where an investor bets that a company’s shares will decline in price – plays an important role in our capital markets. It can help to ensure markets price in all relevant information, help investors hedge their positions and root out fraud and abuse. Opinion (Orestes Pasparakis, Walied Soliman and Joe Bricker)

Gord Flatt files lawsuit over surveillance cameras: Someone planted three surveillance cameras in an apartment Canadian businessman Gordon Flatt uses in New York City, and he has filed a lawsuit to find out who. Story (Janet McFarland, for subscribers)

With offers below expectations, Hootsuite abandons auction process: Hootsuite Media Inc. has abandoned a process that could have led to a sale of the company after preliminary offers came in below expectations, according to sources familiar with the matter. In October, the Vancouver firm, which makes social media management software, hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to look at options in what one source described as a “price discovery process.” Story (Sean Silcoff and Dave Leeder, for subscribers)

Caisse lures Scotiabank’s investment banking head for executive role: Quebec’s leading pension fund has hired a well-known deal-maker from Bank of Nova Scotia to join its executive ranks. On Thursday, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec announced the hire of Charles Émond as an executive vice-president in charge of its investment strategy in Quebec, as well as with helping co-ordinate its global footprint. Story (Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

MEG Energy shares tumble after Husky walks away from takeover bid: Husky Energy Inc. has abandoned its quest to acquire MEG Energy Corp. in a $3.3-billion hostile offer, confounding investors and triggering a selloff in MEG shares. Husky said fewer than its threshold of two-thirds of MEG shares were tendered by a Wednesday deadline, so it chose to walk away and concentrate on its own business rather than extend the cash-and-stock offer. Story (Jeffrey Jones, for subscribers)

Market turmoil that roiled U.S. bond-trading revenues likely to show up in Big Six results as well, analysts say: Bond traders on Wall Street saw their revenues pummelled by market volatility during the most recent quarter, and analysts predict a similar theme will play out north of the border when the Canadian banks report their earnings results next month. Story (Alexandra Posadzki, for subscribers)

RBC cuts five-year fixed mortgage rate, other banks expected to follow: Royal Bank of Canada has become the first of the major banks to lower its posted interest rate for five-year fixed-term mortgages, a move that has been widely anticipated amid tumbling bond yields. The bank lowered its featured five-year mortgage rate on Wednesday to 3.74 per cent from 3.89 per cent. Other big banks did not immediately match the rate, but mortgage expert Robert McLister said others will move soon. Story (Janet McFarland)

Barclays Canada hires Jacquelyn Titus as banker to the banks: Investment bank Barclays Capital Canada Inc. hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. veteran Jacquelyn Titus on Wednesday to advise the country’s financial services companies, a deep-pocketed sector that’s focused on cross-border deals. Story (Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

Winnipeg app maker Bold Commerce raises $22-million after success on Shopify’s platform: With Shopify Inc. now grown from a startup e-commerce platform to one of Canada’s most valuable technology companies, its fortunes have spilled over into the ecosystem it created – bolstering its partner companies such as Winnipeg’s Bold Commerce. Story (Josh O’Kane and Sean Silcoff, for subscribers)

Canada’s Goldcorp to be swallowed by Newmont in $10-billion deal: Goldcorp Inc. is being swallowed by United States major Newmont Mining Corporation in a US$10-billion acquisition that sees Canada’s second-biggest gold miner by production sell at a 17-year low in its share price. This is the second huge M&A deal in the global gold sector in the past few months. Barrick Gold Corp. closed its US$6-billion acquisition of Randgold Resources Ltd only a few weeks ago. Story (Niall McGee, for subscribers)

Newmont likely to sell a number of Goldcorp’s Canadian mines: Newmont Mining Corp.’s acquisition of Goldcorp Inc. will likely result in the sale of a number of the latter’s Canadian mines as the combined company focuses on its best-performing and lowest-cost operations. On Monday, the Denver-based gold major announced it had reached a friendly deal to acquire Vancouver-based Goldcorp for US$10-billion in a mostly share transaction that will see Newmont’s mine portfolio jump to 20 properties across four continents. Story (Niall McGee, for subscribers)

Who’s next in the gold-industry merger wave? In the gold sector, nothing gets the sharks circling like the combination of promising mines and a depressed stock price. The sector’s prolonged slump now has its biggest predators, Newmont Mining Corp. and Barrick Gold Corp., feeding on weaker rivals, creating expectation of further takeovers in an industry where many experts see consolidation as long overdue. Story (Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

Another one bites the dust: Goldcorp sale a further example of the hollowing out of corporate Canada: Toronto’s Barrick Gold Corp. always wanted to team up with Newmont Mining Corp. of Colorado. Merging the two giants, which have adjoining operations in gold-rich Nevada, would have created an unassailable industry leader and reduced costs by an estimated US$1-billion a year. On paper, it looked like a dream deal. But it never got off the ground, in good part because Barrick founder Peter Munk wanted the new company to stay in Toronto, not move to Denver. Were he alive today, Mr. Munk – a Canadian patriot who believed in the value of head offices – would be distraught. Opinion (Eric Reguly, for subscribers)

Mystery solved: Why Newmont is offering a mere 2 cents in cash as part of its bid for Goldcorp: It is the mystery of the two cents. When Newmont Mining Corp. said on Monday it will buy Goldcorp Inc. for about $10-billion, swapping its stock for Goldcorp’s, it said it would add 2 US cents per share in cash to the transaction. The tiny little sweetener will cost Newmont just US$17-million. Why even bother? Story (David Milstead, for subscribers)

More than 50 companies poised to go public, CSE says: There are 55 companies preparing to go public on the Canadian Securities Exchange, a market for upstart companies that has become a popular listing venue for U.S. cannabis companies. Story (Alexandra Posadzki, for subscribers)

Montreal’s Vention raises $17-million in financing led by Bain Capital Ventures: Vention Inc., a rapidly-growing Montreal startup that enables industrial manufacturing professionals to create, design and order custom equipment with a few mouse clicks, has secured $17-million in venture financing led by Bain Capital Ventures and backed by previous investors White Star Capital, Bolt Innovation Management and Real Ventures. Story (Sean Silcoff)

Cannabis boom masked a shift in Canaccord’s wealth management business: The cannabis boom in capital markets has been a blessing and a curse for investment bank Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. The upside of the two-year bull market in pot stocks that came ahead of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada is obvious. Canaccord chief executive officer Dan Daviau and his team saw the potential for financing an emerging industry three years before the federal Liberal government pushed through legislation to legalize recreational use – devoting investment bankers, traders and analysts to the sector. Bay Street’s favourite topic of conversation over drinks is how much Canaccord executives are personally making off cannabis plays. Best guesses run to tens of millions. Story (Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

U.S. real estate brokerage Redfin to enter Canadian market: Redfin Corp., one of the largest real estate brokerages in the United States, on Monday made Canada its first international expansion market, thanks in large part to the outcome of the federal Competition Bureau’s multiyear legal battle with the country’s largest local real estate board over the online publication of sales data. Story (Shane Dingman, for subscribers)

Pooled-risk pension plans would give many Canadians a more financially secure retirement: As private-sector defined benefit (DB) pension plans continue to struggle, defined contribution (DC) plans are emerging as the most common option for providing retirement income. Of the three million Canadians in private-sector pension plans today, those in DC plans will soon outnumber those in the traditional DB model. But when it comes to retirement income, DC plans lack one important element: They don’t actually provide pensions. It’s up to the individual to manage a pot of money so it lasts for the rest of their (probably long) lives – and most seniors don’t have the necessary skills or desire to take on that challenge. The good news is, there’s a great option that would give these Canadians a more financially secure retirement: the pooled-risk pension. But here’s the bad news, it’s been blocked by legislation. Opinion (Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald)

The Streetwise newsletter is Tuesday to Saturday. If you’re reading this on the web, or if someone forwarded this e-mail to you, you can sign up for Streetwise and all Globe newsletters on our signup page.

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe