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Here are the top reads on deals and financial services over the last week,

DEALS NEWS: MERGERS, ACQUISITIONS, IPOs and FINANCINGS

Apartment REIT Continuum cancels IPO, sells to Starlight for $1.7-billion: The latest Canadian rental apartment owner to try going public has scrapped its deal despite heavy investor demand, deciding instead to sell to a private buyer at a premium price. Toronto-based Continuum Residential Real Estate Investment Trust filed the paperwork for an initial public offering in early October, and the deal was set to price this week. However, the company quietly ran a dual-track process for a potential sale while marketing the IPO and ultimately decided to sell to Canada’s Starlight Investments. Story (Tim Kiladze)

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GFL Environmental intends to scrap major IPO: GFL Environmental Inc. plans to cancel its initial public offering after institutional investors pressed the Canadian waste management giant to price its shares below the deal’s marketing range. Story (Tim Kiladze)

Why GFL’s IPO failed: Debt concerns, and tough-minded sellers: After marketing its initial public offering to potential investors for two weeks, GFL Environmental Inc. had heard the same feedback over and over again: The company had to slash the debt burden on its balance sheet. Story (Tim Kiladze)

WeWork, ex-CEO Neumann, SoftBank sued over botched IPO, plummeting value: WeWork officials, including co-founder and former Chief Executive Adam Neumann, are being sued by minority shareholders to recoup losses as the shared workspace provider pulled its initial public offering and saw its value plunge more than 87 per cent. Story (Reuters)

Boon for Hong Kong as Alibaba plans $15-billion listing in late November, sources say: Chinese retail titan Alibaba plans to list in Hong Kong in the final week of November, two people with direct knowledge said, aiming to raise up to US$15-billion in a deal that signals a vote of confidence in the Asian financial hub. Story (Reuters)

CPPIB bets on renewable energy with purchase of Pattern Energy: The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is acquiring Canada’s biggest producer of wind power for US$2.63-billion in a major bet on the continued growth of low-carbon electricity. Story (David Milstead)

CI Financial buys Canadian division of ETF provider WisdomTree: CI Financial Corp. has agreed to acquire the Canadian arm of U.S. exchange-traded fund powerhouse WisdomTree Investments Inc. Story (Clare O’Hara)

Interac acquires Ottawa-based digital identity specialist 2Keys: Interac Corp. has acquired Ottawa-based company 2Keys, a specialist in digital identity, to help the payments processor build new technology for securing and verifying who is involved in financial transactions. Story (James Bradshaw)

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Quebec software titan Louis Têtu marks second $1-billion valuation as Coveo raises milestone financing: Quebec City entrepreneur Louis Têtu has become one of the few Canadians to create two different billion-dollar technology companies after his latest firm, Coveo Solutions Inc., raised $227-million in an equity financing led by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System. Story (Sean Silcoff)

FINANCIAL SERVICES NEWS

Antigua threatens to block part of the sale of CIBC’s Caribbean assets: The government of Antigua and Barbuda is threatening to block part of a deal reached by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce to sell its Caribbean business to Colombian billionaire Jaime Gilinski Bacal. Story (James Bradshaw)

RBC’s role in Aramco IPO suggests Canadian companies can still do business with Saudi Arabia: Royal Bank of Canada’s inclusion in Saudi Aramco’s massive initial public offering signals that a Canadian company can find ways to do business with Saudi Arabia despite the breakdown in diplomatic relations between the two countries. Story (Jeffrey Jones and Tim Kiladze)

Saudi Aramco’s share sale is finally in motion, but its long-term potential remains an open question: If Brexit is the long goodbye, Saudi Aramco’s stock market listing is the long hello. Mohammed bin Salman, crown prince of Saudi Arabia, used an interview in January, 2016, to announce the state’s plans to sell a piece of Saudi Aramco, the world’s most prolific oil producer, to private investors. The news electrified energy investors, stock exchange bosses and investment banks. MBS, as he is known, touted a market valuation of US$2-trillion – the equivalent of almost seven Exxons – and oily types everywhere were tempted to take a piece of the action. The fossil fuels era wasn’t over yet. Then nothing. Opinion (Eric Reguly)

Canadian robo-adviser Planswell shuts down after investors pull planned financing: Canadian robo-adviser Planswell is closing down after losing a $20-million round of funding from a group of investors that included Sun Life Financial Inc. Story (Clare O’Hara)

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