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

Alcohol and cannabis: To date, Aurora and other potential buyers have kicked Steam Whistle’s tires, but no one has made a compelling offer for the private brewery, which is owned by its employees and some outside investors. But like most players in the booze business, Steam Whistle expects to see partnerships and takeovers shape the future of the alcohol and cannabis sectors. Story (Andrew Willis and Christina Pellegrini, for subscribers)

Second hostile bid: Aimia Inc. has received its second hostile bid in as many days − this time for its large stake in Mexico’s leading frequent-flyer program. Aimia turned down the offer in a matter of hours, arguing that Aeromexico undervalued the asset. Story (Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

Hostile bid: A year after announcing plans to sever ties with Aeroplan, Air Canada is teaming up with three financial institutions to buy back the loyalty rewards program at a heavily discounted price. Early Wednesday Air Canada unveiled a hostile bid to acquire the rewards program from its parent company Aimia Inc., alongside partners Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Visa Canada Corp. Story (Tim Kiladze)

Opinion: Shareholders in loyalty program operator Aimia Inc. have every reason to be furious with Calin Rovinescu. The rest of us should be thrilled with the Air Canada CEO’s hardball tactics. Story (Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

Stalled recovery: After 18 months and a long slog to win back investors, Aritzia Inc. finally hit a hot streak. The celebration lasted barely a week. Story (Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

Hydro One: In a May meeting, faced with questions from Washington State regulators over the degree to which Ontario politicians could interfere or even replace Hydro One’s leadership, CEO Mayo Schmidt reassured the regulators they had little to worry about. They are worried now. Story (David Milstead, for subscribers)

Wealth management products: Almost a year after it first began exploring the Canadian exchange-traded funds market, Canada’s fourth largest mutual fund firm, Fidelity Investments Canada ULC, is set to launch its first set of ETFs this fall. Story (Clare O’Hara, for subscribers)

Venture capital firms have a gender problem. Here’s how to fix it: The reports continue to pile up and the verdict remains the same: Venture capital firms have a gender problem. Specifically, investors in early-stage companies have too few women on their teams and that has become a huge hurdle for female entrepreneurs to leap over. Opinion (Contributors Michaelle McBane and Lauren Robinson)

Venture financing: Toronto serial tech entrepreneur Mike Serbinis has tapped a couple of Canadian corporate heavyweights to boost his latest startup. League Inc., which is looking to disrupt the health benefits market, has raised $62-million in its latest venture financing deal. Story (Sean Silcoff)

Executive changes: Ether Capital Corp., co-launched six months ago by pension giant OMERS and ETF pioneer Som Seif, has announced a major leadership overhaul. Story (Clare O’Hara, for subscribers)

Pensions: Canada Pension Plan Investment Board teamed up with a major U.S.-based developer to buy a 47-acre business park in Santa Monica, Calif. The US$628-million deal is the latest in a string of commercial property acquisitions in the United States by the federal fund manager. Story (Jeffrey Jones, for subscribers)

Fortress Real Developments: Companies affiliated with Fortress Real Developments Inc. misled syndicated mortgage lenders about the value of land earmarked for real estate development projects, putting investors at risk of losing their money if the loans could not be repaid, the RCMP alleged in a search-warrant application filed in court in April. Story (Janet McFarland, for subscribers)

Update on the MTF trading story: Ontario’s securities regulator says Thomson Reuters has failed to provide enough information to prove that a major foreign exchange trading platform used by Canadian banks complies with provincial trading regulations. Story (James Bradshaw, for subscribers)

The original MTF trading story published Sunday: Canada’s largest banks could be at risk of losing access to a key European foreign-exchange trading platform after Ontario’s securities regulator deemed it at odds with its regulations. Last Monday, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) warned Thomson Reuters, a global provider of news and information, that it would have to disable Canadian banks’ access to its Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF), an electronic platform that facilitates roughly $300-billion in global trading of foreign exchange derivatives each day. Story (James Bradshaw and Eric Reguly, for subscribers)

Activist investor spat: Here is what John Paulson has: A formerly high-flying hedge fund, clients heading for the doors and a crumbling reputation. Here is what the founder of Paulson & Co. doesn’t have: A buyer for Detour Gold Corp. Story (Andrew Willis, for subscribers)


Mining sector: Two large shareholders in Canada’s Ecobalt Solutions Inc are calling for a change in senior management or the launch of a sales process, saying ongoing mine development delays are wasting a windfall from high battery sector demand. Story

Media sector: Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. and Walt Disney Co. said on Friday their shareholders voted to approve Disney’s US$71-billion purchase of Fox’s film and television assets. Story

Oil sector: A partnership which includes the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has signed an agreement to acquire oil and gas assets in Ohio for about US$2.6-billion in cash.

Oil sector: BP Plc has agreed to buy U.S. shale oil and gas assets from global miner BHP Billiton for US$10.5-billion, expanding the British oil major’s footprint in oil-rich onshore basins in its biggest deal in nearly 20 years. Story

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