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Here are the top reads on deals and financial services over the last 24 hours:

Quebec billionaire Pierre Karl Péladeau is weighing a bid for Transat: The media magnate, chief executive and controlling shareholder of Quebecor Inc., confirmed on Thursday that he has hired an investment banker to advise him on a potential offer for Montreal-based Transat A.T. Inc. He suggested part of his motivation for getting involved in the process was to prevent the company from falling into the hands of non-Quebec interests. Story (Nicolas Van Praet, for subscribers)

Hydro One starts new era with dividend increase: Toronto-based Hydro One introduced newly named CEO Mark Poweska to shareholders at Thursday’s meeting, one day before the former BC Hydro executive formally takes the reins. Mr. Poweska’s brief speech focused on serving customers in Ontario – and made no mention of the U.S. expansion strategy introduced by his predecessor, Mayo Schmidt. Story (Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

Brookfield sees opportunities in undervalued stocks not part of index funds: Brookfield has acquired US$55-billion of assets in the past two years by taking seven public companies private, CEO Bruce Flatt said – and he sees it continuing. Mr. Flatt said increased program trading by computers is creating greater volatility in the stock markets, and passive indexing, where investors avoid stock-picking and buy a fund based on an entire index, is helping undervalue smaller companies that don’t fit neatly in an index. Story (David Milstead, for subscribers)

Sun Life share buyback won’t stop future business-building acquisitions: The comment from executives came as Sun Life Financial reported first-quarter “underlying” net income of $717-million, or $1.20 a share, as of March 31, 2019. Analysts expected, on average, $1.21 per share, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv. This was down from $770-million, or $1.26 a share, a year prior. Story (Clare O’Hara, for subscribers)

OSC reaches settlement with Alex Tapscott, blockchain fund over alleged violations: Blockchain entrepreneur Alex Tapscott has reached a settlement with Ontario’s securities watchdog after the regulator investigated allegations that he created misleading marketing materials when raising money. In a statement of allegations made public Thursday, the Ontario Securities Commission alleged that Mr. Tapscott and his fund, NextBlock Global Limited, made statements in marketing materials that were “misleading or untrue or did not state a fact that was required to be stated or that was necessary to make the statements not misleading.” Details of the settlement are not yet public. Story (Alexandra Posadzki and Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

MORE FINANCIAL SERVICES NEWS

Brookfield reports drop in first-quarter profit: Brookfield Asset Management Inc. reported its first-quarter profit fell compared with a year ago. Story (Canadian Press, for subscribers)

Fiera Capital sells 11-per-cent stake to French bank Natixis: French bank Natixis has agreed to buy an 11-per-cent stake in Canadian asset manager Fiera Capital for around $128-million. Story (Reuters, for subscribers)

MORE DEALS NEWS

Uber prices blockbuster IPO at low end of target range: The world’s leading ride-hailing service set the stage for its long-awaited arrival on the stock market by pricing its initial public offering at $45 per share late Thursday. The price is at the lower end of its targeted range of $44 to $50 per share. Story (Reuters, for subscribers)

Facebook rejects co-founder Chris Hughes’s call for breakup, senator urges U.S. antitrust probe: Facebook Inc. quickly rejected a call from co-founder Chris Hughes on Thursday to split the world’s largest social media company in three, while lawmakers urged the U.S. Justice Department to launch an antitrust investigation. Story (Reuters)

Peerage Capital buys Sotheby’s International Realty Canada: Luxury real estate brand Sotheby’s International Realty Canada (SIRC) has been sold by a subsidiary of Dundee Corp. to Toronto-based Peerage Realty Partners Inc., expanding the stable of high-end brands the company controls. No financial details were disclosed, but the deal is set to close May 17. Story (Shane Dingman)

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