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Resources dominate 2010 M&A activity so far Add to ...

It's a bit early to assess the total value of M&A activity in the first half of the year because a bunch of second quarter deals are still up in the air, but there's enough available data to determine which sectors were hot and who is interested in Canadian companies.

Energy firms accounted for about half of M&A activity last half, according to Mergermarket. Among the biggest deals in the sector was Crescent Point Energy Corp.'s $1.3-billion acquisition of Shelter Bay Energy Inc. Add mining and utilities into the mix, and you get about two-thirds of all deals.

Interest from foreign firms came mainly from the U.S. and China, who combined comprised about 78 per cent of all inbound bids. Energy, mining and utilities also comprised about two-thirds of all inbound deals.

As for Canadian firms looking abroad, they didn't venture very far. Almost 80 per cent of them had their eyes on U.S. firms, the biggest of which was Biovail and Valeant's $3.2-billion proposed merger.

At the end of June, the total value of first half deals was $29.6-billion (U.S.), according to Mergermarket, but that includes deals like Couche-Tard's bid for U.S. convenience store chain Casey's, which had its tender period extended just this week.

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