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Streetwise newsletter: Big Deals, top dealmakers

A Bay Street sign is seen in Toronto’s financial district.

Mark Blinch/The Globe and Mail

The Canadian Dealmakers award winners for 2017 were announced Thursday night at the Fairmont Royal York hotel. The winners are below, plus stories from our annual Big Deals package of related stories about financing and investment banking. More Big Deals stories will be published in coming days.

Activists: At first glance, the latest data on activist investors make no sense. On one hand, there's never been more capital deployed by sharp-elbowed fund managers in their battles against public companies. Story (Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

Deal machine: As Alberta's traditional corporate giants grapple with volatile oil and gas prices, a small but powerful company with roots in Red Deer is emerging as one of the province's future stars. In the span of three years, Parkland Fuel Corp. has become a dominant force in the retail gas market, now owning and operating more than 1,800 service stations across Canada. Story (Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

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Bought deals: Junior mining companies are increasingly turning to senior firms for capital, as traditional bought-deal financing becomes a riskier gambit in a difficult market for commodity plays. Story (Niall McGee, for subscribers)

Bonds: The maple bond market rebounded last year to levels not seen in nearly a decade, as a flurry of foreign companies tapped the Canadian-dollar debt market for cash. Story (Alexandra Posadzki, for subscribers)

Cross border: Canadian companies spent a good deal less money swallowing up foreign firms last year, but there are early hints they will be hungrier to do cross-border deals in 2018. Story (James Bradshaw, for subscribers)

The winners: Here are the Canadian Dealmakers award winners for 2017. Story

Rankings: Annual league tables for investment banking and M&A law firms Tables (for subscribers)

Deals: The largest mergers and acquisitions of 2017 Table


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Fintech: Industry veteran Som Seif's Purpose Financial LP is scooping up online lender Thinking Capital Financial Corp. in one of Canada's largest financial technology deals. Story (Clare O'Hara, for subscribers)

Controversy: The chief executive of Maricann Group Inc. is taking aim at the underwriters who terminated a recent financing, alleging that least one of them worked to kill the deal for their own benefit and that of short-sellers who were betting against the marijuana grower's stock price. Story (Tim Kiladze and Christina Pellegrini)

Mortgages: Canadian securities regulators have released proposed changes to the rules governing syndicated mortgages in a bid to beef up transparency and consistency in the oversight of the growing sector. Story (Alexandra Posadzki)

Strategic repositioning: Raging River Exploration Inc. had been a stock-market star among mid-size oil companies, but now it's on a search for relevance. Raging River, best known for its operations in the Viking light-oil formation in western Saskatchewan and eastern Alberta, said Monday it has hired investment banks to help it study a "strategic repositioning" – perhaps involving a sale – with its stock stuck at levels not seen in 4 1/2 years. Story (Jeff Jones, for subscribers)

Wealth products: RBC Global Asset Management is joining the roster of firms that now offer gender diversity exchange-traded funds for investors looking to promote women in the workplace. Story (Clare O'Hara)

Financing: One of Canada's emerging technology stars, ecobee Inc., has raised $80-million in a venture financing to continue growing its smart thermostat business – and expects to raise roughly $50-million more within the next two months to fund its goal of reaching $1-billion in sales by 2020. Story (Sean Silcoff, for subscribers)

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Future fortunes: The ink is not yet dry on Blackstone Group LP's US$17-billion deal to buy a majority share of Thomson Reuters Corp.'s financial-data business and already, chief executive officer Stephen Schwarzman is angling for "frank, friendly conversations" with Blackstone's vast web of contacts, pitching the merits of his firm's plan to revamp the unit's fortunes. Story (James Bradshaw, for subscribers)

Mining fund: When former Xstrata PLC chief executive Mick Davis launched his billion-dollar private equity firm during the commodities downturn in 2013, there was excitement that X2 would make big acquisitions and give cash-strapped miners a lifeline. But those expectations were never quite realized. Story (Rachelle Younglai, for subscribers)

Private equity in mining: Facing a funding shortfall and apathy from public investors, mining companies are increasingly turning to private equity for much-needed capital. Story (Niall McGee, for subscribers)

New fund: The team behind 500 Startups' short-lived Canadian foray has resurfaced with a new fund after severing ties to the disgraced Silicon Valley seed-stage venture capital firm last year. Story (Sean Silcoff, for subscribers)

Private equity: Mounting trade tension and corporate tax-rate disparity with the United States threaten to crimp a boom in private-equity deal-making in Canada, the head of the industry's umbrella group says. Story (Jeff Jones, for subscribers)

Regulators: It's the kind of phone call that happens on Bay Street all the time: Is your investment firm interested in getting in on a deal? Yet, what happened in the days and weeks that followed that 2014 call is, supposedly, not so common at all. Story (David Milstead, for subscribers)

Street moves: The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) is shaking up its management structure and promoting internal leaders in a move that signals the pension plan is planning for the future. Story (Jacqueline Nelson, for subscribers)

Communications merger: Two corporate-advisory boutiques that spent the past decade tripping over each other on Canada's biggest deals are combining forces, with Longview Communications and DFH Public Affairs announcing a merger on Monday aimed at creating a leading national public– and government-relations firm. Story (Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

Energy sector: Scott Saxberg has stuck to the script that investors had demanded of Crescent Point Energy Corp. and it's paying off in the oil company's results. Story (Jeffrey Jones, for subscribers)


Succession: Lloyd Blankfein could step down as Goldman Sachs Group Inc chief executive as soon as the end of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, swiveling the focus to fierce competition between the two contenders to replace him. Story (for subscribers)

Brexit: Swiss bank UBS has told employees that the majority of those affected by Brexit will move to Frankfurt from London, setting out what it called a decentralized approach to relocating staff. Story (for subscribers)

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