Andrew Willis: For the OSC, a small victory and some big lessons
The Ontario Securities Commission notched a signature win Wednesday by settling with Home Capital Group Inc. However, methinks the regulator doth protest too much in attempting to distance itself from the carnage that resulted from the OSC's allegations of disclosure problems at Canada's largest alternative mortgage company. Story
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Funding concerns loom large over Home Capital
Home Capital Group Inc. relieved a major headache by agreeing to settle a dispute with securities regulators, but the mortgage lender's funding woes are still a central concern as investors crave more tangible signs of a turnaround. Story (James Bradshaw and Andrew Willis)
M&A partner Doug Bryce to take top job at Osler
Canadian law firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP announced a shuffle of its senior management team on Thursday as the firm looks to invest in new technology to guide the future of its practice. Story
Nestlé SA said Thursday it is considering selling its U.S. confectionery business, maker of such products as the Butterfinger and Baby Ruth candy bars, as packaged-food giants struggle to boost growth and accommodate changing consumer tastes. Story (WSJ, for subscribers)
Corporate chatroom startup Slack Technologies Inc. has received recent inquiries about a potential takeover from technology companies including Amazon.com Inc., people with knowledge of the situation said, a deal that would be the biggest ever for the internet-commerce giant. Story (Bloomberg)
FROM THE ANALYSTS
Desjardins Securities Inc. analyst Gary Ho has this to say about Monique Leroux joining Fiera Capital Corp. as vice-chairman and strategic adviser.
"Recall that Ms. Leroux orchestrated the $1-billion+ acquisition of State Farm Canada in 2014," he wrote in a research note. "In addition, she will help execute Fiera's 2020 strategic plan to be a $200-billion asset manager and work on its next five-year objective (2022 strategic plan). However, to our knowledge, she will not be as hands-on in terms of the day-to-day operations as Jean-Guy Desjardins (chairman, president, and CEO), John Valentini (executive vice-president and chief financial officer) and other members of the global management team." – Staff
What to expect from AGF results
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce analyst Paul Holden set up AGF Management Ltd.'s second-quarter earnings in a research note. AGF is scheduled to report on June 28.
"We expect generally positive results this quarter, including year-over-year earnings growth, a continued improvement in mutual fund net sales, an improvement in fund performance and final closing of the InstarAGF infrastructure fund," he wrote. "While delayed, it appears that the company has finally hit its targeted close for the InstarAGF Essentials Infrastructure Fund at $750-million given reported [Assets Under Management] for the end of May. While the close of the fund is a positive result, the slow progress has us less enthusiastic for future fund raising prospects in this space." – Staff
ELSEWHERE IN FINANCE
Since the beginning of 2014, Chinese investors have participated in more than 900 venture capital deals with U.S.-based companies. However, deal trends between the trading partners may change dramatically, as the U.S. government is considering measures to increase scrutiny of Chinese investments into specific US industries. Story
Toronto-based Extreme Venture Partners has launched its third fund, which will focus on immigrating international startups. No target was specified. According to the venture firm and accelerator, the fund is planning on backing up to 50 startups, investing between $100,000 and $500,000 apiece. Story