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Royal Bank of Canada is top dealmaker on Canadian retail M&A- report

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January 2
3:50 AM 2014

Bloomberg data showed that the Royal Bank of Canada is the top investment-banking adviser sought by companies for retail mergers and acquisitions in Canada for the third year in a row. The second most sought-after banker in Canada for retail mergers and acquisitions was also revealed to be the Merrill Lynch unit of Bank of America Corp. Morgan Stanley ranked number three based on the news agency data, while Deutsche Bank is in fourth place. Bank of Nova Scotia placed number five. From its number two position, Goldman Sachs Group Inc fell to sixth place followed by the Bank of Montreal in seventh.

In a December 17 interview with Bloomberg, RBC Capital Markets Head of Mergers and Acquisitions in Canada Peter Buzzi said, "Energy and mining activity really fell off a cliff. Stepping up to fill in was retail. I don't think next year we're going to be back to the normal 60 percent mining-and-energy M&A market. I look out and I hope something steps up like retail or real estate, otherwise we're going to have a pretty slow year."

The report said 2013 marked the slowest period of dealmaking in retail since 2009. There were only 2,325 deals worth $158.2 billion last year, a 28% decline from the $219.5 billion made in 2012. The figures and rankings are only as of December 31 and could change as more transactions are recorded, Bloomberg reported.

Data revealed that the biggest retail takeovers for 2013 was led by the $13 billion bid of Loblaw Cos to purchase Canada's biggest drug store chain Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. This was followed by the $6 billion acquisition of Dallas-based luxury chain Neiman Marcus Inc by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Ares Management. In third place is the takeover of Canadian grocery stores of Safeway Inc by the Empire Co. That deal was worth $5.69 billion. Another substantial retail deal was the $2.7 billion purchase of Saks Inc by Hudson's Bay Co, the report said.

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