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August 02, 2023 | M&A Reports 

Crosbie & Company Canadian Mergers & Acquisitions Report for Q2 2023

Encouraging Signs of Stability

The Canadian M&A market is showing signs of stability, with the level of deal activity in the last three quarters settling into a new trading range after its mid-pandemic upsurge and subsequent decline. In Q2 2023, the number of M&A announcements edged up to 736, showing a modest rise from the previous quarter, while total value rose by 41% quarter-on-quarter to hit $74.4 billion.  

“While unremarkable in many respects, one thing that is notable in the Q2 data is the level at which the numbers seem to have stabilized over the past 3 quarters, particularly given the macro-economic backdrop,” said Colin Walker, Managing Director of Crosbie & Company Inc.  “Despite the impact of inflation, higher interest rates and concerns about a possible recession, M&A is at a level that is now only 10-15% below pre-pandemic levels, which is encouraging. This aligns with our own visibility and experience which suggests that we are in a relatively balanced market. In other words, valuations and liquidity are at levels that are allowing deals to get done and at prices that make sense to many buyers and sellers.”  

During the second quarter, there were 14 mega-deal announcements (those with values exceeding $1B) representing an aggregate value of nearly $60B. The largest announcement was the sale of Viterra, a Canadian subsidiary of Swiss-based Glencore, to Bunge, a US-based agribusiness leader. The transaction, worth $23.9B, was structured as 75% stock and 25% cash. Two of the main vendors in this deal were Canadian financial players, namely, CPPIB and the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation. The Energy sector also saw three mega-announcements this quarter, including the second and third largest deals involving Suncor Energy and ConocoPhillips as acquirors. 

Meanwhile, the mid-market – represented by transactions with values below $250M – proved its characteristic steadiness, with 274 announced deals (+24 QoQ) and $6.5B in total value. Mid-market activity represented 90% of announcements with disclosed values and 8% of aggregate deal value in Q2 2023. 

This quarter, Canadian businesses were slightly less acquisitive than last, with 520 transactions involving Canadian buyers, down from 539. However, Canadian buyers seem to have shifted their efforts to acquiring domestic firms relative to international firms, as 67% of the targets were Canadian-domiciled.

Cross-border activity remained steady at 47% of total deal activity. Canada/US cross-border activity continued to represent the bulk of cross-border transactions (60%) and deal value (61%). Domestic M&A (involving Canadian-based target companies) has trended positively in the first half of 2023, with 515 deals in Q2 2023, exceeding Q1 2023 and Q4 2022 by 32 and 84 deals respectively.  

From an industry perspective, deal counts increased across most sectors. Industrials exhibited strong activity (+35) in line with the prior quarter, riding on the energy transition’s impetus, and Consumer Discretionary rebounded (+24) after a weak first quarter, possibly due to cooling inflation; contrastingly, the momentum for the Metals and Mining industry (which was a top performer in Q1) appears to have plateaued (-2), and Precious Metals declined significantly (-48).


  • Deal activity increased marginally in Q2 2023 with 736 announcements (up 2% from the prior quarter), while total value rose 41% to $74.4B
  • Announcements involving Canadian domiciled targets continued to trend up, with 515 transactions in Q2, compared to 483 in Q1 2023 and 431 in Q4 2022
  • Mid-market transactions represented 90% of announcements where the value was disclosed
  • Cross-border announcements represented 47% of total activity, with Canada/US cross-border activity representing the bulk of this (60%)
  • Canadian firms made 520 acquisitions in the quarter, of which 346 (67%) involved domestic targets 


  • Fourteen mega-deals were announced in the quarter (up from 13 in Q1 2023) with aggregate value increasing almost 50% to $59.5B. These deals were quite diversified across industries but included 3 that were Energy related and 2 in Telecommunications
  • The largest deal was the $23.9B strategic purchase of Viterra Limited by Bunge Limited within the integrated agricultural sector

Industry Sector Activity

  • Deal counts increased across most sectors, with Industrials experiencing the largest gain (+35), followed by Consumer Discretionary (+24)
  • Precious Metals experienced the largest decline in deal activity (-48), followed by Information Technology (-16)
  • Consumer Staples experienced a large jump in value despite the fall in activity, driven by the Viterra-Bunge mega-deal

Breakdown by Transaction Size

  • For mid-market transactions (deal values below $250M) there were 274 announcements, up slightly from 260 in the prior quarter
  • For transactions with disclosed values, the mid-market comprised 90% of activity and 8% of value

Canadian Domiciled versus Foreign M&A Targets

  • M&A announcements in Q2 2023 involving Canadian targets increased 7% QoQ to 515 deals
  • Canadian firms made a total of 520 acquisitions in the quarter, of which 346 (67%) involved domestic targets with the remainder being foreign targets

Cross-Border Deals

  • Cross-border deals as a percentage of total activity remained relatively flat at 47% of total activity, but its share of value dropped by almost half to 42% relative to Q1 2023
  • The outbound-to-inbound ratio further declined to 1.04 in Q2 2023, reflecting an increase in inbound acquisitions paired with a decline in outbound acquisitions
  • Canada/US cross-border activity continued to represent the bulk of cross-border transactions (60%) and deal value (61%) but to a lesser extent

Deals by Provincial Domicile

  • Aggregate domestic M&A activity increased to 515 announced transactions during Q2 2023
  • Ontario remained the most active province by deal count (188), with deal value almost doubling QoQ
  • Quebec continued to benefit from activity levels in the Metals and Mining sector (albeit lower than Q1)
  • Alberta saw a large inflow of value due to transactions in the Energy sector and got the largest share of deal value amongst the provinces. Most of these deals pertained to the Oil, Gas, & Consumable fuels sub-sector

Crosbie & Company Inc.
150 King Street West, 15th Floor, P.O. Box 95, Toronto, Ontario M5H 1J9
Tel: 416.362.7726 | Toll Free: 1-866-873-7002 | Fax: 416.362.3447


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