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February 05, 2024 | M&A Reports 

Crosbie & Company Canadian Mergers & Acquisitions Report for Q4 2023

M&A Activity Continues Decline – Mid-Market More Resilient

Canadian M&A volume decreased in the last quarter of 2023 with announced deals dropping to 546 from 579 in Q3 2023. Compared to this time last year, M&A activity is down 28% and represents the slowest quarter in the last decade. Like last quarter, a higher interest rate macro environment and economic uncertainty continues to dampen participants’ motivation to transact. Deal value totalled $40B, down $4B from the prior quarter.  

“Softness in third quarter M&A activity carried over into the year end with market pessimism on several fronts continuing to weigh on corporate confidence, notwithstanding several large M&A transactions announced in late Q4,” said Stephen Ng, Managing Director of Crosbie & Company Inc. “Several factors will impact M&A activity in 2024 including a stabilizing of interest rates and value expectations in all asset classes, elections and geopolitical events in key regions globally, and the ability for private equity to realize on exits to help with fundraising and new investments.”

During the fourth quarter, activity in the Canadian middle-market (represented by transactions with values below $250M) slowed only slightly to 211 announced deals from 229 in Q3 yet total value increased to $6.8B. Consistent with prior quarters, mid-market activity represented the vast majority (86%) of all announcements with disclosed values during Q4 2023. Mega-deals (those with values exceeding $1B) remained flat at 10 announcements but deal value declined to $24B, the lowest total since the start of the pandemic. Five of the 10 mega-deals were resource related (Energy, Metals and Mining) as commodity prices continued to remain buoyant.

From an industry perspective, deal flow in Metals and Mining experienced the steepest fall (-27), followed by Information Technology (-26) whilst Communication Services experienced the largest uptick (+19), followed by Precious Metals (+18).

Canadian acquirors announced 415 transactions and continued to make most of their acquisitions (69%) domestically. Of total activity, 43% was cross-border, with Canada/US cross-border activity continuing to represent the bulk of cross-border transactions (60%) and deal value (64%). Domestic M&A (involving both Canadian and foreign acquirors) remained steady QoQ at 398 announcements.


  • Deal activity decreased marginally in Q4 2023 with 546 announcements (down 6% QoQ), and deal value decreased to $40B (down 9% QoQ).
  • Mid-market transactions represented 86% of announcements where the value was disclosed.
  • The Energy, Industrials, and Metals and Mining sectors represented 8 of the 10 biggest deals this quarter.
  • Cross-border announcements represented 43% of total activity, with Canada/US cross-border activity representing the bulk of cross-border activity (61%).
  • Canadian firms made 415 acquisitions in the quarter, of which 288 (69%) involved domestic targets.


  • Ten mega-deals were announced in the quarter and value continued to decline to $24B, the lowest figure since the pandemic. These deals included 3 related to Energy, 3 related to Industrials, and 2 related to Metals and Mining.
  • The largest deal was the sale of a majority stake in Elk Valley Resources – the steelmaking coal division of BC-based Teck Resources – to Swiss natural resources giant Glencore, and steelmakers Nippon Steel and POSCO for an implied enterprise value of $9.5B. Through this divestment, Teck Resources aims to strengthen its balance sheet, return cash to shareholders, and to focus on its copper portfolio.
  • Utilities giant Enbridge remained acquisitive in the fourth quarter with the $1.6B acquisition of landfill-to-renewable natural gas assets in the US, following three significant acquisitions last quarter.

Industry Sector Activity

  • Metals and Mining experienced the steepest fall (-27), followed by Information Technology (-26).
  • Communication Services experienced the largest uptick in deal activity (+19), followed by Precious Metals (+18).
  • Despite the decline in deal count in the Metals and Mining industry, the total value of deals increased almost five-fold QoQ.

Breakdown by Transaction Size

  • For mid-market transactions (those with values below $250M) there were 211 announcements, down from 229 and 274 in Q3 and Q2 respectively.
  • For transactions with disclosed values, the mid-market comprised 86% of activity and 17% of value.

Canadian Domiciled versus Foreign M&A Targets

  • M&A announcements in Q4 2023 involving Canadian targets remained relatively flat at 398 deals.
  • Canadian firms made a total of 415 acquisitions in the quarter, of which 288 (69%) involved domestic targets with the remainder being foreign targets.

Cross-Border Deals

  • Cross-border deals as a percentage of total activity increased to 43% of total activity.
  • The outbound-to-inbound ratio further decreased slightly to 1.15 in Q4 2023, after trending up in Q2 and Q3, resulting from flat outbound and higher inbound M&A announcements.
  • Canada/US cross-border activity continued to represent the bulk of cross-border transactions (60%) and deal value (64%).

Deals by Provincial Domicile

  • Aggregate domestic M&A activity remained relatively steady but more than doubled in value in Q4.
  • Ontario remained the most active province by deal count (152).

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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