Nominees for Top Ten Deals of 2012

This is how we got here. We started with 91 nominated deals. My first ruthless cull eliminated all the one-offs—deals nominated only by one lawyer. That brought us to 38. Next, I cut all the deals only nominated by lawyers from one law firm. Which brings us to the 27 nominees below. Hidden within are the Top Ten Deals of 2012. Which ten will it be?

Note: The list is in alphabetical order. A. B. C… and yes, I did so solely for the purpose of causing some more angst to the lawyers looking to see if Maple/TMX was on the list. Or do I mean TMX/Maple lawyers?

Maple Leaves

Your job: Kick 10 deals off this list ASAP. With facts and arguments. Short. Long. Targeted at one deal or all 27 (preferably somewhere in the middle) . Your deadline: Friday, October 26. That’s nine days.


1. Alexion/Enobia. Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. acquires Enobia Pharma Corp. Announced December 29, 2011. Value $610 million. Closed February 7, 2012. Only pharma deal to make the first cut.

2. B2B Bank. Laurentian sub B2B Trust acquires AGF Trust, creates new federally chartered bank. Announced June 8, 2012. Closed Aug 12, 2012. Focus on consolidation and transformation of the wealth-management and mutual fund industry.

3. BCE/Astral. BCE Inc. bid for Astral Media Inc. Announced March 15, 2012. Value: $3.38 billion in cash and stock. Not closed. Latest headlines: “Competitors try to block Bell from buying Astral.”

4. CNOOC/Nexen. Chinese oil producer CNOOC Lt.d bids for Nexen Inc. Announced July 23, 2012. Value: $15.1 billion. Ongoing. Latest headlines: “Ottawa extends review of CNOOC bid for Nexen.”

5. Cobre Panama. Franco Nevada’s gold stream financing of Inmet’s Cobre Panama. Announced August 20, 2012. Value $1 billion. Closed.

6. Cominar/Canmarc. Cominar REIT’s unsolicited takeover bid for Canmarc REIT. Hostile bid announced November 28, 2011. Value $838.2 million. Value Closed March 1, 2012. By the way, you really liked REITs this year. Shocking.

7. Couche-Tard/Statoil. Alimentation Couche-Tard buys Norway’s Statoil Fuel & Retail unit. Announced April 18, 2012. Value $2.7 billion. Closed June 29, 2012.

8. CP Rail/Perishing. CP Rail/ Pershing Square Capital Management’s proxy fight. Announced (or launched) January 9, 2012. Wrapped up… um depends how you define wrapped up, but let’s say May 17, 2012. Value: Priceless. As far as business headline entertainment goes, anyway.

9. Dundee REIT/Scotia Plaza. Dundee REIT and H&R REIT buy Scotia Plaza from Scotiabank. Announced May 22, 2012. Value: $1.266 billion. Closed June 15, 2012. An office tower gets sold. I’ll be frank: by the numbers, this deal had a lot of support in round one. But… you’re going to have to work hard to get me excited about this one.

10. E-One/Alliance. Entertainment One Inc. bid for  Alliance Films. Announced September 7, 2012. Value $230 million. Pending. Latest intelligence: reviews on track, 2012 close looks achievable.

11. Glencore/Viterra et al. Glencore buys Viterra, with Richardson International Agrium Inc,, and CF Industries Holdings Inc. sidecars. Announced March 20, 2012. Value: $6.1 billion. Not closed yet, but close. Last headline: “The sole remaining regulatory approval is the approval of the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China.” Anyone else think this is funny?

12. Intact/Westaim. Intact Financial Corporation buys JEVCO Insurance Company from Westaim Corporation. Announced May 2, 2012. Value $530 million. Closed September 24, 2012. Insurance business consolidation apace; Intact on spending spree (remember AXA in 2011?).

13. KGHM/Quadra FNX. KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. buys Quadra FNX Mining Ltd. Announced December 5, 2011. Value $3.4 billion. Closed March 5, 2012. “Probably the biggest Polish deal ever!” says an early lobbyist. Alas, I’m not patriotic. Show me its other merits.

14. Maple/TMX. Or just “Maple.” Maple Group Acquisitions Corp. takes TMX. Finally. LSE deal announced: February 2, 2011Maple bid announced: May 25, 2011. Lexpert Top Ten Deals of 2012 published January 2013 without Maple/TMX deal on the list. And aren’t you glad? Closed September 14, 2012. So… Deal of the Year? Are there any other candidates that even come close? Not by the numbers from Round One, anyway.

15. MLSE. Rogers Communications and Bell Canada buy Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board. Announced: December 9, 2011. Value: $1.07 billion. Closed: August 22, 2012.

16. Nalcor/Emera/Muskrat Falls. Nalcor Energy, Emera Inc., Gov’t of Nova Scotia and Gov’t of Newfoundland and Labrador ink formal agreement for the development and transmission of hydroelectric power from Muskrat Falls. Ramp up: 50 years. Value $6.2 billion. Agreements inked July 31, 2012. Game-changing energy pact. Atlantic Canada deal on the long-list!

17. Pembina/Provident. Pembina Pipeline Corp. buys Provident Energy Ltd. Announced January 16, 2012. Value $3.16 billion. Closed April 2, 2012.

18. PETRONAS/Progress. Malaysia’s PETRONAS bid for Progress Energy Corp. Announced June 28, 2012. Value $6 billion. Pending. Latest headlines: “Review of Petronas takeover extended to October 19.” They plan to have the deal closed three days after. Let’s watch, shall we?

19. Q9. Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan , Providence Equity Partners and Madison Dearborn Partners LLC, and BCE Inc. buy Q9 Networks. Announced June 1, 2012. Value: $1.1 billion. Ongoing. The year of club deals?

20. Resolute/Fibrek/Mercer. Resolute Forest Products aka AbitibiBowater Inc. takes Fibrek Inc. Announced Nov. 28, 2011. Value: [$130] million. Closed May 17, 2012/August 1, 2012.

21. Rio Tinto/Ivanhoe. Rio Tinto secures controlling interest of Ivanhoe Mines and agrees to support US$7.3 billion Financing Plan. Long 2011 back-story. Closed May 24, 2012.

22. Scotiabank/ING. Scotiabank buys ING Bank ofCanada from Netherlands parent. Announced August 29, 2012. Value $3.13 billion. Expected to close in December. Go, Canadian banks, go.

23. Sino-Forest. Sino-Forest Corp. restructuring. Announced March 30, 2012. Value … $3-6 billion? Target end date December. Word on the street is this will be the biggest deal of the year in terms of legal fees.

24. Telus/Mason. Telus Corp.’s attempt to collapse its voting-non voting share structure into one class (with no compensation to the voters) and hedge fund Mason Capital’s efforts to stop it. Announced February 21, 2012. Value: Well… how would you calculate it? Ongoing. Latest headlines: “Mason Capital wins (latest) legal round in battle with Telus.” “Telus to go ahead with share conversion plan vote Wednesday.” Hey, they’re voting today! This list happens in real time, baby!

25. URS/Flint Energy. URS Corporation buys Flint Energy Services. Announced Feb 20, 2012. Value $1.25 billion. Closed May 14, 2012.

26. Xstrata/Sukunka. Xstrata acquires Sukuka Coking Coal Deposit from Talisman; joint-ventures with JX Nippon Oil & Energy (Australia) Pty Ltd. Announced MArch 8, 2012. Value $500 million + $400 million. Closed March 15, 2012. Largest investment in the Western Canadian mining sector by a Japanese company in a long time.

27. Yellow Media Recapitalization. Yellow Media Inc. Announced July 23, 2012. Value $1.8 billion. Implementation of the recap targeted for October 31, 2012.


Exxon/Celtic. Exxon Mobil Corp strikes deal to acquire Canadian oil and gas company Celtic Exploration Ltd. Announced this morning. Value $2.6 billion ($3.1b including debt). Pending. Did I mention we compile this list in real time? Oh, yeah.

Glencore/Xstrata. Announced February 7, 2012. Value $90 billion. Pending. Latest headline: Xstrata’s merger with Glencore under threat again; EU to decide on Xstrata merger by Nov 8. This deal was nominated, but eliminated by the first cull. Given its size, I thought I’d better ensure you were eliminating it consciously rather than by omission. Two big questions—will it happen—and we will know by November 8—and, just as important—how significant is the Canadian legal piece.

Stumbled onto this post by mistake and have no idea what I’m talking about? Go here.