* Values up 69 pct versus year-ago, led by Husky deal
* Deal volumes touch all-time high
* Exits fewer but larger
By Pav Jordan
TORONTO, Feb 16 Canadian Private equity
activity soared in 2011, eclipsing year-ago figures amid
blockbuster deals like the C$2.1 billion ($2.1 billion)
acquisition of Husky International by the OMERS pension fund and
Disclosed buyout and private equity disbursements for the
year totaled C$11.5 billion, up 69 percent over 2010, when deal
values were C$6.8 billion, according to a report prepared by the
Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA)
and research partner Thomson Reuters.
The number of deals disclosed in the year rose to a record
235 last year, up 38 percent from 170 in 2010.
"Private equity investment made sizeable gains in 2011,"
CVCA President Gregory Smith, a managing partner at Brookfield
Financial Corp, said of the report. "Not only did we see the
return of large-cap deals backing major firms in growth mode, we
saw record levels of mid-market investment that engaged large
numbers of small and medium-sized businesses."
Private equity dealmaking hit a high in May, when the
Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) and
Berkshire agreed to buy Husky, an Ontario-based
injection-molding company, from Onex Corp, one of
Canada's top private equity firms.
It was Canada's top deal and also one of the largest private
equity deals in North America for the year.
A slew of midmarket deals followed, including the C$590
million acquisition of Canadian patent licensing company Mosaid
Technologies in October by U.S. based private equity firm
The number of buyout and private equity fund realizations,
or exits from investments, remained low for the year, the CVCA
said, with only 56 in all of 2011, compared with 75 in 2010.
But they made up for that in part in the size of
transactions, including the C$1.32 billion sale by the Ontario
Teachers' Pension Plan of its stake in Maple Leaf Sports and
Entertainment, owner of the National Hockey League's Toronto