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Canadian Private Market Recap: Oct 16

  • Posted By: Anan Sivapalu

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Earlier last week, Labatt purchased Mill Street Brewery for an undisclosed sum. Labatt has committed $10 million to upgrade Mill Street’s Toronto facility to grow its newly acquired craft brewery segment.  WSP Global has purchased MMM Group for $425 million; further strengthening its position in Canada. In financing news, Cymax successfully raised $25 million to develop and deploy its analytically-predictive inventory management platform. Here are the major deals of the week. 

Labatt purchases HMW Capital-backed Mill Street Brewery
Weinberg Capital-backed Aero 3 buys Avianor’s wheel and brake unit
PE-backed KDC acquires cosmetics manufacturer Kolmar
Swander Pace Capital buys majority stake in Voortman Cookies
WSP closes MMM acquisition with help from the Caisse, CPPIB
ARC-backed Rifle Shot Oil acquires Redwater energy assets
TriWest Capital Partners buys majority interest in Strike Group

M&A

Labatt purchases HMW Capital-backed Mill Street Brewery

Labatt Breweries of Canada has purchased Mill Street Brewery for an undisclosed sum. Mill Street Brewery is a craft brewery based in Toronto and is the largest producer of organically certified beers. Labatt plans to invest $10 million to upgrade Mill Street’s Toronto brewery.  “With the success of Mill Street has come the challenge of serving a growing demand for our brands,” said Irvine Weitzman, Mill Street CEO. While Jan Craps, president of Labatt added “Our partnership and investment will accelerate its growth in one of the most dynamic beer segments, while fully preserving Mill Street’s creative character and pioneering spirit.”

Weinberg Capital-backed Aero 3 buys Avianor’s wheel and brake segment

Portfolio company of Weinberg Capital Group, Aero 3, has acquired the Wheel & Brake Division (W&B) of Avianor for an undisclosed sum. Avianor W&B is a Montreal, Canada based wheel and brake maintenance operator with an additional facility in Calgary. It has the capacity to overhaul over 10,000 units per year. “Through this acquisition, Aero 3 will grow from four to six strategically located facilities and will expand its aircraft and accessory repair and overhaul capabilities. Importantly, by adding facilities in Montreal and Calgary we will truly be a “one-stop shop” for customers throughout the United States and Canada” said Daniel M. Bell, CEO of Aero 3. Ronald Weinberg Jr., MD at Weignberg Capital Group added, “We look forward to integrating the businesses as we continue to build Aero 3 into a globally-recognized leader in aircraft maintenance.”

PE-backed KDC acquires cosmetics manufacturer Kolmar

Knowlton Development Corporation (KDC), a portfolio company of the consortium led by Novacap, has acquired two Kolmar Labs Groups companies; Kolmar Laboratories and Acupac Packaging. The transaction details were not disclosed. KDC, a Longueuil, Quebect based company, is a leading contract manufacturer of health and beauty products. Kolmar is a New York based custom formulator and manufacturer of color cosmetics, personal care and skincare products. The acquisition will allow KDC to expand its operation into the color cosmetics segment. Robert Edmonds, President and CEO of Kolmar Labs stated, “KDC is a strong, proven leader in the outsourcing business, and we feel that this will be a tremendous combination which will add value for customers, employees and all stakeholders, leading to a very bright future for both companies.”

Swander Pace Capital buys majority stake in Voortman Cookies

Last week, Swander Pace Capital acquired a majority stake in the Voortman Cookies, a Burlington, Ontario based company. Voortman Cookies is a manufacturer and an international marketer of cookies and wafers. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. “I’m pleased to announce our search for a new majority shareholder who values our team and what we’ve built has resulted in this exciting agreement with Swander Pace Capital,” said Harry Voortman, chief executive officer of Voortman Cookies. “As I begin to transition from CEO to shareholder, advisor and board member, it is important to me to find an experienced partner who would carry on the Voortman Cookies legacy into the future.” Douglas MacFarlane will become the new CEO of Voortman Cookies.

WSP closes MMM acquisition with help from the Caisse, CPPIB

Last week, WSP Global (TSX: WSP) closed its acquisition of MMM Group. MMM group is a Canadian based engineering and consulting practice with over 2,000 employees and 18 offices across Canada. “I am delighted about this acquisition and that our two firms are joining forces,” said David Ackert, President and Chief Executive Officer of WSP in Canada. “The coming together of these two like-minded firms will enable us to pursue our growth strategy and strengthen our foundation across Canada by increasing our ability to deliver superior value to our clients, shareholders and employees.” The $425 million acquisition was financed through an equity contribution from existing PE shareholders ($144 million), a new public offering ($201 million) and an issuance to MMM employees ($22 million). The remaining $58 million was drawn from WSP’s credit facilities.

ARC-backed Rifle Shot Oil acquires Redwater energy assets

Rifle Shot Oil Corp, backed by ARC Financial has acquired Redwater energy assets located in Alberta. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition will add 550 barrels-of-oil-equivalent-per-day to Rifle Shot’s production. Rifle Shot is actively looking to deploy its $100 million of equity to finance growth opportunities. It is currently seeking to acquire additional assets around the Redwater and Provost areas. 

TriWest Capital Partners buys majority interest in Strike Group

TriWest Capital Partners acquired Strike Group Inc. last week at an undisclosed financial sum. Strike Group is an energy services and construction company based out of Calgary, Alberta. It is focused on servicing energy, pipelines, transmission/distribution and industrial sectors in Western Canada. “We are very excited to partner with the senior management team of Strike. They have an excellent reputation and are known as a market leader,” said Mick MacBean, Senior MD at TriWest Capital. “Our outlook for the business is strong and we look forward to working with management and growing this exciting platform investment.”

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