New year, new uncertainties, for finance and M&A

While optimism permeated 2021, new storm clouds have emerged
New year, new uncertainties, for finance and M&A

Despite all its uncertainties, last year also brought us a sense of stability. Whereas 2020 was about crises management, 2021 was about managing something familiar. We knew that lockdowns and virtual meetings would be a fact of life for the near future, and we could plan accordingly.

In finance and M&A, that meant 2021’s pace of deal-making was relentless. 

“It was a huge year for M&A, 2021. The activity was at historic, all-time highs,” says Kim Le at Stikeman Elliott LLP

In the Lexpert Special Edition: Finance and M&A, we celebrate the most noteworthy deals that emerged from the activity as Excellence Awardees for the Canadian Law Awards. An independent external judging panel receives that list and scores the nominations to select a final winner for each of the five categories. The winners will be announced at our gala event on May 19.

“For M&A in 2022, I see a lot of confidence and a lot of optimism because the ingredients that made 2021 such a blockbuster year for M&A are all still here,” Le says.

While the optimism about dealmaking in 2022 is still warranted, new storm clouds have emerged since Lexpert spoke with Le. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has shifted much of the world’s attention away from the pandemic recovery.

Even before the war in Ukraine, though, there were countervailing forces to our optimism. Inflation was up, supply chains were disrupted, and global warming continued. Environmental, social, and governance risks were not going away.

However, Canada’s position in the world should allow us to retain our optimism. The Canadian energy market provides stability to investors in an uncertain world, and our ESG expertise is world-class.

“For many years, there was talk about the hollowing out of corporate Canada,” says Kristopher Hanc at Bennett Jones. “I think we are starting to see some real Canadian champions. And we expect that to continue in 2022 as Canadian companies look to invest abroad.”

The leading lawyers in this Special Edition are accustomed to uncertainty, and they remain optimistic throughout. They know corporate Canada will successfully navigate whatever uncertainty it faces this year.