Patrice Walch-Watson comments on M&A activity in agriculture

Canada: Farm Horizons

January 13, 2014

A relatively healthy food and agribusiness industry around the globe has some positive implications for the Canadian economy. Partner Patrice Walch-Watson provided comment on some of the nuances of the currently buoyant agriculture industry in an article for The Lawyer. Below is an excerpt of the article.

A key discussion point surrounding these large M&A deals is to what extent they are the cause of consolidation in Canada. Consolidation has been a big issue in the past few years as Canadian businesses attempt to fight off increasing competition from the US.

“While consolidation is one of the drivers of activity in Canada, there are others, many of which are common across the world,” says Torys partner Patrice Walch-Watson. “It’s a strategic area for growth. Increased global population, higher incomes in emerging economies and more focus on food security and safety have led to significant changes in what are increasingly recognised as critical and lucrative global food production and distribution businesses.

“The pace of change in the sector has been increasing because of this, coupled with regulatory change. For example, in 2012 the wheat board monopoly ended, allowing western Canadian farmers to market wheat and barley on their own.”

Walch-Watson adds that it also helps that Canada’s economy is doing well, compared with much of the world.

To read the full article, click here.

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