Torys partners discuss the 2021 M&A outlook and the pandemic-onset market for corporate debt capital

January 31, 2021

Despite the myriad effects of the pandemic last year, the Financial Post has said that in 2020 “opportunism overcame fear” in the corporate debt market as companies looked to secure their finances by taking on cheap debt.

The article said that irrespective of the disruption that marked the year, 2020 has plenty of similarities to 2019, which saw a “then-record first half preceded by a then-slowest second half since the financial crisis”

Partner Tom Zverina agreed that the pattern was unexpected.

“We spent early March working on contingency planning with our clients, particularly those for whom things weren’t looking so good,” says Tom Zverina, a corporate finance partner in Torys LLP’s Toronto office.

“Then things exploded.”

Also speaking with the Financial Post, co-head of the M&A practice John Emanoilidis said that, while uncertainty abounds in M&Aa “wild card” as labelled by the Financial Posthe has high hopes for the year ahead.

“The vaccine puts the worst of COVID behind us, political uncertainty in the U.S. has been reduced, American buyers continue to see Canada as stable and attractive, debt is cheap for creditworthy clients, there’s lots of liquidity, and a great deal of money competing for opportunities,” John said.

“Based on deals in the pipeline and discussion with business leaders, 2021 looks like a very good year for M&A.”

John and his M&A colleagues penned a comprehensive M&A piece that explores the year ahead, as a part of the M&A-focused Q1 edition of the Torys Quarterly. See “Canadian M&A outlook 2021” for our team’s analysis.

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