Toronto Legal Blog

Business and commercial: Air Canada poised to scoop up Transat

The corporate world is soaring regarding recent rumblings that one of Canada's major airlines is poised to add another under its wing. Recent business and commercial news in Canada has it that Air Canada has made a bid to purchase Transat to the tune of $520 million despite Transat's more than $24 million in losses it suffered last year. Many analysts believe that it's a deal that would benefit both companies.

The merger would increase Air Canada's fleet while reducing competition in leisure travel flight. When Transat began showing signs of problems, a number of corporations began courting the company, among them Quebecor, FNC Capital, and Onex, which recently purchased West Jet for $5 billion. But experts believe the best deal for employees and future growth would come from the merger of Air Canada and Transat. In fact, the stocks in both companies soared amid the prospective amalgamation.

Mergers and acquisitions: Two insurance giants join forces

Things don't always go as planned when one company links up with another. In recent mergers and acquisitions news in Canada, one of the nation's most well-known and respected insurance companies -- Desjardins -- acquired State Farm and things haven't been all smooth sailing. Employees and higher-ups in both companies soon realized it takes time to smooth out any rough spots.

Each company had its own set of values and different cultures according to a recent talk given by Desjardins' senior vice president. Both companies' values were similar, yet different with Desjardins putting emphasis on being pragmatic, while State Farm was fuelled by leadership and relationships. But most State Farm employees were on board with the merger since nearly all employees made the move with the company.

Business and commercial: Edible cannabis becomes legal this fall

By this fall edible cannabis products will become legal. Business and commercial transactions will heat up in Canada as business owners and producers vie for their places in what is expected to be a very lucrative second part to the legalization of cannabis in the country come October. Some people who have shied away from smoking cannabis may not be so hesitant to try edible cannabis products which include things like cookies and candies.

Entrepreneurs are looking to what has been pegged cannabis 2.0, as being the chance to make some serious financial dividends from those consumers who aren't likely to smoke joints, but who may consider trying a hash brownie. Business people are hoping edibles will introduce cannabis to those consumers who wouldn't normally consider smoking pot. Many are hoping edibles will open new commercial possibilities.

Mergers and acquisitions: Mining industry coming back strong

The mining industry in the country is poised for a major comeback, especially in the gold sector. The industry is gaining strength in Canada thanks to a number of recent mergers and acquisitions deals worth billions of dollars. Industry experts believe the last quarter of 2018 was a turning point for the industry and expect consolidations to continue to pave the way for additional growth.

With much-needed capital often short, these mergers make it more feasible for companies to seek financial backing. These consolidating companies usually sell off what they consider to be nonessential assets, which creates further growth in the industry. Now, instead of focusing on how to stay afloat, corporations are considering opportunities for expansion.

Business and commercial: French's takes on Heinz

A smaller Canadian company took on a larger corporation and has put a dent in its sales. When Heinz decided to pack up its operations in Canada and move its headquarters to the States, French's fought back and won over the hearts of many Canadians. The business and commercial sector was shaken up by Heinz' pullout, which gave French's a great marketing advantage in getting many Canadians to switch their brand of ketchup.

French's promised Canadians to use only tomatoes grown in Canada for its product. But the company knew that it were up against a product that most Canadians had been using all their lives -- Heinz ketchup. Now, after a couple years, many Canadians are covering their fries with French's ketchup, causing Heinz to lose some of its market share and profits. In fact, a professor who is an expert in food distribution and policy at a well-respected Canadian university, says what French's has accomplished is pretty much unheard of. 

Business and commercial: Plant-based products catching the wave

Many people are trying to become much more healthy and in many respects that includes eating a diet which includes more plant-based foods. This trend has not gone unnoticed in the business and commercial world in Canada. Some companies are getting in on the plant-based diet trend, which is reflective of the products they're starting to offer.  In fact, one of Canada's largest food manufacturers, Maple Leaf Foods Inc., is so into the idea of plant-based products that it will soon be opening a multi-million dollar processing plant Stateside.

Leading experts in the food industry say this new trend is anything but a fad. Companies wouldn't be investing millions of dollars for something they believe people are treating as a passing fancy. Maple Leaf Foods already started investigating the prospects five years ago, making the decision to move forward for a number of reasons, including the escalating cost of meat products.

Commercial litigation: Supreme Court rules in favour of Telus

Business customers who have Telus as a service provider can't launch class actions against the company. The Supreme Court of Canada recently ruled that business owners can't join commercial litigation lawsuits against Telus concerning its billing practices. Court judges ruled 4-3 that a judge in Ontario made an error allowing a business client of Telus to become part of a class action against the company.

Telus uses a rounding up procedure that takes talk time to the next minute so monthly minutes are depleted quicker. But the company said the class action launched against it should not apply to business customers since those contracts stipulate that disputes should go to arbitration rather than through the courts. The Supreme Court agreed.

Business and Commercial: First Nations group set to buy pipeline

A group of Indigenous Canadians is poised to buy the majority of the Trans Canada pipeline. This recent business and commercial news coming out of Canada is likely to see an offer on the table of $6.8 billion for the pipeline the principles of which the group says are in keeping with its goals. The First Nations group is calling all indigenous groups to band together in a bid to purchase the pipeline.

A spokesperson said the group has already spoken at length with other First Nations groups, investment banks and oil companies to get to the next step in the purchase process. The project is being led by the former chief of the Thunderchild First Nation. But as much as the group wants to purchase the pipeline, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said there won't be any formal negotiations until it is ascertained that expansion plans pose no risk to the pipeline the government bought last summer for $4.5 billion.

Mergers and acquisitions: Belmont Resources claims Gold Prospect

Belmont Resources has inked a deal to acquire more than 253 hectares of mineral rich land from David Heyman & Clive Brookes. The land is part of Greenwood Mining in Canada's gold-rich West. This mergers and acquisitions news has been touted as an arm's length acquisition and includes rich copper and gold mining lands that have been mined as far back as the turn of the 20th century. 

Exploration of the lands in the 1990s showed areas of the land that have a high probability of having gold and silver. Belmont is expected to conduct its own sampling of the lands but has agreed with the historical data presented to it. Millions of dollars have been spent in mining exploration of the lands over the last few years.

Business and commercial: Governments helping businesses flourish

Small and medium-sized businesses are positive contributors to the country's economy. When it comes to the business and commercial realm in Canada, these companies employ nearly 90 per cent of the nation's workforce in the private sector and heartily drive economic growth. Governments at all levels realize the integral role these businesses play and have helped entrepreneurs to grow their companies and to flourish.

There is now a place for Canadian business owners to be able to access information on what government programs are available to help their companies. The Government of Canada has launched a website for business owners to be able to access government services and programs. Whether an entrepreneur is thinking about a startup or expansion, he or she will be able to find those programs that may be helpful in the process.

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