Streetwise newsletter: The week’s best reads: Power Corp., energy Prices, National Bank

Good morning. These would be the best reads of the week. Have a fantastic weekend.

The Desmarais family’s Power Corp. empire was treading water since the fiscal crisis. Now, as a third generation gets ready to take the reins, investors are losing patience. Can one of Canada’s most influential families reunite the nation’s largest conglomerate to its formernbsp;glory? (Jacqueline Nelson and Andrew Willis, for readers)

Officially, Paul Desmarais Sr. handed the executive reins to his two sons in 1996, but it wasn’t till the late Power Corp. patriarch suffered a stroke in 2005 that “the boys” took over. That generational change followed another. Only three weeks before, Robert Gratton resigned as chief executive officer of Power Financial Corp. and Jeffrey Orr became the unit’s CEO. (Konrad Yakabuski, for readers)

Deals are flowing in the infrastructure and pipeline end of the oil sector, signaling a return of optimism following a protracted drought of energy financings. (Jeff Lewis, for readers)

National Bank of Canada capped off a greater financial year with strong fourth-quarter gain as the Montreal-based lender enters a new phase of an aggressive strategy to redefine itself. (James Bradshaw)

Canada’s corporate accounting, auditing and consulting company is becoming a shake up with the purchase of the largest office of mid-market specialist Collins Barrow by RSM International, the industry’s sixth-largest player. (Jeff Jones, for readers)

The head of Manulife Investments’ exchange-traded funds department will be stepping down from her role later this month. (Clare O’Hara, for readers)

Keyera Corp. is selling $429.4-million in shares to repay debt and fund development, the most recent infrastructure business to tap markets as crude prices edge up. (Jeff Lewis)

Growing earnings from U.S. banking operations played a significant role in fostering fourth-quarter earnings at two of Canada’s biggest banks — but investors rewarded one creditor and penalized the other. (James Bradshaw, for readers)

For the last couple of weeks, the burning question swirling around Enbridge Inc. hasn’t been whether to raise money, but how: Sell resources or sell new shares? (Tim Kiladze and Jeff Jones, for readers)

Royal Bank of Canada capped a year of record profit using a 12-per-cent leap in fourth-quarter earnings, but analysts are uncertain that the bank can sustain such rapid expansion. (James Bradshaw)

Personal equity-backed Canadian waste management firm GFL Environmental Inc. is trying to raise up to $1-billion in an initial public offering that could be submitted as early as the first quarter, individuals familiar with the situation told Reuters on Wednesday.

Canada’s most prolific venture capital company, Real Ventures, has raised $180-million from shareholders for two new funds, including financing from global heavyweights Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Singapore autonomous wealth finance Temasek Holdings Private Ltd.. (Sean Silcoff)

A Vancouver startup expecting to emerge as a pioneer in the connected-car business has scored a $30-million venture investment led by Toronto’s Kensington Capital to help continue the rapid adoption of its technology. (Sean Silcoff)

Canada’s largest coalition of institutional investors wants shareholders to have the right to nominate directors for board elections, saying it has got a professional legal opinion that its proposed version for proxy access is permitted under company law statutes. (Janet McFarland and James Bradshaw, for readers)

CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. says it has adopted a shareholder rights plan in an attempt to shield itself against a hostile takeover offer by Aurora Cannabis Inc..

The leader of Canada’s fast-growing meal-kit shipping market is holding firm to plans to go public as early as next year, despite a choppy reception into a spate of rival offerings this season. (Sean Silcoff, for readers)

Brian Porter repeats something so often it is almost an incantation. Since taking over as Bank of Nova Scotia’s chief executive officer four decades back, he is constantly stressed an global strategy that’s uber-focused on Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru. (Tim Kiladze, for readers)

Scotiabank says it has submitted an offer to purchase a majority stake in a Chilean bank for $2.9-billion.

Bank of Nova Scotia led off the fourth-quarter earnings season for Canada’s largest banks with a 3-per-cent bulge in gain and bid $2.9-billion for a majority stake in a mid sized bank. (James Bradshaw)

Goldman Sachs Group is one of around five bidders for ScotiaMocatta, the metals trading arm of Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia, where it is seeking around $1-billion (U.S.), sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Canadian bud companies are facing a fork in the road over their vulnerability to the USA. Two distinct deals introduced Tuesday highlight the extremes of this dilemma: Leave the developing market south of the border entirely or push deeper. Christina Pellegrini, for readers)

Sino-Forest Corp. co-founder Allen Chan said he’s sorry that the business’s shareholders lost billions of dollars, but he “respectfully disagrees” with the Ontario Securities Commission’s judgment that his actions resulted in the forestry company’s passing. (Alexandra Posadzki, for readers)

Canada’s two largest newspaper companies have struck a deal to exchange a total of 37 community papers and four free commuter newspapers — and shutting lots of the newsrooms that once competed in these markets — in a bid to deal with declining advertising revenues and a fighting print media environment.

Paul Lem has worked for 12 years to come up with a breakthrough technologies: a mobile device that would bring DNA testing into the masses. The co-founder and chief executive of Ottawa startup Spartan Bioscience Inc. has believed his patented clock-radio-sized apparatus known as the Cube could one day be ubiquitous in hospitals, pharmacies, physicians’ offices and homes, allowing users to check everything from E. coli to venereal diseases. He’s been funded by giant Canon Inc.. (Sean Silcoff, for readers)


Blackstone Group has teamed up with its Brazilian partner to compete for Petroleo Brasileiro SA’s natural gas pipeline network in the country’s northeast, said people with knowledge of the issue.

Vancouver-based 1QBit has closed a $45 million Series B which includes equity and earnings contracts. The funding was led by Fujitsu Limited, with additional strategic investment by Accenture, Allianz, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and CME Ventures.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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