Said told WP that the mid-market in Canada is attractive because it’s where the majority of the companies and deal flow resides. It also covers a lot of different sectors and a variety of transactions.
Right now, many firms are assessing the landscape because of COVID-19 and the uncertainty that persists. It means many are sitting with dry powder ready to be deployed. In addition, Said said there is somewhere between $1.5-$2 trillion in cash waiting to be invested by private equity firms. He said: “With a decline in valuations due to the COVID situation, a lot of those private equity firms are now looking to deploy capital into these opportunities.”
He admitted, however, that due diligence and M&A process have slowed as a result of the pandemic, especially in situations where you have to physically go to places to see a facility, factory or mine. Said expects a gap to develop between what buyers are willing to pay and what sellers are willing to accept for companies.
“We do see sellers that have a lot of debt or are in dire need of liquidity working away to address these issues,” he added. “There is also an opportunity for buyers that have cash or have access to capital to acquire or invest and opportunistically target great companies with strong fundamentals and outlook. Companies that have strong balance sheets are going to do fine in this environment and are actually going to come out ahead if they’re able to strategically acquire companies at attractive valuations.”
Echelon Capital Markets is versatile and well-diversified, covering sectors likes mining, cannabis, real estate, healthcare, technology, while it also provides structured products. It advises on equity and debt raises, M&A, as well as restructuring. The wealth management arm of Echelon managed around $6 billion in assets, which provides a unique advantage amongst independent peers and adds to its distribution capabilities.