Canada’s private capital (PC) community believes current economic conditions are favourable for investment, according to a report from Toronto-based Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA), which was released on Wednesday. While the CVCA reported a surge in venture capital (VC) investments in the first half of 2015, private equity (PE) investments are down significantly.
The CVCA found that deal activity and disbursement levels for VC activity increased significantly in the first half of this year, which saw 244 VC deals completed, capturing $939 million. Both the number of deals and the amount invested in those deals are up by more than 20% compared with the same period last year.
The surge in VC activity came in the second quarter (Q2), with the amount invested up 53% over the first quarter (Q1). This increase was helped by the popularity of the life sciences sector, which saw investments of $211 million in Q2 and $92 million in Q1. Life sciences accounted for 39 deals, while information and communication technology remains the sector leader, with 161 deals and $547 million invested.
The top three regions for VC deal and investment activity are: Ontario, with 98 deals for $458 million invested; Quebec with 69 deals and $244 million; and British Columbia with 42 deals and $170 million.
PE deals, on the other hand, remained stable year over year, with 145 deals in the first half of 2015 vs 147 deals in the same period in 2014. However, the CVCA report notes, the amount invested dropped significantly, to $7.8 billion in the first half of this year from $11.4 billion in the first half of 2014.
The energy and power sector continues to lead overall investments, accounting for 44% of all PE deals, which captured $3.4 billion. Mining and resources and real estate are tied for second place with $1 billion each in investments.
Alberta generated the highest number of PE deals, with 20 deals, accounting for $2.7 billion; Ontario had 54 deals worth $2 billion; and Quebec saw 38 deals worth $1.7 billion.
In spite of a decrease in PE investment, the CVCA reports, a trend toward greater PC deal activity is expected to continue. This observation is based on the association’s recent survey of its members, which shows 82% of members believe economic conditions favour the PC industry and 66% think a lower Canadian dollar improves the business outlook.
Sixty per-cent believe initial-public-offering and mergers-and-acquisition activity will stay the same for the remainder of the year.