Osler is #1 advisor to issuers and underwriters in 2019

Michael Innes, Desmond Lee, Emmanuel Pressman

Jan 31, 2020

Osler was ranked #1 as legal counsel to both issuers and underwriters for combined equity and debt offerings by value, according to the Financial Post’s full-year 2019 Canadian capital markets league table results announced on January 30, 2020. Osler advised issuers on 38 completed transactions valued at $26 billion. Osler also advised the underwriters on 37 equity and debt offerings that raised $17 billion in total.

In an article about the rankings, author Geoff Zochodne discusses 2019 market trends that resulted in a higher number of debt offerings but a smaller number of equity offerings (compared to 2018). According to Financial Post data, “approximately $402.1 billion in debt and equity was sold by Canadian issuers last year, up 12% from $358.9 billion in 2018, but down from a record $404.6 billion in 2017.”

Manny Pressman, Chair of Osler’s Corporate Group, explains how strong market conditions propelled deal activity in 2019, despite some uncertainties.

“Despite a lot of geopolitical risk and turmoil, and predictions and prognostications of potential recession and slowdown in global growth, the markets were very resilient,” Manny tells the Financial Post. “And those very strong market conditions and that market resilience was very helpful in terms of facilitating dealmaking and transactional activity.”

The article also explains how looking forward to 2020, there is optimism for an equity comeback and a resurgence in Canada’s energy sector.

In a related Financial Post article discussing the corporate debt capital markets, author Julius Melnitzer explains how Canadian issuer activity rebounded in the second half of 2019 resulting in “the second-most active year on record.” According to Financial Post data, debt issuances, “including international offerings by Canadian companies, reached a record $208.3 billion in 2019, up 17.8% over the previous year.”

Osler partner Michael Innes, Co-Chair of the firm’s Capital Markets, practice, explains how interest rate uncertainty helped fuel this activity.

“An environment that had stability in rates and yields but uncertainty as to interest rates going forward made people want to take advantage of the market while they could rather than waiting for 2020, when no one knew what was going to happen,” Michael tells Financial Post.

Michael also looks back on 2019 and offers his thoughts on what to expect moving forward in 2020. 

“Things were relentless for a while toward the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 and I would never have predicted that 2019 would turn out as well as it did,” Michael tells Financial Post. “What I do believe is that the market’s reaction to macroeconomic trends will determine performance in 2020 as much as it did in 2019.”

See all the league tables and read author Geoff Zochodne’s full article, “FP Dealmakers: The year private  capital unleashed its vast cash pile and moved public markets,” and read author Julius Melnitzer’s full article, “FP Dealmakers: The year central banks fuelled the debt binge.”

With offices in Toronto, Montréal, Calgary, Ottawa, Vancouver and New York, Osler is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s leading Capital Markets firms. Our clients include major Canadian corporations, well-known multinationals, entrepreneurial and growth-oriented businesses and Canadian and global investment banks engaged in capital markets activities in Canada, the United States and internationally.