The Canadian private equity market raised $4 billion through 140 deals in the first quarter of 2024, a 52 per cent increase in deal values from the previous quarter, according to a new report by the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association.

It found the average deal size in the Canadian private equity market increased to $28.7 million, the highest quarterly average since the first quarter of 2020. The report noted in 2023, the private equity market raised a total of $10.3 billion across 647 deals.

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Quebec led the country in both the number of deals (77) and the amount of funds invested ($2.9 billion). The report noted the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec was among the most active private equity investors with seven deals for a total value of $275 million. The investment organization was also involved in two of the largest disclosed Canadian private equity deals, involving Metro Supply Chain Group Inc. and Levio Consulting Inc.

While the industrial and manufacturing industry led all sectors in dealmaking with 35 transactions, the automotive and transportation industry had the highest value in dealmaking with $1.4 billion, despite recording just six transactions. By comparison, the information and communications technology sector recorded 26 deals worth a total of $1.3 billion.

Eight in 10 (84 per cent) disclosed transactions were valued at less than $25 million, indicating a strong preference for smaller-scale investments. Mid-size deals, valued between $25 million and $100 million, only accounted for eight per cent of the transactions, while there were only eight large deals exceeding $100 million in value, said the report.

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