A joint venture that saw the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Blackstone Inc. acquire a 20 per cent stake in a senior mortgage loan portfolio from the failed Signature Bank for US$1.2 billion was the biggest mergers and acquisitions transaction in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to a report by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Indeed, the CPPIB, the British Columbia Investment Management Corp. and the OPSEU Pension Trust were all involved in the three biggest deals of the quarter.

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Overall, the aggregate value of deals with pension fund involvement declined more than 35 per cent from $44.56 billion in 2022 to $28.68 billion in 2023. In Q4 alone, mergers and acquisition deals completed by pension plan sponsors declined 78.9 per cent from the previous year, with just 25 deals, totalling $2.66 billion in value, completed in that timeframe, compared to 41 transactions, totalling $12.63 billion, in the same period in 2022.

Six of the top 10 deals in Q4 included the involvement of private equity or venture capital. The technology, media and telecommunications sector secured $17.87 billion of pension fund-backed investments in 2023, a significant increase from $7.52 billion in 2022, followed by energy and utilities ($2.77 billion), materials ($1.83 billion), industrials ($1.62 billion), consumers ($1.5 billion), financials ($0.96 billion), health care ($0.93 billion) and real estate ($0.92 billion).

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