The decline of the loonie over the past year makes Canadian companies attractive to U.S. acquirers, and that’s bound to be on the minds of business owners who might want to sell, as well as potential foreign buyers.
Although currency-driven bargains may seem harder to resist, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) shouldn’t hinge on foreign exchange (FX) considerations alone. Exchange rates can be a factor in M&A, but a company is making a mistake if it bases its rationale for an acquisition primarily on an FX advantage.
It’s tempting to believe otherwise right now. Canadian businesses look attractive to prospective buyers, given that in August our currency hit an 11-year low against the greenback. The Canadian dollar has recovered slightly since then, but it continues to be dragged down by weak energy prices and widespread expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve Board will hike interest rates this fall and the Bank of Canada won’t, widening the gulf still further.