Tag Archives: Robert Olsen

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Financing the recreational marijuana industry

Early retail investor euphoria is giving way to a broader set of capital sources as companies emerge in this new Canadian market. The next year will reveal a lot about the future of funding for these businesses
By Robert Olsen
With Andrew Luetchford
August 3rd, 2017

“ Responsibility is a heavy responsibility!” —Cheech Marin, “Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie” (1980) “ Our intent is to legalize, regulate and restrict. There needs to be reasonable restrictions on making sure that we keep it away from kids…. We … Continue reading

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SPACs: a slow climb toward legitimacy

Special Purpose Acquisition Corporations have struggled to gain solid traction in Canada, but recent successes point to their long-term potential as an alternative to traditional private equity financing
By Robert Olsen
With Andrew Luetchford
May 18th, 2017

One of the poorer acronyms in the corporate finance world is SPACs, or Special Purpose Acquisition Corporations, as they are properly called. SPACs have been around since the early ’90s, but only in their most recent form in Canada since … Continue reading

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Spot prices: a spotty indicator, at best?

Amid all the enthusiasm about the mining sector’s bounce-back year in 2016, a large, dark cloud remains—all the action has been short-term. Long-term prices and the long-term outlook have barely moved at all
By Robert Olsen
With Kevin Becker
March 2nd, 2017

Ask most in the mining world and they would say 2016 was a pretty darned good year. News reports began by pointing to evidence of a market recovery or, if nothing else, an end to the doldrums of a market … Continue reading

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Brexit: should we care in Canada?

The immediate impact of the Brexit vote on UK, European and world economies has been largely negative. But when it comes to the long-term implications here, expectations vary with the viewpoint
By Robert Olsen
With Andrew Luetchford and Paddy Farrant
October 10th, 2016

On June 23rd, the electorate of the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the European Union, opting for “Brexit.” The impact on the global economy has been predominantly negative, and Canada has not been immune. In the aftermath … Continue reading

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Divestitures: look before you list

Selling a company is a big step for anyone, be it a family business owner or a private equity firm. So what separates deals that succeed from those that fail? Often, it’s the planning that’s done before taking the business to market
By Robert Olsen
With Adam Brown and Brian McKenzie
August 1st, 2016

Whenever we see articles on M&A, the typical focus is the number and dollar value of successful deals closed versus the previous year. However, much less is written about the number of divestitures that are planned but don’t close, or … Continue reading

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Private equity primed for moves in energy

Billions earmarked for energy investments are piling up on the sidelines. Meanwhile, the longer energy prices languish, the more producer and oil-service firms’ coffers dry up. It’s setting up the kind of scenario where PE shines
By Robert Olsen
With Andrew Luetchford and John Hague
May 30th, 2016

There has been a lot of talk since the oil crisis began about the interest of private equity investors in the sector, and their ability to fill the capital gap required to restart the energy engine in Western Canada. Private … Continue reading

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Looking back on the year ahead

Wherein we embark on a short, time-traveling leap to the end of 2016 to take a look back at what went down—or up—in the mining sector in the year that was...or soon might be
By Robert Olsen
With Jeremy South
March 6th, 2016

Have you had enough of bad news in the mining sector and predictions for more of the same for the rest of 2016? Ever find yourself wishing you could just hit a switch and fast-forward another year? You’re not alone. … Continue reading

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Venture debt: get it while it’s hot

Once an extreme niche product, venture debt is on the rise in the start-up sector. Does it have the potential to be a mainstay of venture company capital structures? Or will the current surge be short-lived?
By Robert Olsen
With Andrew Luetchford and Fady Nakhla
December 15th, 2015

According to traditional corporate finance logic, the best way to fund a seasoned business opportunity is to use and exhaust the cheapest, most available capital first, and move through the next most attractive capital options sequentially. However, such an approach … Continue reading

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Private debt a very public success

The strong surge in supply and demand for private debt keeps powering forward, although a volatile environment could start shifting some of that business back to the banks
By Robert Olsen
October 11th, 2015

It wasn’t an especially big deal, but as an indicator of the evolution and diverse activity in Canadian and international private debt markets, GoodLife Fitness Centres Inc.’s completion of a $70-million second lien facility in April was notable. Penfund, a … Continue reading

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Social bonds: an impact opportunity?

Social impact bonds, an emerging tool in the world of impact investing, are gaining a foothold in Canada. Companies seeking financial return and social impact should pay attention
By Robert Olsen
With David Chemla
July 29th, 2015

Impact investing is an investment approach, as defined by the Global Impact Investing Network, that intentionally seeks to create both financial return and positive social impact and actively measures the achievement of both. The expected financial return can range from … Continue reading

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The rolling impact of low oil prices

Lately, it’s been one body blow after another for Canada’s entire energy sector. Here we take a closer look at how the impacts and repercussions will likely be felt for the rest of 2015
By Robert Olsen
With Andrew Luetchford and David Sparrow
May 16th, 2015

Alberta is getting quieter by the day. Compared to a year ago there are about 40% fewer heavy trucks on the province’s roads and six months from now, there will be even less. If this low oil-price environment continues, it … Continue reading

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Capital alternatives for mining

The industry slump that was remains the slump that is. Traditional funders are sidelined and the public markets stone cold. Yet if mining companies are willing to expand their options, there’s still some alternative financing out there
By Robert Olsen
With Andrew Luetchford and Jeremy South
February 28th, 2015

Over the past couple of years, many have talked about the green shoots of recovery and hopes of better times around the corner for the mining industry. Unfortunately, the deep freeze continues, and that means continuing discontent for those looking … Continue reading

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Electricity restructuring spells opportunity

Shifting demands, new technologies, cost constraints and a fragmented distribution system have Ontario’s electricity sector in line for a major restructuring, which promises to be a transformational opportunity for investors
By Robert Olsen
With Remo Bucci
December 18th, 2014

As jurisdictions restructure their energy and power sectors due to a rapidly changing market, they offer windows of transformational opportunity for major investors. Such an opening is now poised to emerge in Ontario’s electricity sector, which faces a significant restructuring … Continue reading

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Aboriginal business: open for partnerships

Increasing participation by conventional lenders and a range of innovative government funding programs are helping aboriginal businesses in Canada gain traction. But challenges remain
By Robert Olsen
With Romit Malhotra
August 27th, 2014

There is a noticeable increase in the amount of discussion taking place around aboriginal matters in Canadian business circles. These tend to revolve around aboriginal communities’ stake in resource development and pipeline projects, the significant wealth and land transfer projected … Continue reading

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Traffic gridlock and the bottom line

Location selection, expansion decisions, costs to business—it all goes under the microscope when regional transportation falters. In Ontario, and across the country, 2014 could be a make-or-break year on the issue
By Robert Olsen
With Michael Cautillo
April 21st, 2014

Over the past 12 years, the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area population has increased by 1.2 million to about 6.5 million people and over the next 20 years it will again increase to about 8.4 million. Yet even as the … Continue reading

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