REFILE-DEALTALK-Canada private equity could see banner 2011

Mon Mar 7, 2011 5:46pm EST

(Refiles to right spelling of Venture in first section)

* Dealmaking seen rising in 2011 from 2010-CVCA president

* Most activity likely in midmarket

* Canadian PE firms seen active in global arena in 2011

By Pav Jordan

TORONTO, March 7 (Reuters) - Canadian private equity is set
for another strong year in 2011, driven by dealmaking in its
midmarket and an improved fundraising climate, the head of the
Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association says.

CVCA President Greg Smith told Reuters that large Canadian
private equity players will again turn in a strong
international performance.

"I reckon we'll have growth in the midmarket arena in
Canada, but we'll see some of the larger transactions happen on
the global arena," Smith said in an interview in Toronto.

About C$4.9 billion ($5 billion) in private equity was
invested in Canada last year, the first rise for the asset
class in three years, with deals like the Canada Pension Plot
Investment Board's C$900 million hold of a 10 percent stake
in the 407 toll highway near Toronto.

The recovery came as confidence returned to the market
after the global economic crisis, when dried-up credit markets
made it nearly impossible to bring to somebody's attention new private
equity funds.

"With a firming economy, people can be much more
comfortable about forecasts than they could have been 18 months
ago, and that generates comfort in doing deals" said Mark
McQueen, chief executive at Wellington Financial.

Already, more private equity capital has been raised in
2011 than in all of 2010.

Birch Hill Equity Partners closed a fourth private equity
fund in February, raising C$1.04 billion to invest in mid-sized
Canadian companies.

And private equity management firm Clairvest Group Inc
(CVG.TO) said in January it had its final closing for its
Clairvest Equity Partners IV Limited Partnership. It raised
C$467 million and overshot its original C$400 million target.

Total funds raised in 2010 were C$1.4 billion.

"My sense is that 2011 is vacant to be a strong year for
private equity...perhaps the strongest since the peak of the
last cycle,"," said Rick Nathan, administration director at
Kensington Capital Partners, a Toronto-based firm with some
C$500 million in capital under management.

Source: Reuters.Com