foreign investment review  


Canadian companies in a variety of industries—particularly natural resources and manufacturing—may be attractive prospects for international investors, but, in recent years, a number of high-profile investments have come under increased public scrutiny and debate.

Like most countries, Canada applies a measure of control over investments made in domestic industries by foreign entities. With the Investment Canada Act, the government seeks to ensure that any foreign investment will have a net positive effect on economic growth in the country, protects Canadian jobs, and is not detrimental to national security or culture. The Act also ensures direct foreign investment does not unduly impact the competitive environment in any given industry.

The process for making such a significant investment may involve a number of stakeholders including federal and provincial governments, and navigating this maze can be complex. Canada remains fundamentally "Open for Business" and foreign direct investment is key to Canadian prosperity, but the investment regulatory process requires careful navigation.

International companies seeking to invest in Canadian enterprises, along with the targets of these acquisitions, require legal counsel with significant expertise with the process. McMillan's Competition and Antitrust Group has deep experience navigating the rules, regulations and processes that govern such transactions. We work with foreign companies in a wide range of industries as they seek to acquire Canadian entities, and with Canadian companies that are the subjects of potential acquisitions by foreign investors.

McMillan professionals help clients lead by:

  • Advising on the application of the Investment Canada Act with regards to proposed business transactions
  • Guiding them through the regulatory review process
  • Providing advice with respect to government relations issues
  • Negotiating appropriate undertakings to achieve approval
  • Assisting with compliance reports on undertakings
  • Obtaining ministerial opinions regarding non-reviewability
  • Providing counsel to governmental agencies and regulators
  • Cleared several transactions in the book publishing/distribution/retailing and music recording/publishing sectors
  • Advised a private equity investor in the acquisition of a major music recording/publishing business
  • Assisted a multinational electronics conglomerate in acquiring a large Canadian equipment/controls manufacturer
  • Advised on Bank Act and other exemptions which shielded numerous transactions from review
  • Expert witness with respect to the proposed acquisition of Potash Corporation
  • Acted for a U.S. purchaser of Canadian vehicle manufacturing plants
  • Represented Diageo in its joint acquisition with Pernod-Ricard of the Seagram beverage alcohol business
  • Obtained ministerial opinions regarding non-reviewability on various matters from both Industry Canada and the Department of Canadian Heritage
  • Counsel to the CRTC (Canada's broadcasting and telecommunications regulator) in its review of the Goldman Sachs/CanWest acquisition of Alliance Atlantis
  • Counsel to the CRTC in relation to the privatization of BCE
  • Assisted in the review and clearance of the acquisition of a Québec-based video game developer by a UK purchaser
January 2017

Foreign Investment Bulletin

November 2016

Transportation Bulletin

August 2015
Jointly published with the Canadian Bar Association's Competition Law Section
Editor, James Musgrove with Assistant Editor, Janine MacNeil
Authors of Chapter 1: Introduction and Overview: The Purpose of Canadian Competition Law, James Musgrove and Janine MacNeil 
August 2015
Jointly published with the Canadian Bar Association's Competition Law Section
Authors of Chapter 18: Foreign Investment Reviews, Mark Opashinov and Jun Chao Meng 
March 2015
Competition Bulletin
October 2013
International Trade Bulletin
October 2013
International Trade Bulletin
September 2013
Competition Bulletin
Indiana International & Comparative Law Review, Vol. 23 No.1
July 2013
July 2013
International Trade Bulletin
July 2013

Competition Bulletin

May 2013
May 2013
International Trade Bulletin
January 2013
Business Law Bulletin
December 2012
December 2012
International Trade Bulletin
September 2012
International Trade Bulletin
February 2012
international trade law bulletin
February 2012
International Trade Law Bulletin
February 2012
Competition and Antitrust Bulletin
March 2011
Competition Bulletin
March 18, 2010
Inbound Investment Regulation in Canada
Canada 's New Competition and Investment Law, the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia
Paradigm Shift for Competition Laws and Foreign Investment Review in Canada
Partners Magazine, Autumn 2009
July 2009
Newsletter of the International Business Law Commission of AIJA.
April 2009
Significant Competition Act Changes
Report Bulletin IC279, Foreign Investment in Canada News
March 2009
Competition Law Bulletin
InBrief Winter 2008/2009
Lang Michener Mergers & Acquisitions Brief
Lang Michener Competition & Antitrust Brief