GMP buying energy boutique ‘First Energy’ for $98.6-million

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Publicly held GMP Capital Inc. announced recently that it is buying privately held FirstEnergy Capital Corp. for $98.6-million. GMP will pay for the deal by issuing $58.9-million in stock that will be paid out to FirstEnergy shareholders over four years, and the balance through the issuance of an unsecured promissory note.

GMP struggled for several years to regain glory in energy deal-making, a field in which it was dominant in the late 1990s and in the 2000s. The acquisition is a rare move for GMP, which historically has chosen to build out new businesses from scratch, as it did with its move a few years ago to build an energy investment banking franchise in the U.S. GMP’s shares have risen 13 % since the start of the year.

Established in 1993, FirstEnergy is one of the two most prominent Calgary-based energy boutiques, along with Peters & Co. Ltd. Like all energy brokerages, it has struggled in recent years through some lean times amid the oil-price collapse, but thrived in 2016 as it landed spots in underwriting syndicates for most energy share issues, including the record-setting $4.4-billion TransCanada Corp. offering last March. The firm is also active in mergers and acquisitions among small and mid-size exploration and production companies

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