Business Briefs News

MBI Business Brief – January 27, 2023

Kent Brown, Legacy Bowes

Manitoba closed seven venture capital deals in 2022

KPMG released new data on Canada’s venture capital market in 2022 on Jan. 24, reporting Canada saw US$10.3 billion in deals across the country – the second best year on record.

Of 1,109 deals struck in 2022, Manitoba saw seven. Ontario led the provinces with 495, Alberta saw 118, and Saskatchewan closed 18.

“Despite difficult market conditions last year, venture capital activity in Canada remained robust, with interest widespread in innovative, high-growth-potential firms,” said Sunil Mistry, partner, enterprise and technology, media and telecommunications at KPMG in Canada. “The year ahead may however prove to be more challenging. A potential recession and bearish market have venture capitalists raising the bar on their due diligence and laser-focused on their return on investment. Last year’s rout in the public markets and rising interest rates has led to uncertainty over the valuations of privately held assets and their price on the secondary market. As a result, venture capitalists are increasingly looking to deploy funds in companies where they can achieve returns over a shorter time horizon, generally one to two years. With ‘caution ahead’ the watchwords, we expect to see a bit of a reset in the market making it unlikely that we’ll see deals close as quickly as they did over the past couple of years.”

The KPMG report calls for a slowdown in the market, but sees that fintech, biotech, sustainability and cleantech, cybersecurity, machine learning and artificial intelligence will continue to “draw strong investor interest in 2023.”

Globalive, Quebecor want Manitoba spectrum

Ontario’s Globalive announced on Jan. 23 that it will bid on spectrum licenses held by former provincial wireless carrier Xplore Mobile.

“We are building a national independent wireless carrier across Canada and we are acquiring spectrum in all markets to realize our long-term vision of a globally competitive telecom market,” said Anthony Lacavera, Globalive’s founder and chairman. “It’s clear by looking at truly competitive markets outside of Canada that these results are only possible by introducing a national pureplay wireless carrier with no legacy, fixed line business.”

The deal is subject to approval by Xplore Mobile. Globalive is also in talks with Telus to expand its existing spectrum and network sharing in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.

Globalive owned WIND Mobile before selling to Shaw Communications for $1.6 billion.

Three days later, Quebecor announced it had made an investment to acquire 600 MHz spectrum in Manitoba. Quebecor is planning on a cross-Canada expansion that hinges on the acquisition of Freedom Mobile. In 2021, Quebecor, via Videotron, acquired 294 blocks of 3500 MHz spectrum in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec for $830 million.

“We have a clear objective: to bring healthy competition to the Canadian wireless market by breaking the oligopoly,” said Pierre Karl Péladeau, president and CEO of Quebecor. “Buying additional spectrum to follow up on the potential acquisition of Freedom Mobile is a key element of our business plan for extending our robust, powerful wireless network outside Quebec and offering Canadian consumers better services at better prices, as we have been doing in Quebec for more than 15 years.”

Legacy Bowes has new vice president

Winnipeg firm Legacy Bowes announced this week that Kent Brown has been promoted to vice president, learning and development. Legacy Bowes is part of the TIPI Group of Companies.

Brown, a member of Fisher River Cree Nation, has worked with Legacy Bowes since 2020. He has 28 years of experience in human resources.

“My work is about building bridges. Every morning, I jump out of bed and I am thinking about how I can empower our People and make tangible impacts in the communities and organizations we serve,” said Brown. “I am honoured, I am grateful, to be a part of this TIPI Group of Companies and I look forward to the future and what we can accomplish as a whole.”

Tourism Winnipeg launches new pass

Tourism Winnipeg announced its new Winnipeg Attractions Pass this week. The digital pass will save users money on admissions to local attractions and increase visitation.

Five local attractions are included. Local residents and visitors can choose between a one-day or three-day pass to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, FortWhyte Alive, Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada, Royal Canadian Mint and The Manitoba Museum.

“We have world-class destinations and the Winnipeg Attractions Pass is an excellent way to discover or rediscover what we have to offer. We know that Winnipeggers love a good deal, so if you’re local and looking for adventure, this is an amazing way to see Winnipeg’s wonders. The pass also makes a great gift for the explorers in your life, or for when you’re introducing out-of-town guests to our premier attractions,” said Tyler Walsh, director of marketing at Economic Development Winnipeg.

The Winnipeg Attractions Pass can be bought online through The one-day Winnipeg Attractions Pass costs $21 for children and $37 for adults. The three-day pass is $29 for children and $52 for adults.

Winnipeg Airport Authority releases Q4 2022 results

The Winnipeg Airport Authority (WAA) shared in Q4 2022 results on Jan. 25, reporting that 2022 saw 3,031,113 people passing through YWG, with 870,339 passengers in Q4 alone. The airport is now at 67.6 per cent of its pre-pandemic (2019) numbers.

“Our recovery gained significant momentum throughout the year,” said Nick Hays, president and CEO of WAA. “We couldn’t be where we are today without the work of every single member of our team. It truly has been exciting for all of us to see the organization continue to move forward, but we know there’s still a lot of work ahead to get back to the solid position we were in before the pandemic.”

WAA’s consolidated revenue for Q4 2022 rose by 48.1 per cent from the same period in 2021 to $36.1 million. Preliminary earnings before interest, depreciation and taxes were $15.1 million versus $9.1 million in Q4 2021.

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