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Michael F.E. Akkawi

Partner

[email protected]

+1.647.499.2680

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Michael is a seasoned private equity and fund formation lawyer who advises clients on market-leading transactions, investments, and fund matters. He draws on his extensive knowledge of business issues and market practices to represent a broad spectrum of private equity funds, pension funds, strategic investors, and fund sponsors.

On the transactional side of his practice, Michael counsels funds and investors in all aspects of transactions and other investment activities, including leveraged buyouts, majority and minority equity investments, co-investments, and restructurings. He also handles LP-led and GP-led secondary transactions, including buying and selling LP interests and advising on continuation fund transactions.

Michael’s practice also encompasses advising sponsors on structuring and negotiating private market funds and on their internal governance and economic arrangements. He has acted for sponsors of buyout, venture capital, infrastructure, secondary, search, and other types of private market funds, including SeaFort Capital, Maverix Private Equity, Amplitude Venture Capital, Overbay Capital Partners, and Imperial Capital funds.

In addition to his corporate practice, Michael actively supports nonprofit organizations, including having acted as corporate counsel to the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity, a Canadian provincial government-sponsored organization that he founded. Michael also served as the institute’s director for more than a decade. His other work for nonprofits has included advising the Heart & Stroke Foundation, COSTI Immigrant Services, and International Lawyers and Economists Against Poverty on corporate and commercial matters, as well as counseling organizations that support the welfare of children.

Michael frequently writes and speaks on topics related to private equity investments, including open-ended funds and formation considerations for first-time funds.

Prior to joining Mintz, Michael served as the head of the Private Equity Practice and the Funds Practice of a major Canadian law firm, where he led the firm’s work on transformational transactions and innovative fund structures.

Experience

Transactional and Investment Matters:

  • Advising believeco:partners in the consolidation of six businesses in Canada in the marketing industry.
  • Advised Peloton Capital in its investment in Victoria Park Medispa, a Canadian network of premium, physician-led medical aesthetics clinics.
  • Advised Maverix Private Equity in its investment in the C$250 million initial financing round of global digital and social innovation group Viral Nation Inc.
  • Represented Parkland in its C$322 million acquisition of M&M Food Market, a leading Canadian retailer of frozen foods, from Searchlight Partners, L.P.
  • Represented Opticann in its sale to Heritage Cannabis Holdings Corp.
  • Represented Imperial Capital in the sale of its majority stake in VetStrategy to Berkshire Partners LLC.
  • Represented Parkland Fuel in its $1.21 billion transformational business combination with SOL Limited, the largest independent fuel marketer in the Caribbean.
  • Represented Dental Corporation of Canada Holdings, a portfolio company of Imperial Capital Group Ltd. and OPTrust Private Markets Group, in a significant strategic investment by L Catterton. 
  • Represented Scotiabank in its acquisition of the consumer and small- and medium-enterprise operations of Citibank in Colombia, which will be absorbed by Scotiabank’s subsidiary Banco Colpatria Multibanca Colpatria S.A.
  • Represented Hawthorne Canada in its acquisition of Can-Filters Group Inc., a manufacturer of air filtration systems for safer workplaces and environments for top brands.
  • Advised Caledon Capital Management in its sale of a majority stake to CBRE Group, Inc.
  • Advised Thomvest, Relay Ventures, and EDC in their investment alongside Amazon Alexa Fund of $35 million in ecobee, Inc., which developed the world's first smart WiFi thermostat.
  • Advised HarbourVest Partners in its growth capital investment in Q4 Inc., a provider of cloud-based investor relations and capital markets solutions.
  • Advised Thomvest Seed Capital in its investments in ProMetic Life Sciences Inc., including loan and warrant arrangements.
  • Represented Scotiabank in the acquisition of Citigroup's retail and commercial banking assets in Panama and Costa Rica.
  • Represented Searchlight Capital Partners in its acquisition and financing of a majority stake in a leading Canadian lifestyle brand, Roots Canada Ltd.
  • Advised ReichmannHauer Capital Partners in its sale of The Allan Candy Company Limited to Hershey Canada Inc. 
  • Advised an Ontario governmental pension plan in its co-investment in a U.K.-based utility.
  • Advised Imperial Capital Group and OPTrust Private Markets Group in their joint C$121 million investment in Dental Corporation of Canada Holdings Inc.
  • Represented AIMCo (Alberta Investment Management Corporation) and Callisto Capital in negotiations of the sale of all Town Shoes Limited holdings to DSW Inc.
  • Provided strategic advice to Imperial Capital on its C$17 million acquisition of STI Technologies Limited.
  • Represented a Canadian financial institution in its secondary sale of a significant private equity fund portfolio.
  • Represented Imperial Capital in the sale of the Clinical Services business of AIM Health Group Inc.
  • Represented Town Shoes, and its majority shareholders, Callisto Capital and AIMCo (Alberta Investment Management Corporation), in a C$17.5 million asset acquisition from Sterling Shoes LP, Inc.
  • Represented Callisto Capital and AIMCo (Alberta Investment Management Corporation) in acquiring Town Shoes Limited.
  • Represented AIMCo (Alberta Investment Management Corporation) in a C$590 million co-investment with Sterling Capital Partners for the acquisition of Mosaid Technologies Inc. from Wi-LAN Inc.
  • Represented Ursataur Capital, Bingley Capital and Export Development Canada in acquiring Mansour Mining, Inc. (now Mansour Mining Technologies Inc.) 
  • Represented Ernst & Young in its acquisition of the assets of RSM Richter, LLP.
  • Advised Scotiabank in its acquisition agreement for the Chilean corporate and commercial banking operations of Royal Bank of Scotland.
  • Counseled 411 Local Search Corp. in its sale of its 411.ca brand and equity interest to Yellow Media Limited, part of the Yellow Pages Group.
  • Advised TD Bank in the spinout of its private equity fund and co-investment arm, TD Capital Private Equity Investors, to Northleaf Capital Partners.
  • Represented K+S Aktiengesellschaft, as Canadian counsel, in its $1.675 billion purchase of Morton International, Inc. from The Dow Chemical Company subsidiary Rohm and Haas Company.
  • Represented ReichmannHauer Capital Partners in its sale of Black Photo Corporation to Telus Corporation for C$28.5 million.
  • Represented China Investment Corporation in its acquisition of a 17% equity interest in Teck Resources Limited for C$1.7 billion.
  • Advised Broadcom in its C$141.5 million acquisition of the digital TV business of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
  • Represented Gerdau Ameristeel in its acquisition of Metro Recycling, Inc.
  • Advised a Middle-Eastern sovereign wealth fund in its investment in a Canadian technology company.  
  • Represented Nike, as Canadian counsel, in its $200 million sale of its subsidiary Nike Bauer Hockey, Inc. (now Bauer Performance Sports Ltd.) to an investor group led by Kohlberg & Company L.L.C. and Canadian businessman W. Graeme Roustan.
  • Represented ReichmannHauer Capital Partners in acquiring Black Photo Corporation from Fujifilm Canada, Inc.
  • Represented The Carlyle Group, through its sponsored entity EPD, in its $1.475 billion acquisition of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company's rubber products business, Goodyear Engineered Products (now Veyance Technologies, Inc.). 
  • Represented TransWorks Information Services, Aditya Birla Group, and ReichmannHauer Capital Partners, in TransWorks' C$126 million acquisition of Minacs Worldwide Inc. (now Aditya Birla Minacs Worldwide Inc.).
  • Advised EdgeStone Capital Partners in its acquisition of New Food Classics, partially funded by a concurrent senior and mezzanine debt financing.
  • Counseled The Carlyle Group in Sunshine Acquisition Corporation's $941 million acquisition of SS&C Technologies, Inc.
  • Represented Sentinel Capital Partners in its $64 million leveraged buyout of Madill Equipment Canada Ltd., a heavy equipment manufacturer for the logging industry, from Key Bank, which involved negotiating senior and mezzanine debt.
  • Advised Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan in its exit from Trimac Corporation via Trimac Income Fund's C$90 million initial public offering and the disposal of its interest in Trimac's Canadian trucking and bulk plus businesses.
  • Represented IP Co. in its acquisition of Prospectus Group Inc. (now Route1 Inc.) by way of a reverse takeover.
  • Represented Sentinel Capital Partners, as Canadian counsel, in its C$70 million leveraged buyout of Spinrite LP, a Canadian textile business, a transaction associated with the recapitalization of Spinrite through a cross-border hybrid structure.

Fund Formation Matters:

  • Advised SeaFort Capital Fund II, a Canadian growth-focused buyout fund managed by SeaFort Capital Inc., in its organization, formation, and fund-raising activities, including securing C$110 million in initial commitments from Canadian institutional and other sophisticated investors.
  • Counseled Maverix Private Equity on the organization of Maverix Growth Equity Fund I, L.P., its inaugural fund focused on technology-enabled growth and disruption, as well as fund formation and fund-raising activities.
  • Advised Amplitude Ventures in the organization, fund formation, and fund-raising activities for Amplitude Ventures Fund I, L.P., a private equity fund focused on investments across the health and life sciences sectors.
  • Advised several Latin American fund sponsors in connection with the Canadian aspects of the organization, fund formation, and fund-raising activities for their private equity funds that invest in Latin America.
  • Advised TD Bank and Birch Hill in the transfer of control of the general partners of the TD Capital Canadian Private Equity Partners group of private equity funds (which were renamed Birch Hill Equity Partners II) from TD Bank to Birch Hill.

 

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News & Press

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Mintz continues to earn high rankings by Chambers Global, a guide to the top law firms and attorneys worldwide. Four Mintz attorneys and two of the firm’s practices are ranked in the 2024 Chambers Global edition.
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Mintz proudly announced the election of 13 attorneys to Members and the addition of a record-setting 22 new lateral Members in 2023, with 11 Partners in the newly opened Toronto office. This diverse group strengthens Mintz’s core areas, spanning Commercial and IP Litigation, Life Sciences, Tech, Private Equity, and Energy & Sustainability. The elevated Members and new lateral additions bring invaluable expertise to help clients navigate complex legal landscapes.
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TORONTO – Mintz continues its expansion in Toronto with the addition of Mervyn Allen who joins as a Partner and will launch the firm’s Real Estate practice in Canada.
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Mintz has been recognized by The Globe and Mail as one of Canada’s Best Law Firms for 2024, gaining particular distinction in Private Equity and Investments. This is the first time the firm has been included on this list.
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TORONTO – Mintz announced today that six attorneys have been ranked in the 2024 edition of Chambers Canada, marking the first time the firm has been included in the guide.
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Mintz is pleased to announce that six Toronto Partners have been recognized as leaders by Best Lawyers® in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada©.
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TORONTO – Mintz is pleased to announce that it has subleased the 28th floor at 200 Bay Street’s South Tower, an iconic pillar of Toronto's Financial District. The firm moved into the nearly 24,000 square feet of space on April 1, 2023.
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The Globe and Mail featured the arrival of Partners Matthew Atkey and Brad Tartick, Special Counsel Bernard Kwasniewski and Of Counsel Matthew Imrie who will join Michael Akkawi, Cheryl Reicin, Mitch Frazer, Eric Foster, and Lee Johnson in the firm's Toronto office.
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The Boston Globe covered the firm's expansion to Toronto and the arrival of the office's founding partners Michael Akkawi, Cheryl Reicin, Mitch Frazer, Eric Foster, and Lee Johnson.
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BOSTON, TORONTO – Mintz is pleased to announce its expansion into Canada with the opening of a Toronto office, launched by a team of highly regarded and industry-leading attorneys. The new office will add depth and breadth to Mintz’s global Life Sciences practice and will further expand the firm’s strong Private Equity, Capital Markets, and Pensions and Employment practices.
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The Deal profiled the firm's Toronto office founding members Michael Akkawi, Cheryl Reicin, Mitch Frazer, Eric Foster, and Lee Johnson who join Mintz to expand the firm's life sciences and private equity practices.
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The Canadian Lawyer featured the launch of Mintz's Toronto office and highlighted the arrival of founding partners Michael Akkawi, Cheryl Reicin, Mitch Frazer, Eric Foster, and Lee Johnson.
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JD Journal covered the firm's new Toronto office and the arrival founding Partners Michael Akkawi, Cheryl Reicin, Mitch Frazer, Eric Foster, and Lee Johnson.
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Mintz's expansion to Toronto and the office's founding Partners Michael Akkawi, Cheryl Reicin, Mitch Frazer, Eric Foster, and Lee Johnson was featured in an article published by The Global Legal Post.
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The Globe and Mail featured Mintz's expansion into the Canadian legal market and the launch of the firm's Toronto office, with the arrival of Michael Akkawi, Cheryl Reicin, Mitch Frazer, Eric Foster, and Lee Johnson.
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Law360 covered the opening of Mintz's new Toronto office and profiled founding Partners Michael Akkawi, Cheryl Reicin, Mitch Frazer, Eric Foster, and Lee Johnson.
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The American Lawyer spotlighted the opening of Mintz's Toronto office and the arrival of founding partners Michael Akkawi, Cheryl Reicin, Mitch Frazer, Eric Foster, and Lee Johnson.
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The firm's expansion into the Toronto market and the arrival of founding Partners, Michael Akkawi, Cheryl Reicin, Mitch Frazer, Eric Foster, and Lee Johnson was covered by Reuters.
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Recognition & Awards

  • Chambers Canada: Leading lawyer in private equity: buyouts (2017 – 2024)           

  • Chambers Global: Leading lawyer in private equity: buyouts (2018 – 2022)

  • IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms: Highly regarded in M&A and private equity (2022)

  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Leading lawyer in private funds law and corporate law (2014 – 2024)

  • Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada: Leading lawyer in private equity (2022 – 2023)

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: Leading lawyer in private equity, mergers and acquisitions (2013 – 2022)

  • Who’s Who Legal: Global and National leading lawyer in private funds and M&A (2014– 2022)

  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Private Funds Law Lawyer of the Year in Toronto (2018)

  • Lexpert Guide to US/Canada Cross-Border Lawyers in Canada: Most frequently recommended in business issues (2018)

  • Lexpert Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40: Named One of Canada’s leading lawyers under 40 (2009)  

  • Chambers Global: Private Equity, Buyouts (2024)

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Involvement

  • Corporate Counsel, Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity
  • Founder and Former Director, Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity
  • Adjunct professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
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