Trusted counsel to the country’s leading business figures, Karl is a natural dealmaker whose commercial insight is indispensable when complex transactions demand a deft touch
Karl Tabbakh is the Regional Managing Partner for Québec and Co-Leader of the Firm’s International & Business Strategy. Karl is also a member of McCarthy Tétrault’s Senior Leadership Team. A professional with deep business acumen, extensive global experience, and exceptional relationship-building skills, Karl is committed to delivering business solutions and results for clients.
As a corporate lawyer and strategic advisor focused on private equity, mergers and acquisitions, securities and capital markets, Karl led and participated in the negotiation and structuring of some of the most high profile and strategically critical transactions in Canada, the Middle East and globally.
With over 20 years of experience structuring, negotiating, executing and closing critical business transactions in Québec and around the world, Karl uses his deep knowledge of transactions and global experience to ensure clients are well-served and equipped with an understanding of both legal and business implications during major decisions. Karl is often brought in at the outset of transactions by the senior management of both strategic acquirers and financial sponsors to assist in the initial structuring and strategy around transactions and capital deployment.
Karl’s relevant experience includes advising:
- Eddyfi/NDT in connection with the acquisition of NDT Global and concurrent $600 million financing by CDPQ, Novacap, National Bank and Investissement Québec. This was a transformational transaction involving over 15 international jurisdictions and the coordination of a team of over 100 legal advisers.
- Quebec-based Hewitt Equipments in connection with the $1.1 billion sale of its business to TSX listed Toromont Industries.
- Eddyfi/NDT in connection with the acquisition of Norway based Halfwave and concurrent acquisition finance by Novacap, CDPQ, along with National Bank of Canada and Investissement Québec.
- Clearspring Capital in connection with the acquisition of Regal Confections, a leader in in confectionery and premium chocolate products in Canada.
- Optimum Talent, one of Canada’s largest privately-owned integrated talent management firms, in connection with its sale to US global firm Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
- Clearspring Capital Partners in connection with its investment in Telecon Inc. leading a $70 million equity financing in Telecon Inc.
- Eddyfi Technologies in connection with its growth strategy, including the acquisitions of UK based TSC Inspection Systems, a leader in the field of electromagnetic testing technologies and subsequent acquisition of the Teletest Products business and technology from Plant Integrity Ltd. A wholly-owned subsidiary UK based The Welding Institute.
- a Middle East-based sovereign wealth fund in connection with several Canadian investments and acquisitions.
- Walter Capital Partners in connection with the acquisition of a majority interest in Plasticase Inc. and the acquisition by way of going private of TSX-V listed Ergoresearch Ltd.
- Rio Tinto plc in connection with its US$38.1 billion recommended take-over bid of Alcan Inc. This was the largest take-over to close in Canadian history.
- US-based Mesirow Financial in connection with a strategic joint venture with sovereign wealth fund Mubadala to create a regional investment advisory company with global capabilities to focus on currency and commodity risk management.
- US-based Advanced Micro Devices Inc. in connection with the $5.5 billion take-over of ATI Technologies Inc.
In addition to his legal expertise, Karl brings a unique investor and business experience to our clients. In 2012, he co-founded a venture capital and private equity firm in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Prior to that, Karl was a partner within the world’s largest law firm which he joined in 2008 to start up their Abu Dhabi office and head its corporate practice.
Karl spent seven years in the Middle East and was Chairman of the Canadian Business Council in Abu Dhabi where he developed strong understanding of the Middle East markets and solid connections in the UAE business community. Previous to that, he was a partner in McCarthy Tétrault’s Business Law Group, where he had started his career in 1995. He worked in the Montréal, Toronto and London, UK offices until 2008 and, upon his return to Canada in 2016, he rejoined the firm.
Karl is also the vice-chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and serves as director of the National Circus School and the Canada Arab Business Council.
He received his LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, in 1997 after completing his BCL at the Université de Montréal in 1996. He also obtained a B.Comm. from Université Laval in Québec City.
He speaks French, English and Arabic.
Leading Lawyer: Corporate/Commercial - Quebec
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Leading Lawyer: Corporate Commercial Law; Mergers & Acquisitions; and Private Equity
Lexpert Special Edition – Finance and M&A - 2020
IFLR 1000 Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms
Notable practitioner: Capital markets: equity, private equity, M&A
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