Étienne Brassard is a partner at Lavery and a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. He practices business law, more specifically corporate financing, mergers and acquisitions and corporate law. In his practice, he advises local and international businesses in relation to all forms of private financing, from traditional or convertible debt to equity investments.
He has thus developed extensive expertise in setting up complex financing structures, in both operational and transactional contexts. As such, he regularly acts as legal counsel for major financial institutions or groups of borrowers in connection with their financing in Canada, the United States and Europe. He also advises companies involved in mezzanine loans and venture capital investments.
Étienne has participated in the development and implementation of many complex investment structures affecting various economic sectors and regularly assists leaders in the fields of real estate development and management, aeronautics and technology.
He also represents entrepreneurs in all aspects of their growth and partnerships, advising them on their corporate structure, governance, and strategic issues, in particular.
His services are regularly solicited by foreign entrepreneurs or investors wishing to establish themselves in Canada. Étienne has acquired specific experience in this area and can identify the challenges facing businesses interested in entering the Quebec market, regardless of their preferred route (acquisition, joint venture, creating a subsidiary, distribution agreement, etc.). He can call on the help of his vast business network (bankers, financial advisors, tax specialists and accountants) that he has built as a result of his previous mandates.
Mr. Brassard is also in charge of the Lavery GO Inc. program and, in this capacity, he assists entrepreneurs with high growth potential in launching their businesses and advises them on their corporate structure, financing and strategic issues specific to their industry.
Real estate financing and transactions
- Representation of Groupe Sélection in the acquisition of the approximately 1.2 million sq. ft. site of the Molson Brewery located in Old Montréal, the negotiation of the consortium and the financing of the transaction, recognized by the M&A Club as the Deal of the Year for Quebec.
- Representation of Groupe Sélection in the establishment of a consortium for the construction, development and ownership of Espace Montmorency, Laval’s largest mixed-use real estate project worth nearly $500 million.
- Representation of Broccolini for the construction financing and syndicated long-term loan in connection with the new Maison de Radio-Canada.
- Representation of Desjardins, Ressources Québec and Investissement Québec in setting up financing of nearly $50 million for a project to support the construction and long-term production and export operations of a wood pellet plant producing wood pellets from forest biomass with a 200,000-tonne annual capacity.
- Representation of Groupe Sélection in connection with a partnership agreement with Revera Inc. to pool their Quebec retirement home portfolios and create a single portfolio worth more than CA$6 billion.
- Representation of a borrower in the establishment of credit facilities relating to the construction of a 25 MW hydroelectric project in the Côte-Nord region, worth nearly $75 million.
Aeronautical financing and transactions
- Representation of financing and leasing companies in setting up financing and leasing structures in commercial aviation, in particular for:
- Four Airbus 330-200 operated by Air Transat
- Four Boeing 767-300 operated by Cargojet
- Five Bombardier CRJ 700 operated by Jazz Aviation
- Ten BAE Jetstream32 operated by Pascan Aviation
- Intervention in several business aviation transactions involving acquisitions or financing of the following aircraft in 2019 and 2020:
- Six Bombardier Challenger (300, 350, 604 or 605)
- Five Bombardier Global (5000, 6000 or 7000)
- Two Dassault Falcon 2000
- Three Gulfstream (G100, G450 or G550)
- Six Pilatus (PC-12)
- Two Airbus Helicopter H145
- Representation of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec in its investment in a round of financing of nearly $100 million in Top Aces Inc., a company specializing in air combat training, to support its international expansion and enable it to acquire 29 new F-16A aircraft from Lockheed Martin.
- Representation of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec in creating a global aircraft investment platform of US$2 billion called Einn Volant Aircraft Leasing (EVAL), in collaboration with GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS).
- Representation of Héroux-Devtek Inc. in the financing of the acquisition of UK-based APPH Limited and US-based APPH Wichita, Inc., subsidiaries of BBA Aviation plc, an acquisition worth nearly CA$128 million.
- Acts as an administrator with the International Registry under the Cape Town Convention for several of our clients’Transacting User Entities (TUE).
- Representation of Talent.com (formerly Neuvoo) in its $53 million Series A financing round by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
- Representation of Netlift in its multiple rounds of seed financing totalling nearly $4 million withInvestissement Québec, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Sustainable Development Technology Canada, Cycle Capital, BDC Capital and other venture capital funds and angel investors.
External publications and papers
- “Aviation finance in Canada: overview,” Practical Law’s Aviation Finance Global Guide, 2016
- “Early-Growth Financing and Capital Structure: Guiding Your Company to the Next Level” Corporate Counsel Directory and Yearbook, 15th Edition, 2016
- “Dispositions applicables à toutes les hypothèques,” in JurisClasseur Québec - Sûretés, “Droit civil” collection, LexisNexis Canada, updated annually
Professional and community activities
- The Canadian Finance & Leasing Association
- Has been a coach and volunteer business advisor for start-up entrepreneurs with Info Entrepreneurs (Canada Business Network) since 2009
- Has been a coach and volunteer business advisor for the Parcours entrepreneurial Rémi-Marcoux at HEC Montréal since 2014
- The Canadian Legal LEXPERT® Directory in the field of Asset and Equipment Finance, 2022
- The Best Lawyers in Canada in the field of mergers and acquisitions law, since 2021
- Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory in commercial law since 2019
- Lexpert 2018 Rising Stars Award
- Winner of the M&A Club’s Deal of the Year award in 2020 for Groupe Sélection’s acquisition of the Molson Brewery site
- Financial Accounting Program, London School of Economics and Political Science, 2010
- LL.M. (recipient of the Aubrey-Vincent-Senez Scholarship), Université de Montréal/China University of Political Science and Law, 2007
- LL.B.,Université de Montréal, 2006
Boards and Professional Affiliations
- Member of the Board of Directors of the firm (Lavery Lawyers)