MDC Partners has acquired a majority stake in Kingsdale Shareholder Services, corporate communications/proxy solicitation firm in Toronto, in a move to cash in on increased stockholder activism.

kingsdaleThe deal is worth $50M plus a payment contingent on Kingsdale’s performance, according to the New York Times.

MDC CEO Miles Nadal cited “activist shareholder momentum and the amount of change in the regulatory environment” as reasons for the acquisition of a controlling stake in the company founded and headed by Wes Hall, a veteran of Georgeson and CanWest Global Communications.

He sees a rise in the demand for financial communication and proxy solicitation work “growing on an ongoing basis.”

Kingsdale has been involved in some of Canada’s biggest deals including BHP Billiton’s $38.5B play for Potash Corp., Xstrata PLC’s $19B fid for Falconbridge, CVRD’s $19B for Inco Ltd. and Petro-Canada’s merger with Suncor Energy Inc.

Nadal believes Kingsdale, which is Canada’s top proxy firm, is ripe for expansion south of the border.

The firm’s offers investor relations, transaction communications (mergers & acquisitions and proxy fight communications) and crisis communications capabilities.

Its specialized proxy solicitation offers information agent, depositary, governance advisory, proxy analytics and asset reclamation.