was a Canadian real estate
development and investment company
founded by entrepreneur Robert
. It was infamous from its ultimately unsuccessful
acquisitions of American department
holding companies Allied
in 1986 and Federated Department
in 1988. The whole organization soon was mired in
bankruptcy and spurred the decline of the regional department
Real estate development
with its founder, Ottawa-based
Campeau was able to construct both office complexes and residential
subdivisions to accommodate Canada's rapidly expanding civil service.
Campeau Corporation had
two main rivals in the residential housing market: Assaly
Construction Limited and Minto Developments Inc., the latter owned
by the family of future Ottawa mayor Lorry Greenberg
years it was city policy in Ottawa that buildings in the downtown
core not be taller than the Peace Tower of the parliament buildings. Campeau found this rule to be unnecessary and
was drawn into conflict with city council over large high-rise
developments such as Place de Ville.
Campeau's real estate development success soon spread outside
Ottawa. In Toronto its notable developments included Scotia Tower
(the city's second tallest skyscraper) and the Harbour Castle hotel
- which helped revitalize the city's waterfront area.
In the 1980s Campeau embarked on a series of leveraged buyouts
, first bidding
unsuccessfully on the Royal Trust
company (now part of the
). Its founder's
brash, confrontational manner made him an outsider to much of the
conservative Canadian business establishment.
empire expanded, Campeau ventured into the United States, looking for acquisitions that would add shopping
mall real estate to his portfolio of assets.
Through massive junk bond LBOs which were at their most popular in
the mid 1980s, Campeau he gained control of Allied Stores
and Federated Department Stores
owner of Bloomingdale's
retained famous banker Bruce
to assist with the transactions. However, in the
overenthusiasm and high leverage that defined banking in the late
1980s, the debt obligations that needed to be covered following the
merger were too large and exacerbated by a market downturn that
hurt retail sales. Campeau Corporation was unable to meet its debt
obligations. Federated and Allied eventually filed for bankruptcy
reorganization. The company was eventually acquired by the Reichman
brothers who went bankrupt themselves and Campeau Corporation
ceased to exist.