Stock market background design

The market for initial public offerings in Canada reached the halfway point of 2018 with more than just $1 billion of new equity raised, according to a quarterly survey published on Tuesday from Toronto-based PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Canada.

Eleven new issues on all exchanges resulted in $956 million raised in the second quarter, including four issues on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) totalling $948 million representing the greater part of the proceeds. The largest IPO of the quarter, $462 million, was the dual listing of Minneapolis-based Ceridian HCM Holdings Inc. on the New York Stock Exchange and the TSX.

That took the half-year tally for Canadian IPOs to 20 issues with a value of $1.1 billion for the period. In the same period of 2017, 16 issues generated $2.9 billion.

“It was a slow and steady quarter fairly typical of a traditional IPO market,” says Dean Braunsteiner, PwC Canada national IPO leader, in a statement. “Comparing it with last year is a little unfair given that the huge Kinder Morgan issue arrived in the same period of 2017.”

The presence of issues from real estate and recreational cannabis were notable this quarter, Braunsteiner says, in addition to the arrival of a gold miner on the TSX.

“From what’s in the pipeline, it looks like a very traditional Canadian IPO market, with good, mid-sized companies in the $75 million to $150 million range,” Braunsteiner adds. “But many companies today are on a dual track: they start down the road toward IPO but keep the door open to a private purchase or funding option. With a great deal of uncertainty surrounding NAFTA and trade in general, they want the flexibility of another option.”

The consolidation of firms in the recreational cannabis sector is symptomatic of this situation. Companies that appear headed toward IPO get acquired by competitors beforehand.