The long-moribund Canadian initial public offering (IPO) market continued its revival in the first half of 2017, according to a report published on Tuesday by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC).
There were six debuts on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) in the second quarter, which raised $2.3 billion in new equity, the firm says in its latest quarterly survey. For the first half, there were 16 deals that generated $2.9 billion, the survey notes.
By comparison, in the same period last year, the market was completely barren in terms of IPO activity. In fact, the first six months of 2017 represents the best first half for Canadian IPOs over the past five years.
A single deal — the $1.7 billion issue by Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. — accounted for the bulk of the IPO value in the second quarter. However, there were also a handful of substantial new issues, which raised at least $100 million each, the survey notes.
“[The] Kinder Morgan issue was the largest IPO since Hydro One in 2015, but two other energy sector issues were notable against a backdrop of wildly fluctuating oil prices,” says Dean Braunsteiner, national IPO services leader at PwC, in a statement. “We sense a longer-term view of oil and gas that’s more optimistic.”
The TSX Venture (TSXV) market has shown signs of life, according to the survey; five mining companies debuted on the TSXV in the first half. Over the past few years, the venture exchange has seen “only a few mining issues”, the survey says.
According to PwC, there appears to be demand for new issues in the market that’s outstripping supply. “While the pipeline of new IPOs is healthy heading into the second half, fewer companies than expected have been drawn to the market,” the firm says in a statement.
“Some of that is companies playing their cards close to the vest,” Braunsteiner suggests. “There was a time when companies heading for public ownership telegraphed their intentions months or even years in advance. Now, high-quality companies may be considering an IPO but they are still keeping their options open for other funding avenues right up to the last minute.”