Rebounding IPO market posts best first-half result in five years: PwC survey

 

TORONTO (July 4, 2017) — The steady recovery of the Canadian market for initial public offerings continued through the second quarter of 2017, delivering 16 new IPOs on all exchanges for a total of $2.9 billion in new equity in the first half of the year, the quarterly PwC survey has revealed.

Six new issues on the TSX generated more than $2.3 billion in proceeds in the second quarter, the PwC survey showed. Four issues on secondary exchanges raised an additional $7.8 million during the quarter.

The 2017 half-year total stands in stark contrast to a dismal 2016 when there were no new issues on the TSX. The first six months of 2017 marked the best half year of the past five years with only 2014’s $2.1 billion from eight IPOs coming close, according to the PwC survey.

The $1.7 billion Kinder Morgan Canada Limited issue on the TSX led the second quarter results but issues by Source Energy Services ($175 million), Real Matters Inc. ($156 million), Step Energy Services Ltd. ($100 million) and MedReleaf Corp. ($100 million) all pointed to the diversity of companies reaching the senior exchange, says PwC national IPO services leader Dean Braunsteiner.

“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,” observes Braunsteiner. “We sense a longer-term view of oil and gas that’s more optimistic.”

The MedReleaf issue falls into the pharmaceutical sector but is also part of a burgeoning medical marijuana play that has attracted keen market interest, says Braunsteiner. “There is likely to be more activity in this area as we move into next year,” he confirms.

The slumber in the TSX Venture may also be over, Braunsteiner notes. Five mining issues appeared in the first six months on the Venture, traditional home to exploration and early stage development mining IPOs. That exchange has seen only a few mining issues in recent years.

At the half-way point of 2017, Braunsteiner detects a mis-match between the supply of new issues and the demand in the market. He says the market has displayed an appetite for new issues that has yet to be met by companies seeking capital. And while the pipeline of new IPOs is healthy heading into the second half, fewer companies than expected have been drawn to the market. “Some of that is companies playing their cards close to the vest,” Braunsteiner says. “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.”

PwC has conducted its survey of the IPO market in Canada for more than 15 years. The reports are issued on a quarterly basis to provide information to the corporate sector, investors, the media and others that will help them put the market into better perspective. For the purposes of the survey, investment vehicles such as structured products are not included in overall survey results because they do not represent new equity raised for operating companies. New issues from companies that are created from the reverse takeover of an existing public company are not included in the survey.

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