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Despite a dismal Q1 and a volatile Q4, the market for IPOs in Canada topped $3.5 billion in 2014, says the annual PwC survey of Canadian equity markets.

In the final quarter of last year, the market absorbed just two new issues, but it delivered more than $810 million in new equity during that period. That included one issue on the TSX that was worth almost all of the $810 million, the PwC survey finds.

In comparison, the final quarter of 2013 placed $582 million in six IPOs, four of which generated $577 million on the TSX.

Read: Surge of IPOs to come

The $3.5 billion total for last year is the result of 14 IPOs on all exchanges, including eight issues on the TSX that had a total value of $3.4 billion. In 2013, 30 issues generated only $2.7 billion.

Still, the IPO market faced challenged, says Dean Braunsteiner, PwC national IPO leader, who adds, “When you consider the turbulent market year we’ve been through, 2014 is remarkable for the number of large, high-quality issues we’ve seen.

“The first quarter was missing in action—[it was] the worst quarterly result in five years, with no mining or TSX activity. Then, we had two quarters of solid activity, where the oil and gas sector took over from real estate as the new market driver.”

Then, he notes, “the collapse of the price of oil and the resultant market gyrations made the closing days of final quarter extremely difficult. Given all of that, the IPO market 2014 did better than might be expected.”

This year so far, Braunsteiner says real estate is recovering, but the oil and gas sector is still reeling. As such, he finds it’s difficult to make predictions for 2015.

Read: 3 questions to answer before going public

Still, he adds, “timing and preparation have never been more critical. We have seen that investors welcome well-priced issues from good companies [that have] a track record of reliable earnings. We don’t see that changing.

“In a market that is uneven, companies considering going public need to be prepared to move quickly in these periods of market stability like we saw in 2014.”

More highlights from 2014

  • The $1.4 billion PrairieSky Royalty IPO on the TSX in Q2 2014 was the largest new issue of the year
  • There were five new issues on the TSX in the oil and gas column in 2014, representing 85% of the total Canadian IPO market
  • Other sectors with issues included financial services, technology, manufacturing, energy, industrial products and health care services
  • The mining sector accounted for three issues (two on the TSX Venture, one on the CSE)
  • Just five new issues made it to the TSX Venture exchange in 2014, but there were proceeds totaling $15 million
  • The Seven Generations Energy Ltd. IPO from the oil and gas sector, valued at $810 million, was the largest new issue of the final quarter

Originally published on Advisor.ca

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