Canadian IPOs Dry in January, Slowest Month Since 2001

Canadian initial public offerings dried up in January, the first month in more than a dozen years without an IPO in the country.

The shutout contrasts with the same month a year ago, when Agellan Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust had its $150 million IPO and sales by Alpha Peak Leisure Inc. and Hombre Capital Inc. together added $1 million to the monthly total, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. October 2001 was the last month without an IPO in Canada, the data show.

“It’s not surprising given where we were at the end of the year and the way that the fourth quarter set up the month of January,” Dean Braunsteiner, IPO services leader for PwC Canada, a member of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd., said today in a telephone interview. “But it’s too early into the year to really make any sense of predictions as to what to expect.”

The most recent Canadian IPO was completed Dec. 19, when British Columbia bus designer Grande West Transportation Group Inc. raised C$5 million ($4.5 million). Companies sold $239 million of shares in four December deals, led by Cardinal Energy Ltd.’s sale on Dec. 10, the data show.

Canadian companies raised $2.93 billion in initial stock sales in 2013, up 10 percent from $2.66 billion in 2012, according to the data.

Canada’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index has fallen 0.8 percent this year.

Companies did turn to Canadian markets for secondary sales last month, raising $1.8 billion from 26 equity financings, the data show. The largest deals included Chemtrade Logistics Income Fund’s $320.7 million sale, a $240.3 million share sale by Ski-Doo snowmobile maker BRP Inc. and Tourmaline Oil Corp.’s $173 million financing, the data show.

Braunsteiner says he’s “cautiously optimistic” about IPO activity this year, though the backlog of deals isn’t as good as it was a year ago.

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