Aritzia Seeks to Raise About C$300 Million in Toronto IPO

  • Vancouver retailer aims to sell 20 million subordinate shares
  • Offering price will be from C$14 to C$16 a share, filing says

Aritzia LP, the Canadian women’s fashion retailer, aims to raise about C$300 million ($234 million) from its initial public offering, in what would be the country’s largest IPO since the C$1.83 billion sale of electric utility Hydro One Ltd. in October.

Aritzia shareholders Berkshire Partners and company founder Brian Hill plan to sell 20 million subordinate voting shares for C$14 to C$16 apiece, the Vancouver-based company said in a Sept. 2 regulatory filing. It will trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ATZ. Based on the price range, the total raised will be about C$280 million to C$320 million, excluding an option for banks arranging the sale to sell an additional 15 percent of the deal.

Aritzia could be valued at as much as C$1.87 billion, based on 117.1 million shares outstanding if priced at the high end of the range, according to sales documents. Shares are expected to price in the week of Sept. 19.

Aritzia was started in Vancouver in 1984 by Hill, a third-generation retailer and current chief executive officer. The company, which sells clothes and accessories aimed at women aged 15 to 45, has 75 retail locations across North America, including in New York, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco, according to its filing.

Berkshire Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm, and Hill will collectively hold 78.5 percent of the issued and outstanding shares in the company and about 97.4 percent of the voting power after the sale, according to the filing. Berkshire Partners bought a majority stake in the company for an undisclosed sum in 2005.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch Canada unit and Toronto-Dominion Bank are leading the sale.

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