Aritzia Raises C$400 Million in Canada’s Largest IPO of Year

  • Vancouver retailer sold 25 million shares for C$16 apiece
  • Company to start trading in October on Toronto Stock Exchange

Aritzia Inc., the Canadian women’s fashion retailer, raised C$400 million ($302 million) in its initial public offering, marking the largest deal during one of the bleakest years in Canada for IPOs.

The company, shareholder Berkshire Partners and founder Brian Hill sold 25 million subordinate voting shares for C$16 each, according to sales documents, the high end of the C$14 to C$16 marketed range. The price values the Vancouver-based retailer at C$1.87 billion, based on 117.1 million shares outstanding as cited in documents.

Aritzia was started in Vancouver in 1984 by Hill, a third-generation retailer and current chief executive officer. Berkshire Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm, bought a majority share in the retailer for an undisclosed sum in 2005. The company, which sells clothes and accessories aimed at women aged 15 to 45, has 75 locations across North America, including in New York, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco, according to regulatory filings.

Aritzia’s shares will be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under ticker symbol ATZ and the stock is expected to start trading on Oct. 3, the company said in a statement Monday.

Bleak Year

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch Canada unit and Toronto-Dominion Bank led the sale. Banks arranging the sale have an option to sell an additional 15 percent of the offering, which would lift the total to C$460 million.

Aritzia’s sale comes amid Canada’s slowest year for IPOs year-to-date since at least 1999, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Mainstreet Health Investments Inc.’s $109.3 million IPO and Kew Media Group Inc.’s C$70 million offering in June marked the only other significant deals in a year when volatile equity markets put a damper on deals. Aritzia’s offering is the largest Canadian IPO since the C$1.83 billion sale of electric utility Hydro One Ltd. in October.

Other Canadian IPOs are looming: Toronto-based mortgage finance company MCAP Corp., which postponed its C$275 million IPO in June due to adverse market conditions following Britain’s vote to exit the European Union, looks to revive its plans, while healthcare software provider PointClickCare Corp. aims to raise about $100 million in its IPO and list in Canada and the U.S. by year end.

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