Freshii Jumps 6.3% in Canada Trading Debut After $96 Million IPO

  • Toronto-based restaurant chain rises from C$11.50 IPO price
  • Freshii is biggest Canadian IPO since Aritzia in September

Freshii Jumps in Trading Debut

Freshii Inc., the Canadian health-food restaurant chain, climbed 6.3 percent in its trading debut, after raising C$125.4 million ($96.3 million) in its initial public offering.

The Toronto-based company closed at C$12.22 at 4 p.m. on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday, above the C$11.50 IPO price. That valued Freshii at about C$382.5 million, based on 31.3 million shares outstanding.

Despite the first-day gain, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Corrin said he’s not focusing on the stock price. “The right thing to do is to continue to focus on our franchise partners and our guests, delivering healthy food and doing it in craveable ways," Corrin, 35, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s Toronto office. “If we do those things I really believe that the stock over the long term will take care of itself."

Freshii and its investors sold 10.9 million subordinate voting shares last week in the largest Canadian IPO since Aritzia Inc. raised C$460 million in September. The company initially sought to sell shares for C$8.50 to C$10 apiece, raising funds for the company and investors including Jaxii Holdings LLC, a firm controlled by Corrin.

Corrin opened the first Freshii location in Toronto in 2005 when he was 23. The restaurant chain, whose "mission" is to make healthy food convenient and affordable, now had 244 locations in 15 countries and more than 30 states and provinces in North America as of Sept. 25.

Freshii’s next market will be in Britain, where the company is working with a franchise partner who operates more than 60 Starbucks locations, Corrin said. They’ll roll out locations across London starting in mid year, he said.

“We’ll open as many as prudent," Corrin said. “We’ll do as many as we can do as long as we’re continuing to drive our mission of making healthy eating convenient and affordable."

The company aims to open 150 to 160 new franchise stores worldwide in fiscal 2017 and anticipates annual same-store sales growth of 3 percent to 4 percent through fiscal 2019, according to a Jan. 25 regulatory filing.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Jefferies Securities and Royal Bank of Canada led a group of banks on the sale. The banks have an option to sell an additional 15 percent of the offering, which could lift proceeds to about C$144 million.

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