Iconic Canadian Retailer Roots Seeking to Go Public

  • Iconic retailer said to seek to raise about C$200 million
  • Company sold majority stake to Searchlight Capital in 2015

Shoppers enter a Roots store on Bloor Street West in Toronto.

Photographer: Galit Rodan/Bloomberg

Roots Canada Ltd., the iconic retailer known for its casual wear and leather goods emblazoned with beaver logos, has hired banks to prepare an initial public offering this year, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Canadian clothing company is working with Toronto-Dominion Bank, Credit Suisse Group AG and Bank of Montreal on the share sale, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details aren’t public. Roots could seek to raise about C$200 million ($159 million), they said.

The IPO comes two years after the Toronto-based company agreed to sell a majority stake to New York-based private equity firm Searchlight Capital Partners.

Roots will add its name to a list of Canadian consumer brands that have gone public this year, including food chain Freshii Inc. and vitamin and supplement maker Jamieson Wellness Inc. Shares in Freshii have fallen about 19 percent since their debut in January while Jamieson shares are up 21 percent since July. Luxury jacket maker Canada Goose Holdings Inc. has risen about 32 percent since its debut in March.

Founded in 1973 by Michael Budman and Don Green, Roots began with one small store in Toronto. It now has more than 200 retail stores in Canada, the U.S., China and Taiwan, selling products from athletic wear and leather bags to home furnishings, according to its website.

Representatives for Credit Suisse, TD and Searchlight declined to comment. Roots and BMO didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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