Canada’s IPO Market Expected to Recover in 2017

2016 was a rough year for Canada’s IPO market.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), an accounting firm that keeps track of such things, there were only three IPOs to start trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2016 for a total market value of $464 million. The largest new issue by far was women’s fashion retailer Aritzia (TSX:ATZ), which raised $400 million in its October IPO.

Five companies also began trading on the much smaller Canadian Securities Exchange, raising a total of $2 million.

2016 was the worst IPO market since 1998, the year when PwC first started tracking the numbers. The previous worst year was 2008 when 10 companies started trading on the TSX, raising $547 million.

There appears to be good news on the horizon for 2017, however. Several Canadian companies are in the various planning stages of going public.

One IPO that’s a virtual lock for sometime in 2017 is Fairfax Financial’s (TSX:FFH) Africa Holdings Corp, a separate entity set up to make acquisitions in the developing continent. This should happen sometime in the next few months and raise $1 billion.

Several technology companies could also be planning IPOs. Names that appear likely to go public are Vancouver-based Hootsuite Media Inc., as well as Vision Critical Communications Inc., Real Matters Inc., D2L Inc., and PointClickCare Corp.

Additionally, healthy fast food franchiser Freshii Inc. could also float an IPO in 2017, raising up to $300 million to fund its ambitious growth plan. The company has 244 stores today with hopes of raising that number to 810 by the end of fiscal 2019.

In short, 2016’s IPO market was so bad it really only had one direction to go. Look for there to be much more activity in 2017.