Canadian IPO market surpasses $5 billion in 2020

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The Canadian IPO market in 2020 generated proceeds in excess of $5 billion for the year, despite fewer new issuances than in previous years. This is five times the value of offerings completed in 2019. Despite a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and amid economic uncertainty, the capital markets were extremely robust.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, new issuances with total proceeds of $1.3 billion were completed, representing a $1 billion increase compared to the last quarter of 2019.

“The Canadian capital markets were very strong in 2020, and IPO activity outstripped anything we have seen in recent years with numerous large and successful offerings across a variety of industries, but with technology and life sciences leading the way,” said Geoff Leverton, National Leader, Canadian Capital Markets & Accounting Advisory Services practice at PwC Canada. “At a time when the economy has been impacted by COVID-19 and companies are trying to manage those impacts on their operations, it’s surprising to see the strength of the IPO markets.”

Mining issuers led all sectors with 23 IPOs for $324 million, accounting for 53% and 7% of the total number of Non-CPC/SPAC IPOs and total amount, respectively.

The five largest offerings were GFL Environmental Inc., followed by Nuvei Corporation, AbCellera Biologics Inc., Repare Therapeutics Inc. and Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. with aggregate proceeds of $4.2 billion.

“The three largest issuances were in three different industries,” added Leverton. “I think this is a testament to the diversity of the Canadian market. Will the IPOs in 2020 set the tone for 2021? I believe we will continue to see interest in IPOs into 2021 given the level of activity, pricing and post-IPO valuation. We are having lots of IPO discussions and readiness to act on market opportunity is key.”


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