Kensington’s venture capital and private equity portfolios are seeing significant opportunities in the public markets as initial public offering (IPO) activity heats up. In the past couple of weeks, three separate high-profile IPO transactions have been announced, each expected to provide significant value to Kensington investors.
We have seen this trend coming for some time, based on the maturity of our portfolios, the strength of several of our companies and the appetite of the public markets, (see Canadian Tech Sector Poised for Increase in IPO Activity in 2015). With more strong companies in the IPO pipeline, we expect this trend to continue.
Kensington portfolio companies with recent IPO announcements include:
Shopify is an Ottawa-based software company that enables its customers to rapidly deploy e-commerce sites, with over 162,000 merchant clients currently selling online on the Shopify Internet platform. On April 14, Shopify announced that it has filed for a dual listing U.S./Canada IPO, targeting a $100 million treasury offering.
Shopify forms part of Kensington’s venture capital portfolio, with investments held by the Kensington Venture Fund and the Kensington Private Equity Fund. These positions are held in the portfolios of Georgian Partners Growth Fund I and Georgian Partners Growth Fund II. We congratulate the entire Shopify team, as well as our friends at Georgian Partners – the lead Canadian investors in the Shopify investor syndicate – for getting to this important milestone.
For additional information on the company, see Shopify’s website or read the Globe and Mail’s article “Ottawa-based Shopify aims to raise $100-million with IPO“.
On April 24, Montreal’s Stingray Digital Group filed for an IPO targeting $120 million on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Stingray is a leading digital music business, best known for its Galaxie music service offered on pay TV channels across Canada and in 110 other countries.
Stingray forms part of the venture capital portfolio of the Kensington Private Equity Fund, held within Novacap Technologies III. Kensington congratulates the Stingray team and its lead investors at Novacap for reaching this stage.
Party City is the leading party goods retailer in North America with over 900 specialty retail party supply stores in the United States and Canada. On April 15, the company completed an initial public offering raising approximately $400 million and began trading on the NYSE. The IPO pricing of $17 per share valued the company at $1.97 billion.
The Kensington Private Equity Fund holds an investment in Party City through Thomas H. Lee Partners Fund VI, as part of our U.S. private equity portfolio. Kensington congratulates the Party City team and their investors at Thomas H. Lee for this very successful transaction.