Lexpert Magazine

Jan/Feb 2018

Lexpert magazine features articles and columns on developments in legal practice management, deals and lawsuits of interest in Canada, the law and business issues of interest to legal professionals and businesses that purchase legal services.

Issue link: http://digital.carswellmedia.com/i/933993

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Page 53 of 75

54 LEXPERT MAGAZINE | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 FEATURE BECOMING A PUBLIC company is not a big event in the life of a business; it's a huge one. e transition from private to public can be out of this world in terms of sheer complexity. But that didn't keep Canadian companies from making the leap in 2017, a year in which the initial public offering (IPO) came back to life. For all of 2017, 38 new issues raised $5.1 billion on all Canadian ex- changes. And corporate finance lawyers suggest many more are in the pipeline for the first half of 2018. e uptick in new offerings can be attributed to a confluence of factors, start- ing with pent-up inventory. Deal lawyers interviewed for this story agree that 2016 was a disaster on the IPO front, with just eight new offerings in total — the least in 19 years. Many IPO candidates didn't like the valuations they were getting and, with interest rates so low, decided to stay private longer. But with oil prices finally stabilizing at around US$50 a barrel last year and with the pub- lic looking for more investment diversity, IPOs have started to bubble up again. Going public, however, is no small feat. Desmond Lee, Co-chair of the Cor- porate Finance and Securities practice at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, says IPOs "remain a really intense experience compared with other types of financ- ings. We tell issuers, 'Once you get through your IPO, you'll never have to go through that kind of intense experience again.'" Most business owners who've made that particular journey would probably agree. Raman Grewal, partner in Stikeman Elliott LLP's Corporate Group, AFTER YEARS IN THE DOLDRUMS, IPOs LAST YEAR STAGED A COMEBACK. BUT AS BUSINESS OWNERS START TO WEIGH THEIR PROSPECTS, LEGAL ADVISORS WARN THAT THE ORDEAL OF A PUBLIC OFFERING IS NOT FOR EVERYONE BY SANDRA RUBIN To List PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK or Not to List

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