Aritzia LP, the Canadian women’s fashion retailer, filed for an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Private equity backer Berkshire Partners LLC will sell shares in the IPO, as will Aritzia founder and Chief Executive Officer Brian Hill, the company said in a filing Wednesday. The company will not receive any proceeds from the sale of the subordinate voting shares, according to the filing, which did not say how much the IPO planned to raise. CIBC World Markets Inc., Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch Canada unit and Toronto-Dominion Bank’s TD Securities Inc. are leading the sale.
Aritzia’s net revenue in the year to May 29 was C$571 million ($445 million), and its net income was C$38 million, according to the prospectus. It cited consumer confidence, unemployment levels and “rapidly shifting fashion and seasonal trends” among risk factors for investors to consider. Aritzia’s decision to go public comes amid the slowest year to date for Canadian IPOs on record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Mortgage finance company MCAP Corp. had planned a C$275 million share sale in June before the company shelved its plans, citing market volatility in the wake of the U.K.’s Brexit vote.
The only sizable initial offering in Canada this year was Mainstreet Health Investments Inc., an owner of U.S. seniors facilities. The company closed its offering for about C$142 million in June and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange after its reverse takeover of Kingsway Arms Retirement Residences Inc.
Kew Media Group Inc., a special purpose acquisition company, also raised C$70 million in June.
Launched in Vancouver in 1984, Aritzia has more than 70 retail locations across North America, including in New York, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco, according to its website. The company sells clothes and accessories aimed at 15-to-30-year-old female shoppers. Boston-based private equity firm Berkshire Partners bought a majority stake in the company for an undisclosed sum in 2005.