Canada's equity markets enter uncharted territory after six months of no TSX IPO activity



    TORONTO, Jan. 6 /CNW/ - Without a single initial public offering on
Canada's senior equity exchange in the last six months, 2008 was the worst
year for IPOs in the history of the annual survey of Canada's equity markets
by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the firm's 2008 summary has revealed.
    Just 57 new issues struggled to reach Canada's equity markets in 2008,
with a mere 10 registered on the TSX in the year ended December 31, 2008.
There were no new IPOs on the TSX in the final six months of the year. By
comparison, there were 100 IPOs on all of Canada's exchanges in 2007, with 36
new issues on the TSX.
    The value of all issues on Canadian markets in 2008 was $682 million,
down 80% from the $3.4 billion in 2007, the survey showed. The value of all
issues on the TSX in 2008 was $547 million, off from $3.0 billion in 2007.
    A single new issue made it to the TSX Venture in the final quarter of
2008 to bring the full-year total to 38 IPOs for the year, with a value of
$128 million, down significantly from the 54 new issues worth $382 million in
the year prior.
    The PwC IPO survey has followed Canadian equity markets since 1998.
    "It's hard to find much to be optimistic about in this data but it is
small comfort to know that it isn't just the Canadian IPO market, or even
Canadian equity markets that are struggling," says Ross Sinclair, national
leader for PwC's IPO and income trust services. "It appears similar in other
major markets. I'm afraid we're in uncharted territory, and it's hard to
predict when our IPO market will come back and what a new normal level of
activity will be."
    Sinclair says that the first half of 2009 shows little promise of a
recovery in the market for new equity issues. Economic recession, equity
market volatility, constricted credit and sagging commodity prices all
conspire against a recovery in the short term. "We know that there will be
pent-up demand for capital and new equity issues when we gain some stability,"
he says. "We just can't say when that will be."
    The largest corporate IPO in 2008 was the $200 million issue by Sprott
Inc. in the first half of the year. The second largest was Seacliff
Construction Corp.'s $100 million placement, also in the first half. Third was
a $60 million issue from Orbit Garant Drilling Inc. The top three issues
accounted for more than half of the total value of all issues in 2008.
    For more information, please visit www.pwc.com/ca/iposurveys

    About PricewaterhouseCoopers

    PricewaterhouseCoopers (www.pwc.com) provides industry-focused assurance,
tax and advisory services to build public trust and enhance value for its
clients and their stakeholders. More than 155,000 people in 153 countries
across our network share their thinking, experience and solutions to develop
fresh perspectives and practical advice. In Canada, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
(www.pwc.com/ca) and its related entities have more than 5,200 partners and
staff in offices across the country.
    "PricewaterhouseCoopers" refers to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an Ontario
limited liability partnership, or, as the context requires, the
PricewaterhouseCoopers global network or other member firms of the network,
each of which is a separate and independent legal entity.

    
                   Survey of Canadian IPO Capital Markets
                         January 2008 - December 2008

             Number and Gross Value of IPOs on Canadian Exchanges

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Number     Value (M $CDN)    Number     Value (M $CDN)
    Exchange        Jan-Dec 2008   Jan-Dec 2008  Jan-Dec 2007   Jan-Dec 2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TSX                  10             547           36            3,043
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TSX Venture          38             128           54              382
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Other (CNQ, AIM)      9               7           10               26
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total                57             682          100            3,451
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

             2008 IPOs Over $50M - January to December 2008 (TSX)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Name                          Value (M $CDN)               Sector
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sprott Inc.                         200             Financial Services
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Seacliff Construction Corp.         100             Construction
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Orbit Garant Drilling Inc.           60             Mining
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pristine Power Inc.                  50             Energy & Utilities
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total                               410
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

              2007 Top 10 IPOs - January to December 2007 (TSX)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Name                          Value (M $CDN)               Sector
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Franco-Nevada Corporation         1,094             Mining
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mecachrome International Inc.       206             Industrial Products -
                                                        Transportation
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Northstar Healthcare Inc.           148             Healthcare
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lockerbie & Hole Inc.               131             Construction
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Universal Energy Group Ltd.         125             Energy & Utilities
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Innergex Renewable Energy Inc.      115             Energy & Utilities
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EarthFirst Canada Inc.              113             Energy & Utilities
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Day4 Energy Inc.                    100             Energy & Utilities
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    OceanaGold Corporation               90             Mining
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Centenario Copper Corporation        80             Mining
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total                             2,202
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    





For further information:

For further information: Susan MacDonald, MacDonald & Co., (416)
975-1572, susan.e.macdonald@bellnet.ca; Carolyn Forest,
PricewaterhouseCoopers, (416) 814-5730, carolyn.forest@ca.pwc.com

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