Acasta Enterprises set to raise $222 million in Toronto IPO

Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:53am EDT
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By Euan Rocha

TORONTO (Reuters) - Acasta Enterprises Inc plans to raise C$275 million ($222.08 million) through an initial public offering in Toronto, joining a line of special purpose acquisition corporations (SPACs) with high-profile backers raising public capital to pursue acquisitions.

Toronto-based Acasta, which is targeting an acquisition in North America, plans to sell some 27.5 million units at C$10 a unit to list on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the company said late Wednesday.

Acasta's IPO would be the biggest by a Canadian SPAC this year. SPACs are publicly traded buyout companies that use a private-equity style, leveraged buyout model to make acquisitions.

The boards and management ranks of these shell companies are typically filled with a 'who's who' of Canadian businesses.

Acasta is headed by Anthony Melman, a former partner and managing director of Canadian private equity firm Onex Corp OCX.TO. It is chaired by Belinda Stronach, whose family founded Magna International Inc (MG.TO: Quote) and who heads the Stronach Group, a private consortium that owns and operates a number of businesses.

Acasta's board, management and advisory ranks also include Air Canada (AC.TO: Quote) Chief Executive Calin Rovinescu, Hunter Harrison, the CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO: Quote); Rick Waugh, the former head of Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) and Geoff Beattie, former president of Woodbridge, the Thomson family's holding firm that is a majority shareholder of Thomson Reuters (TRI.TO: Quote).

Acasta said it was focused on acquiring companies with an enterprise value of between C$1 billion and C$2 billion.

The IPO is being underwritten by Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) and Canaccord Genuity Group Inc (CF.TO: Quote).   Continued...