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 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 Chief Executive Calin Rovinescu, Hunter Harrison, the CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway CP.TO; Rick Waugh, the former head of Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO and Geoff Beattie, former president of Woodbridge, the Thomson family's holding firm that is a majority shareholder of Thomson Reuters TRI.TO.

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, Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO and Canaccord Genuity Group Inc CF.TO.   Continued...