Aequitas raises additional funds ahead of stock exchange launch

Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:28pm EDT
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TORONTO, March 12 (Reuters) - Aequitas Innovations Inc said on Thursday it has completed a new round of capital raising ahead of the launch of its new stock exchange , which is set to begin operations this month.

The Toronto-based firm said indications of interest from both founding shareholders and new shareholders represented close to 150 percent of the amount Aequitas originally planned to raise. It said the offering was distributed so as to ensure a fair representation of all market participants and stakeholders.

Details on the amount of capital raised were not disclosed.

Aequitas' new shareholders that represent both investors and capital-raising companies include Canadian pension fund manager British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC), fund managers Davis Rea Ltd and Invesco Canada Ltd, and Chicago-based private equity firm Vernon & Park Capital L.P.

It said new shareholders representing the dealer community include Jones Gable & Co Ltd, Maison Placements Canada Inc and, BBS Securities Inc.

Other prominent investors include Don Ross, chair of Jones Gable & Co; Vincent Chahley, former managing director of Tristone Capital Ltd; and Perry Dellelce, founder and managing partner at Toronto-based law firm Wildeboer Dellelce LLP, among others.

"The over-subscription on our share offering gives us a clear vote of confidence," Jos Schmitt, chief executive of Aequitas, said in a statement, noting the new shareholder group was "strong and diversified".

Aequitas' Neo platform will offer trading, listings and, through one of its affiliates, related technology services. It is looking to capture market share from and challenge TMX Group Ltd's dominant Toronto Stock Exchange and its TSX Venture and Alpha platforms, along with other rivals like Chi-X and CX2.

Aequitas - a Latin term denoting fairness and the origin of the English word equity - is backed by Royal Bank of Canada , Barclays PLC, pension funds OMERS and PSP, mutual fund managers CI Financial Corp and IGM Financial Inc, and Investment Technology Group Inc , among others.   Continued...