Nu­vei closes TSX’S largest tech IPO with $805M


Philip Fayer took lit­tle time to cel­e­brate af­ter his Mon­treal pay­ments com­pany, Nu­vei Corp., closed the Toronto Stock Ex­change’s largest ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing in the tech­nol­ogy sec­tor.

“Peo­ple will find this crazy, but I was on­line the next morn­ing at 6 a.m. like I am ev­ery day,” he said.

De­spite his hum­ble de­meanour, Nu­vei’s founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive had plenty to be proud of.

The com­pany he founded 17 years ago when look­ing for pay­ment op­tions for an­other busi­ness he was in­volved in made $730 mil­lion (U.S.) and share­holder No­va­cap Man­age­ment Inc. made $75 mil­lion from of­fer­ing up more than 30 mil­lion sub­or­di­nate vot­ing shares at $26 per share last week.

Nu­vei first hoped to raise $600 mil­lion, but ended up be­ing over­sub­scribed by 20 per cent and then its 14 un­der­writ­ers bought more than four mil­lion shares through stock op­tions they had.

Nu­vei’s goal con­tin­ued to creep up as in­ter­est in the com­pany grew, but Fayer said the com­pany “didn’t set out to be record-break­ing.”

He just wanted to use the IPO to re­ward his 800 em­ploy­ees with $100,000 (Cana­dian) in stock op­tions for their hard work and build cap­i­tal for fu­ture merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions, which have been a corner­stone of Nu­vei’s strat­egy.

Nu­vei com­pleted its $889mil­lion pur­chase of U.k.-based pay­ments com­pany last Au­gust and is in the process of buy­ing Smart2­pay, a Dutch pay­ments busi­ness.

No­va­cap se­nior part­ner David Lewin said he’s been pleased with Nu­vei’s IPO and wants its cur­rent strat­egy to stick around.

Lewin is keep­ing a care­ful eye on the com­pany be­cause of the pan­demic, which has ac­cel­er­ated the shift to­ward e-com­merce and cre­ated a buzz around tech stocks.

The pan­demic has seen Shopify

Inc., based in Ot­tawa, over­take the coun­try’s most valu­able com­pany, Royal Bank of Canada, on the TSX.

Mon­treal cloud tech­nol­ogy busi­ness Light­speed POS Inc. has also re­cently man­aged to raise $305 mil­lion (U.S.) af­ter try­ing its luck on the New York Stock Ex­change.

As of Aug. 31, there were 211 tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies listed on both TSX and TSX Ven­ture Ex­change with a com­bined mar­ket cap­i­tal­iza­tion of $289 bil­lion (Cana­dian).

Lewin al­ways wor­ries about com­pa­nies he is in­volved in when they IPO, but in­ter­est in tech busi­nesses and COVID-19 added new el­e­ments to the mix for Nu­vei, he said.

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