Postmedia Network Canada Corp. listed its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
It is the first time the newspaper company was publicly traded since emerging from restructuring last summer, when the former CanWest chain was purchased by a group of its creditors.
As part of the new ownership deal, Postmedia was given a year to arrange for majority Canadian ownership and faced a deadline of July 31, 2011, to list its shares.
The company did not take the usual route of an initial public offering, which would involve the sale of new shares to investors. Instead it issued shares to its existing owners to take the company public.
The listing is important for Postmedia because it gives the company a dual-class share structure, putting voting control in the hands of Canadian owners even though its backers include a strong contingent of U.S. hedge funds, including New York firm GoldenTree Asset Management. Postmedia needs this Canadian control to hold on to its status as a Canadian publisher, which allows its advertisers to write off their spending on ads in the papers as a business expense.
“This is an exciting milestone for Postmedia,” Paul Godfrey, president and CEO, said in a statement. “It has always been our intention to have our shares listed within our first year of operation and today we attain that goal.”
The stock is trading under the symbol PNC.A for its voting shares issued to its Canadian holders, and PNC.B for its variable voting shares, intended for non-Canadian owners.
A small number of shares changed hands on Tuesday. The PNC.B shares were most active, with 2,000 sold at a closing price of $13.50. Roughly 600 of the PNC.A shares were traded with a closing price of $13. While trading volume was minimal, the initial activity on Tuesday gave the company a market capitalization of roughly $540-million.