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OMERS begins to trim Constellation stake Add to ...

Long-term shareholders of Constellation Software Inc. , one of Canada’s hottest tech stocks, will be pleased to see pension fund OMERS is trimming its stake in the company via a $150-million stock sale.

Constellation has had an awkward structure whereby only a portion of the company’s stock is widely held, with big stakes in the hands of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System and private equity fund Birch Hill Equity Partners.

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Last year, the company started a strategic review that some investors feared would lead to the sale of the company, because that would be the best way for Birch Hill and OMERS to extract their cash. By selling the whole company, they could potentially get a premium, whereas selling into the market would mean taking a discount.

However, the sale process recently ended with no sale of Constellation. Now OMERS has decided to start easing out of its position by selling into the open market. OMERS is selling 1.7 million shares at $87.50 each, a 7.3 per cent discount from the market price that reflects the size of the sale. Even after the sale, OMERS will own 26 per cent of Constellation.

RBC Dominion Securities and BMO Nesbitt Burns are leading the sale.

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