Underwriters are having a tough time finding buyers for $200-million of Rubicon Minerals shares.
The securities units of GMP Capital Toronto-Dominion Bank on Monday morning launched the deal to buy 49-million shares of Rubicon and resell them to investors at a price of $4.10 apiece .
The sale ran into trouble almost immediately, and market sources said that by the close of markets on Monday only about 10 per cent of the stock had been placed. As of Wednesday night, the underwriters were still hoping to find a home for the remainder of the stock, and were said to be planning two more days of aggressive marketing this week.
Maybe it was timing.
Bringing a big deal the morning after the Super Bowl might not have been the best, given that a lot of people tend to be late to the office.
Still, Rubicon followed a pair of successful gold offerings by Novagold and Detour Gold, so the market looked ripe.
Maybe it was pricing, as the deal was said to be aggressively bid by TD and GMP as they tried to win the business, leading to a discount to the market price of only 17 cents.
That's tight given the size of the deal. The stock on offer represents about one-fifth of Rubicon's market capitalization.
Still, even with that overhanging the market, Rubicon's stock is holding up well at just about $4, providing the underwriters the chance to place the shares without the spectre of big losses.