Miner Robert Friedland is planning to kick-start a moribund IPO market this week with a US$180-million debut from Ivanhoe Electric Inc.
Mr. Friedland, a 71-year-old billionaire and Ivanhoe Electric’s chief executive, has developed mines around the world. He is now pitching the Vancouver-based company as a dependable, North American supplier of copper and other critical minerals for electric cars and related clean-energy technology.
In what would be the first North American initial public offering in more than four weeks – a period during which stock markets have declined sharply – Ivanhoe Electric is planning to sell 14.4 million shares at a price between US$11.75 and US$12.50 per share, according to a regulatory filing on Friday. At the top end of the range, investors would value the company at US$1.15-billion.
Ivanhoe Electric owns properties in Arizona and Utah, along with a battery storage business. The company spent US$39-million on exploration last year and posted a US$59-million loss.
“We believe it is strategically important for the U.S. to develop its own resource base to match the domestic and global needs of the clean-energy transition through adequate supply of critical minerals,” Ivanhoe Electric said in its filing. “We believe the United States is significantly underexplored and has the potential to yield major new discoveries of these metals.”
Analysts say investors will support Ivanhoe Electric’s pitch. “The deal’s tight range and short road show suggest management is confident it can find enough demand,” IPO-focused investment bank Renaissance Capital said in a report on Sunday.
This year’s drought in new issues follows record-setting activity in 2021. “We don’t believe the offering will have major implications for the rest of the IPO pipeline, but any sizable deal is noteworthy in this market,” Renaissance Capital said in its report.
Ivanhoe Electric plans to list its shares on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges. Bank of Montreal and Jefferies LLC are leading the offering. If the banks choose to exercise an option to sell additional stock, Ivanhoe Electric could raise more than US$200-million.
The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame inducted Mr. Friedland in 2016. He has developed properties such as the Voisey’s Bay nickel mine in Labrador and the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold project in Mongolia. Many of his companies were launched as junior mining companies on Canadian exchanges.
He is the Chicago-born son of an Auschwitz survivor, and is a dual citizen of Canada and the U.S. He now lives in Singapore. Forbes estimates his holdings are worth more than US$2-billion.
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