Payment processing company Nuvei Corp. has filed to go public on the Toronto Stock Exchange, capitalizing on a surge in investor interest in digital technology stocks as the pandemic has forced more commerce online.
The Montreal-based company filed a prospectus on Tuesday, although details about the size or pricing of the initial public offering were held back. A private financing in December valued the company at $2.65-billion, which suggests Nuvei’s coming listing will be the largest Canadian technology IPO so far this year.
The deal is being led by Goldman Sachs and Bank of Montreal, with participation from Canada’s other large banks and a number of large U.S. investment banks.
The company, which provides payment processing technology for both online and in-store payments, will begin trading in a red-hot market for tech stocks. Toronto legal software company Dye & Durham Ltd. went public in July and its stock price has soared more than 250 per cent since listing. The stock price of Montreal firm Lightspeed POS Inc. has nearly tripled since the company went public last year.
The coming deal is expected to attract attention from investors starved of homegrown technology names, as many of the most promising Canadian companies have opted to remain private in recent years, supported by a flood of private capital.
Founded by chief executive officer Philip Fayer in 2003 under the name Pivotal Payments, Nuvei grew steadily to become one of Canada’s largest private financial technology companies. Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Montreal private-equity firm Novacap are major backers. Last December, the pair invested an additional $358-million into the company, in what was believed to be the largest private direct investment into a Canadian technology company.
Nuvei has 765 employees, with 194 based in Montreal. Around 50,000 merchants around the world use its payment systems across a wide range of industries, including online retail, online gambling and financial services, according to the prospectus.
The company generated revenue of $245.8-million in fiscal 2019 and a net loss of $69.5-million.
“We intend to grow alongside our existing merchants and expect to benefit from sales growth and strong retention within selected high-growth end markets, including regulated online gaming/sports betting, regulated [foreign-exchange] trading, social gaming and online marketplaces,” the company said in its prospectus.
Alongside organic growth, the company is looking to expand through acquisitions. Last summer, it nearly doubled its size with a US$872.5-million acquisition of London Stock Exchange-listed payments services provider SafeCharge International Group Ltd. It’s also in the process of buying a Dutch company called Smart2Pay for around €221.5-million ($345-million).
Like many other digital technology companies, Nuvei appears to have benefited from the COVID-19 physical distancing measures that have encouraged people to spend more time and money online.
“In June, 2020, our total volume was more than 28-per-cent greater as compared to the same period in 2019. ... In the month of July, 2020, the year-over-year growth reached nearly 40 per cent,” the company said in the prospectus.
“We believe the COVID-19 crisis will act as a catalyst in further accelerating mobile commerce and e-commerce transactions as consumers adapt to a ’new normal’ (including the decline in use of cash) and as merchants shift to contactless and mobile payments to ensure business continuity,” the company said.
The company said it intends to use the proceeds from the IPO to pay down debt. The IPO road show is expected to be conducted virtually.
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