Telus International, a subsidiary of Telus Corp. , is expecting to price at the top of its planned IPO range, at US$25 a share, when it begins trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, two banking sources say.
Telus International, which provides outsourced customer service for brands such as Fitbit, Uber and online gamer Zynga, kicked off a roadshow last week to market its initial public offering. The company said at the time that it was expecting to price its IPO at between US$23 and US$25 a share.
The IPO has been met with strong interest from institutional shareholders on both sides of the border, according to the two sources in banking. When the company first started marketing the offering, there was an expectation that U.S. shareholders, who are more familiar with the segment of the technology industry that Telus International operates in, would buy the bulk of the offering. However, the IPO drew stronger than expected demand from Canadian institutions, the sources said.
The Globe is not identifying its banking sources, who have direct knowledge of the deal, because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. Telus declined to comment on whether the shares would begin trading on Wednesday.
With roughly 266.5 million subordinate- and multiple-voting shares outstanding after the IPO, pricing its stock at the top end of the range values Telus International at around US$6.66-billion. (Telus will maintain control over its subsidiary through ownership of multiple-voting shares that each cast 10 votes, while public investors will own subordinated voting shares that have one vote each.)
Telus International’s public debut is likely to be the first of several spinouts by Vancouver-based Telus. The telecom is expected to take its Telus Health division – which provides electronic medical records, virtual care and other digital health-care services – public next. Its Telus Agriculture subsidiary could follow a similar growth trajectory, expanding organically and through acquisitions before going public.
Telus International was launched 15 years ago as a call-centre operator for the telecom and several U.S. technology and telecom firms. It quickly expanded, offering services such as moderating content online, developing mobile apps and building virtual assistants such as chatbots.
In 2016, Telus Corp. sold a 35-per-cent stake in the unit to Hong Kong-based Baring Private Equity Asia. The private equity firm partnered with Telus International in 2019 on a $1.3-billion acquisition of Berlin-based content moderator Competence Call Center.
The following year, Telus International snapped up Lionbridge AI, a data-annotation company, for $1.2-billion. According to Telus International’s most recently filed prospectus, the Lionbridge acquisition is under review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which examines the national security implications of foreign investments in U.S. companies.
Telus International will offer 33.33 million subordinate voting shares, including 21.93 million from its treasury and 11.40 million from its owners, Telus and Baring Private Equity Asia.
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