Dax Dasilva, Lightspeed POS Inc. CEO, says the Montreal software company’s public offering on the New York Stock Exchange is aimed at raising its awareness in the U.S., where it does most of its business.
“It was important for us to list here and have that profile-raising moment here,” Mr. Dasilva said in an interview Friday after ringing the opening bell on the NYSE, adding that he hoped U.S. research analysts would start covering the company as well. “It’s a big milestone for the company. It’s something we always thought would be in our future.”
Lightspeed stock began trading in the U.S. Friday after the company, which provides internet-based point-of-sale and payments products for retail, hospitality and golf companies, sold 10 million subordinate shares for gross proceeds of US$30.50 apiece. That is a 4-per-cent discount to the stock’s closing price Thursday. Its largest shareholder, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, also sold 1.65 million of its 25.9 million subordinate shares in the offering for gross proceeds of US$50.3-million.
Lightspeed stock closed on the NYSE at US$30.25, and was off 4.4 per cent on the TSX, on a down day for tech stocks overall.
Mr. Dasilva had long hoped to list in the U.S., after taking his company public on the Toronto Stock Exchange in March, 2019. Lightspeed could have done so as early as this past March, but with the economy shutting down because of the pandemic, it waited until posting two further quarterly financial results.
“I think we showed in our last quarter the business is performing and that our customers are very resilient” and they’ve been adding more Lightspeed features, he said. Some businesses have “churned,” or dropped the service, “but we’ve been showing impressive new adds. That impressed investors. We’ve been educating the market on why we’re a really good solution now for merchants embracing online commerce." The company’s system was used in 77,000 customer locations as of June 30.
Mr. Dasilva, who controls the company through his ownership of multiple voting shares, said the offering had targeted U.S., European and Canadian investors, with a focus on selling stock to “U.S. long-oriented investors,” or institutions looking to buy and hold.
He said most of the oversubscribed offering, led by Morgan Stanley, Barclays and Bank of Montreal plus another eight U.S. and Canadian banks, was placed with U.S. investors. The underwriters have the right to buy another 1.75 million additional subordinate shares from the company and five senior executives, including Mr. Dasilva, in the 30 days after the offering closes.
Lightspeed will use the proceeds to step up efforts to sell to customers looking to upgrade from older, fixed point-of-sale systems to Lightspeed’s internet-based offering. It will also build more features to accommodate new business realities, such as recently added curbside pickup, delivery and contactless pickup options for customers and continue acquiring other companies, he said.
In listing south of the border, Lightspeed joins several other Canadian technology companies that have dual Canadian/U.S. listings, including Shopify Inc., Open Text Corp., Celestica Inc., CGI Inc. and Ceridian HCM Holding Inc.
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