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Porter Air at the Toronto Island Airport.

Peter Power/Peter Power/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Porter Aviation Holdings' $120-million initial public offering is in a holding pattern, with the debut delayed for at least a week.

Officially, the airline is putting off pricing that was scheduled for the end of this week in order to add quarterly financial results to the company's paperwork - a tip of the hat to Dow Jones for first reporting that news on Thursday.

Unofficially, Porter's underwriters are struggling to attract institutional orders for a debut that comes at a time stock markets are in decline - the S&P 500 index is officially in correction mode. In recent weeks, a number of U.S. companies have staged IPOs that performed poorly when they began trading.

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Porter finished road shows with investors on Wednesday, and the deal was expected to be priced as early as Thursday. RBC Dominion Securities is leading a syndicate of nine investment banks selling the stock.

Porter is planning to sell up to 20 million shares at between $6 and $7 each, an offering that would see 30 per cent of the company owned by public investors. The airline is owned by its management and a number of private equity funds, none of whom are selling shares in the IPO, as the company is raising money expand its fleet. Investors and bankers have raised questions over the rich valuation the IPO puts on the company, which had a profit of $455,000 in the fourth quarter.

A number of growth-focused, small cap Canadian IPOs have been pulled in recent months, against a backdrop of the retreat in equity markets.

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