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Canadian Private Market Recap: Mar 30

  • Posted By: Ari Cuperfain

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This past week saw moderate activity in the Canadian private market, with both strategic and financial acquisitions, an IPO and several financings and fundraisings.

M&A

Rubicon Project Acquires Chango For $122M

Toronto-based marketing firm Chango Inc. was acquired by Rubicon Project (NYSE: RUBI) for $122 million. Chango's focus is on online intent marketing. Their technology tracks basic keyword searches from the major search engines and delivers ads to users by integrating both the searched keyword and contextual information. Propelled by this technology, Chango topped Delloite’s 2014 list of Technology Fast 50™ winners in Canada. “Chango’s technology brings keyword, contextual targeting and retargeting to premium display, mobile and video advertising,” said Frank Addante, Founder & CEO of Rubicon Project. “Our combined capabilities will help to grow and innovate, while also fueling a rapid acceleration of Rubicon Project’s overall Buyer Cloud business.”

Vicente Capital Exits iBwave, Realizes 2.5x Return

US firm Vicente Capital Partners (VCP) sold Montreal-based iBwave Solutions Inc. to Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW), representing a 2.5x return for over an 18-month investment period. iBwave provides software design tools and training to simplify the design of in-building wireless networks. VCP’s investment in iBwave was part of its Growth Equity Fund, a fund devoted to investments with high growth potential. According to Klaus Koch, Managing Partner of Vicente Capital’s Growth Equity Fund, “Corning's acquisition is a great outcome for Vicente Capital’s Growth Equity Fund and its limited partners. It was our largest investment by far and will return a significant portion of our overall fund.”

Financing

DAVIDsTEA Looks to Public Market

Specialty tea retailer DAVIDsTEA has announced its plans to file for a US IPO valued at $75 million. Coming shortly after Canadian restaurant company Cara announced its plans to go public, DAVIDsTEA is also looking to capitalize on the hot IPO market. Over the last four years, DAVIDsTEA has doubled the number of stores it operates in both Canada and the US and more than tripled its annual sales. DAVIDsTEA plans to continue this expansion with a particular emphasis on the US market. Underwriters on the offering include: Goldman, Sachs & Co., J.P. Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch, BMO Capital Markets, and William Blair.

Birch Hill Files for $1B Fund Raise

Toronto private equity firm Birch Hill Equity Partners has filed with the SEC its intentions to raise $1 billion for its most recent Fund V. Birch Hill invests in growth companies valued between C$30 million and C$600 million with a predominant focus on Canadian companies. Its previous fund, Fund IV, closed in 2011.

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