GFL scraps IPO after falling short of target
After two failed attempts to go public, waste hauler GFL Environmental Inc. has filed to sell its shares in Toronto and New York, putting it on track to be one of Canada’s largest ever initial public offerings.
The sale aims to raise about US$1.54 billion at the top end of the range by offering 73.2 million shares at between US$20 to US$21 each, according to a company statement released Tuesday. That would value the company at $6.7 billion. Separately, the company has said it plans to sell 14 million tangible equity units at US$50 apiece concurrent with the IPO for net proceeds of US$677.3 million. GFL plans to use net proceeds to pay down debt.
This would be one of Canada’s largest IPOs after Manulife Financial Corp.’s US$1.7 billion offering two decades ago.
GFL, which is North America’s fourth-biggest waste hauler, canceled its IPO plans in November after investors balked at its debt load and questioned its growth prospects. It had sought to raise as much as US$2.1 billion at the top end of its marketed range of US$20 and US$24 a share. But banks running the IPO only got support for the offering at about US$18 a share, according to people familiar with the matter then.
Prior to that, it scrapped plans to raise money via an IPO in 2018 after getting backing from BC Partners and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan to recapitalize GFL instead. It had aimed to raised as much as $1 billion through a share sale, people familiar with the plan said in January 2018.
Chief Executive Officer Patrick Dovigi founded GFL in 2007 and has made over 100 acquisitions since, the largest being the US$2.8 billion purchase of Waste Management Industries USA Inc. in 2018. The company has yet to turn a profit and has racked up debt to fuel those purchases -- $7.6 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The IPO is being led by banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of Montreal, Goldman Sachs Group, Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Nova Scotia. Other banks involved in the proposed offering include Barclays Plc, BC Partners, Raymond James Financial, Stifel Financial Corp., Toronot-Dominion Bank, Bank of America, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, HSBC Holdings Plc and National Bank of Canada.
Shareholders include Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, BC Partners and GIC Private, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore.
GFL has facilities across Canada and in 23 U.S. states, serving more than 4 million homes. The company, which has more than 11,500 employees and 135,000 business customers, provides services including solid-waste hauling, soil remediation and liquid-waste management.
--With assistance from Paula Sambo.