Definity Financial raises $1.1 billion in largest Canadian IPO

The property and casualty insurer Definity Financial Corp, raised about C$1.4 billion ($1.1 billion) in the largest Canadian initial public offering of the year. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company formerly known as Economical Mutual Insurance Co, said a total of 63.6 million shares were sold for C$22 apiece. It was the top end of the range it had targeted, the company said in a release Wednesday. Definity will sell another C$700 million in shares in a private placement to the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan and Swiss Re. The company’s offering is the third-largest IPO of a Canadian company in the past five years. It was a rare new offering from a financial company. The year so far has witnessed the domination of technology deals. The shares will be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol DFY.

Seventh largest

Definity is the seventh-largest provider of property and casualty insurance in Canada, with a 4.6 per cent share of the market, selling under the Economical Insurance, Sonnet Insurance, Family Insurance and Petline Insurance names. The company’s C$2.38 billion in gross written premiums in the first nine months of 2021 are up 16 per cent from a year earlier. Economical Insurance was established in 1871, just four years after Canada became a country. The proceeds of the offering will fund cash benefits of the demutualization process to some policyholders, the company said. The offering is being led by BMO Capital Markets, RBC Capital Markets and Barclays Plc. The IPO and the private placements, which add up to C$2.1 billion, are expected to close Nov. 23.

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