Canadian retailer Roots files for IPO, plans to list on TSX under ROOT

TORONTO _ Canadian fashion retailer Roots Corp. is launching an initial public offering of its shares.

The company has applied to list on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ROOT.

“We view our heritage and our guiding principles as the foundation of our business,” the company said in its preliminary prospectus.

“Our brand is supported by first-rate operations and is well-diversified across product categories, seasons, channels and geographies.”

The retailer was established in 1973 by founders Michael Budman and Don Green.

The pair sold a majority stake in the company to private investment firm Searchlight Capital Partners in 2015, but remained substantial shareholders.

The price and the number of shares being sold by Searchlight, Budman and Green was not immediately disclosed.

The company has more than 100 stores in Canada as well as four in the United States, partner-operated locations in Taiwan and China and an online retail business.

In its filing with securities regulators, Roots said it wants to continue its grow in Canada as well as the United States and in international markets.

“Our e-commerce sales in the United States have been strong relative to our limited marketing investment and we believe this market represents an attractive long-term opportunity for us.

“The lasting halo effect from investments relating to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Canada’s proximity to the United States have created a solid base of consumer awareness for the Roots brand.”

It also pointed to its leather goods and footwear products as an area where it wants to grow its business.

The proposal follows recent initial public offerings by Canada Goose Holdings Inc. and Aritzia Inc.

Shares in Canada Goose have soared more than 40 per cent since they began trading earlier this year, however Aritzia shares have struggled and fallen well below their IPO price.