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Underwriters cut fees to win Shopifys business in latest share issue [Video]

The Ottawa headquarters of Canadian e-commerce company Shopify are pictured on May 29, 2019.

Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

Executives at Shopify Inc. have famously told Bay Street that they are not interested in making friends with bankers.

The Ottawa-based online retail software company stayed true to that mantra last week by successfully using its heft to win bargain-basement fees on its latest stock sale.

Shopify, Canada’s largest public company, raised US$990-million in last week’s sale that paid its bankers, mostly Wall Street brokerage houses, a relatively thin 1.75-per-cent fee. Traditionally, Canadian companies pay 4-per-cent commissions on stock sales done by domestic dealers. For Shopify shareholders, the difference in fees meant the company saved US$22.3-million by playing hardball.

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Last week’s transactions, which also included a US$920-million convertible debenture offering, were the latest in a string of nine financings from Shopify since the company went public five years ago, and the transactions were done for fees …

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