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The Globe and Mail

Element Financial to raise $150-million, trade on TSX

Entrepreneur Steve Hudson says he still wants to complete three or four more deals in the near future to take advantage of the lingering impact of the financial crisis.

J.P. Moczulski for The Globe and Mail/j.p. moczulski The Globe and Mail

Newcourt Credit founder Steve Hudson's newest leasing business is coming to the Toronto Stock Exchange, and the company is raising $150-million as part of the deal to create a war chest for acquisitions.

Mr. Hudson's latest venture is called Element Financial. He's been building it through acquisitions, with a goal to becoming Canada's leading independent financing company, as he explained in an interview earlier this year.

Mr. Hudson had no trouble raising money, doing a private placement earlier this year that raised $75-million. He then did a big acquisition, picking up Alter Moneta, a Montreal-based leasing business.

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With the possibility of more assets coming on the market in the current rough times for lending companies, raising more cash to be ready for more acquisitions makes sense. There was also time pressure. Mr. Hudson had promised early investors he would have the company public by year end.

With markets choppy, Element isn't using a traditional initial public offering. Instead, Element will come to market via a reverse takeover of a capital pool shell company, according to a statement from the shell company.

In concert with that, Element said it hired GMP Securities, Barclays Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns to lead a private placement of subscription receipts that will be exchangeable for shares in the company that results from the merger.

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