CVCA-U.S. venture capital firms eye Canada IPOs-official

Fri May 27, 2011 1:23am EDT

* Eight U.S. companies have gone public in Canada this year

* China, Latin America, Australia also seek listings

By Pav Jordan

VANCOUVER, May 27 (Reuters) - U.S. venture capital firms are looking at Canadian markets as venues to list their portfolio companies in areas ranging from clean technologies to life sciences, a leading exchange official said.

TSX Venture Exchange President John McCoach told Reuters in an interview on Thursday that of the 138 companies that have gone public on Toronto's two exchanges this year, across sectors, eight were sourced out of the United States.

"We are actually having some success with some American VCs (Venture Capital companies) in helping them exit their companies into Canadian capital markets, probably even more so than Canadian VCs," McCoach said on the sidelines of the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) annual conference in Vancouver.

"I don't want to imply that it is dozens or hundreds, but we're starting to see that happening," he said.

Last year, for the entire year, there were 21 companies listed on Canadian markets from the United States, McCoach said, from a total 71 international listings.

McCoach, who sat on a panel discussion at the CVCA conference on the Canadian environment for exits, or the sale of private equity investments, said the TMX Group's (X.TO) Toronto exchanges were having a strong year for listings.

He said international interest in Canadian listings was led by companies out of the United States, China, Latin America and Australia.

Most of that interest came from the resource companies that the Canadian stock market is famous for, but technology, life sciences and clean tech companies were also featured, McCoach said.

He could not name names, but said a clean tech company was working its way through the process that looked like it might result in a C$100 million IPO.

"Activity is very strong right now in Canada, as it was last year." (Reporting by Pav Jordan; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)