Canadian Manufacturing

Iconic Canadian clothier Roots plans to go public, files for IPO

The company offshored most of its manufacturing in 2004, but still operates a leather plant in Toronto and employs nearly 2,000 across its retail network


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Though Roots outsourced most of its domestic manufacturing in 2004, it maintains a leather factory in west Toronto that employs approximately 200 workers

TORONTO—Iconic Canadian clothing retailer Roots is planning to go public.

The company, best known for its apparel, leather products and distinctive beaver logo, said Sept. 13 it has filed a preliminary prospectus with securities regulators across Canada for an initial public offering.

It did not detail what portion of the company it intends to sell, or for what price, but the plan follows the company’s two founders’ decision to sell a majority stake in the Toronto-based company to private equity firm Searchlight Capital Partners in 2015.

Roots was founded by Michael Budman and Don Green in 1973 and has since expanded across Canada, as well as into the U.S. and Asia through a partner network.

Though the company outsourced most of its manufacturing in 2004, it maintains a leather factory in west Toronto that employs approximately 200 workers. It employs another 1,750 in its network of 120 retail shops in Canada and the U.S., as well as 286 at its head office and Toronto distribution centre.

The proposed public sale follows fellow Toronto clothier Canada Goose’s IPO earlier this year.

According to the prospectus, Roots has plans to grow its Canadian and U.S. business through both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar expansion, as well as leverage its brand to push into international markets.


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