Despite the recent roller-coaster ride experienced by technology stocks in North America, high-flying fibre-optic cable company 360networks Inc. completed the largest high-tech/telecom IPO in Canadian history on April 26, 2000. The cross-border offer of 44,625,000 subordinate voting shares and a secondary offering of 1,650,000 subordinate voting shares was made at a price of US$14 per share, resulting in gross proceeds to 360networks of US$624,750,000. The underwriters subsequently exercised an over-allotment option to purchase a further 6,941,250 subordinate voting shares, resulting in further gross proceeds to the issuer of US$97,177,500. In addition, 360networks completed concurrent debt offerings of US$600 million 13 per cent Senior Notes due 2008, and 200 million euro 13 per cent Senior Notes due 2008. The cash raised from the offerings will be used to fund construction of the glass-fibre voice and data network that 360networks is hoping will ultimately link cities around the world.
Legal advice to 360networks was provided by Catherine McEachern, Vice President & General Counsel of 360networks, and Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy (Vancouver) and Cahill Gordon & Reindel (New York). The Farris corporate team was led by Cameron Belsher and included Dean O’Leary and associates Trevor Scott and Teresa Budd. The underwriting syndicate, co-led by Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, was advised by Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP (Toronto) and Latham & Watkins (New York). The Oslers corporate team was led by Mark DesLauriers and included associates John Black and Lynne Woollcombe, tax partner Monica Biringer, tax associate Julie Colden and telecom regulatory partner Kirsten Embree.