A sort of homecoming.
Canadian born Mitel, which did what many successful Canadians do and took up residence in the United States, is coming home.
Mitel, already trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol MITL, today announced it will list its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The company will begin trading under the symbol “MNW” on or around June 27, 2012.
While the mining and metals sector has been struggling for some time in Canada, Mitel’s intention to list on the TSX cites reasons that haven’t been heard round these parts for some time; a heightened interest in technology north of the 49th.
“The expansion of our trading to include both the NASDAQ and Toronto Stock Exchange platforms has been an objective of ours since our initial public offering in 2010,” stated Steve Spooner, Mitel’s CFO, adding: “Given the appetite for technology investment on the TSX, a dual listing at this time allows us to expand our shareholder base and provides us with access to a knowledgeable investor base in Canada.”
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Mitel’s roots go all the way back to 1973, when Corel founder Michael Cowpland and Canadian telecom legend Terry Matthews, who had met at Nortel forerunner Bell Northern Labs, intended to import and sell cordless electric lawnmowers. When their first shipment of lawnmowers was lost at sea, the pair began to produce a telephony tone receiver product that was based on Cowpland’s Ph.D. thesis.
By 1981, Mitel had reached the $100 million dollar annual revenue mark. Then, in 1985 British Telecom acquired a controlling interest in the company. Matthews then went on to form Newbridge Networks, which was sold for more than $7 billion to Alcatel in 2000. This made Terry Matthews, who emigrated to Canada in the 1960′s, the first billionaire in the history of Wales. Cowpland went on to found Corel which, at one point, was Canada’s largest tech company.
In April of 2010, With Matthews as its chairman, Mitel went public for the second time. Mitel IPO’d on the Nasdaq at $14 a share, but the IPO was not a success. In January of 2011, the company brought in industry veteran Rich McBee from Danaher to right the ship. McBee presides over a new Mitel with increasing revenue, record gross margins and an growing sweet spot in moving small and medium sized businesses to the cloud.
Shares of Mitel, which bottom to near the $2 mark last fall, have more than doubled since.