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HGTV Star Lobs Handyman App Into IPO Storm

Divya Balji and Doug Alexander
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HGTV Star Lobs Handyman App Into IPO Storm

(Bloomberg) -- Global stock markets have cratered on concerns about economic growth and WeWork‘s debacle has sapped enthusiasm over initial public offerings. But that didn’t stop Canadian HGTV star Bryan Baeumler from taking his ‘handyman’ app public this week.

He paid the price. HeyBryan Media Inc. plunged 43% in its trading debut Thursday after the Vancouver-based company raised C$3 million ($2.3 million) selling shares at 30 cents apiece. The stock closed at 17 cents in Toronto.

The HeyBryan app connects independent contractors to consumers looking for services such as flooring, yard maintenance or furniture assembly. The app launched in Vancouver in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Canada’s home and renovation industry is booming amid lower interest rates and a supply crunch in bigger cities thanks to strong immigration flows. Sales in Vancouver and Toronto climbed 46% and 22% respectively last month over the year before.

Baeumler’s “Island of Bryan” broke ratings records on HGTV Canada, the home renovation pay TV network, with the first four shows becoming the most-watched individual episodes of any program on the network in more than a decade, according to Corus Entertainment Inc. His other shows include “House of Bryan,” “Disaster DIY,” and “Leave it to Bryan” and he’s a “significant shareholder” in the app, according to the filing.

(Closes share price)

To contact the reporters on this story: Divya Balji in Toronto at dbalji1@bloomberg.net;Doug Alexander in Toronto at dalexander3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Madeleine Lim at mlim131@bloomberg.net, ;Jacqueline Thorpe at jthorpe23@bloomberg.net, Steven Frank

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