Overseas Cos. List On The AIM

In the first quarter of 2006, 21 foreign businesses launched an IPO on AIM, compared to three on the main market and 14 during the same time last year according to figures published by Close Brothers.

Four of the companies that listed were from the US, two from Canada and two from Israel, a further sign of the increasing attractiveness of AIM over NASDAQ. Ireland and Australia floated two companies each on AIM, with the Cayman Islands floating two and the British Virgin Islands three.

Overseas companies raised £839m in Q1 2006 on AIM, a 707% increase from the £104m raised in Q1 2005.

Close Brothers director Gareth Healy said: “There were reservations at the start of 2006 as to whether the IPO window would remain open after such a strong finish to last year, and also with potential negative macro-economic influences on the horizon. But with the stock market still riding high, we expect an increase in the number of overseas companies listing in London throughout 2006.”

Healy continued, by saying there may be other “push factors” at play. He cited, “The demand for AIM listings from US companies is being spurred by the Sarbanes-Oxley regulation, the high cost of a listing and the large minimum size for an effective IPO in the US. For many companies, AIM is now the new NASDAQ. Although few have actually listed yet, we are increasingly approached by US companies seeking to investigate an AIM IPO.” – T.A.