Ready, Aim, acquire: Junior market takeovers boosted by fall of sterling in 2016

 
William Turvill
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The study found there were 34 Aim company takeovers last year (Source: Getty)

Takeovers of companies listed on London’s junior market jumped by a fifth in 2016, new analysis out today shows.

Over the year, 34 companies on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) were snapped up, an increase from 28 in 2015, according to accountancy group UHY Hacker Young.

Aim companies proved particularly attractive in the last quarter of the year, with 13 takeovers, up from eight in the same period in 2015.

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Some 70 per cent of the fourth-quarter bids came from overseas, suggesting the falling value of sterling may have played a part.

The number of companies on Aim fell below 1,000 to 993 in 2016. This is down from a peak of 1,694 in 2007.

While there was an increase in the number of floats on Aim last year – 44, up from 39 in 2015 – the number of companies leaving Aim was also up, from 98 to 105.

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“The continued shrinkage of Aim is not great, and if this continues at the present rate then the future of the market may be in doubt,” said Laurence Sacker, managing partner at UHY Hacker Young.

“There does need to be a lot more of an effort to market Aim to UK and international companies.”

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