THE NUMBER of companies removing themselves from the AIM stock market rose by 25 per cent in the last quarter to 45, according to research out today.
Of the 45 firms that delisted, 20 did so because of merger and acquisitions, said law firm Trowers & Hamlins and accountant UHY Hacker Young.
M&A activity now represents 44 per cent of delistings, up from 33 per cent in the second quarter. In total, the number of companies leaving has risen from 36 to 45.
Eight firms left because of insolvency, which is down slightly from the 10 who did so in the first three months of the year.
Charles Wilson, partner at Trowers & Hamlins, said: “Businesses with the finances to pursue a ‘buy and build’ policy clearly believe conditions are now stable enough for them to do so.
“The levelling out of delistings over the last three quarters, once M&A activity is factored out, suggests some companies are in fact being acquired before they are forced to delist because of financial stress.”
Meanwhile, the number of new entrants to the AIM rose from 13 to 16 in the quarter.