Ready, Aim – float: IPO activity on London’s junior market is booming this year
Time Out, Joules, Hotel Chocolat and a northern discount loo roll business called Accrol are among the 27 companies to have floated on London’s junior market so far this year.
While the London Stock Exchange’s main market, in common with other big exchanges, has experienced a slowdown in initial public offerings (IPOs) this year, the alternative investment market (Aim) is comparatively booming.
Read more: Meet the companies that have ignored London's EU referendum IPO freeze
Some $1.2bn (£925m) has been raised through Aim floats so far this year, according to Dealogic – a 72 per cent increase on the $700m raised at the same point last year and the second highest amount raised in the last eight years. The number of floats increased from 24 in 2015 to 27 this year.
All Aim floats so far this year (from Dealogic)
|Pricing date||Company||Total deal value ($m)|
|17-Mar-16||Watkin Jones plc||187|
|09-Jun-16||Time Out Group Ltd||131|
|10-Jun-16||Draper Esprit LLP||114|
|23-May-16||Joules Group plc||113|
|03-May-16||Midwich Group plc||110|
|29-Apr-16||Morses Club Ltd||100|
|03-Jun-16||Accrol Group Holdings plc||92|
|05-May-16||Hotel Chocolat Group plc||81|
|12-Feb-16||Shield Therapeutics plc||47|
|15-Mar-16||Blue Prism Group plc||30|
|15-Jun-16||Comptoir Group plc||23|
|29-Mar-16||Harwood Wealth Management Group plc||19|
|27-May-16||Directa Plus srl||19|
|06-Jun-16||Mereo Biopharma Group Ltd||17|
|09-May-16||Oncimmune Holdings plc||16|
|04-Apr-16||Pacific Industrial & Logistics REIT plc||14|
|14-Mar-16||Yu Group plc||14|
|14-Mar-16||Cerillion Technologies Ltd||14|
|11-Apr-16||Osirium Technologies plc||12|
|12-May-16||Green & Smart Holdings plc||6|
|02-Aug-16||Franchise Brands plc||5|
|27-Jul-16||WideCells Group plc||3|
|12-Feb-16||Circle Property plc||2|
It’s a different story on the LSE’s main market, though, where $2.3bn has been raised across 13 deals so far this year – down from $8.8bn across 28 deals at the same point last year.
Read more: Audley retirement's CEO moots an IPO in 2018
“Aim has been relatively active in terms of IPO activity, and also greater quality companies raising large amounts of capital,” Lucy Tarleton, PwC’s capital markets director told City A.M., who suggested the main market had suffered from referendum uncertainty and wider economic problems in the first half of the year.
She added: “It’s nice to see that there are some good businesses coming through on Aim and we certainly hear that there will be some main market activity coming as well.”
Liberum tops Dealogic’s top IPO bookrunner list for Aim so far this year, taking a 26.3 per cent market share, followed by boutique Zeus Capital with 19.9 per cent.
Zeus chief executive John Goold told City A.M.: “Brexit or not, Aim is going to exist and young companies are going to want to come through.”