As many of you will have seen, the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) turned 25 last week.
It was set up as an alternative to the Main Market to appeal to smaller start up companies who want to raise capital and fund business health and development in a way which supports organic growth. It has been hugely successful seeing 3,878 new issuers and has raised collectively over £117 billion during those years which has seen economic ups and downs. ASOS and Fevertree are shining examples of where listing on AIM has enabled growth.
With the dark cloud of economic crisis looming, most companies will need to think about how to survive whilst the private equity vultures circle and competitors potentially combine. The best way to ensure that you are not the victim of a bigger fish is to ensure you are the biggest fish and the way to do this is to grow. Listing on AIM may be a solution for you.
With fewer regulatory hoops and less restrictions on market capitalisation, AIM is an attractive option for many businesses who want to grow quickly, ensure that they remain relevant for the future and enhance their credibility as a business. It may also provide you with additional tools to help retain those loyal and long serving employees who you will need to lean on to weather the upcoming storm. With employee support required to overcome future challenges share schemes are a great way to incentivise employees and drive the right behaviours as they have skin in the game.
As we’ve already mentioned, the economic outlook is looking bleak so now is the time for board advisory measures to help plan how they will need to evolve or even transform their business. If the prospect of being acquired is not something you relish, then looking to list in the softer AIM environment is something which should be given serious consideration.
Rebranding a private company into a listed PLC, is no small task and from a governance perspective, requires considerable thought. We at Beyond Governance, have had many years working in-house in many different businesses, both small and large listed companies. We know the pitfalls that need to be considered and take a pragmatic approach to ensure what we suggest is workable to your business.