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58-59-plus v3 14/12/09 13:53 Page 58
Ignite your
ambition
Attracting more retail investors could give companies
quoted on PLUS a real boost next year. James Harris reports
I
n a year where there has been plenty People Movers and Avation have seen more interest from international
of bad news in the financial markets, increases in their share price of over 50 companies, particularly those based in
the PLUS stock exchange sees reason per cent during the year, whilst NCI China and the Middle East,’ Cassley
to be optimistic. Vehicle Rescue rose over 100 per cent. adds. Another international success is
Low investor appetite and a frozen PLUS also established itself as the Singapore-based aircraft leasing concern
IPO pipeline have meant that stock market for “non-standard” products with Avation, whose market capitalisation
exchanges around the world have the admission of Barclays Nuclear Notes has increased from £745,000 on its
suffered for most of 2009. However, 16 – a complex transaction which admission to PLUS in 2006 to £9.7
new companies have joined PLUS this facilitated the takeover of British million at the end of 2009.
year, along with six new corporate
advisers, who will continue to bring
more new companies to market in 2010.
‘Retail trading tends to support smaller companies,
PLUS Markets’ Vivienne Cassley says:
providing much needed visibility. They don’t tend to see a
‘If you’re trying to raise funds, it has
great deal of day-to-day volume from institutional investors’
been difficult in any market and PLUS is
no exception’. However, in total this
year, 130 PLUS companies have raised Nuclear Fuels by EDF. PLUS also offers a platform for
secondary funding – money raised by One of a growing number of acquisitive CEOs. As Cassley points out,
companies already on market, usually international admissions this year was companies can use their shares to finance
from existing shareholders. Companies pension and financial IT services deals, and a listing provides high
that raised cash on admission included provider Arrowpoint Technologies, the visibility and an independent valuation.
3D Diagnostic Imaging, which raised £2 exchange’s first company from India, In addition, unlike the Full List, PLUS
million and Worship Street Investments, which joined in October. does not require companies to seek
raising £1.3 million. ‘The market has been difficult in the shareholder approval for an acquisition,
Cassley adds: ‘People think of share UK but other parts of the world have unless it is a reverse takeover.
prices crashing during a recession, but been slightly less affected by the Infrastructure company ANS Group, for
there have been some really good stories recession. Our focus is to build a critical example, has made three acquisitions
on PLUS.’ Companies including Parry mass in the UK, but we are also seeing since it was admitted to PLUS in 2000
58 Mergers & Acquisitions
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