Alternative Investment Market: why and how to list

If you’re considering a market flotation in London, here is the what, why and how of listing on AIM…

Grant Thornton recently helped the first Zambian company to list on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange. Read more about the Zambeef Products plc flotation at the end of this post – or read on to find out more about what’s involved in an AIM flotation.

Why list on AIM?

The Alternative Investment Market – or AIM for short – has been a sub-market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) since its launch in June 1995. In that time, 2,686 UK companies and more than 550 international companies have listed on AIM, raising more than £34 billion collectively and a further £41 billion from trading on AIM (Source: AIM statistics June 2011).

Apart from raising capital to fund business growth and development, the other main advantage of a flotation on AIM is that there are fewer regulatory hoops to jump through than the Main Market. There are no restrictions on market capitalisation and financial reporting is more flexible, with half-yearly reports required rather than quarterly reports. Of course, a listing on AIM also enhances a company’s credibility and can be a stepping stone to London’s Main Market.

How to list on AIM

If you are considering an IPO on AIM, then we have a free guide available which you can download here: A guide to AIM by the London Stock Exchange. 

Inside, you’ll find in-depth knowledge and insight from key advisers that list companies on AIM – all designed to help small and medium-sized companies aspiring to join AIM.

Ask a person

Or, to speak to someone directly about an AIM (or Main Market) listing, contact our Public Company Advisory team.

Services and requirements needed for an AIM listing

The type of services and requirements you are likely to need for a successful listing on AIM include:

  • public company takeover advice
  • grooming the company for flotation
  • someone to project manage the flotation process
  • advice on appropriate management structures, timing and method of share offering and regulatory aspects of the IPO
  • drafting the admission document or prospectus
  • help selecting a wider team of stockbrokers, lawyers, reporting accountants and PR agents
  • help to identify and select a broker.

Our South Asia Group and China Britain Services Group can also specifically advise South Asian and Chinese companies looking to raise capital on the London markets. In fact, our South Asia Group has been involved in every IPO involving an Indian company on AIM, with the exception of the real estate sector.

AIM case study

Grant Thornton’s Birmingham office recently helped facilitate an initial public offering (IPO) on AIM for Zambeef Products plc, a farm-to-fork agricultural and agro-processing business with a turnover of US$162 million (EBITDA US$13.4 million). It is one of the largest agri-businesses in Zambia and the first Zambian company to be admitted to trading on AIM.

Demand for protein within Zambia and sub-Saharan Africa was driving growth in the business and fuelling interest from international investors. The company made its AIM debut at the end of June 2011.

Alex Hyde, joint leader of the Reporting Accountant team, said of the deal: "Despite the logistical challenges, which always accompany international transactions, by getting out to Zambia early in the process we were able to build up a great working relationship with the management team which really helped during the hard work needed to complete the transaction successfully."

Francis Grogan, CEO of Zambeef, added: "We are extremely delighted to have undertaken a successful rights issue, a dual listing on the AIM market and placing on AIM, which has led to the conclusion of the acquisition of increased farming potential for the Zambeef Group. Our team of advisers have worked diligently in ensuring that we met our tight timelines and we sincerely thank them for all the assistance provided."