Skip to main content

Silicon valley firms look to London's AIM

We knew that foreign resource and mining companies had flocked to London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in recent years, but it still came as a bit of a shock to learn that Silicon Valley firms were looking to do the same.

The front page of today's Financial Times carried this report by Chris Nutall:

Dozens of Silicon Valley companies are lining up to float on Aim, London's junior market, as US businesses weigh up ways to raise funds at home amid the high cost of going public under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

More than 100 technology companies have been considering listing on Aim, say industry insiders. London Stock Exchange officials have made at least six visits to the Bay area in the past year to hold seminars and raise awareness.

Gary Benton, a technology lawyer for 22 years in the area and a partner in the Palo Alto offices of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, said the level of interest in the London market was unprecedented.

"Even though Aim has been around for 12 years, no one paid attention to it until six months ago. Since then there's been a pretty steep curve of interest."

As the FT's report mentions, the high costs and hassles associated with Sarbanes-Oxley are driving smaller corporations away from America's financial markets. Instead, these firms hope to find refuge from such burdensome regulation by listing abroad.

Last March, in a commentary on exchange consolidation (see, "Exchange Fever"), I repeated the following arguments regarding SOX's negative impact on the financial markets:

The effect that such onerous legislation may have on smaller public companies is not the exclusive concern of overseas market professionals. Eliot Spitzer has now joined the chorus of critics that say Sarbanes-Oxley has overstepped its bounds and creates "an unbelievable burden for small companies." Amazingly, this same criticism has been leveled by Representative Michael Oxley, co-author of the legislation. Oxley has even urged the SEC to roll back some of the burdens facing smaller companies.

As we can see, the regulatory environment is not only taking its toll on existing companies, it's also drawing new listings away from the NYSE, Nasdaq, and AMEX.

Popular posts from this blog

The Dot-Com Bubble in 1 Chart: InfoSpace

With all the recent talk of a new bubble in the making, thanks in part to the Yellen Fed's continued easy money stance, I thought it'd be instructive to revisit our previous stock market bubble - in one quick chart.

So here's what a real stock market bubble looks like. 

Here's what a bubble *really* looks like. InfoSpace in 1999-2001. $QQQ$BCORpic.twitter.com/xjsMk433H7
— David Shvartsman (@FinanceTrends) February 24, 2015
For those of you who are a little too young to recall it, this is a chart of InfoSpace at the height of the Nasdaq dot-com bubble in 1999-2001. This fallen angel soared to fantastic heights only to plummet back down to earth as the bubble, and InfoSpace's shady business plan, turned to rubble.

As detailed in our post, "Round trip stocks: Momentum booms and busts", InfoSpace rocketed from under $100 a share to over $1,300 a share in less than six months. 

In a pattern common to many parabolic shooting stars, the stock soon peaked and began a…

New! Finance Trends now at FinanceTrendsLetter.com

Update for our readers: Finance Trends has a new URL! 

Please bookmark our new web address at Financetrendsletter.com

Readers sticking with RSS updates should point your feed readers to our new Finance Trends feedburner.  



Thank you to all of our loyal readers who have been with us since the early days. Exciting stuff to come in the weeks ahead!

As a quick reminder, you can subscribe to our free email list to receive the Finance Trends Newsletter. You'll receive email updates about once every 4-8 weeks (about 2-3 times per quarter). 

Stay up to date with our real-time insights and updates on Twitter.

Moneyball: How the Red Sox Win Championships

Welcome, readers. To get the first look at brand new posts (like the following piece) and to receive our exclusive email list updates, please subscribe to the Finance Trends Newsletter.

The Boston Red Sox won their fourth World Series titleof the 21st century this week.

Having won their first Series in 86 years back in 2004, the last decade-plus has marked a very strong return to form for one of baseball's oldest big league clubs. So how did they do it?

Quick background: in late 2002, team owner and hedge fund manager,John W. Henry(with his partners)bought the Boston Red Sox and its historic Fenway Park for a reported sum of $695 million.

Henry and Co. quickly set out to find their ideal General Manager (GM) to help turn around their newly acquired, ailing ship.

This brings us to one of my favorite scenes from the 2011 film, Moneyball, in which John W. Henry (played by Arliss Howard) attempts to woo Oakland A's GM Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) over to Boston with an excellent job off…