BusinessCorporate FinanceAdvisers benefit from AIM fundraising drive

Advisers benefit from AIM fundraising drive

Advisers are taking advantage of the growing trend for private equity and specialty property funds to raise money via an AIM listing instead of pursuing a private fundraising

Philip Secrett, capital markets partner at Grant Thornton, says that, so far
this year, almost half the new money raised on AIM came from these vehicles,
helping the junior market raise more than £30bn in funds since it was formed in
1995.

‘What we are currently seeing is the participation of AIM in a broader
European trend for private equity and property funds raising permanent capital
through public markets,’ says Secrett.

Funds raised by private equity and property vehicles accounted for 46% of the
£4.9bn raised on AIM so far this year and Secrett expects the trend to continue
as the alternative exchange makes it easier to raise capital.

‘Not only does AIM offer a flexible and liquid environment but also the
opportunity of a quicker fundraising process as compared to the creation of a
private fund,’ Secrett says.

The accelerated rate of listings of these stocks has also generated a steady
stream of accounting-related work for accounting firms.

Tom Troubridge, head of the London capital markets group at
PricewaterhouseCoopers, says the work is not as lucrative as the listing of a
standard company but still requires accounting expertise.

‘The listing of a property fund is not as expensive as a standard float, but
there is work to be done on working capital and ensuring that the fund has
accounting and reporting systems that are suitable for a public company,’
Troubridge says.

The tax benefits on AIM makes shares in speciality funds particularly
attractive for individual investors , he adds, who previously were unable to
invest in private equity vehicles.

‘These listings signal a move of private equity and property funds into the
mainstream. There has always been the perception that these investments were the
preserve of high net worth individuals and hedge funds,’ Troubridge says. ‘A
listing on AIM opens up these opportunities to retail investors.’

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