BusinessCompany NewsUp to 20 UK companies set to delist from US

Up to 20 UK companies set to delist from US

Between ten and 20 major UK companies are seriously considering delisting from New York and raising capital in other cities because of the rocketing cost of compliance, the director general of the Confederation of British Industry has claimed.

Link: Sarbox to cost UK corporates £120m

and BT chairman slams cost of Sarbox

‘New York is a very protectionist society now,’ Digby Jones told Accountancy Age. ‘Ten or 20 members tell me privately that it’s becoming so difficult to raise money and comply that they are thinking of delisting and raising capital from other sources.’

His comments come after Accountancy Age revealed last week that the compliance cost for UK plcs listed in the US could amount to more that £120m a year.

Jones added that among CBI members, London is now the favoured centre to raise cash. He said however, that the CBI is continuing to lobby US authorities for change.

‘They’ve finally woken up to the fact that they’re making New York less competitive and attractive. There’s a greater realisation of the situation for non-US companies,’ said Jones.

The problem however for companies wishing to delist is that they have to have fewer than 300 US-based shareholders.

Last week Accountancy Age also reported that the London Stock Exchange expects a surge of delisting by companies fleeing the high regualtory costs of being listed in the US.

Recent research shows that a company could spend more than £1m a year in compliance while the chairman of BT Group,Sir Christopher Bland, this week revealed Sarbanes-Oxley compliance would cost his company £10m.

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