AIM less accessible

Small and medium-sized companies believe high costs of entry to theng potential users. Alternative Investment Market are making it less accessible than ever, according to a survey by Kidsons Impey.

The results are a blow to sponsors of the AIM market, who have struggled to overcome a series of scandals that have undermined the reputation of participants on the junior exchange.

Only 4% of potential users felt the market was ‘very accessible or easy to get admission to’, down from 9% the previous year, and only a further 23% felt it was ‘quite accessible’ compared to last year’s 29%.

A series of companies have crashed in the last year shortly after they listed on AIM. First Information Group, Omnimedia, and Crown Products Group saw their share prices collapse, while Firecrest was eventually delisted.

‘The perception that AIM is now less accessible than a year ago may partly be attributed to the increase in due diligence required by nominated advisers as a result of well-publicised failures,’ the report concedes.

According to other results of ‘Taking AIM’ – Kidsons’ survey of 150 fast-growing businesses, mainly in the #4m to #20m turnover band – companies are still keen to list on the market in the longer term.

Computer and hi-tech companies are looking increasingly to AIM for a higher City profile and a wider source of funds, said Graham Spooner, head of the firm’s corporate finance arm.

Spooner said: ‘Fast-growing computer and hi-tech enterprises are becoming single-generation businesses run by entrepreneurs with a view to exit rather than passing on the business to the next generation.’

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