This year's strong stockmarket performance, despite a dip in May and June, has triggered a new wave of equity flotations. The healthy appetite by investors to back growth businesses is evident with three announcements today (8 Jul) of companies seeking to join Aim in the immediate future. These add to a growing list of flotations, albeit concentrated on the junior end of the market.
Heading the pack is Perspective Financial which is seeking to raise £28 million. Founded in 2008, the business provides financial advice to 84,000 private clients and 500 corporate pension clients. It has £2.5 billion assets under management and 23 offices in the UK. It wants to use the stockmarket to raise money that can pay down debt and fund future acquisitions.
The former financial director of Playtech (PTEC), David Mathewson, is helping to give gravitas to 24/7 Gaming which provides services and operating systems to the mobile gaming industry. Mathewson is a non-executive director at the Amsterdam-headquartered group, having previously worked for Playtech between May 2011 and December 2012. 24/7 Gaming hasn't given any details on fund raising when it joins Aim, yet it is clear that any new money will be spent on marketing investment.
The business operates under the brand of WannaGaming which was founded in 2007 and bought by 24/7 Gaming in 2011. While this will be the main source of revenue for the group, it also derives a small, undisclosed income from publishing non-gaming video games for Sony consoles.
Later this month should see the market debut of Chargemaster on Aim. The business provides electric vehicle charging infrastructure. It plans to use its stockmarket presence to raise cash to fund expansion plans. Chargemaster generated £3.6 million revenue in 2012 for a gross profit of £1.2 million.
The following table from the London Stock Exchange provides details of other companies planning to join the UK stockmarket in the near future. Israeli group Plus500 hopes to start trading on 24 July. It has developed an online trading platform for retail customers to trade contracts for difference (CFDs). Trafalgar New Homes, which is targeting 16 July for its Aim debut, is the holding company of South East England residential property developer Combe Bank Homes. Frontier Developments, the company founded by David Braben, co-creator of seminal 1980s video game Elite, hopes to join Aim next week (17 July).
Elsewhere on the list is Science in Sport, a spin-off from Provexis (PXS:AIM), which manufactures sports nutrition products. KleenAir Systems (KSI:AIM) is undertaking a reverse takeover of Inspirit Energy, a combined heat and power boiler specialist. Kryso Resources (KYS:AIM) is merely a technical readmission of an existing Aim-quoted business.
While it is positive to see such a large list of incoming listings, it is by no means guaranteed that they will all succeed in joining the market. In Paris, Saint-Gobain last month postponed plans to spin off its bottle-making business because of 'turmoil in the financial markets'. GDC Technology, a Hong Kong-based maker of digital-cinema servers, postponed its Nasdaq flotation in June, citing poor market conditions.
The summer is traditionally a quiet period for new listings, so the latest flurry of new names could be the last until September. Companies expected to be in the London market's eye in the autumn include Royal Mail, vodka maker Stock Spirits, theme park operator Merlin Entertainment and Eastern Europe's biggest budget airline, Wizz Air.