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A round up of key developments in corporate transactions covered by Lexis®PSL Market Tracker this week.
Aston Martin and Funding Circle both launched their highly anticipated, high-value IPOs over the last week. Despite enthusiastic valuations from both companies in their prospectuses, early trading indicated a subdued investor appetite.
Aston Martin began conditional dealings on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange on 3 October, its opening share price of £19 per share at the lower end of the initial price range of between £17.50 and £22.50 per share. Based on its final offer price, the company's market capitalisation on admission was £4.33 billion, which was lower than its expected valuation of £4.54 billion. The share price fell from £19 to a low of £17.75 per share during the first day of dealings. The company closed its first day with shares priced at £18.10 per share and ended its second day at £17.90 per share, valuing it at around £4.12 billion.
The shares are trading on a conditional basis, with unconditional dealings commencing on 8 October. Based on its current performance, it is now unlikely that the company will qualify for inclusion in the FTSE 100 when the index undergoes its quarterly review in December.
Funding Circle was conditionally admitted to trading on the Main Market on 28 September, with an offer price of £4.40 per share, valuing the business at £1.5 billion on admission. Unconditional dealings began on 3 October, and by close of trading the share price had dropped by almost 20% to £3.55 per share. In its prospectus, the company had announced a price range of £4.20 to £5.30 per share, with an estimated market capitalisation of £1.6 billion.
The International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) has responded to the European Securities & Markets Association’s consultation on proposed guidelines on risk factors under the Prospectus Regulation. ICMA says many of the draft guidelines appear to be flexible and proportionate, and the position set out in the consultation paper is a helpful starting point.
ICMA did identify two key areas of concern, namely the need for national competent authorities (NCAs) to tailor their review of risk factors depending on whether the prospectus is aimed at retail or wholesale investors; and the disclosure of quantitative information to illustrate the potential negative impact of a risk factor. ICMA also called for NCAs to treat the risk factors given in the proposed guidelines as examples only, and not templates against which risk factor disclosure should be matched.
The ESMA consultation closes on 5 October 2018 and ESMA will deliver technical advice to the European Commission and publish final reports by 31 March 2019. For more detail see Lexis®PSL Corporate (subscription required).
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has set up a new segment of its Main Market for Chinese companies called the Shanghai-London Stock Connect Segment, which came into being on 1 October. This collaboration between the LSE and the Shanghai Stock Exchange will allow Chinese companies to list depositary receipts (DRs) in London. The Chinese company will need to also comply with the Listing Rules and Prospectus Rules and issue a prospectus in relation to the DRs.
The LSE’s Admission and Disclosure Standards were amended on 1 October to include rules on this. See schedule 7 of the Admission and Disclosure Standards for more detail.
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