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Public Company update - May 2020

Welcome to the May 2020 edition of our biannual Public Company Update, for directors and in-house counsel of quoted companies, nomads/brokers and sponsors, and other corporate finance professionals and intermediaries. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing global disruption across all markets, it's no surprise that UK Markets are in a state of flux and government guidance is rapidly evolving as the future remains uncertain. In spite of this, we have seen unprecedented resilience and adaptability from UK businesses, and our Capital Markets team has continued to see a steady flow of transactional activity. For example, in March and April, the team advised on two transactions for tech companies - an illustration of the continued value of digital solutions in the current climate.  

In March, we advised AIQ Ltd (a special purpose vehicle with a focus on the development and establishment of new technology) on its Main Market readmission and reverse takeover of AI codes. AI codes is a specialist information technology software designer and developer focused on the e-commerce sector.  

In April, we advised Allenby Capital as nominated adviser and broker on AIM-listed ECSC Group’s placing. ECSC is a provider of cyber security services which has experienced continued organic growth, driven by market demand as a result of an increasing awareness of cyber security within corporate boardrooms. Andrew Collins, fellow Partner in our Capital Markets team, commented "it is heartening that even in these times of lock-down, the equity capital markets are still functioning, and companies are able to raise funds."  

As a wider team, we continue to support entrepreneurs, management teams, growth companies and investors, helping them to navigate this new landscape with advice on a wide range of legal issues.   

In this edition of our Public Company Update we include four articles including two providing useful legal insight following recent COVID-19 related guidance, applicable to listed companies and their advisers alike. I hope you enjoy the read. 

Mark Howard, Corporate Partner

COVID-19: Cash conservation and dividend dilemmas 

Following the publishing of ICSA’s guidance note on “Withdrawal or amendment of dividend resolution to AGM”, we discuss cash conservation and the note’s commentary on legal differences between dividends as well as payment options.

Read article

COVID-19: changes in UK insolvency law to protect businesses and directors 

How is the proposal for reforms to UK insolvency law designed to protect companies and directors during the COVID-19?

Read article

Changes to the listing rules: disclosure of rights attached to equity shares 

The FCA publish amended Handbook so that recent changes ensure holders and potential holders of listed securities have ready access to information  in relation to the rights attached to them.

Read article

Points of practice – tips on FCA and LSE completion processes 

We set out some key points of practice for advisers responsible for handling the FCA’s and LSE’s completion processes relating to securities issuance.

Read article

Our thinking

  • The Guardian and City AM quote Ashwin Pillay on Anglo American rejecting a second takeover bid from BHP

    Ashwin Pillay

    In the Press

  • Charles Russell Speechlys advises CLA UK on the acquisition of Engine B

    Charlie Ring

    News

  • DIFC Courts Release 2023 Annual Report

    Peter Smith

    Quick Reads

  • Takeover Panel consults on narrowing the scope of the Takeover Code

    Jodie Dennis

    Insights

  • James Broadhurst writes for the Financial Times’ Your Questions column on inheriting company shares

    James Broadhurst

    In the Press

  • Charles Russell Speechlys bolsters corporate and commercial offering with the appointment of Shirley Fu in Hong Kong

    Shirley Fu

    News

  • Charles Russell Speechlys advises Give Back Beauty Group in the acquisition of INCC Parfums

    Dimitri A. Sonier

    News

  • Charles Russell Speechlys advises Countryside Partnerships on its joint venture with Abri to develop 1,500 homes in West Sussex

    Sarah Wigington

    News

  • Charles Russell Speechlys boosts international private wealth offering with the arrival of Amira Shaker-Bortman

    Amira Shaker-Bortman

    News

  • Mark Howard writes for the Evening Standard on the blocked Telegraph takeover, the NSI Act and the Enterprise Act 2002

    Mark Howard

    In the Press

  • Charles Russell Speechlys grows its rankings in The Legal 500 EMEA directory

    Frédéric Jeannin

    News

  • The Lawyer covers the recent growth and strategy of our corporate practice

    David Collins

    In the Press

  • Charles Russell Speechlys advises on three secondary fundraises across three different markets

    Paul Arathoon

    News

  • Charles Russell Speechlys advises Vitro on a major international restructuring project

    David Cordova Flores

    News

  • Will new powers at Companies House stop or slow down fraudsters?

    Peter Carlyon

    Quick Reads

  • Charlie Ring and Ross Youngs write for FT Adviser on where wealth managers should look to for their own financial advice

    Charlie Ring

    In the Press

  • Take-aways for UK firms from ESMA’s consultation on reverse solicitation

    Cheryl Tham

    Insights

  • Post-sale planning: The Maximisation and Protection of Private Wealth following a Business Sale or Exit Event

    Tabitha Collett

    Insights

  • Edward Robinson and Charlie Searle write for FT Adviser on key considerations when an individual inherits company shares

    Edward Robinson

    In the Press

  • Sifted quotes Victoria Younghusband on a boardroom disagreement involving Klarna and Sequoia Capital

    Victoria Younghusband

    In the Press

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