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Listing Rules changes are in...exciting times for founders and fast-growing companies

The key rule changes, which came into force on 3 December 2021, are a welcome shot in the arm. They should boost the attractiveness of the premium segment of the UK's main market - which plays host to the UK's leading public companies including those in the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 - for IPOs. 

Targeted and time-limited dual class structures are in, which will enable founders to keep more control and facilitate such companies coming to market sooner, to access the deep pool of capital available via the London markets. Similarly, the free float requirement - the percentage of shares in public hands - is reduced from 25% to 10%. As a counterbalance, the minimum market capitalization threshold has been increased, not to £50 million as initially proposed during consultation, but to a more sensible £30 million given the commercial objective of attracting fast-growing technology and life sciences companies.

All good news, but we now await HM Treasury's review of the prospectus regime which is in equal need of overhaul to, amongst other things, streamline the documentary and approval processes for both primary and secondary fundraisings. Let's hope HM Treasury grasp the nettle. 

Founders who chose to list on the premium section of the market will be allowed to hold shares with enhanced voting rights and make just 10 per cent of shares available to the public, down from 25 per cent.

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