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.
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?
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.
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.
Phase out of temporary restrictions on use of winding up petitions
Hannah takes a look at the recent UK Government announcement on statutory demands and the presentation of winding up petitions
Preparing your company for sale
We set out here some initial steps to consider in anticipation of a sale.
Overhaul of London's stock market listing regime set to significantly boost capital raising opportunities for founder led UK tech businesses
Charles Russell Speechlys advises discoverIE on its acquisition of Antenova
discoverIE is a leading international designer, manufacturer and supplier of customised electronics to industry.
Charles Russell Speechlys advises Acora on acquisition of Westgate IT
Westgate IT specialises in providing IT support to businesses in the South West.
Charles Russell Speechlys advises Grape Paradise on the acquisition of a fine wine business
Charles Russell Speechlys has advised Grape Paradise on the acquisition of the Sarment Group in the China Mainland territories.
Ongoing supply chain crisis looms large over upcoming allergen law change
The Business Magazine and The Surrey Chambers of Commerce report on the firm's involvement in the sale of Online Fuels Limited to DTN
The firm advised the shareholder management team on the sale of shares in Online Fuels to global data, analytics, and technology group, DTN.
Charles Russell Speechlys advises Appital Ltd on £2.5m Investment led by Frontline Ventures
Appital is an Equity Capital Marketplace which aims to bring innovation to Equity Capital Markets.
The Business Magazine, Insider Media, Business South and The Surrey Chambers of Commerce report on the firm's involvement in Appital's £2.5m growth capital investment
The injection will accelerate the development of Appital’s technology infrastructure, integration with financial institutions.
Healthcare team advises Country Court Care on £57m sale of three care homes
Country Court Care Group Ltd has been active almost 35 years as a nursing and care home operator.
Pei Li Kew
B[re]aking up is never easy... a lesson from the Oetker business split
Charles Russell Speechlys advises Metier on US$39m investment into Africa Mobile Networks
AMN builds, owns, operates and maintains mobile network infrastructure in Africa.
Charles Russell Speechlys advises Apposite Capital on acquisition of i2a Diagnostics
i2a is a leading provider of laboratory instruments, software and reagents for the clinical microbiology market in France.
Brace yourselves: dentists could be liable for actions of self-employed staff
Private companies and public interest – a new approach to corporate governance?
Is now the optimal time to sell your company?
Charles Russell Speechlys advises Duke Royalty on royalty financing agreement with Fairmed Healthcare AG
Duke Royalty is the leading provider of royalty finance to companies in the UK and Europe.
Charles Russell Speechlys shortlisted for Best EIS/SEIS Legal/Regulatory Adviser at 2021 EISA Awards
The Awards denote excellence and recognise the achievements of EIS/SEIS practitioners over the past year.
COVID-19 Vaccination – can an employer make it compulsory for employees?
We review what legal issues to take into account when considering to make vaccination compulsory as an employer.