Following the FSA's recent consultation paper on rights issue subscription periods, on 10 February 2009 the FSA and the London Stock Exchange announced changes to the Listing Rules and the AIM Rules for Companies. The amendments came into effect on 10 February 2009.

Listing Rules

The FSA has reduced the minimum rights issue subscription period set out in LR 9.5.6R (Rights issues) from 21 days to 10 business days. Certain consequential amendments have been made to other provisions of the Listing Rules.

AIM Rules for Companies

The LSE has amended the Part Two guidance notes to AIM Rules 24 and 25 (Corporate action timetables) such that the minimum subscription period for open offers has effectively been reduced from 15 business days to 10 business days.

Admission and Disclosure Standards

The LSE has also made certain changes to its Admission and Disclosure Standards, a number of which are consequential changes following the reduction in minimum rights issue subscription periods.

Notwithstanding the above rule changes, it should be borne in mind that where a company proposes to go down the statutory pre-emptive offer route (because, for example, it has not disapplied statutory pre-emption rights) the minimum offer period under the Companies Act is 21 days. The Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has indicated that it will consult separately on the length of the minimum offer period for statutory pre-emptive offers.

View FSA Policy Statement 09/2 (19 page pdf) (includes the changes to LR 9.5 and LR 14.3).

View AIM Notice 31 (2 page pdf) (includes the changes to the Part Two guidance notes to AIM Rules 24 and 25).

View the amended Admission and Disclosure Standards (web page).