As part of its drive to attract international companies to AIM, in May 2003 the London Stock Exchange introduced a “fast track” admission route. Since then, companies whose securities had been traded on an AIM Designated Market for at least 18 months prior to the proposed date of admission have been able to apply to be admitted without having to publish an admission document. Companies using the fast track route simply need to make a detailed pre-admission announcement, making it more cost-effective to join AIM. Such companies are known as “quoted applicants”.
Companies required to produce a public offer prospectus, in accordance with the Prospectus Directive, may not take advantage of the fast track.
Requirements and Procedure
Instead of the usual requirement to produce an admission document, quoted applicants are required to provide a range of information set out in Schedule One to the AIM Rules.
Pre-Admission Announcement – Schedule One Information
All applicants must provide the London Stock Exchange with the information set out in Schedule One to the AIM Rules at least 20 business days prior to the expected admission date. This information is principally about the company, with a description about its business, securities and major shareholders.
Pre-Admission Announcement – Schedule One Supplement
Additionally, a quoted applicant must provide the Stock Exchange with supplementary information (as listed in Schedule One Supplement) at least 20 business days prior to the expected admission date.
3 Day Documents
At least three business days before the expected date of admission, the quoted applicant must submit the detailed application form, the AIM fee, the nominated adviser’s declaration and an electronic version of its latest accounts.
The nominated adviser owes a responsibility to the London Stock Exchange and for a quoted applicant it must specifically confirm in its nominated adviser’s declaration that the directors of the quoted applicant have been well advised; that the Company is appropriate to be admitted to AIM; and that the requirements of Schedule One have been complied with.
In view of the declaration that they are required to give, the nominated adviser will be expected to undertake some due diligence on the applicant, albeit that the burden of due diligence and verification will be less involved than that in the preparation of an admission document.
Fast Track Companies since May 2003
Since the fast track admission process was introduced, 20 companies have been admitted to AIM via this route.