Summary: The London Stock Exchange has amended the AIM Rules to provide for an early notification process; guidance on an applicant’s appropriateness for admission; and disclosure of compliance against a ‘recognised corporate governance code’. The changes apply from 30 March 2018 save for the new corporate governance requirements which apply from 28 September 2018.

Following on from the London Stock Exchange’s (the “Exchange”) discussion and consultation papers proposing a number of amendments to the AIM Rules for Companies, the Exchange has now confirmed the changes as follows:

  • Early notification: nominated advisers (“nomads”) will be required to submit a template early notification form to the Exchange, prior to submission of the Schedule One form, setting out key information on the company and its proposed admission. Where information is not yet available, the form may state this and nomads will need to update the Exchange as and when the information becomes available. However, nomads should consider the timing of submission of the form, if information is unavailable, to ensure that a meaningful discussion can take place with the Exchange. Template early notification form;
  • AIM Rule 9 powers: as previously consulted on, Schedule Three to the AIM Rules for Nominated Advisers will contain a non-exhaustive list of matters that could affect an applicant’s appropriateness for AIM; and
  • Corporate Governance: AIM companies must provide details on their website of the ‘recognised corporate governance code’ that the company has decided to apply, how it complies with that code and where it departs from this, an explanation of the reasons for doing so. The information should be reviewed annually and the date it was last reviewed should be included (AIM Rule 26). There is purposefully no prescribed list of recognised codes as the Exchange believes that AIM companies should have a range of options to suit their specific stage of development, sector and size.

The changes to the rules will apply from 30 March 2018 save that the implementation of the new corporate governance requirements will apply from 28 September 2018. All new applicants to AIM from 30 March 2018 will be required to state which corporate governance code they intend to follow but they will have until 28 September to fully comply with the new requirements under AIM Rule 26.