UK tops the Global league table for IPOs in 2004
2004 was an important turning point for IPO activity around the world with an increase for the first time since 2000 in both the number of IPOs and the total capital raised, a survey by Ernst & Young has revealed. There were 1516 flotations globally in 2004 raising $124 billion of capital with every major region showing an increase in activity. The UK was the number one spot internationally in terms of numbers of listings with 191, the highest for any national market, raising $6.8 billion of funds.
AIM driving UK IPO success
The UK's success story is the junior London market, AIM, which is winning a following among small cap firms not just in the UK but a number of other countries. David Wilkinson, UK IPO Leader at Ernst & Young comments: "Its combination of speed, market regulation and international outlook make an AIM IPO an attractive alternative to venture capital or private equity funding for domestic firms. So far, AIM has done a conspicuously good job of running a less stringent regulatory regime without compromising its reputation."
One of the key developments in 2004 in the UK and elsewhere were an increased numbers of companies dual or even triple tracking – simultaneously preparing themselves for an IPO, a trade sale or venture capital/private equity round, depending on the balance of the advantage.