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Spacs take aim for UK presence

Spacs increasingly interested in listing on UK's Alternative Investment Market.

Spac spat probe hits wall of silence

Floyd Wittlin, a partner with US law firm Bingham McCutchen, says that an increasing number of Spacs are seeking to list on the UK’s Alternative Investment Market. His firm advised on the first listing of a Spac on the London junior market at the beginning of October. The company, International Metal Enterprises, raised $201 million in its Aim IPO. Wittlin says more such listings are on the way as Spacs become frustrated with the regulatory requirements in the US put in place by the SEC and legislation such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

“Firstly, conducting the IPO itself and then the proxy solicitation for a business combination is cumbersome in the US,” Wittlin says. “And then there is the issue of Sarbanes-Oxley. On Aim you can avoid Sox compliance. Spacs launched on Aim can also commence trading immediately. They list in the US once they have completed a business combination.”

A spokesman at Aim confirmed that there had been an increased interest in a UK listing from US Spacs.

It is clear why Aim is receiving attention. In the UK, the market has attracted a large number of cash shells.

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