Deal volumes over the past 18 months
Looking back at IPO volumes in 2019 compared to 2018, we saw a 51% decrease in the aggregate number of IPOs across both the Main Market and AIM which is perhaps unsurprising given the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and concern stemming from global trade tensions.
IPO activity levels since 2015
During the first quarter of 2020, as COVID-19 began to impact, we saw a handful of publicly announced postponements in relation to IPO transactions. No doubt behind closed doors a multitude of similar decisions have been made.
Whilst the financial markets grappled with economic lockdown, the second quarter of 2020 has seen IPO activity nearly reach freezing point with IPO volumes down 81% compared to the second quarter of 2019. During this time, AIM did not see any new issuers on-board. The Main Market saw the listing of two VCTs (Blackfinch Spring VCT plc and Puma Alpha VCT plc) together with China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co., Ltd., operating in the Chinese insurance sector with its shares already listed on the Hong Kong and Shanghai Stock Exchanges. Now we are at the mid-way point of the third quarter of 2020 and we have gradually seen the easing of global lockdown restrictions, AIM has welcomed Elixirr International plc (a management consultancy) and AEX Gold Inc (a special purpose vehicle focusing on the exploration and development of gold in Greenland) to its market.