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In recent months, we have seen a growing number of companies making moves to exit public markets. The reasons are typically wide ranging, from costs of maintaining a listing through to the greater flexibility afforded to unlisted public and private companies when it comes to raising fresh capital in what are increasingly termed ‘private markets’. Given the mounting macroeconomic headwinds and the fact that the era of ‘free money’ is now a fading memory, the expectation would be that in the months ahead, more companies will make the decision that the public market environment isn’t right for them. We provide a quick overview of how Avenir Registrars can help businesses and their advisers when this situation arises.

Once the decision to delist shares has been taken, a key consideration will be ensuring that any compliance and governance costs associated with the business are kept to a minimum. The key tests are the right pricing, service and knowledge that supports scaling to suit the needs of the company. Although an existing, legacy, registrar may be happy to continue offering their services, it’s worth checking if they have the flexibility to deliver a ‘right sized’ product that fits the company’s needs going forward, rather than continuing to pay for a ‘full fat’ over-engineered solution compared to what is required for a comparatively straightforward unlisted company.

Being able to support this is something we see as a core part of the Avenir Registrars proposition. Founded in 2014, our technology has been developed from the ground up, offering a truly scalable solution for issuers of any size, making for what we believe is the most user friendly, intuitive system available in the market today.

Our transparent pricing structure offers absolute clarity over costs from the outset. We can maintain CREST enablement if that is a requirement, whilst the self-serve approach gives company directors the flexibility to interrogate the shareholder register themselves, with full cap-table snapshots, without the need for expensive manual interactions. Our prices include both online access for the company as well as its holders – a feature that supports extensive e-communications choice, ensuring the process is as efficient as possible.

Avenir can also quickly scale to meet the changing demands of a business going forward, whether that’s facilitating further fund raising through the existing security, or adding alternate instruments (such as debentures and debt securities) for which we support an array of corporate actions. An important feature we have embedded is ensuring services are tailored to meet the needs and capability of the company, maximising operational efficiency. If there is a need to manage a return to public markets at some point in the future, our service can support this accordingly. Over the last five years, we have facilitated debt and equity issuances on over a dozen markets worldwide and the venues we facilitate trade on now cover a range of different formats, from the traditional national exchanges through to innovative challengers such as JP Jenkins, CrowdX and Archax, offering a public market ‘lite’ experience – at a fraction of the typical full market costs. So if delisting is being contemplated, Avenir is well positioned to offer you the flexible support for your capital market issuance requirements in the future.

The process of switching registrar in CREST isn’t an arduous one either. Avenir Registrars will provide you with a series of templates designed to streamline the process, which we have successfully completed with other new clients in as little as three weeks. If you are considering options once delisted, don’t hesitate, take the first steps to a bespoke, cost transparent register solution by contacting us.

For equity listings, bond issuance, register keeping and receiving agent duties, Avenir Registrars is perfectly positioned to help your business through this period of change and ensure that you are meeting your regulatory obligations in a cost-efficient way.

This article originally appeared in the November 2022 version of AIM Journal. You can download a printable version here.

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