London Stock Exchange plc (LSE) published AIM Notice 50 on March 8, 2018. It provides feedback on the consultation it issued in December 2017 pursuant to AIM Notice 49 and confirms the resulting rule changes to the AIM Rules for Companies (AIM Rules) and to the AIM Rules for Nominated Advisers (Nomad Rules).
The main changes to the AIM Rules relate to the following:
- Formalising the early notification process – Nomads will be required to provide the LSE with early notification of information on AIM applicants and the LSE confirms that the early notification process will run in a similar manner to the current Schedule One form. If information is not available, a Nomad can state that in the early notification table and update the LSE when the information becomes available. A template for Nomads to use is now available on the LSE’s website.
- Corporate governance requirements for AIM companies – Respondents supported the new obligation for an AIM company to disclose on its website details of how it complies or explains against a recognised corporate governance code chosen by the board of directors. The LSE remains of the view that it should not prescribe a list of recognised codes as it believes it is preferable for AIM companies to have a range of options to suit their specific stage of development, sector and size. However, AIM Rule 26 has been amended in light of feedback to provide that an AIM company need only review its corporate governance disclosures on its website annually rather than on an ongoing basis.
While the revised AIM Rules and Nomad Rules will come into effect on March 30, 2018, the implementation of the new corporate governance requirements in AIM Rule 26 will take effect from September 28, 2018 so that AIM companies and Nomads have adequate time to prepare for the change. All new applicants to AIM from March 30, 2018 will have to state which corporate governance code they intend to follow but otherwise will have until September 28, 2018 to fully comply with the new requirements in AIM Rule 26.
The LSE takes the opportunity in its Feedback Statement in relation to AIM Notice 49 to remind AIM companies and Nomads that good corporate governance is supported by a meaningful explanation of the company’s practices against the principles of the chosen code, rather than simply identifying areas of non-compliance.
(LSE, AIM Notice 50 and feedback statement, 08.03.18)
(LSE, Mark-up of AIM Rules for Companies, 08.03.18)
(LSE, Mark-up of AIM Rules for Nominated Advisers, 08.03.18)