Article.

Record-breaking H1 for UK capital markets forecasts sunny outlook for H2

10/08/2021

At a glance

Following a record-breaking H1 for the UK capital markets, Memery Crystal’s corporate team take stock to reflect on what this could mean for the remainder of 2021.

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London retains top spot as Europe’s leading financial centre

After a record-breaking first half, and despite Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, London has defended its title as the premier financial centre for raising capital in Europe raising 55% more equity capital than its next closest competitor. Figures from the London Stock Exchange show a total of 49 IPOs completed in the first six months of 2021, the most since 2017, while £27 billion in equity was raised, the most since 2014.

 

Memery Crystal’s ECM team saw a positive uplift in IPOs finishing in the top 10 of law firms most frequently instructed as legal adviser to the issuer on the Main Market in H1 2021. (Source: LexisNexis).

The firm also advised on 14 secondary fundraisings for both long-standing and new clients, raising approximately £130 million. These transactions saw the firm advising both issuer and broker side across a variety of sectors including natural resources, renewables, technology, and manufacturing.

In H1, more than one in three of issuers on the London Stock Exchange were international companies, and the capital markets continued to support founder-led businesses, such as US games developer tinyBuild. Memery Crystal advised on tinyBuild’s landmark entry to AIM, as the largest ever listing of a US company on the junior market.

Commenting on London’s successes, Julia Hoggett, Chief Executive of London Stock Exchange plc said: “London’s primary capital markets have had a strong start to 2021. This success illustrates the importance of public market financing to underpin growth, innovation and job creation, along with supporting the transition to a low carbon economy.”

Nick Davis, Chief Executive of Memery Crystal added: “It has been an extraordinary H1 in the capital markets with a large number of IPO’s and companies raising secondary funds while markets are strong. It will be interesting to see whether this momentum continues into the second half of the year but I am hopeful it will.”

Medicinal cannabis industry continues to reach new highs

Memery Crystal has been at the forefront of cannabis industry since its inception and continues to lead the way in advising cannabis companies on business set-up, capital markets, mergers & acquisitions, private fundraisings, licensing and commercial contracts.

Memery Crystal’s expertise led the firm to advise on two significant transactions in H1. The listing of MGC Pharmaceuticals, the first medicinal cannabis business on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, and on the UK aspects of Curaleaf’s landmark $285m acquisition of EMMAC Life Sciences. Both transactions were huge milestones for the industry.

Commenting on the listing, Nick Davis said: “It was a momentous moment when we finally listed MGC Pharmaceuticals as the first cannabis company on the London Stock exchange, and several others have since followed. The pipeline is strong for further cannabis companies to join the London markets, and I welcome the FCA consultation which has provided further clarity. M&A in the sector continues and I think consolidation will be a key feature for the rest of the year.”

A bright future ahead

The second half of 2021 is predicted to follow H1’s trajectory, with further growth forecast for founder-led businesses and in sectors such as cannabis, natural resources, renewable resources, technology (incl. gambling and gaming), and financial services companies.

Julia Hoggett, Chief Executive of London Stock Exchange plc said: “We continue to offer the most efficient access to global capital for companies from the UK and around the world. As issuer and investor needs continue to evolve, we will remain focused on ensuring our markets innovate to meet those requirements.”  

Disclaimer: We at Memery Crystal (and our parent company RBG Holdings plc) support and encourage free/independent thinking in relation to issues which are sometimes considered to be controversial subject matters. However, the views and opinions of the authors of articles published on our website(s) do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, practices and policies of either Memery Crystal or RBG Holdings plc.

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    Melanie Talbot (née Jory)
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