This week: Arian’s silver lining, Wizard deal for Bloomsbury, Fitbug gets fitter, Imperial motors ahead

With a 20 point drop in the AIM all share and the FTSE 100 exhibiting volatilities, the markets continued to demonstrate the difficulties associated with the Greek debt crisis over the last week, though on this front there is some sentiment that European banks may work together to help Greece in tis hour of need, with France announcing that its banks (which are most exposed) have agreed to extend their loans. Other news this week has come from the Office of National Statistics which announced that the UK economy expanded 0.5% in the first three months of 2011, though this was largely expected and comes amid continued speculation about the fragile state of the economy. Looking ahead, key data on the manufacturing sector, movements in the balance of payments deficit and consumer confidence are all due this week, with a continuing focus on Greece.

Activity on Aim

This week saw a flurry of IPO activity on AIM as four companies came to market with two more announcing their imminent arrival this week. Three of the four companies raising money are resource companies. The most high profile was Jellybook, an investment vehicle focusing on the social media sector chaired by Jonathan Rowland, the founder of Jellyworks, which raised £11m and the largest, Zambeef Products, a major Zambian agri-business which raised almost £34m; the others were Ubisense (technology) raising £5m and Red Emperor Resources (oil and gas), a straight introduction. Of the four completed new arrivals, Ubisense and Zambeef are trading at a premium, and Red Emperor and Jellybook at a discount.

This good news, albeit at the peak of the IPO calendar in more normal conditions, was tempered by the continuing flow of announcements of proposed departures from AIM including, perhaps somewhat symbolically, RAB Capital- a leading investor in many companies that came to market in 2006-2008. Four companies announced their intention to delist and a fifth, Education Development International will be de-listed following completion of its acquisition by Pearson Education. All have slightly different reasons but absence of liquidity is frequently high on the list – but by way of counter commentary, two PLUS listed financial services firms announced plans to move to AIM in order to improve liquidity. We believe that we will continue to see a net outflow of companies from AIM for…

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