Value of takeovers of AIM companies rises 32% in just a year

Publications that covered this story include: City AM and the Daily Telegraph
  • Increase in buyers targeting AIM listed fintech and tech companies
  • Number of AIM takeovers outstrips number of takeovers on the Main Market

The value of takeovers of AIM companies jumped 32% last year, increasing to £2.88bn in 2019, up from £2.18bn in 2018*, our research shows.

The rise in the value of AIM takeovers has mainly been driven by an increase in buyers acquiring fast-growing fintech, technology and financial services companies listed on AIM. There has also been a rebound in the value of takeovers of oil & gas companies.

The value of takeovers of fintech and technology companies listed on AIM jumped 86% last year, increasing to £907m in 2019, up from £481m in 2018. The number of takeovers of tech and fintech companies on AIM doubled from 5 in 2018 to 10 in 2019.

The value of Oil & gas AIM takeovers topped over £1billion in 2019.

The rise in acquisitions of AIM listed tech and fintech businesses reflects the increasing reputation for innovation of the UK’s tech clusters, such as London’s Silicon Roundabout and Cambridge.

Our research shows that a large number of takeovers of AIM businesses in the past year were driven by overseas businesses seeing AIM companies as valuable strategic acquisitions. Five of the 10 takeovers of AIM-listed fintech and tech companies in the past year involved an overseas buyer.

Laurence Sacker, Managing Partner at our London office, says: “These figures show that AIM works well as an incubator of tech and fintech companies.

“Tech companies listed on AIM do attract supportive shareholders and allow founders and shareholders to exit at attractive valuations. There is no need for tech companies to stay private for them to achieve that.

“Acquisitive businesses worldwide are now much more aware of AIM’s reputation as a growth platform for quality tech and fintech companies. If a foreign tech company is looking to scale up AIM is now one of the leading destinations.”

The largest takeovers of technology companies on AIM in 2019 were:

  • RhythmOne, an online and mobile advertising provider, which was acquired for £225m by Israeli competitor Taptica in April 2019
  • Earthport, an institutional payment services business, which was acquired by American giant Visa Inc. for £205m in June 2019

Number of AIM takeovers outperforms takeovers on the Main Market

Our research shows that in the terms of the number of takeovers the AIM market has outperformed the Main Market. While M&A deals on the Main Market fell 18% from 22 in 2018 to 18 in 2019 AIM takeovers remained steady at 27 in both 2019 and 2018.

*Year-end December 31