PLUS ‘more sympathetic’ than AIM

Serial entrepreneur Bob Morton, who chairs four quoted companies in the technology sector, says that PLUS can be a more accommodating market than its counterpart at the London Stock Exchange.

This is in spite of the fact that he plans to take Harrier Group, a PLUS-quoted company he chairs, to AIM.

‘[PLUS] is a very good market to be on,’ argues Morton. ‘They are a lot more sympathetic and understanding than AIM.’

A former AIM company, Harrier sold its IT businesses ‘because they were not performing’ and has £4.6 million cash as a result. The shell company is currently negotiating a reverse takeover in the media sector.

‘We are continuing to look for a suitable acquisition and we have seen loads,’ reveals Morton. Lately, a potentially attractive company, ‘well established’ in the media sector and ‘able to go places’, has swum into view, which generates annual turnover of £40 million and profits of £23 million.

Morton describes this company as ‘extremely interesting’ and says he hopes to finalise a deal in around two months. Though he sees taking Harrier back to AIM as a natural progression, he has nothing but commendation for PLUS, especially for the way it handles cash shells such as Harrier.

Two years ago, the AIM authorities introduced new rules, obliging shell companies that had floated before April 2005 and raised less than £3 million on or immediately before admission either to make an acquisition or reverse takeover. The move prompted an exodus of smaller cash shells, some of which moved to the less stringently regulated exchange run by PLUS.

Marc Barber

Raven Connelly

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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