Lighthouse Group has announced its intention to delist from Aim.
In an announcement to the stockmarket this morning, the group says the benefits of being listed on Aim for a large IFA firm are considerably outweighed by the disadvantages.
The group intends to move to a public unquoted structure, a move which will require the approval of 75 per cent of shareholders.
In particular, the group says the requirement to provide regular updates to the market is potentially “commercially disadvantageous” at a time of significant regulatory change.
The group says the sentiment towards IFA firms amongst the investment community is likely to remain low given the current regulatory changes.
The firm highlights that when it first listed in March 2001 it had a turnover of £5m, losses of £1.5m and a cash balance of £35,000, with a share price of 60p. When the 2011 results were released in March 2012, Lighthouse had a turnover of £60m, profits before non-recurring expenses of £1.6m and a cash balance of £11m, yet the share price before this announcement was made was 4.88p.
“The Board believes that this clearly demonstrates that sentiment for IFA businesses amongst the investment community has declined dramatically over the past decade,” says the firm.
Lighthouse says the current listing also hinders the group’s ability to look at acquisitions.
Lighthouse Group chairman David Hickey says : “For some time the conventional advantages of being listed on AIM have not applied to the Company and consequently the Board believes that it will be more advantageous for Lighthouse to operate as an unquoted entity.
Despite the changes in the industry and uncertainty that these bring, Lighthouse is in a robust position both financially and operationally, and the Board remains optimistic about the long term prospects for the Company.”