There are many reasons that a company may elect to list on a stock exchange. Raising capital is an obvious one, as is liquidity and a potential exit or partial exit for existing share and note holders. Prestige, access to new markets, new customers and new investors, as well as using listed stock as consideration for acquisitions are other factors that might be included in companies’ lists of considerations. Being listed on a stock exchange also outwardly demonstrates that the company and its management will be focussed on good corporate governance and are open to the scrutiny and transparency that comes with being a listed company.
For many European companies considering their first listing, be that for debt or equity, they may think of London (AIM or otherwise), Euronext (Dublin and elsewhere) or Frankfurt. But more and more companies, sovereign issuers and vehicles are turning to The International Stock Exchange (“TISE”), which usually offers a lower cost and faster review and listing timeline to the larger alternatives, while still providing investors with the protection of the portfolio company being listed on a well-regulated stock exchange.
Established in 1998, TISE now has more than 3,000 listed securities on its Official List with a total market value of more than £450 billion. TISE has listings from entities domiciled in more than 35 jurisdictions globally and it is the listing venue of choice for a number of Isle of Man incorporated issuers of bonds and equities. For example, Cains recently advised The Isle of Man Treasury on the legal aspects of its £400 million sustainable notes issue, with Cains Listing Services Limited acting as Listing Agent.
TISE aims to be commercially sensitive and offers a professional, efficient service to facilitate issuers seeking to tap the capital markets, offering a guarantee of an initial review of listing applications within three business days of first submission and within one business day of subsequent submissions, be it a debt or equity application.
In August 2021, TISE launched its Qualified Investor Bond Market (QIBM), a dedicated exchange offering for the listing of bonds marketed to ‘qualified investors’. At the same time, it updated the Listing Rules for the Equity Market and, of interest to growth companies in particular perhaps, allows for the listing of dual share class structures, including founder shares. These developments have been made to align in no small part with developing market trends in both the US and Europe in respect of the increasingly popular method of listing Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) and where, notably, there may be an institutional investor base.
Notably for our real estate clients, TISE is now home to 40% of all UK REITs and has proved to be a big draw for those REITs who are looking for a faster, lower cost method of listing while still meeting applicable UK requirements.
Cains’ advocates have worked on scores of debt and equity listings worth tens of billions of pounds across internationally recognised stock exchanges including the main market of the London Stock Exchange, AIM, NASDAQ, EASDAQ, Frankfurt, NYSE, HKEX, SGX-ST, Dublin, LuxSE, JSE and Warsaw.
Cains Listing Services Limited is a TISE Listing Member and is able to act both as Sponsor for Equities and as Listing Agent for Qualified Investor Bonds.