Law firm Memery Crystal forecasts sunny H2 outlook for UK capital markets following record-breaking first half
After a record-breaking first half, and despite Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, London has successfully defended its title as the premier financial centre for raising capital in Europe raising 55 per cent more equity capital than its next closest competitor.
Figures from the London Stock Exchange show a total of 49 IPOs completed in the first six months of 2021, the most since 2017, while GBP27 billion in equity was raised, the most since 2014.
Law firm Memery Crystal’s ECM team saw a positive uplift in IPOs finishing in the top 10 of law firms most frequently instructed as legal adviser to the issuer on the Main Market in H1 2021.
The firm also advised on 14 secondary fundraisings for both long-standing and new clients, raising approximately GBP130 million. These transactions saw the firm advising both issuer and broker side across a variety of sectors including natural resources, renewables, technology, and manufacturing.
In H1, more than one in three of issuers on the London Stock Exchange were international companies, and the capital markets continued to support founder-led businesses, such as US games developer tinyBuild. Memery Crystal advised on tinyBuild’s landmark entry to AIM, as the largest ever listing of a US company on the junior market.
Commenting on London’s successes, Julia Hoggett, Chief Executive of London Stock Exchange, says: “London’s primary capital markets have had a strong start to 2021. This success illustrates the importance of public market financing to underpin growth, innovation and job creation, along with supporting the transition to a low carbon economy.”
Nick Davis, Chief Executive of Memery Crystal, adds: “It has been an extraordinary H1 in the capital markets with a large number of IPO’s and companies raising secondary funds while markets are strong. It will be interesting to see whether this momentum continues into the second half of the year but I am hopeful it will.”
Memery Crystal has been at the forefront of cannabis industry since its inception, and continues to lead the way in advising cannabis companies on business set-up, capital markets, mergers & acquisitions, private fundraisings, licensing and commercial contracts.
Memery Crystal’s expertise led the firm to advise on two significant transactions in H1. The listing of MGC Pharmaceuticals, the first medicinal cannabis business on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, and on the UK aspects of Curaleaf’s landmark $285m acquisition of EMMAC Life Sciences. Both transactions were huge milestones for the industry.
Davis says: “It was a momentous moment when we finally listed MGC Pharmaceuticals as the first cannabis company on the London Stock exchange, and several others have since followed. The pipeline is strong for further Cannabis companies to join the London markets, and I welcome the FCA consultation which has provided further clarity. M&A in the sector continues and I think consolidation will be a key feature for the rest of the year.”
The second half of 2021 is predicted to follow H1’s trajectory, with further growth forecast in sectors such as cannabis, natural resources, renewable resources, technology (inc gambling and gaming), and financial services companies.
Hoggett says: “We continue to offer the most efficient access to global capital for companies from the UK and around the world. As issuer and investor needs continue to evolve, we will remain focused on ensuring our markets innovate to meet those requirements.”