London Stock Exchange proposes special listings for private companies
The London Stock Exchange Group has proposed a special market for private companies to trade their shares publicly on the exchange on certain days, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing a person familiar with the matter.
The move is part of a plan to attract fast growing technology firms to list in Britain in the wake of Brexit, the Journal said.
Private company shares would trade publicly between one and five days in each trading window, once a month or quarter, or every six months, the report added, citing proposals seen by the Journal from the LSE to its regulators, the Financial Conduct Authority, and the U.K. Treasury.
The companies would not be subject to the same degree of regulatory oversight as a fully listed company, requirements that startup company founders say are deterrents to listing shares, the Journal said.
A spokesperson for the London Stock Exchange Group said in a statement to Reuters the company works closely with government, regulators and stakeholders on various issues.
"LSEG agree there is potential for additional routes to market to support the widest range of companies through their funding lifecycle including helping them transition from the private to the public markets and indeed back again," the spokesperson added.
The Treasury did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment. A spokesperson for the FCA declined to comment.
The Journal said the LSE wrote in the document it sent to the FCA and Treasury on Dec. 21 that "the new venue type would act as a stepping-stone between private and fully public markets." It "should be seen as improving on the current options available to companies seeking to raise capital without imposing regulation that will inhibit growth."
Last year, Britain's markets watchdog confirmed new rules to boost London's role as a global centre for listing companies after increased competition from the European Union following Brexit.