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AIM grows by largest number of companies since 2007 as the junior market experiences IPO boom

by Staff GBAF Publications Ltd
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  • 66 new companies joined the junior market in 2021
  • £1.4bn raised in AIM IPOs

The AIM market grew by 33 companies in 2021, from 819 to 852, its biggest increase since 2007 says UHY Hacker Young, the national accountancy firm.

The 66 new companies listing on the junior market in last year’s IPO boom mean that AIM now has a market cap of approximately £150 billion up from £85 billion five years ago.

2021 marks the first time the market has grown since before the 2008 financial crisis. Last year also saw the biggest increase in the number of companies on the market since before the credit crunch, with over £3bn raised in IPOs and follow-on capital. The junior market played host to 66 IPOs, the most since 2014. Two of the top 10 largest ever IPOs on AIM were admitted in 2021:

  • Life Science REIT plc raised £350m at IPO
  • The affordable skincare brand Revolution Beauty Group plc raised £300m at IPO

In another boost for the junior market, valued at £850m at the time of IPO, residential bathrooms provider Victorian Plumbing Group Plc became the largest company by market cap to list on AIM in the market’s history.

AIM has made its name as the go to European market for fundraising for growth companies, as evidenced by notable success stories including premium drinks brand Fevertree, life sciences supplier Abcam and pharmaceutical company Hutchmed.

While the main market has been criticised for a relatively low contingent of technology and other high growth companies, AIM has been a launchpad many of the UK’s most exciting and entrepreneurial tech businesses. This includes fashion brand BooHoo and AI software company Blue Prism.

This new data indicates that AIM may be on its way to halt the historic shrinkage the market has experienced in recent years. UHY Hacker Young’s research shows just 39 companies leaving the junior market in 2021, compared to 63 the year before. Only four companies left the junior market last year due to financial struggles or liquidation, and six were transferred to other markets, including the main market.

Daniel Hutson, Partner and Head of Audit at UHY Hacker Young, comments “This bumper year for the AIM market has solidified its status as a prime fundraising platform for growing businesses. There is clearly an enormous appetite among investors for AIM listed entities.”

“AIM is a launchpad for dynamic businesses, notably in the tech and pharmaceutical sectors and is leading the charge to bring younger and more exciting companies to the forefront.”

“With the darkest days of the pandemic hopefully behind us, 2022 should be another exciting year for AIM, and UK business more broadly. AIM is the ideal market for dynamic, high growth companies who can quickly tap into sectors and market trends.”

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