12 July 2004 – LAWFUEL – A joint team from Minter Ellison’s London a…

12 July 2004 – LAWFUEL – A joint team from Minter Ellison’s London and Melbourne offices assisted ASX-listed Norwood Abbey Limited with the successful spin-off listing of its subsidiary, Norwood Immunology Limited, by way of admission to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

Bio-tech company Norwood Immunology, which has developed a therapy designed to boost the body’s immune system, particularly following treatments for cancer or HIV, made a placing on admission of GBP5.7 million, with a market capitalisation of GBP46 million (A$120 million).

Minter Ellison’s project team was led by partners Don Clarke (Melbourne) and Michael Whalley (London) and included James Hutton, Jeremy Snow and Geraldine Farrell in Australia and Cushla van Twest, Patricia Ashman and Paul Boyle in the UK.

Michael Whalley, Minter Ellison’s resident partner in the UK, pointed out that over the past 12 months AIM has enjoyed a significant rise in new company admissions, including a 20% rise in the number of international companies admitted in calendar year 2003. In total, 19 Australian companies have been admitted to AIM.

Unlike LSE listings, which are more suitable for large multi-nationals, an AIM admission, either by initial offering or as a secondary listing, is ideally suited for small to medium-sized companies seeking access to specialist institutional investment.

Moreover, the new ‘fast track’ AIM admission rules have streamlined the admission process for overseas listed companies and have made it easier for Australian listed companies to take advantage of their ASX listing to seek AIM admission.

To date, four Australian companies have been admitted to AIM under the new fast track procedures.

Whalley believes that, with the new fast track procedures, more and more ASX listed Australian companies will take advantage of an AIM admission to enhance their international profile and access global equity markets.

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