On 3 March 2021, the UK Government published the results of the UK Listing Review, a wide-ranging analysis of the state of the UK’s public markets carried out by Lord Hill following market consultation. The UK Listing Review proposes a broad set of ambitious recommendations designed to maintain London’s competitiveness among the world’s pre-eminent stock exchanges, including:
- a comprehensive review and overhaul of the UK’s prospectus regime to simplify the content of prospectuses and better tailor prospectus requirements to the nature of the capital raising transaction, while encouraging more useful disclosure for investors, including the provision of more meaningful forward-looking financial information;
- removing potential barriers to listing on the London markets, including allowing dual class share structures on the Premium segment of the Official List, modifying the free float requirements and rebranding and re-positioning the Standard segment of the Official List; and
- making changes to certain rules applying to Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) in an attempt to encourage more such vehicles to list in London.
The UK Government has announced that it welcomes the recommendations of the UK Listing Review as it seeks to capitalize on the UK’s post-Brexit ability to determine more of its own regulatory standards and counter perceptions that London was at risk of becoming a less attractive listing venue for global companies.