European law firm Fieldfisher has maintained its status as a leading legal adviser to UK-listed companies, preserving its ranking as the top law firm by AIM deal volume in H1 2020 according to the latest ECMi market data from Acuris.
Fieldfisher was also ranked third by overall ECM deal activity in H1, encompassing transactions on both AIM and the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange.
The firm's performance over the first six months of 2020 follows an equally strong 2019, when Fieldfisher's ECM team was ranked number one by deal volume on AIM and advised on deals worth in excess of £1.7 billion. Since 2008, the firm has acted on more AIM IPOs than any other law firm according to Mergermarket data.
Fieldfisher's Band 1 ranked ECM team has been particularly busy during the pandemic, especially in the healthcare and life sciences sector, having acted on numerous fundraisings during the lockdown period, either bank side or issuer side, involving Synairgen, Avacta, Diaceutics, OptiBiotix Health, Inspiration Healthcare, Diurnal Group, Polarean Imaging, Cambridge Cognition and Omega Diagnostics.
The team's deals also included several fundraisings for its impressive roster of energy and natural resources clients and the widely publicised £114.5 million takeover of British automotive manual publisher Haynes Publish Group P.L.C. by France-headquartered Infopro Digital Limited.
In its report, Acuris noted that the UK's Covid-19 lockdown measures, which came into force on 23 March 2020, "had a dramatic impact on share prices, and the structure and frequency of UK ECM transactions during H1 2020".
While deal volume was negatively impacted, in terms of value, both AIM and the Main Market recorded significant increases from H1 2019. AIM total deal value grew by £899 million, a 38.66% increase, while the Main Market raised £5,780 million more, a rise of 40.3% over H1 2019.
Commenting on the H1 2020 rankings of Fieldfisher's equity capital markets team, Neil Matthews, Head of Corporate at Fieldfisher, said:
"The firm continued its strong performance despite the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown thanks to its leading reputation for equity capital markets expertise and its network of broker and corporate clients, many of which were determined to press ahead with strategic fundraisings and transactions.
"We were encouraged by the number of clients eager to conduct ECM transactions in the first half of this year and are tentatively looking forward to a strong pipeline of deals for the remainder of 2020."
Fieldfisher's ECM transaction highlights in H1 2020:
- Acting for Panmure Gordon and Cantor Fitzgerald as joint brokers to AIM-listed Diurnal Group plc, a specialist pharmaceutical company, on a placing to raise £11.2 million (March);
- Acting for finnCap on a placing and subscription to raise £1.4 million for AIM-quoted neuroscience technology developer Cambridge Cognition Holdings Plc;
- Acting for AIM-quoted Synairgen plc, a leading drug discovery and development company, on a £14 million fundraising to begin an expedited trial of its anti-viral drug in Covid-19 patients (March);
- Acting for finnCap on a subscription and placing to raise £5.75 million for AIM-quoted cancer treatment and Covid test developer, Avacta Group plc (April);
- Acting for finnCap in its capacity as sole broker on AIM-quoted OptioBiotix Health plc's secondary fundraising (April);
- Acting for nominated adviser and broker SP Angel on the £8.4 million secondary fundraising of Polarean Imaging plc (April);
- Acting for finnCap and Zeus Capital as brokers to Avacta Group plc on a heavily oversubscribed £48 million fundraising to develop Covid-19 testing and expand its pipeline of differentiated cancer therapies (June);
- Acting for Cenkos Securities as nominated adviser and sole broker to AIM-quoted Diaceutics plc's secondary fundraising, raising £20.5 million to pursue new growth opportunities;
- Acting for finnCap in its capacity as nominated adviser, broker and bookrunner for AIM-quoted Omega Diagnostics Group on a transaction to raise up to £11 million via a placing and share offer (June).
Energy and natural resources
- Acting for finnCap in relation to the admission to AIM of Gemfields Limited, a leading provider of rubies and emeralds and owner of iconic luxury jewellery brand Fabergé (February);
- Acting for AIM-quoted Kodal Minerals plc on its secondary fundraising (April);
- Acting for AIM-quoted Ascent Resources Plc, an onshore European and Caribbean/Hispanic American oil and gas company, on its acquisition of Cuba-focused Energetical Limited (April);
- Acting for Strand Hanson as financial and nominated adviser on the publication of a Supplemental Admission Document by Savannah Energy Plc, regarding its acquisition of Nigerian oil and gas assets from Seven Energy (May);
- Acting for AIM-quoted President Energy PLC on two equity investments by Trafigura, involving the capitalisation of debt from an existing lender and an equity fundraising by way of an institutional placing and offer through PrimaryBid (June).
- Acting on the secondary placing of Main Market listed Toople plc and its associated acquisition of DMS Holding (January);
- Acting for finnCap in its capacity as nominated adviser to The Barkby Group plc in connection with the acquisition by Barkby of the Tarncourt Ambit Properties and its admission to trading on AIM (January);
- Acting for Main Market-listed Haynes Publish Group P.L.C. on its takeover by France-headquartered Infopro Digital Limited for £114.5 million (March);
- Acting for Liberum Capital in its capacity as nominated adviser and sole bookrunner to AIM-quoted The City Pub Group plc on a £22 million fundraising (March);
- Acting for brokers Allenby Capital and Dowgate Capital on a placing by AIM-quoted Franchise Brands plc, raising £14 million (April);
- Acting for Panmure Gordon and N+1 Singer as joint brokers on a fundraising of approximately £12.66 million for Portmeirion Group PLC (June);
- Acting for AIM-quoted Itaconix plc on its secondary fundraising, raising £1.8 million (June);
- Acting for specialist services group Marlowe PLC on a placing to raise £40 million to fund further acquisitions including its deals to buy Elogbooks and Deminos Consulting.
Fieldfisher is a European law firm with market leading practices in many of the world's most dynamic sectors. We are an exciting, forward-thinking organisation with a particular focus on energy & natural resources, technology, finance & financial services, life sciences and media.
Fieldfisher's Band 1 ranked ECM team has been advising clients on AIM for more than 20 years – see a timeline of our deal activity.
Our network has more than 1,550 people working across 25 offices providing highly commercial advice based on an in-depth understanding of our clients' needs.
We operate across our offices in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Beijing, Belfast, Birmingham, Bologna, Brussels, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Hamburg, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Manchester, Milan, Munich, Paris, Rome, Shanghai, Turin, Venice and Silicon Valley.
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