Advertisement: Wild Knight Vodka
Advertisement: CJBS mid banner
Advertisement: Birketts mid banner
Mid banner advertisement: BDO
ARM Innovation Hub
Barr Ellison Solicitors – commercial property
Advertisement: Mogrify mid banner
Advertisement: partnersand mid banner
Advertisement: Cambridge Network mid banner
Advertisement: HCR Hewitsons mid banner
Advertisement: Simpsons Creative mid banner
Advertisement: Bar Ellison mid banner property
Advertisement: TTP
Cambridgeand mid banner advertisement
Advertisement: SATAVIA mid banner
Advertisement: RSM mid banner
Advertisement: S-Tech mid banner 3
Advertisement: Kao Data Centre mid banner
20 July, 2022 - 13:14 By Tony Quested

Fresh blow to UK: Abcam to quit AIM and rely on sole US listing

Another of Cambridge’s A-list companies has sent a wake-up call to the UK government about a perceived lack of liquidity in trading shares in London compared to Wall Street.

Not long after SoftBank appeared to squash a dual UK and US IPO for Cambridge tech great Arm, Abcam has indicated that it wants to quit AIM and focus solely on NASDAQ – the New York-centric tech-focused market.

Cambridge life science businesses have already found rich pickings on NASDAQ – not least GW Pharma (now owned by Jazz) and Bicycle Therapeutics.

Elite Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst companies have also done well via NASDAQ floats, raising oceans more cash than would have been yielded in the UK.

Based at Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Abcam – dynamically steered by CEO Alan Hirzel – is a global leader in the supply of life science research tools. It revealed its plans to stakeholders today in a trading update for the six months to June 30.

The company said that having consulted with shareholders  in mid-March on options to increase share liquidity, the board has decided to pursue a proposal to maintain a sole listing on Nasdaq and cancel the admission of the company’s shares on AIM. 

It adds: “The company will continue to consult with shareholders on this proposal in the coming weeks with the intention to put the proposal to shareholder approval at a General Meeting called for that purpose later this year.”

Parts of both the London main and AIM markets have become chaotic this year as the UK economic crisis deepens. Arm will now almost certainly hit Wall Street alone early in 2023 and shun the UK’s bid to take a slice of the action. To lose Abcam as well is another bitter blow.

Abcam is going well. It expects to report total revenues for the six-month period of around £185 million, representing 19 per cent growth on last time. Revenue growth continues to be driven by in-house catalogue sales resulting in gross margin expansion.  

The company adds: “As the multi-year period of growth investments begins to moderate we anticipate delivering operating efficiencies enabling year-over-year adjusted operating profit margin expansion consistent with the board’s expectations.”

Both UK and US shareholders responded positively to the news at the time of writing: Abcam’s UK stock rose 35p (3.13 per cent) to 1,153p a share while in the US it was up to $13.88 a share and was expected to rise further at the height of market activity in New York later today.

Newsletter Subscription

Stay informed of the latest news and features