LR 6.1 Application

LR 6.1.1 R RP

This chapter applies to an applicant for the admission of equity shares to premium listing (commercial company) except where:11

  1. (1)

    the applicant meets the following conditions:11

    1. (a)

      it has an existing premium listing (commercial company) of equity shares;11

    2. (b)

      it is applying for the admission of equity shares of the same class as the shares that have been admitted to premium listing; and11

    3. (c)

      it is not entering into a transaction classified as a reverse takeover; or11

  2. (2)

    the following conditions are met:11

    1. (a)

      a company has an existing premium listing (commercial company) of equity shares; 11

    2. (b)

      the applicant is a new holding company of the company in (a); and 11

    3. (c)

      the company in (a) is not entering into a transaction classified as a reverse takeover.11

1 7 7 4 3 7 4 3

Applicant must satisfy requirements in this chapter

LR 6.1.2 G RP

An applicant to whom this chapter applies must satisfy the requirements in this chapter (in addition to those in LR 2).11

7 8 8

LR 6.2 Historical financial information requirements

Content of historical financial information

LR 6.2.1 R RP

1An applicant must have published or filed historical financial information that:

  1. (1)

    covers at least three years;

    [Note: article 44 of the CARD]

  2. (2)

    represents at least 75% of the applicant's business for the period in (1);

  3. (3)

    unless LR 5.6.21R applies, has a latest balance sheet date that is not more than:

    1. (a)

      six months before the date of the prospectus or listing particulars for the relevant shares; and

    2. (b)

      nine months before the date the shares are admitted to listing; and

  4. (4)

    includes the consolidated accounts for the applicant and all its subsidiary undertakings.

LR 6.2.2 G RP
  1. (1)

    1In determining what amounts to 75% of the applicant's business for the purpose of LR 6.2.1R(2), the FCA will consider the size, in aggregate, of all of the acquisitions that the applicant has entered into during the period required by LR 6.2.1R(1) and up to the date of the prospectus or listing particulars, relative to the size of the applicant as enlarged by the acquisitions.

  2. (2)

    In ascertaining the size of the acquisitions relative to the applicant for the purposes of LR 6.2.1R(2), the FCA will take into account factors such as the assets, profitability and market capitalisation of the businesses.

  3. (3)

    The figures used should be the latest available for the acquired entity and the applicant as enlarged by the acquisition or acquisitions.

LR 6.2.3 R RP

1Where an applicant has made an acquisition or series of acquisitions such that its own consolidated financial information is insufficient to meet the 75% requirement in LR 6.2.1R(2), there must be historical financial information relating to the acquired entity or entities which has been published or filed and that:

  1. (1)

    covers the period from at least three years prior to the date under LR 6.2.1R(3) up to the earlier of:

    1. (a)

      the date in LR 6.2.1R(3); or

    2. (b)

      the date of acquisition by the applicant;

  2. (2)

    is prepared and presented in a form that is consistent with the accounting policies adopted in the financial information required by LR 6.2.1R; and

  3. (3)

    in aggregate with its own historical financial information represents at least 75% of the enlarged applicant's business for the period in LR 6.2.1R(1).

Audit requirements for historical financial information

LR 6.2.4 R RP

1The historical financial information in LR 6.2.1R and LR 6.2.3R must:

  1. (1)

    have been audited or reported on in accordance with the standards acceptable under item 20.1 of Annex I of the PD Regulation; and

  2. (2)

    not be subject to a modified report, unless the circumstances set out in LR 6.2.5G apply.

LR 6.2.5 G RP

1The FCA may accept that LR 6.2.4R(2) has been satisfied where a modified report is present only as a result of:

  1. (1)

    the presence of an emphasis-of-matter paragraph which arises in any of the earlier periods required by LR 6.2.1R and the opinion on the final period is unmodified; or

  2. (2)

    the opinion on the historical financial information for the final period under LR 6.2.1R includes an emphasis-of-matter paragraph with regard to going concern and LR 6.7.1R (Working capital) is complied with.

LR 6.2.6 R RP

1An applicant must:

  1. (1)

    take all reasonable steps to ensure that the person providing the opinion in LR 6.2.4R(1) is independent of it; and

  2. (2)

    obtain written confirmation from the person providing the opinion in LR 6.2.4R(1) that it complies with guidelines on independence issued or approved by its national accountancy or auditing bodies.

LR 6.3 Revenue earning track record requirement

LR 6.3.1 R RP

1The historical financial information required under LR 6.2.1R and LR 6.2.3R must:

  1. (1)

    demonstrate that the applicant has a revenue earning track record; and

  2. (2)

    put prospective investors in a position to make an informed assessment of the business for which admission is sought.

LR 6.3.2 G RP
  1. (1)

    1The purpose of LR 6.2.1R(2), LR 6.2.3R, and LR 6.3.1R is to ensure that the applicant has representative financial information throughout the period required by LR 6.2.1R(1) and LR 6.2.3R and to assist prospective investors to make a reasonable assessment of what the future prospects of the applicant’s business might be. Investors are then able to consider the applicant’s historical financial information in light of its particular competitive advantages, the outlook for the sector in which it operates and the general macro economic climate.

  2. (2)

    The FCA may consider that an applicant does not have representative historical financial information and that its equity shares are not eligible for a premium listing if a significant part or all of the applicant’s business has one or more of the following characteristics:

    1. (a)

      a business strategy that places significant emphasis on the development or marketing of products or services which have not formed a significant part of the applicant’s historical financial information;

    2. (b)

      the value of the business on admission will be determined, to a significant degree, by reference to future developments rather than past performance;

    3. (c)

      the relationship between the value of the business and its revenue or profit-earning record is significantly different from those of similar companies in the same sector;

    4. (d)

      there is no record of consistent revenue, cash flow or profit growth throughout the period of the historical financial information;

    5. (e)

      the applicant’s business has undergone a significant change in its scale of operations during the period of the historical financial information or is due to do so before or after admission;

    6. (f)

      it has significant levels of research and development expenditure or significant levels of capital expenditure.

LR 6.4 Independent business

LR 6.4.1 R RP

1An applicant must demonstrate that it carries on an independent business as its main activity.

LR 6.4.2 G RP

1 LR 6.4.1R is intended to ensure that the protections afforded to holders of equity shares by the premium listing requirements are meaningful.

LR 6.4.3 G RP

1Factors that may indicate that an applicant does not satisfy LR 6.4.1R include situations where:

  1. (1)

    a majority of the revenue generated by the applicant’s business is attributable to business conducted directly or indirectly with one person or group;

  2. (2)

    or the applicant cannot demonstrate that it has access to financing other than from one person or group; or

  3. (3)

    the applicant does not have:

    1. (a)

      strategic control over the commercialisation of its products; or

    2. (b)

      strategic control over its ability to earn revenue; or

    3. (c)

      freedom to implement its business strategy.

LR 6.5 Controlling shareholders

LR 6.5.1 R RP

1An applicant with a controlling shareholder must demonstrate that, despite having a controlling shareholder, the applicant is able to carry on an independent business as its main activity.

LR 6.5.2 G RP

1 LR 6.5.1R is intended to ensure that the protections afforded to holders of equity shares by the premium listing requirements are meaningful.

LR 6.5.3 G RP

1Factors that may indicate that an applicant does not satisfy the requirement in LR 6.5.1R (even where the agreement in LR 6.5.4R is in place) include:

  1. (1)

    an applicant has granted or may be required to grant security over its business in connection with the funding of a controlling shareholder or a member of a controlling shareholder’s group; or

  2. (2)

    a controlling shareholder (or any associate thereof) appears to be able to influence the operations of the applicant outside its normal governance structures or via material shareholdings in one or more significant subsidiary undertakings; or

  3. (3)

    a controlling shareholder appears to be able to exercise improper influence over the applicant; or

  4. (4)

    an applicant cannot demonstrate that it has access to financing other than from a controlling shareholder (or an associate thereof).

LR 6.5.4 R RP

1An applicant with a controlling shareholder upon admission must have in place a written and legally binding agreement with its controlling shareholder which is intended to ensure that the controlling shareholder complies with undertakings that:

  1. (1)

    transactions and arrangements with the controlling shareholder (and/or any of its associates) will be conducted at arm’s length and on normal commercial terms;

  2. (2)

    neither the controlling shareholder nor any of its associates will take any action that would have the effect of preventing the applicant from complying with its obligations under the listing rules; and

  3. (3)

    neither the controlling shareholder nor any of its associates will propose or procure the proposal of a shareholder resolution which is intended or appears to be intended to circumvent the proper application of the listing rules.

LR 6.5.5 R RP

1An applicant with more than one controlling shareholder is not required to enter into a separate agreement with each controlling shareholder if:

  1. (1)

    the applicant reasonably considers, in light of its understanding of the relationship between the relevant controlling shareholders, that a controlling shareholder can procure the compliance of another controlling shareholder and that controlling shareholder’s associates with the undertakings in LR 6.5.4R; and

  2. (2)

    the agreement, which contains the undertakings in LR 6.5.4R, entered into with the relevant controlling shareholder also contains:

    1. (a)

      a provision in which the controlling shareholder agrees to procure the compliance of a non-signing controlling shareholder and its associates with the undertakings in LR 6.5.4R; and

    2. (b)

      the name of such non-signing controlling shareholder.

LR 6.6 Control of the business

LR 6.6.1 R RP

1An applicant must demonstrate that it exercises operational control over the business it carries on as its main activity.

LR 6.6.2 G RP

1 LR 6.6.1R is intended to ensure that the protections afforded to holders of holders of equity shares by the premium listing requirements are meaningful.

LR 6.6.3 G RP

1Factors that may indicate that an applicant does not satisfy the requirement in LR 6.6.1R include where the applicant’s business consists principally of holding shares in entities that it does not control, including entities where the applicant:

  1. (1)

    owns a minority holding of shares; or

  2. (2)

    is only able to exercise negative control; or

  3. (3)

    exercises control subject to contractual arrangements which could be altered without the applicant’s agreement or could result in a temporary or permanent loss of control.

LR 6.9 Constitutional arrangements

LR 6.9.1 R RP

1An applicant must have in place a constitution that allows it to comply with the listing rules, in particular:

  1. (1)

    LR 9.2.21R to vote on matters relevant to premium listing; and

  2. (2)

    for an applicant with a controlling shareholder, LR 9.2.2ER and LR 9.2.2FR concerning the election and re-election of independent directors.

Pre-emption rights

LR 6.9.2 R RP

1If the law of the country of its incorporation does not confer on shareholders rights which are at least equivalent to LR 9.3.11R, an overseas company applying for a premium listing must:

  1. (1)

    ensure its constitution provides for rights which are at least equivalent to the rights provided in LR 9.3.11R (as qualified by LR 9.3.12R); and

  2. (2)

    be satisfied that conferring such rights would not be incompatible with the law of the country of its incorporation.

LR 6.10 Specialist companies: mineral companies

LR 6.10.1 R RP

1Where a mineral company applies for the admission of its equity shares to a premium listing and cannot comply with the minimum three-year period required in LR 6.2.1R(1) because it has been operating for a shorter period:

  1. (1)

    the mineral company must have published or filed historical financial information since the inception of its business; and

  2. (2)

    the following apply to the mineral company only with regard to the period for which it has published or filed historical financial information pursuant to (1):

    1. (a)

      LR 6.2.1R(2), LR 6.2.1R(3) and LR 6.2.1R(4) (content of historical financial information); and

    2. (b)

      LR 6.2.4R and LR 6.2.6R (audit requirements for historical financial information).

LR 6.10.2 R RP

1 LR 6.3.1R (revenue earning track record) does not apply to a mineral company that applies for the admission of its equity shares to a premium listing.

LR 6.10.3 R RP
  1. (1)

    1This rule applies if the mineral company applies for the admission of its equity shares to premium listing and cannot comply with LR 6.6.1R (control of business) because the mineral company does not hold controlling interests in a majority (by value) of the properties, fields, mines or other assets in which it has invested.

  2. (2)

    The mineral company must demonstrate that it has a reasonable spread of direct interests in mineral resources and has rights to participate actively in their extraction, whether by voting or through other rights which give it influence in decisions over the timing and method of extraction of those resources.

LR 6.11 Specialist companies: scientific research based companies

LR 6.11.1 R RP

1Where a scientific research based company applies for the admission of its equity shares to a premium listing and cannot comply with the minimum three-year period required in LR 6.2.1R(1) because it has been operating for a shorter period:

  1. (1)

    the scientific research based company must have published or filed historical financial information since the inception of its business; and

  2. (2)

    the following apply to the scientific research based company only with regard to the period for which it has published or filed historical financial information under (1):

    1. (a)

      LR 6.2.1R(2), LR 6.2.1R(3) and LR 6.2.1R(4) (content of historical financial information); and

    2. (b)

      LR 6.2.4R and LR 6.2.6R (audit requirements for historical financial information).

LR 6.11.2 R RP

1If the scientific research based company does not comply with either LR 6.2.1R(1) (minimum period for historical financial information) or LR 6.3.1R (revenue earning track record), it must:

  1. (1)

    demonstrate its ability to attract funds from sophisticated investors prior to the marketing at the time of listing;

  2. (2)

    intend to raise at least £10 million pursuant to a marketing at the time of listing;

  3. (3)

    have a capitalisation, before the marketing at the time of listing, of at least £20 million (based on the issue price and excluding the value of any equity shares which have been issued in the six months before listing);

  4. (4)

    have as its primary reason for listing the raising of finance to bring identified products to a stage where they can generate significant revenues; and

  5. (5)

    demonstrate that it has a three year record in laboratory research and development including:

    1. (a)

      details of patents granted or details of progress of patent applications; and

    2. (b)

      the successful completion of, or the successful progression of, significant testing of the effectiveness of its products.

LR 6.12 Specialist companies: property companies

LR 6.12.1 R RP

1Where a property company applies for the admission of its equity shares to a premium listing and cannot comply with LR 6.3.1R because it does not have a revenue earning track record:

  1. (1)

    the property company must demonstrate that it has three years of development of its real estate assets represented by increases of the gross asset value of its real estate assets:

    1. (a)

      evidenced by the historical financial information required by LR 6.2.1R; and

    2. (b)

      supported by a published property valuation report; or

  2. (2)

    the property company must demonstrate that 75% of the gross asset value of an applicant’s real estate assets, as supported by a published property valuation report, are revenue generating at the point in time when the application for admission of the equity shares to a premium listing is made.

LR 6.12.2 G RP

1For the purposes of LR 6.12.1R, the property valuation report should be published in the applicant’s prospectus.

LR 6.12.3 R RP

1Where a property company is relying on LR 6.12.1R(2) and cannot comply with LR 6.2.1R(1) because it has been operating for a shorter period:

  1. (1)

    the property company must have published or filed historical financial information since the inception of its business; and

  2. (2)

    the following apply to the property company only with regard to the period for which it has published or filed historical financial information under (1):

    1. (a)

      LR 6.2.1R(2), LR 6.2.1R(3) and LR 6.2.1R(4) (content of historical financial information); and

    2. (b)

      LR 6.2.4R and LR 6.2.6R (audit requirements for historical financial information).

LR 6.13 Externally managed companies

LR 6.13.1 R RP

1An applicant must satisfy the FCA that:

  1. (1)

    the discretion of its board to make strategic decisions on behalf of the applicant has not been limited or transferred to a person outside the applicant’s group; and

  2. (2)

    its board has the capability to act on key strategic matters in the absence of a recommendation from a person outside the applicant’s group.

LR 6.13.2 G RP

1In considering whether an applicant has satisfied LR 6.13.1R, the FCA will consider, among other things, whether the board of the applicant consists solely of non-executive directors and whether significant elements of the strategic decision-making of or planning for the applicant take place outside the applicant’s group, for example with an external management company.

LR 6.14 Shares in public hands

LR 6.14.1 R RP

1Where an applicant is applying for the admission of a class of equity shares to premium listing, a sufficient number of shares of that class must, no later than the time of admission, be distributed to the public in one or more EEA States.

[Note: article 48 of the CARD]

LR 6.14.2 R RP

1For the purposes of LR 6.14.1R:

  1. (1)

    account may also be taken of holders in one or more states that are not EEA States, if the shares are listed in the state or states;

  2. (2)

    a sufficient number of shares will be taken to have been distributed to the public when 25% of the shares for which application for admission has been made are in public hands; and

  3. (3)

    treasury shares are not to be taken into consideration when calculating the number of shares of the class.

[Note: article 48 of the CARD]

LR 6.14.3 R RP

1For the purposes of LR 6.14.1R and LR 6.14.2R, shares are not held in public hands if they are:

  1. (1)

    held, directly or indirectly by:

    1. (a)

      a director of the applicant or of any of its subsidiary undertakings; or

    2. (b)

      a person connected with a director of the applicant or of any of its subsidiary undertakings; or

    3. (c)

      the trustees of any employees’ share scheme or pension fund established for the benefit of any directors and employees of the applicant and its subsidiary undertakings; or

    4. (d)

      any person who under any agreement has a right to nominate a person to the board of directors of the applicant; or

    5. (e)

      any person or persons in the same group or persons acting in concert who have an interest in 5% or more of the shares of the relevant class;

  2. (2)

    subject to a lock-up period of more than 180 calendar days.

[Note: article 48 of the CARD]

LR 6.14.4 G RP

1When calculating the number of shares for the purposes of LR 6.14.3R(1)(e), holdings of investment managers in the same group where investment decisions are made independently by the individual in control of the relevant fund and those decisions are unfettered by the group to which the investment manager belongs will be disregarded.

LR 6.14.5 G RP
  1. (1)

    1The FCA may modify LR 6.14.1R to accept a percentage lower than 25% if it considers that the market will operate properly with a lower percentage in view of the large number of shares of the same class and the extent of their distribution to the public.

    [Note: article 48 of the CARD]

  2. (2)

    In considering whether to grant a modification, the FCA may take into account the following specific factors:

    1. (a)

      shares of the same class that are held (even though they are not listed) in states that are not EEA States;

    2. (b)

      the number and nature of the public shareholders; and

    3. (c)

      in relation to premium listing (commercial companies), whether the expected market value of the shares in public hands at admission exceeds £100 million.

LR 6.15 Shares of a non-EEA company

LR 6.15.1 R RP

1The FCA will not admit shares of an applicant incorporated in a non-EEA State that are not listed either in its country of incorporation or in the country in which a majority of its shares are held, unless the FCA is satisfied that the absence of the listing is not due to the need to protect investors.

[Note: article 51 of the CARD]