An interesting and reflective article by Laurence Kaye of Shoosmiths on some of the legal issues prominent in the digital revolution.
A UK government guide, “Small businesses: what you need to know about cyber security“, was published on 23 April 2013.
The associated BIS press release is here.
Here is the LSE’s webpage on the new High Growth Segment, the “new segment of the Main Market, designed to assist mid-sized European and UK companies that require access to capital and a public platform to continue their growth”, which launched in March 2013.
Here is a useful note by Osborne Clarke on the HGS.
London Stock Exchange’s new “High Growth Segment” for high growth companies with minimum market cap of £300 million: announcement and draft Rulebook
This morning London Stock Exchange announced its new “High Growth Segment” of the Main Market. The HGS is aimed at fast-growing companies aspiring to be included in the Premium Segment of the UKLA’s Official List. In the words of the Exchange:
“Market feedback from investors, sell side participants and the venture capital community confirms there are a significant number of UK and European businesses with ambitious development plans that are currently under-represented on the equity markets. This segment is part of the solution – it will provide greater choice for companies seeking capital and investors seeking growth opportunities.”
The HGS will be a segment of the EU’s EU regulated market and so the EU financial services directives (including the Prospectus Directive) will apply. The HGS will not be part of the Official List, with the Exchange explicitly designing the HGS as a “transitional route” to the Official List.
Key issuer eligibility criteria are:
TechCrunch interview with Toni Schneider, the CEO of WordPress.com’s parent company Automattic.
“Overall, if you look at the entire Internet and just go down the list at what all the different sites run… 17.4 percent of all sites on the Internet are powered by WordPress. The next number two platform is Joomla, which is around 3 percent, and Drupal is around 2 something. And then, I believe Blogger is number four with one or 1.5 percent.
If you notice, that doesn’t add up to 100 percent. So actually, the majority of the web is still custom made sites that don’t even use a content management system.”
WordPress.org is the open source version to download and run yourself, and WordPress.com is run as a service.
A good survey from the New York Times here.
“London’s fast-growing start-up scene is trying to disrupt the financial status quo. As consumers’ trust in banks deteriorates because of a series of recent scandals, young companies are pressing their newcomer advantage. Firms are offering services like low-cost foreign currency exchange and new ways for small business to borrow cash.
Backed by venture capital firms like Index Ventures, the financial start-ups are taking on entrenched incumbents by using technology to pare back costs and improve the customer experience.”
The FT on the differing approaches taken in London and the US to educating, and engaging with, potential investors ahead of tech IPOs.
Anthony Hilton in the Evening Standard reviews William Janeway’s new book “”Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Markets, Speculation and the State“. Excerpt:
From the New York Times, Wilson Sonsini Retools Strategy to Land Internet Start-Ups:
“…reflects the firm’s evolving mind-set as lawyers jockey for the attention of start-ups. In an effort to build credibility among new technology companies, Wilson Sonsini and others are employing a broad set of tools, including offering free services, cozying up to incubators and writing blogs.
Such efforts are critical. While early-stage ventures represent just 20 percent of the firm’s business, those companies can generate hefty fees as they mature. Wilson Sonsini and other firms also make small investments in young start-ups, which can pay off in later years.
“Small deals would not have interested these firms a few years ago,” said Joseph A. Grundfest, a Stanford law professor. “Now, it’s the new normal.”
For years, Wilson Sonsini dominated Silicon Valley, shepherding young technology companies like Apple, Netscape Communications and even the ill-fated Webvan. In 1998, Lawrence W. Sonsini, the firm’s patriarch, introduced two Stanford graduate students to Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, two top venture capital firms. Six years later, Wilson Sonsini helped their company, Google, go public.”
See also: StartupCompanyLawyer.com, run by a Wilson Sonsini partner
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Xavier Rolet, Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange, on why smaller growth companies “”not a mortgage, but equity funding”, and on the reforms needed to encourage equity investment in those companies:
“There…remain important structural reasons that are holding back private investors from funding our growth companies. Arguably the most significant is the tax treatment of equity: taxed at purchase, dividend and sale, in addition to the corporation tax paid on company profits, equities are treated aggressively while debt is often tax-deductible. Reducing tax on capital gains made from direct and indirect investment in smaller companies would also help boost liquidity by attracting more investors. And, a targeted abolition of stamp duty for Aim and PLUS-quoted shares would be a particularly low-cost and effective measure to promote growth.”
See also: A new route to the UK IPO market: Government plans to relax rules to attract high-growth companies to list on LondonA new route to the UK IPO market: Government plans to relax rules to attract high-growth companies to list on London
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A new route to the UK IPO market: Government plans to relax rules to attract high-growth companies to list on London
- Shares in public hands requirement to be reduced to 10% from 25%.
- Three year past accounts rule to be relaxed.
- Requirement for independent non-executive directors to be reduced.
The consultation will be announced today.