Reform of the UK Listing Regime: a rebalanced approach

The FCA has published a “blueprint” for overhauling its listing rules to help London remain at the forefront of the global competition to attract companies to list their shares. The proposals will do away with the “standard” and “premium” listing segments for share listings of commercial companies in favour of creating a single segment which retains many of the premium segment’s requirements but in a more streamlined and lighter touch way.

In particular, there will be simplified listing eligibility requirements and the recently introduced dual class share rules will be extended to allow directors of newly-listed companies to retain a greater degree of control. Current premium listed companies will also benefit from the changes, which include proposals to remove mandatory shareholder votes on substantial and related party transactions. The proposals represent a move from a relatively prescriptive regime to one that is more disclosure-based and relies on investors making their own risk assessments.

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