MCCULLOUGH ROBERTSON helped establish Australian environmental remediation firm Virotec on the London Stock Exchange last month.
The firm now trades as Virotec International plc after shifting its base to the UK. The new UK company was admitted to trade on AIM, the alternative investment market of the London Stock Exchange, on 30 August.
Prior to the move, Virotec had a dual listing for about five years on AIM and on the Australian Stock Exchange.
Lead partner in the deal, Diana Lohrisch, said they found the best way to shift Australian shareholders to the new company was through a scheme of arrangement.
The need to deal with two jurisdictions’ corporate law and the rules of the exchange made for a complex deal.
“We had Australian and UK laws, plus a scheme of arrangement, and then we had company that was listed on AIM in the UK, so we had to comply not only with Australian and UK corporate law, but also the AIM listing rules,” said Lohrisch.
“Then we had to list the new entity — bringing all of that together, that was the fun part.”
Virotec (Aust) moved its base to the UK in part because 79 per cent of its shareholders and customers are resident in the UK and Europe.
“A lot of their markets are in the northern hemisphere, and it is simply a better base for them to run the company,” Lohrisch said.
“It was the view of the brokers that the company would be more attractive to UK and US investors if it was a UK company.”
She said listing on AIM is popular among emerging companies, especially in the energy and resources sector, as it provides access to a lot of institutional investors in the UK who invest in the market, providing better access to capital.
Consultant Sophie Ward and litigation lawyer Tony Cotter assisted in the deal.
UK firm Cobbetts also advised Virotec on the listing.