When Inspectron Holdings cancels its Aim quotation on 11 August 2009 it will be the last of the original 10 Aim companies to leave the junior market.
Originally known as Formscan, Inspectron had a market value of £4.73m when it joined Aim on 19 June 1996. The document management technology developer is valued at £630,000 at the current share price of 5p a share. Management says that it costs at least £60,000 to be quoted on Aim. The low valuation makes it difficult to raise money as a quoted company. Shareholders have voted to cancel the Aim quotation.
Inspectron reported an all too rare profit in the year to July 2008. Interim profits rose from £53,000 to £71,000 in the six months to January 2009.
The other nine of the Aim 10 companies have all left AIM but their departures have all been for relatively positive reasons.
Investment company Athelney Trust and Dawson Holdings have moved to the Main Market. Dawson has just had to place its newspaper and magazines distribution business in administration.
The majority of the Aim 10 companies became targets for acquirers. Minerals explorer Brancote, garden centres operator Country Gardens, property investor Gander Holdings, IT staffing provider Lorien, property investor Norhomes and pubs operator Old English Pub Company have all been taken over in the past 13 years.
Lorien moved to the Main Market in 1997 but returned to Aim before it was taken over.
Brancote was taken over by Meridian Gold Inc in August 2002. Brancote shareholders received 0.1886 of a Meridian share for each Brancote share which valued the company at $368m. That is the largest valuation of any of the takeovers and it compares with a starting market capitalisation of £5.7m. It is also much higher than the combined market capitalisation of £82.3m for the Aim 10 companies.
The remaining Aim 10 company, property investor Norcity II, was voluntarily wound up at the end of 1996.
There is still one remaining company link with the Aim 10 companies still traded on Aim. Brancote span off Patagonia Gold, formerly known as HPD Exploration, in 2001. This was so that Brancote could concentrate on the Esquel gold project in Argentina. Patagonia was originally quoted on Ofex and moved to Aim in March 2003.
At 15p a share, Patagonia is valued at £89.03m. Patagonia focuses on the Santa Cruz province of Argentina and is concentrating on gold exploration projects.
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