On 3 February PLUS announced that it was starting a formal sales process to find a partner which would allow the company to continue operating its subsidiary operations: PLUS-SX, PLUS Trading Solutions and PLUS Derivatives Exchange.
In an update on 17 April, PLUS said that it had received a number of ‘indicative proposals’. However, it said that none of the parties in question had been able to progress matters to a position whereby both sides were satisfied.
The PLUS Markets Group will now be wound down over a period of six months, during which time ‘suitable alternatives’ will be sought for PLUS-quoted companies. The market will continue to operate as normal in the meantime, according to a statement, with further announcements to be made during the process.
The company’s cash balance sheet has now reached a level whereby, in the context of its regulatory status, it will now have to close.
Sharemark, an alternative trading platform, now intends to extend its offer of free admission to its service for PLUS companies until January 2013.
On the back of PLUS’s initial formal sales process announcement, Sharemark began providing free access, claiming this would save companies £1,950 of admission costs. However, during the three month process, Sharemark did not manage to entice any PLUS-quoted companies to make the switch.
Sophie Murra, manager of Sharemark, comments, ‘[The] announcement leaves PLUS-quoted companies in a position where they now have to decide the options for shareholders and which market is most suited to their company.
‘Unlike AIM, there is not a requirement to retain the services of an adviser in order to be traded on Sharemark and many will find this advantageous.’
Sharemark will now be running a seminar, on 27 June, to introduce Sharemark and explain how it operates.