This is in spite of the fact that he plans to take Harrier Group, a PLUS-quoted company he chairs, to AIM.
‘[PLUS] is a very good market to be on,’ argues Morton. ‘They are a lot more sympathetic and understanding than AIM.’
A former AIM company, Harrier sold its IT businesses ‘because they were not performing’ and has £4.6 million cash as a result. The shell company is currently negotiating a reverse takeover in the media sector.
‘We are continuing to look for a suitable acquisition and we have seen loads,’ reveals Morton. Lately, a potentially attractive company, ‘well established’ in the media sector and ‘able to go places’, has swum into view, which generates annual turnover of £40 million and profits of £23 million.
Morton describes this company as ‘extremely interesting’ and says he hopes to finalise a deal in around two months. Though he sees taking Harrier back to AIM as a natural progression, he has nothing but commendation for PLUS, especially for the way it handles cash shells such as Harrier.
Two years ago, the AIM authorities introduced new rules, obliging shell companies that had floated before April 2005 and raised less than £3 million on or immediately before admission either to make an acquisition or reverse takeover. The move prompted an exodus of smaller cash shells, some of which moved to the less stringently regulated exchange run by PLUS.