International legal practice, Osborne Clarke, is advising Singer Capital Markets, in its capacity as nominated adviser on plc's ("The Works") move to AIM from the Main Market, which was announced on 19 March 2024 ("AIM Admission").

The Works is one of the UK's leading multi-channel value retailers of books, arts and crafts, stationery, toys and games, offering customers a differentiated proposition as a value alternative to full price specialist retailers. The Works operates a network of approximately 520 stores in the UK & Ireland and an online store. The Works' purpose is to inspire reading, learning, creativity and play – making lives more fulfilled, with an ambition to become one of the most loved retailers in the UK. 

The board of directors of The Works have concluded that AIM is a more appropriate market for The Works for reasons including:

  • Reduced cost and regulatory burden: AIM offers a lower-cost alternative, including reduced audit fees, and a lighter regulatory burden compared to the Main Market;
  • Greater flexibility for corporate transactions: AIM provides greater flexibility for executing various corporate transactions, such as fundraisings, acquisitions, and disposals (albeit the directors currently have no plans to undertake any such corporate transactions in the near future); and
  • Increased benefits for shareholders: Shares traded on AIM and not listed on any other market are exempt from stamp duty. Additionally, AIM shares can be held in ISAs, making them attractive to certain retail investors. AIM Admission could also make The Works' shares more appealing to AIM-specific funds, including those investing in AIM companies eligible for IHT Business Property Relief.

As The Works' has been listed on the Main Market for more than 18 months, The Works is not required to publish an admission document in connection with AIM Admission. However, The Works will, subject to its shareholders approving AIM Admission at a general meeting to be held on 4 April 2024, publish an announcement which complies with the requirements of Schedule One to the AIM Rules for Companies comprising information required to be disclosed by companies transferring their securities from the Main Market to AIM via the AIM Designated Market route.

Admission of The Works' shares to AIM is expected to take place on 3 May 2024.

The Osborne Clarke team that advised Singer Capital Markets on the transaction was led by Partner Jonathan King, who was assisted by Associate Director Ed Nisbet and Associate Elizabeth Britchford.

The same Osborne Clarke team advised Singer Capital Markets, in its capacity as nominated adviser on Chapel Down Group plc's migration to AIM from the Aquis Stock Exchange, which was announced on 9 November 2023.

Osborne Clarke's Corporate team, which is ranked in the top tiers by both Chambers and the Legal 500 for AIM, is considered a go-to practice for many companies in the retail and consumer sector. Its retail clients range from global businesses to fast-growth start-ups and market challengers. The team advises at every stage of company development across all corporate issues, from equity and debt fundraisings to M&A, IPOs and JVs.

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