Hammonds to help revive Birmingham exchange

Hammonds has advised regional development agency Advantage West Midlands (AWM) on re-establishing the long-defunct Birmingham Stock Exchange.

The online exchange, known as Investbx, will enable West Midlands-based small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to raise equity finance of up to £2m. It is set for a summer launch and could pave the way for the re-establishment of junior exchanges in other regions of the country.

Hammonds is on the AWM panel to handle property and European regulation work, but won a mandate advising on the Investbx project following a tender in early 2003.

The firm’s relationship partner with AWM is Birmingham property partner Anne O’Meara, but the Hammonds team on the stock exchange project was led by London corporate partner David Hull.

Hull said: “Setting up an exchange of this nature from scratch is a significant project and AWM needed advice on all aspects of the project, including regulatory issues, governance, company structure, outsourcing and data protection.”

AWM’s £3m cash injection was approved by the European Commission under its state aid rules following an in-depth economic assessment. Once up and running, Investbx will be managed by private sector businesspeople.