Kirkpatrick secures first Japanese AIM admission

Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham sealed a groundbreaking run of innovative AIM deals earlier this month when it advised the first Japanese company ever to have its shares admitted to the exchange.

Secure Design is a biometric firm that specialises in fingerprint identity systems. The deal was a straight admission with no fundraising element. Kirkpatrick won the work through a referral from Baker Tilly.

The six-month deal marked a high point for Kirkpatrick’s AIM team, and in particular for partner Owen Waft, who led the transaction.

“Since our US merger we’ve seen considerable growth in the international AIM work handled by the London office,” said Waft. “The Secure Design deal has certainly peaked interest and we’re hopeful there’ll be a number of other Japanese companies coming to AIM.”

Three more Japanese companies are understood to be considering a similar move to Secure Design’s.

This month’s deal follows last November’s first-ever share-for-share takeover offer for an AIM company by a Japanese company using Japanese paper, in which Kirkpatrick advised IB Daiwa Corporation. The firm also recently handled the first- ever admission to AIM of a Greek business.