Mourant Ozannes has advised on the first Jersey company listing of shares on the US-based NASDAQ Global Market.
Shares of Velti plc, a leading global provider of mobile marketing and advertising technology solutions, began trading on NASDAQ recently following completion of its US$150 million initial public offering (IPO) into the US market. The shares sold in the IPO were registered with the Securities Exchange Commission. Velti's shares are also currently listed and traded on the alternative investment market of the London Stock Exchange.
Partner Michael Williams and associate Paul Martin advised Velti on the Jersey law aspects of the IPO and NASDAQ listing.
Mourant Ozannes worked closely with global law firm DLA Piper who provided US and UK law to Velti and led the transaction.
Commenting on the transaction, Michael Williams, said:
"It is always pleasing to work on such a novel transaction. In the past, Jersey companies seeking US listings have followed a well-trodden path of listing 'depositary receipts' relating to shares. This involves the appointment of a depositary (usually a large investment bank) which holds shares issued by the Jersey company and issues to investors depositary receipts representing those shares. The depositary receipts are then listed and traded. It was important to Velti to achieve a direct listing of its shares rather than depositary receipts. This was achieved by depositing the shares in the trading system operated by the Depository Trust Company and listing the shares on NASDAQ. This was a challenging transaction at times, as is often the case when considering a new structure, so we are very pleased to have helped our client achieve its objective and are delighted that its IPO was so successful."
He added: "Velti has stated that the US capital markets, and the NASDAQ Global Market in particular, are a better fit for the company due to the US having higher liquidity in certain markets, the broader coverage of the technology industry by financial analysts and the large number of technology companies listed in the US capital markets. Jersey provides Velti with flexible corporate laws and tax neutrality, as well as being a leading and well regulated international finance centre."
Mourant Ozannes also advised on the recent London Stock Exchange listing of environment consultancy, AEA Technology, who, like Velti, chose Jersey due to its flexible corporate law regime.