David Blackwell

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Full name: David Blackwell

Area of interest: Issues affecting smaller listed companies, Aim and Ofex (PLUS Markets Group)

Journals/Organisation: Financial Times

Email: david.blackwell@ft.com

Personal website:

Website: http://www.ft.com/comment/columnists/davidblackwell







Career: FT's Commodities Editor and worked at the International Company News Desk

Current Position/Role: Smaller Companies Correspondent

  • also writes/has written for:

Other roles/Main role:

Other activities:



Broadcast media:



Awards/Honours: London Stock Exchange Baker Tilly AIM Journalist of the Year, 2003; award for best research at the AIM 10th birthday awards, October 2005



Books & Debate:

Latest work:


Current Debate:

Financial Times: 'Small Talk'

Column name:

Remit/Info: Issues affecting smaller listed companies, Aim and PLUS Markets

Section: Companies

Role: Smaller Companies Correspondent


Email: david.blackwell@ft.com

Website: FT.com / David Blackwell

Commissioning Editor:

Day published: Friday

Regularity: Weekly

Column format:

Average length: 850

Articles: 2011

Selected articles

Articles: 2010

  • Plus takes stock as defections to Aim continue - Fuse8 moves to Aim to expand pool of potential investors - 30th December
  • Confounding Scrooges with tales of cheer - The tales of Chamberlin and Carclo, two long-term survivors as small public companies, should provide a little Christmas cheer to those still wondering if they will emerge from the recession intact - 28th December
  • Madagascar Oil and RGI threaten to spoil Aim party - What should have been an end-of-year celebration for the junior market has been somewhat ruined by stories involving the exploration group and the Russian property developer - 23rd December
  • Aim ends year with a smile on its face - More than £1bn was raised in November through initial public offerings and secondary fundraisings, making it the junior market’s best month of the year by far - 16th December
  • Archers in tune with the government’s ‘Big Society’ - Many insist that the BBC Radio 4 soap opera is grounded in rural reality as it underlines how David Cameron’s idea can be applied to help small companies lift the UK economy - 9th December
  • Davenham’s Aim exit thwarted - A 29 per cent stake in Aim-quoted asset-backed lender Davenham is up for sale via an auction that concludes on Sunday - 2nd December
  • Cambria mulls pay-out - Cambria Automobiles, the motor dealership that joined Aim in April, is expecting to pay a dividend this year - 30th November
  • Iron ore scramble puts investors on their mettle - Capital can be recovered quickly, but investors – even those with nerves of steel – need to factor in that large mining groups are also looking at increases in production - 25th November
  • Aim right on the money as banks put up their shutters - The latest London Stock Exchange statistics show that £446.3m was raised through secondary issues on the junior market last month, ahead of the £185.7m raised by IPOs - 19th November
  • Small companies need to tread carefully - The latest London Stock Exchange statistics show that last month there were four flotations, raising a total of £185.7m. That makes October the strongest month since March for money raised from new issues - 12th November
  • Aim can prove an unsuitable catalyst - The junior market continues to attract companies even as the latest PwC survey finds that some ‘may not have been suitable or at least ready for IPO’ - 22nd October
  • Shining a light on the tough outer shells of likely investors - ProPhotonix is beaten to Aim by Halosource, the maker of the natural biopolymer, after it had to postpone plans to raise £6m and join the market by the end of September - 15th October
  • Chinese groups take fresh look at Aim - If Standard Life is buying into the Chinese growth story on London’s junior market, other institutions may not be far behind - 7th October
  • Firm action as HMRC time-to-pay plans terminate - The stories of 1st Dental Laboratories and Archial should serve as a wake-up call to any other companies that are experiencing cash flow problems - 1st October
  • Imaginative investment helps small companies - TEG Group, the Aim-quoted specialist in composting technology, has in the past three months attracted two unusual investors that look set to put the company on a steady growth course - 24th September
  • Time for reality check for Aim’s zombies - Most boards of companies on London’s junior market should re-examine whether it is worth remaining a public company rather than moulder in a cocoon of cosiness - 17th September
  • Jaded Aim pins faith in call-centre operator - The junior market must be hoping that the arrival of iEnergizer, the Indian call-centre operator and supplier of back-office outsourcing systems, will lead to other worthy flotations - 10th September
  • Ithaca reaps benefit of maintaining a dual listing - If you have ever wondered whether there are any advantages to maintaining a dual listing, Ithaca Energy has come up with a positive answer - 3rd September
  • Aim’s strengths may obviate need for doom and gloom - Cost-effective flexibility and rapid dealmaking continue to attract companies amid a diminishing small-cap sector - 27th August
  • Minnows’ exodus exacerbates recovery prospects - While the running total of delistings at 117 so far this year is below the 178 at the same stage last year, the 25 groups that left last month is only three below the figure for July 2009 - 20th August
  • Corero and NXT take plunge with strategic changes - One of the beauties and oddities of the small-cap market is that companies sometimes decide that what they need is a radical change of emphasis - 23rd July
  • US relief effort elevates Qonnectis to level of survivor - The remote meter reading supplier is the latest unlikely Aim survivor after it resumed trading last week alongside news of a capital reorganisation and reverse takeover by American Leak Detection - 16th July
  • Renewable energy specialist slips into a faster lane - Italy-based company Acta found itself heading up a cul-de-sac but it now appears to be heading in the right direction and picking up speed - 9th July
  • Share-valuation conundrum refuses to abate - Investors were taken aback by the 44% discount offered by Green Compliance on a placing to raise £4m. But for some, it is quite an achievement to raise any money to back a buy-and-build strategy - 3rd July
  • Fairy godmother BlueGem rides to MCG’s rescue - For years there has been a progressive withdrawal of capital from the UK’s small quoted companies. But once companies are perceived to be undervalued, there is always someone willing to seize the initiative as was the case when BlueGem came to the rescue of Management Consulting Group - 25th June
  • China’s green dragon fades - China Biodiesel, which uses a unique catalyst technology to convert waste oil into fuel, has been squeezed by the rising cost of waste oils and falling price of diesel and plans to delist from Aim - 18th June
  • Growing pains no reason to spoil junior market’s party - The London Stock Exchange is staging a party next week in Paternoster Square as Aim turns 15 years old this month, but market participants should not expect another extravagant birthday bash - 11th June
  • Jetion hopes to catch light in Asia listing - If the solar cell maker attracts a higher valuation in the fast-emerging Hong Kong market, it could be a blow to the perception of Aim as something more than a fund-raising market for new companies - 4th June
  • Capital gains tax plans would penalise risk-takers - If the coalition government is as keen to create jobs and growth as it wants us to believe, it should take some notice of the Quoted Companies Alliance’s concerns about the proposed changes - 28th May
  • Raymarine shareholders escape shipwreck - Some believe the marine electronics specialist was sold too cheaply, but investors are getting much more than they can have hoped for six months ago - 21st May
  • Embryonic enterprises lose out as Aim goes abroad - The latest Aim statistics look positive but a closer look shows that Aim is not fulfilling its original purpose of supplying venture capital with a quote to embryonic UK companies. It is mainly raising funds for companies operating abroad - 14th May
  • Reasons to fall for Japanese love hotel fundraiser - About 2m Japanese visit a love hotel each day and most rooms are used twice a day during the week. As results from Japan Leisure show, they appear to be insulated from the downturn - 7th May
  • Big freeze helps groups warm to Aim - Data from Deloitte finds 16 new admissions to London’s junior market compared with just five last year, but only four of the listings raised £20m or more - 30th April
  • Time to address thorny issue of Aim pay - Scrutiny of executive remuneration is likely to rise following a rule change from the London Stock Exchange, which requires full disclosure of directors’ remuneration in annual audited account - 23rd April
  • Shares in ‘cool technology’ Toumaz could turn red hot - The Aim-listed, Imperial College London spin-out has rarely attracted much attention from investors but is now causing a stir in the healthcare industry with its disposable ‘digital plaster’ - 15th April
  • Veterans test mettle to win control of ZincOx - A battle has broken out between two zinc industry veterans for control of a small mining company that has had more than its share of bad luck and trouble since floating on Aim - 9th April
  • Aim’s recovery is not like a stroll in Mansfield Park - Since late 2009 there has been much talk of a resurgence in the market for initial public offerings, but up to the beginning of this week there has been little evidence - 26th March
  • DQ causes stir in Mumbai - Aim investors would have been surprised by the interest generated in India at the prospect of owning shares in the animation specialist - 19th March
  • End of the affair for AIM and China - China’s small companies are looking for opportunities away from AIM on Hong Kong and Singapore exchanges which offer higher volumes of share trading and higher valuations - 12th March
  • Turnround helps software group access more cash - Amid the economic gloom there are still plenty of Aim companies making progress - 5th March
  • Minnows jump on early dividend bandwagon - It’s not only the large companies that are bringing forward dividend payments to avoid the coming 50p tax rate on income - 26th February
  • Aim gains first 2010 member, but don’t expect a rush - The London Stock Exchange statistics for January show no sign of a decline in the number of companies leaving the junior market - 12th February
  • Frosty IPO market belies evidence of green shoots - There is no lack of optimism in the Aim world at the moment, including plenty of talk about a pipeline of companies just itching to join the junior market - 5th February
  • Force of destiny tries luck in another ball park - The struggles of two very different companies that were due to list this week - 29th January
  • Transdermal’s wrinkled brow over joining Plus - A company founded by a group of American doctors who claim to have a unique face cream that holds back the inevitable advance of wrinkles has struggled to get it to market - 22nd January
  • The welcome shrinkage of junior market’s long tail - Investment opportunity in reasonably sized junior companies has almost doubled as now 147 companies have a market capitalisation of more than £100m - 15th January
  • Ingredients for perfect storm blow across small caps - Tim Ward, head of the Quoted Companies Alliance, is calling for the Treasury to set up a working group ‘to design an appropriate structure for equity markets for the UK’, but a better route is to follow the example of Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister, who has appointed a consultant to consider a small business listings act - 8th January

Articles: 2009

Articles: 2008

Articles: 2007

News & updates: