On 10 December 2014, Oslo Børs resolved certain amendments to the listing rules for Oslo Børs and Oslo Axess. The new rules enter into force on 12 January 2015.
Listing of pre-commercial companies on Oslo Børs
Pursuant to the current listing rules, there is a requirement that at the time of application for listing on Oslo Børs, the main part of the company’s activities must not be in a pre-commercial phase. This requirement will now be deleted, and consequently companies in a pre-commercial phase may apply for listing at Oslo Børs, provided that the company fulfils the other listing requirements.
In Oslo Børs’ consultation paper setting forth the proposed amendments, and in Circular no 5/2014, where the amended rules are presented, Oslo Børs emphasized that the requirement of three years’ activity will still apply – this requirement implies that a company applying for listing on Oslo Børs must have operated the major part of its activities for a period of three years prior to the date of application for listing. It is stated that pre-commercial companies that do not meet the requirement for three years’ activity will not be allowed to list on Oslo Børs, but can apply for listing on Oslo Axess. Pursuant to the listing rules, Oslo Børs may grant exemptions from the requirement for three years’ activity, but few exemptions have been given Oslo Børs.
A further listing requirement Oslo Børs have emphasized is that the company must demonstrate that at the planned listing date the company will have sufficient liquidity to continue its business activities on the planned scale for at least twelve months.
Suitability requirements for shareholders with significant ownership stakes or control over companies
For both Oslo Børs and Oslo Axess, it has been proposed to introduce a new explicit suitability requirement for shareholders with significant ownership stakes, similar to the suitability requirement that applies with respect to management and board members. Oslo Børs has chosen not to introduce such explicit requirement. However, Oslo Børs will take into consideration the suitability of significant stakeholders in connection with the general suitability assessment of the company applying for listing.