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QUOTED company directors have expressed their concern at being the subject of a possible takeover bid over the next 12 months, with one in three citing they are “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” by the prospect of an approach.

In comparison with 12 months ago, one in three also feel more vulnerable to a takeover with almost 10% of those surveyed saying they are now “significantly more” concerned.  

As the debate continues over how to improve the attractiveness of the UK’s capital markets, the QCA’s latest Small and Mid-cap Sentiment Index also revealed that one in six quoted company directors were likely to consider moving their primary listing within the next year.

The desire for improved liquidity was the key reason cited by this group, closely followed by better valuations elsewhere, better access to capital and other markets’ better reputation.

De-listing is also a likely consideration for one in seven of the quoted company directors surveyed, reinforcing the ongoing reduction in the number of listed companies on the UK stock market. Bosses said they were turned off by disproportionately high levels of regulation for smaller stocks, as well as a lack of liquidity.

Meanwhile, optimism over the UK economy has improved dramatically since the last survey in H2 2022, increasing by 52% in H1 2023.

There was also improved optimism towards business prospects over the next 12 months, an expected 10% increase in job growth and a 16.6% in mean expected turnover.

View the QCA Sentiment Index here.

James Ashton, Chief Executive of the Quoted Companies Alliance said:

“Against a backdrop of improving economic optimism, the fact that quoted company directors increasingly fear takeover speaks to the undervaluation of stocks traded on the London markets.

“As for those respondents likely to consider de-listing or shifting their primary listing away, our sample size is not huge but large enough to indicate how widespread this problem is. We need to keep up momentum with reform plans so that London can be the best home for growth companies to raise capital and develop.”

– Ends –

Notes to the Editors:


YouGov surveyed 94 quoted company directors and the sector’s advisory firms between 5th and 25th April 2023.

Respondents were scored on a scale where 0 represents “very pessimistic”, 50 “neutral” and 100 “very optimistic”.

The sentiment score for companies increased from 33.1 in H2 2022 to 50.3 in H1 2023.

For further Information please contact:

Ruby Halabi

Communications Officer, The Quoted Companies Alliance


T: 020 7397 8140

About The QCA

The Quoted Companies Alliance champions the UK’s community of 1000+ small and mid-sized publicly traded businesses and the firms that advise them. We believe the public markets can be the best place for companies to source the funds to grow, operate transparently and distribute wealth, fairly.

The QCA seeks to inform policy in dialogue with regulators and government, showcase the latest thinking on leadership, investment, technology and governance through our events and research, and provide a forum to share good practice among members, who are quoted on the Main Market, AIM and the Aquis Stock Exchange.

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