IT Firm to Withdraw AIM Listing

Asbis Enterprises, a hardware and software distributor, said Monday that it would begin delisting from the London Alternative Investment Market on Tuesday, becoming the first Russian-owned company to leave the exchange voluntarily.

Citing a lack of liquidity for its stock, Asbis said the move followed a successful listing in October on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

"The company has decided to cancel its AIM listing in order to consolidate all liquidity to a single exchange," Asbis said in an application filed with the London exchange.

The company indicated, however, that British holders of its ordinary shares would still be able to trade them in Warsaw through appropriate brokers in Britain and Poland.

Established in 1995, the Cyprus-based ASBIS Group specializes in the distribution of IT components and peripherals and has operations spanning 23 countries. Asbis founder Sergei Kostevich controls 46.26 percent of the company through his KS Holdings.

Asbis, which was listed on London's AIM in October 2006, reported revenues of $1.4 billion last year, with net profit growing 68.8 percent to $18.7 million.

"The London market is very strong and better known, but it failed to deliver to us when it comes to liquidity," company spokesman Viktor Lukyanov said by telephone from Belarus.

The company has raised $21.5 million since floating 34 percent of its shares in Warsaw in October, whereas the London listing has only generated four minor deals involving its shares, Lukyanov said.

LSE spokeswoman Catherine Mattison said in an e-mail that Asbis could not leverage the possibilities of the AIM because it was too small to sustain a dual listing.

"We're pleased to have helped the company achieve its ambition of becoming a publicly quoted company, a crucial part of its development."

Staff Writer Catrina Stewart contributed to this report.