Michel Guy Rivalland is CEO of AXYS Group, a global financial services group in Mauritius. In mid-2018, his firm assisted in the listing of the nation’s first company on the London Stock Exchange, an event that brought a spotlight to Mauritius’ worth among global markets.
Can you tell us why the London Stock Exchange listing was so historic?
In July 2018, for the first time since Mauritius gained its independence in 1968, a Mauritian company – GRIT – was listed on one of the world’s biggest stock exchange platform, the main board of the London Stock Exchange (LSE). This was made possible by the involvement of AXYS in this operation.
What was AXYS’ role in the listing?
AXYS was the global lead transaction adviser for GRIT’s LSE listing, playing a major role in the selection of the relevant accounting, legal and real estate valuation companies, and helping to facilitate the links between the UK and Mauritian service providers throughout the whole transaction. The whole process was a great challenge. This transaction has taken almost 2 years of hard work in close collaboration with GRIT. Oliver Hare, of AXYS Corporate Advisory, spent six months in London with his team to accompany GRIT on every investor’s meeting in London (over one hundred) and worked closely with relevant parties to produce the prospectus and all the relevant documents for the LSE main board listing. Our teams based in Mauritius, Dubai and South Africa also provided their utmost commitment on this challenging project.
What made this listing such a “great challenge”?
The complex timing due to the fact that GRIT was operating normally during the time of the listing was particularly challenging. Moreover, GRIT was also already listed both in Mauritius and in Johannesburg, which means that several reporting periods had to be respected, compounded with the legal, valuation and accounting standards which are very stringent for a Main Board LSE listing. Thankfully, it all went very smoothly, and the operation was a great success.
What does this listing mean for Mauritius?
This historic listing not only puts Mauritius on the map in London, one of the most important financial capitals of the world, it also helped the country being perceived as a serious player by global finance experts. The next step is for Mauritius to move from being an administration platform to a capital market platform.