With there being no IPOs on the AIM market since December, two deals were closed just before the end of the first half of 2009. One was a vulture property fund that raised £220 million and the other was a small specialty finance company that raised £2 million. All very different from even a year earlier 31 deals. It is now quite some while since technology IPOs were a common feature of the AIM market.

It has always been the case that M&A has by far been the most common route to liquidity for shareholders in private software and IT service companies. Fortunately in software, M&A is part of normal business. Software companies are still profitable and generating cash. With dividend payments being relatively modest, many mid-market M&A acquisitions can be funded without resorting to external finance. The drive to acquire new technology, expand into new territories, or acquire clients, remains. M&A deals continue in marked contrast to the public markets such as AIM.