Dual listing in the US `adds to credibility': but experts warn of all the baggage that goes with it.

Author:Hayward, Cathy
Position:Capital Markets

European companies with a dual listing on the US stock exchange have a strategic advantage over their competitors, according to a leading specialist in capital markets transactions.

Speaking last month at a Nasdaq-sponsored seminar on the pros and cons of dual listings, Mark Stegemoeller, a partner at law firm Latham & Watkins, said that the key benefits of a dual listing included access to capital markets four times larger than their European counterparts, exposure to many more potential customers and a universally accepted and tax-efficient acquisitions currency.

"As well as adding to the bottom line, dual listings can help things such as brand awareness," Stegemoeller said. "A US listing is often used by European companies as part of their image campaign."

James Wardlaw, a director at investment bank Merrill Lynch, agreed. A US listing helped UK businesses to attract US employees and provided the currency for-US and global acquisitions, he said. "These are being seen as part of the strategic development of a company. It adds to credibility in the US mergers and acquisitions market, and this is becoming increasingly important."

But Diana...

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