Entertainment and technology entrepreneur Scooter Braun enters the cannabis business.
The Ceres Acquisition Corp. Atlanta-based von Braun and Parallel, one of the world’s largest multi-state private cannabis companies, have formed a “business combination” to create a publicly traded US cannabis wellness company. The new company will be listed on the Canadian NEO stock exchange.
“It’s not often that you are at the early stages of a new industry and find yourself in the unique position of first mover to shape the future,” said Braun, co-founder of Ceres Acquisition who will serve as a special advisor of the new company. “I missed the dot-com bubble of the late 90s that some of my mentors were involved in, and this is our moment to create generational wealth. The cannabis industry is ready to be the most influential emerging industry of my life. I don’t want to look back and regret not being part of a dynamic and prominent space. FOMO is real. “
Ceres Acquisition is a Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation (SPAC) that raises money on an IPO and then has two years to acquire the company.
Joe Crouthers, Chairman / CEO of Ceres Acquisition, will become a director of the combined public company, and will be joined by four independent directors with significant experience in health and life sciences.
“Ceres’ extensive cannabis and consumer experience coupled with Scooter’s powerful network makes Ceres an ideal partner for a well-positioned, well-managed and high-growth cannabis company like Parallel,” added Crouthers.
William “Beau” Wrigley, Jr., former chairman / CEO of the legendary global chewing gum and confectionery company, will remain chairman and CEO of the combined company. Wrigley was sold to the Mars company in 2008 for $ 23 billion.
Wrigley Jr. said, “As a publicly traded company, we will have access to capital to expand our national footprint through new licenses and mergers and acquisitions, improve our cultivation and production capacity, expand our established retail footprint, therapeutic rare cannabinoid products Develop funds and bring to market benefits and conduct key clinical research in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “
The transaction is expected to fuel Parallel’s US footprint growth and enhance its mission to advance wellbeing and improve the quality of life through cannabinoids.
Parallel already operates in five states, including Florida, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Texas and Nevada, with a total of 42 brick-and-mortar pharmacies and an e-commerce infrastructure, including online ordering, roadside collection and home delivery
The transaction is valued at more than USD 1.8 billion in parallel. The combined companies are expected to have cash balance of $ 430 million by the time the deal closes and revenues of $ 447 million in 2021.
The news follows another Braun-related headline: Last week’s announcement shows Disney alums Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs are in the early stages of buying into content businesses with the support of private equity giant Blackstone can become a larger operating company. At the top of the couple’s wish list is the media and management company SB Projects from Scooter Braun, which includes Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato.