Celebrities in Play
Recent news has broken about a $1.9 billion deal between the cannabis multi-state operator Parallel, and special purpose acquisition company Ceres. This move will allow the private entity to become public, and there are some interesting folks at the helm.
First, we have the heir to the Wrigley Chewing Gum fortune, CEO of Parallel and former CEO of the Wrigley Gum company, which was sold to the Mars Corp. for $23 billion in 2008. William “Beau” Wrigley Jr. is set to be the man steering the ship in this new cannabis entrepreneurship adventure when the deal closes this summer.
In league with Wrigley is entertainment mogul Scott “Scooter” Braun, who will take part in the company by serving as a special advisor. His capacity in marketing and branding comes after a long and successful career representing some heavy hitters in the entertainment industry. Braun is investing as co-founder of the Ceres Acquisition Corp., along with co-founder Joe Crouthers.
Joe Crouthers, CEO of Ceres, is a former portfolio investment manager. He believes that now is the time for cannabis businesses to be bold. With the opportunity afforded by the Biden administration, and decriminalization efforts across the nation, Joe says, “You’re starting to see not only the companies deliver, but the governments deliver on some of those conversations and promises.”
National Cannabis Business Trends
The announcement of Parallel transitioning into a public entity has brought some interesting dynamics into play, as the company is now poised to be able to slide into Ceres’ listing on the Canadion NEO exchange. Parallel isn’t the first cannabis business to enter into agreements that allows them to tap into resources outside of the US, mostly recently and notably, MSO Verano Holdings and Weedmaps, ranging from $1-3 billion dollar deals as they transition to public entities.
Cannabis businesses in America are still facing difficult decisions as they find ways to work around conflicting federal legislation. Banking is still quite problematic for weed operations, whether it is a cultivation, manufacturing, or dispensing facility. Also, each state is forming their own set of regulations about how the marijuana industry will be shaped in their areas. This is forcing companies like Parallel to think outside the box.
Parallel’s Moving Onward and Upward
After all is said and done, the company is set as a Private Investment in Public Equity (PIPE), and will settle over $225 million in public investments, with exchange rates being $10 per share.
Beau Wrigley says in the press release, “We believe Parallel is ideally positioned for its next phase of growth, as we continue to build our presence in strategic markets and invest in innovation, R&D and the customer experience. Today’s milestone announcement is a testament to Parallel’s impressive growth to date, the strength of our business fundamentals, strong balance sheet, and above all, our unwavering commitment to further developing and enhancing our portfolio of cannabinoid products…”
Parallel currently operates in five states with strong foundations in the cannabis industry of which they expect significant growth, including Florida, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Texas, and Nevada.
The company prides itself on its research partnerships, with a wide range of top quality products, and inroads into new products with therapeutic applications. Although the CEO, Wrigley, had never used marijuana up until about five years ago. Now, he believes in the power of cannabis to improve “quality of life” as quoted to Forbes Magazine.
Parallel will be set up to own 81% of the newly combined company, and will have $430 billion in cash at closing. Wrigley plans to develop new business ventures in many states, including Chicago, Illinois–home of Wrigley chewing gum–bringing him full circle with the investment of his family fortune. Stay tuned as we bring you more news about cannabis business innovation!
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