Jersey-based medical cannabis cultivator Northern Leaf have said they are ‘very confident’ of launching an AIM listing in Q4 this year.
Speaking to Proactive Investors earlier this week, the company’s CEO Don Perrott said that the company was ‘substantially well advanced in terms of all its IPO workstreams’, and was preparing to ‘get out on the road’ to begin the marketing campaign ahead of the IPO soon.
In March this year, Business of Cannabis reported that the company was aiming to raise a further £3m in pre-IPO funding in preparation for its UK listing.
This funding was successfully secured in April through a preference share issue, and according to an update from September, the company has raised a ‘further at least £1m of pre-IPO money’ via a loan note.
According to the company, this loan note includes discretionary rights to convert at a percentage discount to a future IPO price.
“This additional fundraise provides further working capital to the business as work towards a possible AIM IPO continues.”
AIM-listed SEED Innovations’ CEO Ed McDermott, which owns 2.2% of Northern Leaf’s issued share capital before this latest funding, said in September: “To date, Northern Leaf has delivered on its plans and with additional pre-IPO funding also secured and work towards an AIM IPO picking up pace, we believe that Northern Leaf has potential to deliver real growth to our portfolio.”
Should it successfully launch an IPO, it would mark the culmination of a two-year long campaign to go public, after announcing similar plans to ‘go public later this year’ back in 2021.
At the time, the road was paved for Northern Leaf, which was the second company in history after GW Pharmaceuticals to receive a commercial licence to grow medical cannabis in the British Isles, to establish itself as one of the early frontrunners in the market.
With a £14m over-subscribed pre-IPO fundraising round secured in March 2021, everything looked set for the cultivator to ride the ‘green wave’ of positive investor sentiment towards cannabis and become one of the first tranche of UK cannabis companies to list on the London Stock Exchange, alongside the likes of Kanabo, MGC Pharmaceuticals and Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies.
However, progress seemed to slow to a snail’s pace as the company worked towards securing its EU GMP certification, which was secured in May 2023, alongside GACP accreditation which was secured in June 2023.
Northern Leaf would mark the first UK cannabis listing since Hellenic Dynamics in December 2022.
CBD retailer Chill Brands Group announced a major new distribution deal with UK high street stalwart WHSmith.
According to an announcement to investors on October 09, Chill Brands’ ‘nicotine-free vapour products’, which are understood not to contain CBD, will now be sold in 150 of WHSmith’s travel outlets.
This includes locations in transport hubs including Heathrow, Gatwick and Kings Cross which have a collective daily footfall of 500k passengers.
Last month, Chill Brands announced the launch of its UK sales operation, seeing its products added to 120 ‘independent retailers, vapour category specialist stores, bars and nightclubs’.
According to the company, it has now received initial orders from UK retailers worth over £350k, including sales made to more than 200 independent retail stores.
This will be welcome news for investors following the release of Chill’s full year financial figures in late July.
These revealed a significant drop in year-on-year revenues in the 12 months to March 31, 2023 of £82,840, down nearly 90% on the £624,187 it reported in the same period a year earlier.
Chill Brand’s CEO Callum Sommerton said: “We are delighted that WHSmith will be the first major UK retailer to stock our Chill ZERO range of nicotine-free vapes. This deal will see our products go on sale in major transport hubs throughout the country, providing exposure to hundreds of thousands of potential customers every day.
“This significant milestone marks the beginning of an exciting journey for the Company and is a clear sign of things to come. We are committed to further expanding our presence in the market, developing more strategic partnerships, and continuing to deliver innovative products to consumers seeking quality alternatives to tobacco and nicotine.”