William “Beau” Wrigley Jr., who moved to Florida after selling his family’s gum and candy empire, is taking a weed company public.
Wrigley is CEO of Atlanta-based Parallel, which operates 42 marijuana shops in five states. The company said it is being acquired by Ceres Acquisition, a publicly traded special-purpose corporation (SPAC) in Toronto. Marijuana companies can’t go public on U.S. stock exchanges.
Wrigley will run the company, which will be valued at $1.9 billion and will have raised $225 million from investors in a deal expected to close in the summer. He told Forbes that he’s in discussion to do a $150 million acquisition of an unnamed dispensary chain in Chicago.
Parallel is the firm latest to take advantage of a rebound in investor enthusiasm for weed companies. Chicago-based Verano Holdings recently went public in a deal that values it at $2.9 billion. Choice Consolidation, led by Chicago-based Cresco Labs co-founder Joe Caltabiano, raised $150 million in a Canadian IPO for a SPAC that plans to acquire U.S. cannabis companies.
Wrigley, a billionaire, invested in Parallel’s predecessor company, Surterra Wellness, in 2018. The company is expected to have $447 million in revenue this year. It operates in Florida, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Texas and Nevada.
“This transaction will enable Parallel to accelerate existing investments to transform not only our company, but also the cannabis industry, as we seek to disrupt the more traditional beverage alcohol and healthcare spaces,” Wrigley said in a statement.
“As a public company, we will have access to capital to grow our national footprint through new licenses and M&A, improve our cultivation and production capacity, expand our established retail footprint, develop and launch rare cannabinoids products with therapeutic benefits, and conduct important clinical research.”