Florida-headquartered cannabis firm Parallel will go public on Canada’s NEO Exchange in a SPAC deal valuing the firm at more than $1.8 billion.
The multistate cannabis operator — led by William “Beau” Wrigley, the billionaire heir to the iconic namesake chewing gum enterprise — will merge with Ceres Acquisition Corp., a blank check company backed by music industry entrepreneur Scooter Braun.
The deal, announced Monday, was first revealed by Forbes cannabis reporter Will Yakowicz who profiled Wrigley earlier this month.
During that interview, Wrigley said he believed Parallel could one day be worth more than his family’s chewing gum business, which sold to Mars, Inc. in 2008 for $23 billion.
“At Wrigley, we brought joy to people’s lives,” he told Forbes. “This is much bigger than that.”
According to a news release, the Parallel-Ceres venture has received commitments from a group of investors in an oversubscribed $225 million private investment in a public equity (PIPE).
Existing investors in both Parallel and Ceres are participating in the PIPE, and the combined company will have $430 million of cash on hand when the transaction closes sometime this summer.
Wrigley will continue to serve as CEO and chairman of the combined company, and Ceres CEO Joe Crouthers will serve on the board of directors, the release noted.
Meanwhile, Braun, a 39-year-old record industry executive who is credited with discovering Justin Bieber, will serve as a special advisor to the firm.
“With a culture of compliance and strong values, a commitment to social equity, and disciplined growth and innovation, I’m thrilled to work with Parallel,” he said via the release. “Together, Ceres and Parallel have the experience and reputation to drive growth and create value for all their stakeholders.”
According to Wrigley, the deal will “enable Parallel to accelerate existing investments to transform