Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Australian founded medicinal cannabis company, Althea Group Holdings Limited, on its $19.65m initial public offering (“IPO”) and listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (“ASX”).
The company’s IPO was fully subscribed with strong participation from institutional and professional investors globally. The IPO was also supported by one of the largest Canadian medicinal cannabis companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, Aphria inc. (TSX:APH), who participated in the IPO and maintained its pre-IPO cornerstone position in Althea.
The IPO closed on 13 September 2018 and Althea was admitted to the official list of ASX on 19 September 2018. Althea’s shares successfully commenced trading on ASX on 21 September 2018.
Althea’s focus on patient care underpins its business strategy with its innovative technology solution, Althea Concierge, designed to educate and support patient access to medicinal cannabis in Australia. Through strategic supply and distribution partnerships, Althea has been able to commence importing and supplying five Althea branded medicinal cannabis products to eligible patients in Australia.
Althea intends to use the funds raised under the IPO to increase brand awareness of its medicinal cannabis products and design and construct a medicinal cannabis cultivation, extraction and manufacturing facility in Skye, Victoria.
A cross-practice team from Norton Rose Fulbright, led by corporate partner Chris Mitchell, advised Althea on all aspects of its IPO and admission to the official list of ASX, including pre-IPO fundraising initiatives, prospectus preparation, due diligence committee processes, ASIC engagement and ASX admission requirements. The team also worked closely with Althea in forming and executing its business strategy prior to the IPO, including providing licensing and regulatory advice, corporate restructuring assistance, strategic commercial contracting, property leasing assistance and tax advice.
Norton Rose Fulbright corporate partner Chris Mitchell commented:
"Althea operates in the highly regulated medicinal cannabis industry in Australia. We are delighted to be able to work closely with Althea assisting with the development and execution of its business strategy whilst navigating the regulatory and commercial challenges faced in this emerging industry. Althea’s successful IPO and admission to the official list of the ASX is a significant milestone in the company’s development.”
Joshua Fegan, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Althea Group Holdings, commented:
“Norton Rose Fulbright played an integral role in the successful listing of Althea onto the ASX. Chris and his team understood from early on the challenges Althea faced, given the newness of industry and complexities to do with patient access. We are thankful Norton Rose Fulbright were able to help guide Althea through the listing process and are proud to offer Australian’s from all walks of life the opportunity to invest in Australia’s premier licenced cannabis producer.”
Norton Rose Fulbright Life Sciences and Healthcare Leader, Richard Fogl, commented:
"We are very grateful for this opportunity and are really pleased for Althea. Our global focus on life sciences and healthcare meant that we were able to tap into the industry knowledge and experience of our Canadian colleagues. The transaction also highlights our understanding of the Australian regulatory landscape which we think sets us apart from many of our competitors.”
The Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by Chris Mitchell and included regulatory partner Bernard O’Shea; real estate partner Justin Lucas; construction partner James Morgan-Payler; tax partner Andrew Spalding; corporate partner Shane Bilardi; special counsel Adam Smith; senior associates Rohan Sridhar and Nicole Bury; associates Chanel Mercurio, Jonathan Pham, Lara Sohn and Andrew North.