Tony Deyes January 8th, 2019 Exclusive, News, Top News On the heels of an exciting 2018, Canada’s Westleaf Inc. (TSX-V: WL) is pleased to... Westleaf Inc. Going Public Wednesday, January 9th

Tony Deyes

January 8th, 2019

Exclusive, News, Top News

On the heels of an exciting 2018, Canada’s Westleaf Inc. (TSX-V: WL) is pleased to announce that the company will be going public on Wednesday, January 9th. Calgary-based Westleaf is a truly vertically integrated cannabis company, with state-of-the-art cultivation, extraction, testing, and research & development facilities currently under construction in Saskatchewan and Alberta. As well as a specific focus on creating a unique retail experience and innovative product presentation under the brand Prairie Records.

Westleaf Highlights:

  • Vertically Integrated: Premium retail locations proposed for British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan and potentially Ontario; indoor cannabis cultivation facility currently under construction in Battleford, Saskatchewan; development of a state-of-the-art extraction and production facility in Calgary, Alberta;
  • A Unique Cannabis Retail Experience: Prairie Records is a differentiated retail concept approach with tactile in-store branding and sticky consumer engagement;
  • Superior Retail Footprint: Targeting more than 30 locations to launch in 2019 and 2020 in densely populated neighborhoods and tourist destinations;
  • The Team: Combining cannabis cultivation experts, veteran business development professionals, and tenacious capital market specialists, Westleaf’s senior team brings integrity, innovation, and industry-defining thought leadership to the cannabis space;
  • M & A Focused: Track record of successful partnerships & acquisitions with a value-oriented investment approach;
  • Strategic Partnerships with Leading Industry Players: Tilray, VIVO Cannabis, ATB Financial , Canndara Canada and Delta 9; and
  • Strong Financial Position: Access to up to $57 million of capital ($27 million of cash and $30 million in low cost, non-dilutive capital).

Scott Hurd, President and CEO of Westleaf Inc.,  noted that the company is poised to make a major mark in the Canadian cannabis space in 2019 “ Westleaf has spent the last year setting the table to successfully execute on our plans. We have acquired some of the strongest strategic partners in the industry; we have made the appropriate acquisitions, particularly in the retail space; and we have a sufficient amount of financing in place to execute on our ambitious plans for the coming year.”

Westleaf’s preparations to begin trading included a number of key recent strategic transactions:

Canndara & Prairie Records

On December 20, 2018, Westleaf announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a 21.4% interest in Canndara Canada Inc., a premium cannabis retail company with over 50 prospective retail locations throughout Canada, with the option to purchase the entire company.

Commenting on the deal, Scott Hurd, President and CEO of Westleaf Inc. said, “We continue to be extremely impressed with both the quality and quantity of retail locations that the Canndara team has amassed, and look forward to continuing to grow the portfolio with the goal of developing the largest cannabis retail company in Canada.”

Westleaf is developing a national footprint of retail stores called Prairie Records which mimic the design and feel of record stores to create a shopping experience that is radically different from the head shops and “Apple store knockoffs” currently representing the cannabis industry. Its strategy is to focus only premium locations within densely-populated, high-traffic shopping and resort areas.

As part of the transaction, Canndara will begin building Prairie Records stores to accelerate the rollout of the brand and portfolio. Current Canndara retail locations are at varying stages of development with 17 development permits awarded, and independently Westleaf’s plan for Prairie Records features a rollout of upwards of 30 retail locations by 2020 in markets across Western Canada, including its first Alberta location in Calgary’s iconic Palace Theatre.

“The synergy that exists between Canndara and Westleaf is rooted in our collective vision to build a leading cannabis brand in Canada”, said John Radostits, CEO of Canndara. “Our team’s hard work to build a robust portfolio of strategic locations along with Westleaf’s strong team, the Prairie Records brand and unique retail strategy, have established a formula for success. Together, we are carving out our position as a trailblazer in the cannabis industry with a truly revolutionary cannabis purchasing experience for Canadians.”

Prairie Records customers will be immersed in music as they flip through brand materials resembling the dust covers of records, but containing information about product names, branding, strains, and THC/CBD content. The album cover concept leverages the instinctual connection between music and recreational cannabis, allows Prairie Records to operate and excel within the strict regulation of product packaging and merchandising, and allows customers to more deeply connect with chosen brands while also becoming educated about cannabis.

Westleaf & Ace Valley

Earlier in the month, Westleaf announced it was partnering with Ace Valley to launch cannabis retail stores in the province of Ontario, through a strategic alliance and brand licensing deal which combines the expertise of two customer-centric companies to launch premium Ace Valley retail locations throughout the province. Infusing Westleaf’s impressive cannabis retail expertise with Ace Valley’s strong brand awareness, the arrangement brings the promise of an unrivalled retail environment to Ontario cannabis consumers.

“The agreement showcases our commitment to the Ontario cannabis market, reinforces our aggressive strategy to launch cannabis retail in privatized markets across Canada and allows us to tap into Ace Valley’s dedicated following and strong brand credentials,” said Scott Hurd, President and CEO of Westleaf. “We are thrilled to work with Ace Valley and jointly launch superior retail locations that will ultimately benefit the end user through retail excellence and brand consistency.”

Founded by the creators of the iconic Ace Hill brewery, Ace Valley is an experienced and admired cannabis company in the Ontario market, which has cultivated a network of dedicated customers that will now benefit from the retail expertise of the Westleaf team.

Through the agreement, Westleaf and Ace Valley will introduce a unique cannabis shopping experience branded Ace Valley, with the Westleaf team providing guidance on standard operating procedures and cannabis retail best practices. Ace Valley will support the retail platform through collaboration on design, merchandising and branded marketing efforts.

Ace Valley has initially developed a highly curated selection of pre-rolled joints and dried flower with the expert growers at Flowr in Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. These products are currently available for sale in Ontario and British Columbia, and Ace Valley is developing value-add cannabis products, including vape pens and cannabis beverages (to be sold in Canada when regulations allow), as well as Ace Valley-branded retail experiences.

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Financing Agreements

On December 5, Westleaf and IGC Resources (TSXV:ICG.H), who in October announced the intent to combine business operations, announced that IGC had closed a brokered private placement of subscription receipts of IGC (the “Subscription Receipts”) for gross proceeds of $20,108,403 (the “Offering”) resulting in 23,656,945 subscription receipts issued, including the exercise in full of the over-allotment option, which was increased to 6,008,945 Subscription Receipts.

Additionally, Westleaf announced that Tilray Inc. (“Tilray”) has made a $2.9 million strategic investment through the Offering. Westleaf views Tilray’s investment as a validation of its innovative approach to retail through its retail banner, Prairie Records, and is a strong endorsement of Westleaf’s strategy and leadership team. Scott Hurd said that Tilray’s investment reinforces the strength of Westleaf’s approach to cannabis retail and its team’s execution capabilities, as well as a testament to Tilray’s confidence in Westleaf’s ability to capture market share.

The transaction capped off a year of impressive growth for Westleaf, which also signed strategic partnerships with  VIVO Cannabis and Delta 9 Cannabis, secured favourable debt financing with ATB Financial, and crafted a partnership with Thunderchild First Nation of Saskatchewan.

As part of a go-public event in October 5, 2018, Westleaf announced a reverse takeover of IGC Resources Inc., whereby Westleaf would become publicly traded. The reverse takeover transaction with IGC closed on December 28, 2018, and as a result, Westleaf will be going public on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, using the stock symbol WL.

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