This news release constitutes a “designated news release” for the purposes of the Company’s prospectus supplement dated May 4, 2021, to its short form base shelf prospectus dated September 2, 2020
Not for Distribution to U.S. Newswire Services or For Dissemination in the United States
Toronto, July 30, 2021 – Halo Collective Inc. (“Halo”) (NEO: HALO) (OTCQX: HCANF) (Germany: A9KN) today announced changes to its board of directors (the “Halo Board”) in furtherance of its previously announced reorganization (the “International Reorganization”) of its international assets to create Akanda Corp. (“Akanda”).
- Ryan Kunkel, currently a director of Halo, has been appointed as Chairman of the Halo Board, succeeding Louisa Mojela,
- Louisa Mojela has resigned from the Halo Board in order to focus on her new role as Executive Chairman of Akanda,
- Katie Field, currently President of Halo, has been appointed to the Halo Board,
- Charles Kie has resigned from the Halo Board and joins the Akanda board of directors (the “Akanda Board”) as lead independent director, and
- Philip Van den Berg will continue to serve as CFO and Director of Halo while becoming a director on the Akanda Board.
“Ryan’s unparalleled cannabis retail experience, financial expertise, and industry knowledge will help further shape Halo’s strategies as we sharpen our focus on becoming a top U.S. multi-state operator (MSO) in the western U.S.,” said Kiran Sidhu, Halo’s CEO and Co-Founder. “It has been a privilege having Louisa on Halo’s board, and we are thankful to continue to get the benefit of her tremendous talent as she and Akanda CEO Tej Virk build Akanda into one of the world’s great medical cannabis companies.”
“I am honored to continue to work with Kiran and the rest of leadership serving as Chairman to build upon Halo’s achievements as a vertically integrated cannabis company as we reinforce our business to strengthen Halo’s presence in our core markets in Oregon and California, as well as build a retail footprint in Southern California,” said Ryan Kunkel.
“I am proud of the work that we have done at Halo since joining the Board a year ago through the acquisition of Bophelo,” said Louisa Mojela. “I am confident that Ryan, Kiran, and the Halo Board will continue to lead the company toward further growth and success. But I am absolutely thrilled to work to realize the vision of Bophelo, which has the potential to be one of the world’s leading suppliers of ethically sourced medical cannabis and wellness products. With cultivation in the Kingdom of Lesotho and route-to-market through one of a limited number of licensed importers in the UK, Akanda will seek to drive positive change in wellness, empower individuals in Lesotho, and uplift the quality of the lives of employees and the local communities where it operates – while limiting its carbon footprint.”
The Halo Board, which will be chaired by Ryan Kunkel, will consist of seven members including Kiran Sidhu, Katie Field and Philip van den Berg as non-independent directors, and Peter McRae, Andrew Turman, Anmol Sidhu, and Ryan Kunkel as independent directors.
Akanda Board of Directors
“We are establishing Akanda with the highest standards of corporate responsibility, including corporate governance,” said Tej Virk, CEO and Director of Akanda. “For this reason, Akanda will be overseen by a diverse and independent Board of Directors. We believe that implementing sound corporate governance practices such as these will ensure that Akanda operates ethically and with integrity, and that at all times, it is managed to maximize the long-term interests of all of our stakeholders.”
The Akanda Board is expected to consist of seven members, the majority of which will be independent. The current board consists of Louisa Mojela, Tej Virk, Charles Kie, and Philip van den Berg. An active search is underway for three additional independent directors.
- Louisa Mojela serves as Executive Chairman of Akanda, and is one of Southern Africa’s most influential and successful business leaders. Ms. Mojela is the Group CEO of Wiphold (Women Investment Portfolio Holdings), one of the largest African-based ESG funds to empower black African women, which she co-founded in 1994. She has led capital raises and held directorships at companies such as Sasol Mining (a subsidiary of Sasol Holdings listed on the New York Exchange), Distell, Ixia Coal, South African Airways, Ericsson SA, Adcorp, and Sun International (SJ: SUI), amongst others. In addition to her business dealings, Ms. Mojela is focused on various social development initiatives in Lesotho in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of the Government of Lesotho. She has received numerous accolades for her leadership. Among these, in 2000 she was selected as one of 40 women for the “Leading Women Entrepreneur of the World”; in 2015 she was named one of three “Business Women of the Year – Southern Africa” at the All Africa Business Leaders Awards in partnership with CNBC Africa; and in 2016, she won the European Business Assembly’s “Best Manager of the Year” award at an event held in Switzerland.
- Tej Virk, an accomplished cannabis and corporate finance and banking industry executive, serves as Akanda’s founding CEO and director. He joins Akanda from Khiron Life Sciences (TSX-V: KHRN) (OTC: KHRNF) (“Khiron”), where he was President and Managing Director, Europe, establishing Khiron’s medical and consumer packaged goods business in the region. Prior to Khiron, Mr. Virk was Managing Director, Europe, for Canopy Growth Corporation (NASDAQ: CGC) (TSE: WEED) (“Canopy”), where he was responsible for driving the multinational expansion of Canopy’s European operations. Working with top research doctors in the UK, Spain, and Germany, he has overseen the launch of multiple medical cannabis products in Europe, including flower for inhalation and oils. Mr. Virk has extensive cannabis sector M&A experience and has transacted on numerous IPOs and follow-on capital raises for global cannabis companies, including Canopy and Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY). At the beginning of his career, Virk spent 15 years in investment banking and capital markets at BMO Financial Group (NYSE: BMO).
- Charles Kie will serve as the Lead Independent Director of Akanda. As the Co-Founder and CEO of New African Capital Partners and former Managing Director and CEO of Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Kie brings a wealth of financial and operational expertise to the Akanda. Mr. Kie also currently serves as a non-executive board member at Empower Families for Innovative Philanthropy (ERFIP) – Edmond de Rothschild Foundations – Switzerland.
- Philip van den Berg brings an extensive 30-year career in finance, principally in the equities divisions at Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Morgan Grenfell in London, as well as on the buy-side as co-founder of both Olympus Capital Management, one of the first European hedge funds and Taler Asset Management, a wealth management company based in Gibraltar. Since 2014, Mr. van den Berg has been an active investor in various start-up companies in Europe and the U.S. where he has held positions as director and CFO of several public companies. Mr. van den Berg is currently a director and Chief Financial Officer of Halo. He has implemented corporate governance and administrative systems, has been involved in a number of capital market transactions, oversaw a public listing, and has been involved in mergers and acquisitions.
Halo expects to provide additional information in respect of the International Reorganization over the coming weeks. Completion of the International Reorganization remains subject to the entering into of definitive documentation, the approval of the Halo Board and the receipt of all required regulatory approvals. There can be no certainty that the International Reorganization will be completed on the terms described in this press release or at all.
About Akanda Corp.
Akanda is a recently formed Ontario corporation that was founded in connection with the proposed International Reorganization. Following completion of the International Reorganization, it is anticipated that Akanda will be an international medical cannabis company, cultivating ethically sourced cannabis of the highest quality at scale, leveraging trusted brands, at a low-cost compared to many of its competitors. It is expected that Akanda’s initial portfolio will include key businesses such as Bophelo Bio Science & Wellness Pty. Ltd. (“Bophelo”), Halo’s cultivation and processing campus in the Kingdom of Lesotho in Southern Africa, with distribution and route-to-market through CanMart Ltd. (“CanMart”), Halo’s UK-based fully approved pharmaceutical importer and distributor which supplies pharmacies and clinics within the U.K.
Bophelo operates a campus in the Kingdom of Lesotho focused on the cultivation and production of medical cannabis products for international export. Akanda believes Bophelo to be one of the largest licensed marijuana cultivation sites in the world with up to a maximum of 200 hectares of canopy. Through partnerships and licensing agreements with award-winning seed producers, including DNA Genetics, Bophelo will provide Akanda with a low-cost gateway to the broader African continent and access to international markets. CanMart is one of a limited number of fully-approved importers and distributors of medical cannabis products in the U.K. market with supply and distribution to pharmacies and clinics throughout the U.K. CanMart is committed to providing a range of the best possible cannabis-based medicinal products sourced from around the world.
A cornerstone of Akanda’s value system is its fundamental commitment to using its operations as a force for sustainability and social good. Akanda will seek to deliver on this promise by driving positive change in wellness, empowering individuals in Lesotho, and by uplifting the quality of the lives of employees and the local communities where it operates – while limiting its carbon footprint. Adhering to best practice ESG operating and disclosure standards is among Akanda’s highest priorities.
About Halo Collective Inc.
Halo is a leading, vertically integrated cannabis company that cultivates, extracts, manufactures, and distributes quality cannabis flower, oils, and concentrates, and has sold approximately nine million grams of oils and concentrates since inception. The Company continues to expand its business and scale efficiently, partnering with trustworthy leaders in the industry who value Halo’s operational expertise in bringing top-tier products to market.
Halo currently operates in the United States in Oregon and California, Canada, Southern Africa in the Kingdom of Lesotho, and the United Kingdom. The Company sells cannabis products principally to dispensaries in the U.S. under its brands Hush, Mojave, and Exhale, and under license agreements with Papa’s Herb®, DNA Genetics, Terphogz, and FlowerShop*, a cannabis lifestyle and conceptual wellness brand that includes G-Eazy as a partner and key member.
As part of continued expansion and vertical integration in the U.S., Halo boasts several grow operations throughout Oregon and two planned in California. In Oregon, the Company has a combined 11 acres of owned and contracted outdoor cultivation, including East Evans Creek, a six-acre grow site in Jackson County with four licenses owned and operated by Halo and two third-party licenses under contract to sell all of their product to Halo; Winberry Farms, a one-acre grow site located 30 miles outside of Eugene in Lane County with a license owned and operated by Halo; and William’s Wonder Farms, a three-acre grow site in Applegate Valley, under contract to sell all of its product to Halo pending the closing of Halo’s acquisition of its licenses and business assets.
In California, the Company is building out Ukiah Ventures, a planned 30,000 sq. ft. indoor cannabis grow and processing facility, which will include up to an additional five acres of industrial land to expand the site in the near future. Recently, Halo partnered with Green Matter Holding in California to purchase a property in Lake County, developing up to 63 acres of cultivation, comprising one of the largest licensed single site grows in California. Halo also plans to expand its operations in California by opening three dispensaries in North Hollywood, Hollywood, and Westwood, one of which will servee as the first FlowerShop* branded dispensary.
In Canada, Halo acquired three KushBar retail cannabis stores located in Alberta as a first in its planned entry into the Canadian market, leveraging its Oregon and California brands. With the KushBar retail stores as a foundation, the Company plans to expand its foothold in Canada.
Halo has also acquired a range of software development assets, including CannPOS, Cannalift, and, more recently, CannaFeels. In addition, Halo owns the discrete sublingual dosing technology, Accudab. The Company intends to spin-off these assets and its intellectual property and patent applications into its subsidiary Halo Tek Inc., and expects to complete a distribution to shareholders on a record date to be determined by Halo.
Halo has recently announced its intention to reorganize its non-U.S. operations into a newly formed entity called Akanda Corp., whose mission will be to provide high-quality and ethically sourced medical cannabis products to patients worldwide. Akanda will seek to deliver on this promise while driving positive change in wellness, empowering individuals in Lesotho, and uplifting the quality of the lives of employees and the local communities where it operates, all while limiting its carbon footprint. Akanda will combine the scaled production capabilities of Bophelo Bioscience & Wellness Pty. Ltd., Halo’s Lesotho-based cultivation and processing campus located in the world’s first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) containing a cannabis cultivation operation, with distribution and route-to-market efficiency of Canmart Ltd., Halo’s UK-based fully approved pharmaceutical importer, and distributor that supplies pharmacies and clinics within the U.K. With a potential maximum licensed canopy area of 200 hectares (495 acres), Bophelo has scalability that is arguably unmatched in the world today.
For further information regarding Halo, see Halo’s disclosure documents on SEDAR at www.sedar.com
Matt Chesler, CFA
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information and Statements
This press release contains certain “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation and may also contain statements that may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking information and forward-looking statements are not representative of historical facts or information or current condition, but instead represent only Halo’s beliefs regarding future events, plans or objectives, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of Halo’s control. Generally, such forward-looking information or forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or may contain statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will be taken”, “will continue”, “will occur” or “will be achieved”. Forward-looking information may relate to anticipated events or results including, but not limited to the terms and completion of the International Reorganization and the prospects of Akanda, the composition of the Akanda Board, the development of Bophelo’s operations and the granting of certifications, the expected size and capabilities of the final facility planned at Ukiah Ventures, the size of Halo’s planned cultivation facility in Northern California and the ability of Bophelo and Canmart to serve international markets.
By identifying such information and statements in this manner, Halo is alerting the reader that such information and statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such information and statements. In addition, in connection with the forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained in this press release, Halo has made certain assumptions. Although Halo believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing, and the expectations contained in, the forward-looking information and statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information and statements, and no assurance or guarantee can be given that such forward-looking information and statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information and statements. Among others, the key factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information and statements are the following: unforeseen delays or circumstances that prevent the applicable stock exchanges from commencing trading in the Company’s shares or warrants; delays in obtaining required licenses or approvals, delays or unforeseen costs incurred in connection with construction, the ability of competitors to scale operations in Northern California, delays or unforeseen difficulties in connection with the cultivation and harvest of Halo’s raw material, changes in general economic, business and political conditions, including changes in the financial markets; and the other risks disclosed in the Company’s annual information form dated March 31, 2021 and other disclosure documents available on the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com. Should one or more of these risks, uncertainties or other factors materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking information or statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as intended, planned, anticipated, believed, estimated or expected.
The forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release, and Halo does not undertake to update any forward-looking information and/or forward-looking statements that are contained or referenced herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking information and statements attributable to Halo or persons acting on its behalf is expressly qualified in its entirety by this notice.
This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any of the securities described herein, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.