Akerna To Buy Tech Company With One-of-a-Kind Partnership

Cannabis Investing News

Akerna, a US-based cannabis tech company, is acquiring Ample Organics for a cash and stock transaction valued at C$60 million.

Cannabis tech company Akerna (NASDAQ:KERN) confirmed on Wednesday (December 18) it was buying fellow tech cannabis player Ample Organics for C$60 million.

The cash and stock transaction will bring on board a seed-to-sale platform company under the umbrella of Akerna. The public company highlighted Ample Organics’ capability to win a contract with St. Vincent and The Grenadines earlier this month to provide a national tracking platform through its AmpleCentral program.

Jessica Billingsley, CEO of Akerna, said integrating this purchase will give the company a stronger position in its pursuit to build a global technology platform.

In an email to the Investing News Network (INN) Billingsley said she’s confident the deal will close based on the synergy created between the two companies. The executive also praised its target acquisition for its partnership with the Caribbean nation.

“We anticipate the award will drive accelerated growth as international markets continue to pass legislation to legalize cannabis, and we look forward to working with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,” Billingsley said.

“We believe this transaction will result in tremendous synergies and opportunities for both Ample Organics and Akerna,” John Prentice, founder and CEO of Ample Organics, said in a statement.

Akerna has committed to pay C$7.5 million in cash and C$42.5 million worth of Akerna stock. There will be an additional C$10 million of a stock-based consideration attached to targets the company must meet in 2020.

Shares of Akerna jumped during Wednesday’s trading session following the deal announcement. As of 1:30 p.m. EST, the company value was up 5.18 percent for a price per share of US$11.63.

The AmpleCentral program is designed to act as a “jurisdictional track-and-trace database” for governments in nascent cannabis markets to guarantee compliance and standards of its regulations.

“This technology connects data points across the national cannabis supply chain, providing regulators with the information necessary to assure public, product, and patient safety,” Ample Organics previously stated.

Following the confirmation of the partnership with St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Prentice said this would represent the first implementation of a national tracking system in the global cannabis industry.

According to Akerna, Ample Organics is projected to produce C$11.5 million in revenue for its 2020 operations. The company is expecting to close this transaction by Q1 2020.

Back in July, Ample Organics faced a significant round of layoffs, with approximately 20 employees losing their positions at the time, according to a report from BetaKit.

“It’s been an interesting time in the cannabis industry. There’s a lot … of turmoil happening. I think that capital is drying up in the space, and really Ample is a bellwether for everything else that’s going on in the industry,” Prentice said at the time of the cuts.

Previously, Billingsley told INN the firm’s NASDAQ listing provided it with significant opportunities for strategic mergers and acquisitions.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

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