One of Europe’s crop of cannabis companies was valued at 150 million pounds (US$190 million) in its most recent funding round, reflecting rising industry growth as well as investor appetite, despite a murky regulatory picture.
London-based EMMAC Life Sciences Ltd. raised 15 million pounds through a convertible loan note, pitched at a conversion price of 50 pence per share, it said in a press release viewed by Bloomberg News. It didn’t disclose the names of any investors.
The valuation is significantly higher than that of European peers. Freyherr International Group Plc, which trades on London’s NEX Exchange and is the U.K.’s biggest listed cannabis firm, has a market capitalization of 44.4 million pounds. Still, it’s small-fry compared to Canada’s industry, where Canopy Growth Corp. presently stands at around US$6.5 billion.
Companies and bankers that were talking about a boom in European pot stock listings earlier this year, similar to the one that gripped Canada in 2018, are backpedalling. Given a lack of clarity and broadly different European regulations on cannabis-based products, particularly those for medical use, firms favour private funding.
Chief Executive Officer Antonio Costanzo said in an interview that an initial public offering remains “one of the options we have on the table” but depends on any number of things, such as Brexit, cannabis market developments in Europe and conversations with shareholders.
The new round brings EMMAC’s total fund-raising to about 34 million pounds over the past 12 months. The proceeds have been used to build a network of cannabis-related businesses, including cultivation facilities and retail brands, across the continent.
EMMAC recently supplied a white-label product for U.K. pharmacy chain Boots, a CBD-infused muscle gel, and is holding talks about product launches with pharmacies in France and Switzerland, Costanzo said.