Marijuana tech firm Akerna (Nasdaq: KERN) agreed to sell its cannabis-focused software assets to a special purpose acquisition company known as MJ Freeway Acquisition Co. for $5 million, a bid that a few weeks ago sidelined another potential buyer, POSaBIT.
In a press release, Akerna said the deal will be simultaneous with its planned merger with Gryphon Digital Mining, a bitcoin miner, as part of its exit from the cannabis trade.
The merger is a separate deal from the sale to MJ Freeway Acquisition Co., and Akerna plans to use the $5 million to settle its accounts before completing the merger with Gryphon.
MJ Freeway Acquisition Co. will receive software assets MJ Freeway, MJ Platform, Leaf Data System brands, and Ample Organics from Akerna. Florida-based Alleaves Inc. assisted with the financing in the deal, with support from Bryant Park Capital.
The pivot to sell to MJ Freeway Acquisition Co. came as a surprise to observers, since Akerna had originally announced in January its intentions to sell to POSaBIT, and a price tag of $4 million was even revealed. But Akerna pulled out of the deal less than a month ago, saying only that it had received a better offer.
Following the merger between Akerna and Gryphon, the new Las Vegas-based entity will be known as Gryphon Digital Mining Inc., and former Akerna CEO Jessica Billingsley will retain a seat on the company board of directors. The new CEO will be Rob Chang.