Canadian-Israeli Cannabis Company Goes Public on Canadian Exchange

Richard Carleton, who heads the Canadian Securities Exchange, said that the move is an "indication of where we're headed."

An international Israeli cannabis company will look to carve a footprint in North America, going public in a distressed industry that has seen a downturn in new offerings over the past year.

Atlas Global Brands Inc. (CSE: ATL) began trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) on Friday under the ticker symbol ATL, the company announced on Friday.

Atlas’ entrance into North America’s public markets comes after it merged a collection of Canadian and Israeli companies by way of a reverse takeover. Under the accord, two Canadian cannabis companies will contribute cultivation, manufacturing, and scalability, while the three Israeli companies provide services in import, marketing, distribution, and sales of cannabis for medical purposes.

In a statement, Atlas’ interim CEO Sheldon Croone said that moving into the public markets “is an important milestone for Atlas, as it provides a platform for growth, and to ultimately execute on our strategy to become a global cannabis leader.”

“We are excited to ramp-up operations and continue to increase distribution in the eight international markets we serve today. We believe synergy, business efficiency and international reach will capture market share and accelerate growth in our industry. We believe the expertise and capabilities we have assembled across the cannabis value chain positions Atlas for long term success.”

Richard Carleton, who heads the CSE, told Green Market Report that the move is an “indication of where we’re headed.”

“I mean, certainly this is the largest transaction that’s gone public in a while,” he said in a phone interview Friday morning.

Israel’s legal medical cannabis market has gained the reputation of being a global leader in research, from a chemical perspective. It also early on moved to prescribe cannabis for a variety of wellness issues, in particular PTSD, through the Israeli Defense Force medical program.

And because the country holds a relatively small cannabis market, companies there have to look internationally both for growth capital and markets to lay their heads as they try to expand their footprints.

The route is a fairly common one for international weed businesses, though in Atlas’ case, the management team sees there are likely opportunities to do a number of tactical and strategic acquisitions in the North American market in particular, given the market conditions.

“Companies like Atlas are going to be in a great position, because we know there are a lot of assets that are distressed in Canada, the United States and elsewhere,” Carleton said. “These companies are likely in a position to acquire some some really interesting pieces of business at some very, very attractive valuations at this point. So, I don’t know that we’re going to see a lot of them, but it’s certainly an indication of where we’re headed.”

“Again, I expect to see the players with the stronger balance sheets who already are public doing very much the same thing.”

Adam Jackson

Adam Jackson covers the cannabis industry for The Green Market Report. He previously covered the Missouri statehouse for The Columbia Missourian and has written for The Missouri Independent. He most recently covered retail, restaurants, and other consumer companies for Bloomberg Business News. You can find him on Twitter @adam_sjackson and email him at adam.jackson@crain.com.


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