While other cannabis industry SPAC’s have seemed to make big splashy entrances to the market, Ibere Pharmaceuticals quietly closed on an upsized offering and listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, and began trading on February 26, 2021, under the ticker symbol “IBERU.” At the beginning of February, the company filed for a $100 million offering and that quickly jumped to $120 million before settling on $138 million.
Ibere’s CEO is Osagie Imasogie, the co-founder and senior managing partner of the Philadelphia private equity firm PIPV Capital. Imasogie is also board chairman of Zelira Therapeutics, a therapeutic medicinal cannabis company that has operations in Philadelphia and Australia. While Ibere hasn’t specifically stated it is going to focus on cannabis, the Zelira connection could be a signal of that intention.
Ibere is a blank check company formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization, or similar business combination with one or more businesses. Although Ibere left itself some wiggle room and can pursue an acquisition opportunity in any business or industry, it intends to focus on opportunities in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries.
Each unit consists of one Class A ordinary share of the Company and one-half of one redeemable warrant, each whole warrant entitling the holder thereof to purchase one Class A ordinary share at a price of $11.50 per share. Only whole warrants are exercisable and will trade. Once the securities comprising the units begin separate trading, the Class A ordinary shares and warrants are expected to be listed on the NYSE under the symbols “IBER” and “IBERW,” respectively.
The company is made up of several GlaxoSmithKline veterans.
The team will be led by Imasogie as CEO, Lisa Gray will be the Chief Financial Officer, while Zoltan Kerekes will serve as the Chief Operating Officer.
Mr. Osagie Imasogie has over 35 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, serving in multiple capacities, including business management, law and finance. He currently serves as a co-founder and Senior Managing Partner of PIPV. Prior to co-founding PIPV, Mr. Imasogie conceptualized and established GlaxoSmithKline Ventures, GlaxoSmithKline’s intellectual property-based venture capital fund, and was its founding Vice President. Mr. Imasogie has held senior commercial and R&D positions within large pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, SmithKline, DuPont Merck and Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In addition, Mr. Imasogie was a founder and Chairman of Ception Therapeutics, Inc., Trigenesis Therapeutics Inc., iCeutica, Inc. and Churchill Pharmaceuticals LLC.
Ms. Lisa Gray has over 25 years of experience in finance, marketing, business development and operations, primarily within the pharmaceutical industry, and currently serves as a co-founder and Managing Partner of PIPV. In this capacity, Ms. Gray generates and leads investments, manages investor communications, and acts as advisor, chief executive officer or board member for portfolio companies. Previously, Ms. Gray was the Chief Operating Officer of GlaxoSmithKline Ventures, creating value from GlaxoSmithKline’s non-progressed Research and Development assets, and was the primary liaison with the cash-based venture capital community. Prior to her work with GlaxoSmithKline Ventures, Ms. Gray worked in various finance and operational roles within GlaxoSmithKline and SmithKline Beecham (a predecessor company). Ms. Gray began her career as a management consultant and auditor with Coopers & Lybrand and is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Valuation Analyst.
Mr. Zoltan Kerekes has over 30 years of experience in law, business and the life sciences. Mr. Kerekes is a co-founder and Managing Partner of PIPV. In this capacity, he manages relationships with pharmaceutical companies and sources of capital, leads transactions in the establishment of portfolio companies and acts as an advisor, chairman or board member for portfolio companies. Prior to co-founding PIPV, Mr. Kerekes was a director for GlaxoSmithKline Ventures, where he led various compound and intellectual property transactions.