Safe Harbor Agrees to Buy Fintech Platform Abaca for $30 Million

Execs at Abaca will join Safe Harbor's management team.

Cannabis financier Safe Harbor Financial (Nasdaq: SHFS) has agreed to acquire Arkansas-based fintech platform Rockview Digital Solutions Inc., which does business as Abaca, for $30 million.

Under the agreement, Safe Harbor will combine its financial services and Abaca’s fintech and payment solutions to “create comprehensive and streamlined banking solutions for cannabis operators.” The two-year deal consists of $3 million in cash at close and $8.4 million in common stock.

Closing the acquisition could add more than 300 accounts and expanded financial institution relationships.

“With their ecosystem of cannabis banking and finance platform, proprietary technology, strong financial institution and banking relationships, and experienced founder-led management team, we believe Abaca is the ideal platform to help us take a large step forward in scaling our capabilities and service offerings in building the complete cannabis fintech ecosystem,” said Safe Harbor founder and CEO Sundie Seefried.

The new Safe Harbor fintech platform will offer desktop and mobile banking, treasury management, payment processing, cash handling, logistics, and a new payroll service launching later this quarter. In addition, the acquisition will increase management talent of experienced cannabis fintech executives.

Abaca co-founder and CEO Dan Roda will become executive vice president and COO of Safe Harbor. The company stated that Roda is a cannabis regulatory expert and attorney with “significant” transactional and commercial lending expertise.

Abaca’s other co-founder and president, Brian Bauer, will serve as CFO of Safe Harbor. Bauer is a fintech expert with a “successful track record” of venture financing and business development, the company said.

Other Abaca C-Suite executives will join Safe Harbor as well, such as co-founders Greg Ellis and John Foley and payments industry veteran Doug Elkins.

“Following its recent Nasdaq listing and key additions to the executive team, Safe Harbor is positioned to be the leader in compliant financing and banking offerings to the regulated operating U.S. cannabis industry nationwide,” said Roda.

At the 1-year anniversary, Safe Harbor will pay an additional $3 million in cash and $12.6 million in Safe Harbor common stock based on the 10-day volume-weighted average price preceding the anniversary. There will be a final cash payment of $3 million due upon the 2-year anniversary.

The transaction is expected to close this quarter, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

 

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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