Canada’s Wayland Group has announced it will be expanding into Australia with the acquisition of a majority stake in Northern Territory company Tropicann.
It’s a somewhat curious situation.
Tropicann Pty Ltd is a freshly minted company that Wayland Group states is located in Darwin, Northern Territory. A search of Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) records indicates the company was only registered in October and its registered office is in Western Australia.
Tropicann doesn’t have an active website and WHOIS records indicate the Tropicann.com.au domain name was registered by an accounts and administration officer at an information technology sales and service company in the Northern Territory. Other than that, there doesn’t appear to be much information freely and publicly available about the company – on the web anyway.
For Wayland Group to acquire 50.1% of Tropicann, an initial transaction valued at CAD $4,800,000 will be involved, followed by a second of CAD $24,000,000. Both of these transactions will be in the form of common shares of Wayland and both pending certain milestones being achieved, including Tropicann securing a licence to cultivate cannabis in Australia – which is no mean feat.
Wayland is bullish about its foray into the land down under.
“The Northern Territory is the ideal location for our new Asia Pacific hub,” said Wayland Chief Executive Officer Ben Ward. “The location provides Wayland with ideal climate conditions in a globally respected and sovereign country with a large and fast emerging market of over 250MM people just 4 hours north.”
Apparently, the Northern Territory Government is also on board.
“Medicinal cannabis is a growth industry for the Northern Territory, particularly after its legalization by the Australian Government,” NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner reportedly stated. “The Northern Territory Government, Tropicann, and Wayland are in discussions about Major Project Status.”
If Major Project Status was granted, this could provide some valuable government assistance in terms of project coordination and facilitation across various government agencies; helping with some of the bundles of red tape that wrap anything cannabis-related in Australia.
It will be very interesting to see how this venture develops and what/who is actually involved on Tropicann’s side. There was no quote in Wayland’s release from any representative of Tropicann.
Wayland Group is no stranger to the cannabis sector. Maricann is Wayland’s medicinal cannabis brand that was founded in 2013 and has production facilities in Langton, Ontario. Wayland also has production facilities in Germany and Switzerland.
Last month Wayland announced it was entering the UK market, with an agreement to acquire 51% of UK based Theros Pharma Ltd under a similar sort of arrangement as the Australian deal.