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New SPAC Merger: Cannabis Company Parallel

cannabis

The latest privately-held company to tap into the boom of mergers with special-purpose acquisition companies as a route towards the public markets is Parallel, a cannabis company founded by an heir to the Wrigley chewing gum fortune. 

Parallel will merge with Ceres Acquisition Corp, a SPAC traded on the Canadian stock market that's backed by entertainment mogul Scooter Braun. Ceres Acquisition Corp trades on the Canadian NEO stock exchange under the ticker symbol "CERE.U".

Through its merger, Parallel will get $120 million in cash held in trust by Ceres Acquisition Corp and then an additional $225 million public-investment-in-private-equity (PIPE) round that it's received commitments for. Upon the completion of its merger, Parallel says that it'll have $430 million in cash at hand.

After its merger, Parallel will continue to be led by its founder and CEO William "Beau" Wrigley Jr, whose Wrigley surname rings a bell for the popular chewing gum of the same brand name. William Wrigley Jr is an heir to the Wrigley consumer goods fortune and has not strayed so far from his roots with a medical cannabis company.

Parallel is a parent company to a handful of medical and adult-use cannabis brands and retail dispensaries. It operates the fairly popular Goodblend brand and cannabis retail dispensaries including Surterra Wellness in Florida and Texas; New England Treatment Access (NETA) in Massachusetts, and The Apothecary Shoppe in Nevada. 

Parallel is in a market that's projected for major growth in the coming years as regions in the US and Canada move to decriminalize and legalize safe and controlled cannabis use over time. The company has apparently seen fit to tap into the boom of SPAC mergers amid a frenzy for such deals as it's poised to ride the wave of the cannabis market's growth.

Parallel's SPAC merger is expected to be completed in Summer 2021. The merger deal will value Parallel at $1.88 billion at market debut. 

Scooter Braun is a Co-Founder of Ceres Group Holdings, the corporate entity that sponsored the SPAC Parallel is merging with. Braun is an entertainment mogul and music manager with popular artists under his management including Ariana Grande, J Balvin, and Justin Bieber.

Braun is a co-owner of Big Machine Records, an independent record label that made its splash with Taylor Swift. He's also a co-owner of the professional esports team 100 Thieves.

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