Australian Lawyers Weekly reports

Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Australian medicinal cannabis company Althea Group Holdings Limited on its IPO and listing on the ASX.

Firm: Norton Rose Fulbright (Althea Group Holdings Limited)

Deal: Norton Rose Fulbright advised Althea Group Holdings Limited on its IPO and listing on the ASX.

Value: $19.65 million

Area: Corporate

Key players: The Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by partner Chris Mitchell. Partners Bernard O’Shea, Justin Lucas, James Morgan-Paylor, Andrew Spalding and Shane Bilardi, special counsel Adam Smith, senior associates Rohan Sridhar and Nicole Bury, and associates Chanel Mercurio, Jonathan Pham, Lara Sohn and Andrew North all made up the team.

Deal significance: Australian founded Althea Group has a focus on patient care underpinning its business strategy. Its technology solution Althea Concierge is “designed to educate and support patient access to medicinal cannabis in Australia”, according to an NRF statement.

Althea has commenced import and supply of five Althea branded medicinal cannabis products to eligible Australian patients.

The company intends to use funds raised under the IPO to increase brand awareness of its products and design, as well as construct a medicinal cannabis cultivation, extraction and manufacturing facility in Skye, Victoria.

The IPO was fully subscribed and had global participation from institutional and professional investors. It was supported by Canadian medicinal cannabis company Aphria Inc., which is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Aphria Inc. participated in the IPO and maintained its pre-IPO cornerstone position within Althea.

Althea’s IPO closed on 13 September 2018, with admission to the official ASX list on 19 September 2018. Shares successfully commenced ASX trading on 21 September 2018.

Commenting on the deal, NRF lead partner Chris Mitchell said “Althea operates in the highly regulated medicinal cannabis industry in Australia. We are delighted to be able to work closely with Althea assisting with the development and execution of its business strategy whilst navigating the regulatory and commercial challenges faced in this emerging industry.”

“Althea’s successful IPO and admission to the official list of the ASX is a significant milestone in the company’s development,” he noted.

Norton Rose Fulbright life sciences and healthcare leader Richard Fogl said the team was grateful for the opportunity and pleased for Althea.

He continued, “our global focus on life sciences and healthcare meant that we were able to tap into the industry knowledge and experience of our Canadian colleagues.”

“The transaction also highlights our understanding of the Australian regulatory landscape which we think sets us apart from many of our competitors.”

Althea Group Holdings’ founder and CEO Joshua Fegan said Norton Rose Fulbright played an “integral role in the successful listing.”

“Chris and his team understood from early on the challenges Althea faced, given the newness of industry and complexities to do with patient access. We are thankful Norton Rose Fulbright were able to help guide Althea through the listing process and are proud to offer Australian’s from all walks of life the opportunity to invest in Australia’s premier licensed cannabis producer.”