Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies Limited (ASX:ROO) has secured firm private placement commitments from institutional, professional and sophisticated investors to raise up to A$3,955,851 before costs, which will allow it to aggressively pursue global cannabis opportunities.
It is set to capitalise on opportunities in North America and Europe following recent developments in the two regions.
Funds will go towards deploying the company's Root Zone Temperature Optimisation (RZTO) technology into multiple agricultural markets globally, as well as advance opportunities in Roots’ dedicated plant-based meat division.
Financial flexibility to scale-up operations
Roots executive chairman and chief executive officer Boaz Wachtel said: “We are delighted with the strong level of demand from investors in this placement.
“This placement gives Roots the financial flexibility to aggressively scale-up operations in key markets including North America, Europe and of course Israel.
“Recent regulatory shifts in the US and from leading bodies including the CJEU and the United Nations, have left Roots very well positioned to capitalise on the emerging cannabis sector, which currently represents our largest and most lucrative market opportunity.
“Our RZTO technology has been proven to increase the yield of cannabis plants while maintaining THC levels, and we are very confident a number of opportunities will materialise shortly.
“While the cannabis sector is promising, food security is also a major issue facing established and developing nations and demand for our technology is growing significantly.
“This is also applicable to the plant-based meat sector where our dedicated division is making some excellent progress.
“We look forward to updating shareholders on key growth developments in the very near term.”
The company will issue CDIs to participants in the placement on the following basis:
➢ 53,341,384 CDIs issued pursuant to the company’s available placement capacity under Listing Rule 7.1
➢ 35,560,922 CDIs pursuant to the company’s available placement capacity under Listing Rule 7.1A
➢ 90,909,091 CDIs pursuant to shareholder approval which was obtained on November 25, 2020.
Placement CDIs will be issued at 2.2 cents per CDI, representing a 22.9% discount to the 15-day volume-weighted average price (VWAP) to December 7, 2020.
The new CDIs will rank equally with that of existing CDIs on issue.
Funds will be used for local and international sales and marketing activity, operating expenses including employee salaries, patent maintenance and registering new IP, experimental greenhouse maintenance and pilots, plastic mouldings in Israel, legal and administrative costs, payout of existing debt, expansion of protein programs and pursuing global cannabis opportunities.
EverBlu Capital Pty Ltd acted as lead manager and corporate advisor.
Recent developments in the US and Europe
Following the recent decision by the US House of Representatives to pass the Marijuana Opportunities Reinvestment Expungement Act, which would decriminalise cannabis use in the US on a federal level, Roots is extremely well-positioned to aggressively pursue opportunities in North America.
Roots has existing partnerships in California that will allow it to benefit from the legislation in the near and medium-term.
The company also expects to expand operations across Europe following the recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union, which said member states cannot prohibit the marketing of lawfully produced CBD.
Roots is also pursuing opportunities in the plant-based meat sector in Israel and other markets.
Following the announcement in August 2020 on the establishment of a dedicated division with the support of globally recognised food chemist and researcher Zohar Kerem, the company anticipates report on some positive developments here very shortly.