Investor deep dive
Sativa Investments capitalises on first-mover advantage in UK medicinal cannabis
CEO Appointment, Geremy Thomas to Deputy Chairman
19 August 2019
Sativa Group Plc
("Sativa" or "the Group" or "the Company")
Sativa appoints Henry Lees-Buckley CEO as business develops
Sativa Group Plc [NEX: SATI], the UK's leading quoted CBD Wellness and medicinal cannabis Group, is pleased to announce it has appointed Henry Lees-Buckley as Chief Executive Officer and a Director of the Company with immediate effect. Henry was previously CEO of Uni-Select [TSX:UNS], a Canadian TSX quoted company, with operations in the UK, Canada and the USA. Prior to that he was a senior global executive and officer in the USA and Canada for W.W. Grainger, a US$15 billion Fortune 500 company. Henry is currently a non-Executive Director of NASDAQ-quoted BMC (Building Materials Corp) [NASDAQ:BMCH] which has sales of US$3.8 billion and a market capitalisation of US$1.6 billion.
Henry, who holds dual United Kingdom and Canadian citizenship, has held numerous executive level positions both in North America and also the United Kingdom. He holds an MBA from Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, has moved to the United Kingdom, and from now will operate from Sativa's Somerset headquarters.
Sativa's founder and current Chief Executive Officer Geremy Thomas will transition to the role of Deputy Chairman with immediate effect and will continue to deliver to the Group his significant knowledge and expertise in the medicinal cannabis industry. Geremy said: "Henry's appointment is a clear statement of the Board's ambition for the Group. Henry has the enthusiasm, expertise and experience to grow the business significantly.
"His experience of major capital market businesses, executive leadership and M&A will be of great use as the Company seeks to accelerate both organic and acquisitive growth and attract a broader investor base including institutions. Appropriate capital markets remain a focus for the Group."
Newly appointed Henry Lees-Buckley said: "Sativa has made remarkable advances in its first 18 months as a quoted vehicle and I am looking forward to working with the team to build on this foundation and guide and grow the business moving forward. The UK market is particularly exciting as it is adopting already globally proven interest in CBD wellness and medicinal cannabis products. This provides a significant runway ahead for us and, as Sativa operates in a complex and heavily regulated industry, management strength and controls are key."
The past and current directorships of Henry Lees-Buckley are:
BMC Stock Holdings Inc
Uni-Select USA Inc
Uni-Select Canada Stores Inc
Uni-Select Quebec Inc
Uni-Select Pacific Inc
Acklands Grainger Inc
Canwel Building Materials Ltd
Buckley's Office Service Centre Inc
Car Part World Limited
URO (South West) Limited
URO Auto Spares |Limited
121222 Holdco Limited
Allparts Bidco Limited
BMS Superfactors Limited
CES Bidco Limited
Data Development Services Limited
DDS Midco Limited
German Swedish & French Car Parts Limited
GMF Bidco Limited
PA Group Holdings Limited
PA Topco Limited
Parts Alliance Group Limited
SCMF Bidco Limited
Superfactor (Holdings) Limited
The Parts Alliance Limited
S A S Autoparts Ltd
Waterloo (Motor Trade) Holdings Limited
Waterloo (Motor Trade) Limited
Blackburn Brakes Holdings Limited
BBC Superfactors Ltd
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For further information please contact:
Founder & Deputy Chairman
Chief Executive Officer
Sativa Investments PLC
+44 (0) 20 7971 1255
Chief Financial Officer
Sativa Investments PLC
+44 (0) 20 7971 1255
NEX Exchange Corporate Adviser
Stephen Keys / Max Gould
Cenkos Securities plc
+44 (0) 20 7397 8900
+44 (0) 20 7397 8900
Financial PR and IR
+44 (0)20 7459 4070
(+44 (0) 7771 663 886
Notes to Editors
Sativa is a seed to Consumer CBD Wellness and medicinal cannabis business, focused on the smart-sourcing of the raw material, advanced extraction, manufacture, testing, distribution, and research & development of medicinal cannabis and CBD products. The Company has a Home Office licence application in process which, when granted as the Directors believe it will be as the application is in its final stages, will enable the Company to engage in the highly regulated process of growing, strictly for medicinal research & development purposes only, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) rich cannabis flowers at its high-security Somerset headquarters.
The Company joined the UK's NEX market in March 2018 as the UK's first medicinal cannabis investment vehicle and since then has capitalised on its first-mover advantage, developing a substantial UK bridgehead into what the Company believes will be a significant market in the future. Two UK operating subsidiaries, PhytoVista Laboratories and George Botanicals, are already well established and fully trading with healthy gross margins in independent CBD testing and CBD wholesale & retail respectively.
Phytovista has conducted over 1000 independent tests and George Botanicals develops, manufactures and distributes low-THC CBD wellness products. Other important future revenue streams are at various stages of development from concept to actual launch, with two Goodbody Wellness centres open in Bath and Bristol.
Prior to the Listing, Sativa's founder and Deputy Chairman, Geremy Thomas, spent 12 months researching the global medical cannabis and CBD industries at his own personal expense. He based himself in Canada, the most advanced country in terms of medicinal cannabis acceptance and regulation, travelling to America, Australia, the Far East, and Europe to connect with industry leaders and participants. The Company on Listing was therefore already internationally connected, and this has given it a head start within the UK industry for smart-sourcing and the adoption of advanced value-add techniques and models.
In May 2019 the Company obtained permission from NEX Exchange to reclassify itself as a trading company, having delivered on its original investment strategy. Benefits of this include widening the appeal of the equity opportunity to additional types of investors including institutions and family offices, many of which are precluded from investing in fund-type vehicles.
Sativa has a highly experienced Medical Advisory Board, Chaired by Sir Alasdair Breckenridge, a former Chairman of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). He is joined by Dr Matthew Brown, an award-winning pain consultant at The Royal Marsden Hospital, Dr. Peter Fedlshreiber, a barrister and physician specialising in medical law, and Dr. Stuart Ungar, co-founder of the Doctors Laboratory and who researched biochemical neuropsychopharmacology at the Royal Free Hospital.
The Company has a strong senior management team and Board team including Joseph Colliver FCA as Chief Financial Officer and a Board Director, and Jonathan Wearing, a seasoned City corporate financier, as Chairman. Dr Nick Horniman, Director of Regulatory Affairs, has over thirty years of experience in the veterinary industry and he co-ordinates the Group's ongoing relationships with regulators such as the Home Office, Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD). He is also investigating the significant opportunities for medicinal cannabis and CBD products in the pet and equine markets. Chris Jones, a retail management professional who was instrumental in building the Phones 4U chain, leads the team developing the Goodbody wellness centres, which will offer customers a variety of high-quality CBD products.
Sativa's smart-sourcing strategy enables it to define the crucial factors of seed strain, growing techniques and environment, along with extraction methods, all of which are imperative to the quality of the end-product. Phytovista Laboratories confirms the cannabinoid profile and quality of each batch on delivery to ensure that it is regulatorily compliant, is free of unwanted chemical elements, and is of proven origin. The commercial off-take agreements that the Company is entering in to will contribute to quality assurance, forecasted forward quantities of supply, consistency, and pre-determined pricing, rather than spot pricing.
The Group's activities include the Sativa Foundation, which awards research grants to academic institutions in order to further research & development into the efficacy of the full spectrum of cannabinoids. In April 2019 the Company entered into a three-year research agreement with King's College London to research the impact of cannabinoids on inflammation and respiratory diseases.
Sativa has invested in two Canadian-based businesses, pharmaceutical company Veritas Pharma Inc. and Rapid Dose Therapeutics Inc. Both of these provide Sativa with valuable know-how alongside their investment potential. The Company also has a 60% share of a joint venture with Germany's Lexamed GmbH, providing a foothold into the German market.
For more information on Sativa Investments, please visit: www.sativainvestments.co.uk
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