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Greenberg, Manatt Aid William Wrigley-Led Cannabis SPAC Merger

Feb. 24, 2021, 11:55 AM

Greenberg Traurig is advising Parallel Inc., an Atlanta-based cannabis producer headed by a chewing gum billionaire William “Beau” Wrigley Jr., on its merger with a Canada-based special purpose acquisition corporation.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips and Canadian firm Stikeman Elliott are advising the SPAC, Ceres Acquisition Corp., according to a statement.

Toronto-based Aird & Berlis is also advising Parallel, whose chairman and CEO Beau Wrigley is the former CEO of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., the chewing gum company bought by Mars for $23 billion in 2008.

“This transaction will enable Parallel to accelerate existing investments to transform not only our company,” Wrigley said, “but also the cannabis industry, as we seek to disrupt the more traditional beverage alcohol and health care spaces.”

Wrigley will remain chairman and CEO of the combined public company Parallel, while Ceres co-founder Scooter Braun, an entertainment industry executive and “influencer,” will serve as its special adviser. Ceres CEO Joe Crouthers will be the combined company’s director.

The transaction is expected to close in the summer, assuming it gets approvals from various U.S. state and federal and Canadian regulatory authorities.

The combined company would be listed on Toronto’s NEO Exchange and have an enterprise value of about $1.884 billion, with about $430 million in cash, including $225 million from investors in a private placement.

Parallel has operations in five states with high potential for cannabis business growth; 42 brick and mortar dispensaries; and an ecommerce infrastructure, according to the statement.

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rmitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com
To contact the editor on this story: Chris Opfer in New York at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes in Washington at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com

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