Ackrell Capital Forms $100 Million SPAC For Hemp Products

Ackrell SPAC Partners I said it plans to raise $100 million for a SPAC (special purpose acquisition corp.) primarily focusing on the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage and wellness sectors, as well as hemp-based branded consumer goods. It plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol ACKIU.

The company said in its filing, “Our strategy is to identify and complete our initial business combination with a target operating in the branded FMCG industry. Our focus will be on the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage and wellness sectors of the FMCG market. In addition, we believe that there is an emerging opportunity within these sectors to target businesses that are focused on hemp-based branded consumer goods. While we intend to initially focus on potential opportunities in the United States, the branded FMCG industry is global and we may pursue opportunities internationally.”

The Claymont, DE-based company plans to raise $100 million by offering 10 million units at $10. Each unit contains one subunit and one-half of a warrant, exercisable at $11.50. Each subunit contains one share of common stock and one-half of a warrant. At the proposed deal size, Ackrell SPAC Partners I would command a market value of $133 million. It has 12 months in which to establish a business combination.

The company is led by Chairman Michael Ackrell, founder and CEO of Ackrell Capital; Vice Chairman Shannon Soqui, co-founder and CEO of Next Frontier Brands; CEO nominee Jason Roth, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Next Frontier Brands; and COO nominee Stephen Cannon, who serves as President of Everest Partners and has experience from several other SPACs.

At this time, it looks as if all the members of the board of this SPAC are male. NASDAQ recently filed a proposal with the Securities and Exchange Commission that would require listed companies to have at least one woman on their boards, in addition to a director who is a racial minority or one who self-identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer.

Roth will serve as the Chief Executive Officer. Since April 2020, Roth has served as Chief Strategy Officer and a member of the board of directors of Next Frontier Brands. From 2018 to 2019, Mr. Roth was the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the board of directors of Mile High Labs International, which the company said it believes was one of the world’s largest processors of hemp-derived CBD concentrates in 2019. 

Ackrell has been a director of a number of private companies, including Stable Technologies, Inc., a manufacturer of water-soluble CBD products, CMLM Holdings, Inc., doing business as QIND, a branded retailer of CBD products, American Giant, Inc., a U.S.-based manufacturer of apparel and activewear, Vator, Inc., a professional network for entrepreneurs, and Scrubbed.net, LLC, an online accounting and bookkeeping services company. CMLM Holdings, Inc. was acquired by Next Frontier Holdings, Inc. in August 2020.

From 2018 to 2020, Mr. Soqui was the Chief Executive Officer of CMLM Holdings, Inc., prior to its acquisition by Next Frontier Brands. From 2017 to 2018, Mr. Soqui was the head of U.S. cannabis investment banking at Canaccord Genuity, a leading global cannabis investment bank. From 2015 to 2017, Mr. Soqui was the Head of Cannabis Investment Banking at Ackrell Capital.

Ackrell SPAC Partners I was founded in 2018 and. The company filed confidentially on October 17, 2019. EarlyBirdCapital is the sole bookrunner on the deal.

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