Clever Leaves begins trading today on NASDAQ after completing its business combination with blank check company, Schultze Special Purpose Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ: SAMA) under the ticker CLVR. At $205 million, this is looking like the biggest cannabis SPAC deal to close this year.
The company has operations and facilities in Colombia, Portugal, the United States, Canada, and Germany. Clever Leaves currently cultivates over 1.9 million square feet of greenhouses. It exports medical cannabis products to over 14 countries on 5 continents. Clever Leaves’ Colombian operation is the only medical cannabis facility in the world to receive both INVIMA and EU GMP certifications for extracts – Clever Leaves is also the first company to legally export cannabis from Colombia. Clever Leaves said it has established significant infrastructure and positioned itself to achieve global reach between its Colombia operations, its Portuguese cultivation facilities, and its global distribution infrastructure in the EU, which is currently headquartered in Germany.
George J. Schultze, Chairman and CEO of SAMA before the transaction occurred said, “We are very pleased to have completed our merger with Clever Leaves, which delivers attractive value to our stockholders. We believe that Clever Leaves is now among the best-capitalized companies in the cannabis industry and is well-positioned for substantial growth and profitability based upon its disruptive, low-cost and vertically integrated operating model. We look forward to working with its outstanding and highly accomplished management team to create significant value over time.”
Clever Leaves will have more than $80 million in cash on its balance sheet at closing. The company said it has raised approximately $225 million of capital to date, including substantial investments from institutional investors with a demonstrated track record in the cannabis sector.
Kyle Detwiler, CEO of Clever Leaves, added, “Partnering with the SAMA team represents a great opportunity to take our industry-leading platform to the next level as we are now poised to benefit from a significantly enhanced balance sheet, Nasdaq listing, and SAMA’s experience assisting companies such as ours in prudently compounding profitable growth. We expect that our combined expertise and resources will further enable us to accelerate the commercialization of Clever Leaves’ high-quality products as well as expand the company’s operations and distribution in attractive markets around the world.”
Clever Leaves’ branded nutraceutical manufacturer, Herbal Brands, will provide additional distribution capabilities for non-cannabis related products and the company said it is well-positioned in the event of legalization in the United States. Clever Leaves employs a staff of approximately 500 globally.