(Corrects headline to say direct listing, not IPO)
(Reuters) – U.S.-based Gage Cannabis Co, led by veteran marijuana industry executive Bruce Linton, is pursuing a direct listing on the Canadian Securities Exchange, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Gage is looking to tap into soaring investor demand for U.S. marijuana producers as the industry awaits the verdict on a landmark bill that will allow institutional investments and bring the cannabis sector on par with the way the alcohol and tobacco industries operate.
Lawmakers in New York have also said in recent days that the state is “really close” to legalizing recreational marijuana.
Gage, which currently focuses on the Michigan market and operates rapper Berner’s Cookies brand in the state, was valued at $350 million prior to its latest fundraise in the fall of 2020, sources told Reuters.
It has tapped a few investment banks to conduct investor marketing ahead of the listing and its shares will start trading under the ticker ‘GAGE’ around the first week of April, the sources said.
Linton joined Gage as executive chairman in 2019, months after being ousted from the board of Canopy Growth Corp – a business he founded in 2013, took public the next year and transformed it into the most valued cannabis company through a string of deals.
(Reporting by Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)