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Smartchase Corp. Signs MOU to Acquire Asset Manager and Launch New Fintech

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Smartchase Corp. (OTC: SCHS) (“Smartchase”) is pleased to announce that it has signed a binding Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with a related party to acquire 90% of the outstanding shares of Northern Coast Asset Management Inc. (“NCAM”), a Canadian manufacturer of alternative investment funds.  This acquisition marks an important step in Smartchase’s strategy to become a leading Canadian Fintech.

NCAM is a dynamic player in the private capital sector in Canada and has extensive experience in servicing independent financial advisors. [The term “independent” refers to independence from the uber-large Canadian banks and insurance companies].  The biggest five Canadian banks dominate the Canadian financial landscape, owning 89 per cent of the market. In comparison, the largest five banks in the United States only have a 35 per cent share of their respective market. (World Economic Forum, “The Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015”).

NCAM’s business model was built on filling the voids left behind by the large Canadian banks and meeting the needs of “average” Canadians who increasingly feel left behind both as investors and as borrowers.

Included in the acquisition are Northern Coast Strategic Fund Inc. (“NCSF”) and Northern Coast ABL Inc. (“NCABL”), both wholly owned subsidiaries of NCAM. NCSF was founded in 2015 and has emerged as an innovative private capital fund specializing in alternative residential mortgages for Canadian Homeowners.  NCABL is set to launch its first private capital fund in Q4-2019 and will fund alternative asset-backed loans to Canadian small businesses.

Smartchase’s acquisition of NCAM will be a key component of its strategy to become a leading provider of financial services and structured investment products to independent financial advisors in Canada, and Smartchase’s Fintech Flatform will serve to bolster compliance and increase NCAM’s reach across Canada.

“This acquisition by Smartchase will bring together two highly synergetic assets: Northern Coast’s knowledge of the private capital market and the role played by independent financial advisors, combined with Smartchase’s Fintech Platform”, said Thomas Jones, CEO of Smartchase Corp. and President of Northern Coast Financial Inc.  “This combination of human experience and Fintech efficiency means that Smartchase’s Canadian subsidiary, NCAM, will empower independent financial advisors in Canada to compete head-to-head with their much larger competitors with greater efficiency and stronger compliance.”

In addition to the acquisition of NCAM, the MOU also includes the following:

  • The parties agreed to honor the existing NCSF agreements with Black Hawk Consulting Inc., NCSF’s mortgage administrator;
  • Smartchase will work with NCAM to find new sources of capital to fund asset-backed loans;
  • Smartchase agreed to work with NCAM to make NCSF and NCABL issues more widely available by adding an IFM (registered Investment Fund Manager) and qualifying for listing on Fundserv®.

Smartchase will release additional details of the acquisition prior to the signing of the definitive purchase agreement, currently planned to take place for June 20th, 2019.

 

SOURCE Smartchase Corp.

Cannabis

Valens expands Exclusive Licence Agreement to Bring Leading Cannabis-Infusion Technology to New International Markets

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Valens GroWorks Corp. (TSXV: VGW) (OTCQX: VGWCF) (the “Company” or “Valens“), a cannabinoid-based product company with industry leading extraction, next generation cannabinoid delivery formats and an ISO 17025 accredited analytical lab, is pleased to announce that it has entered an amended manufacturing and sales licence agreement with SōRSE Technology Corporation (“SōRSE“) which grants Valens an exclusive licence for CanadaEuropeAustralia and Mexico to use the proprietary SōRSE emulsion technology (“the Technology“) to produce, market, package, sell and distribute cannabis-infused products (the “Agreement“).

“This Agreement shows Valens’ commitment to invest and broaden its IP portfolio and enable its customers to bring differentiated, next generation products to market,” said Jeff Fallows, President of Valens. “As we move into “Cannabis 2.0” in Canada, we believe the products that offer consistent, high quality and predictable user experiences, like those we are able to create with SōRSE, will capture the lion’s share of attention and be the hallmark for brand development in a strict regulatory environment. With this expanded agreement in place, we have extended this opportunity for our existing customers to key international markets and at the same time established a platform for international consumer brands to add high quality, cannabis infused products to their portfolios.”

The SōRSE Emulsion Technology

The SōRSE emulsion technology transforms cannabis oil into water-soluble forms for use in beverages, edibles, topicals and other consumer products without the burden of cannabis taste, colour or smell. The Technology allows these cannabis infused products to maintain potency when heated, chilled or frozen and provides a number of other key advantages as well, including: (1) a faster observed onset time compared to other infused beverages and edibles, (2) a significant reduction of offset time, (3) an ability to use lower doses of cannabinoids due to the enhanced bioavailability provided by the Technology, and (4) increased consistency and stability with some product formulations achieving more than one-year shelf stability with no evidence of separation.

“We are proud to expand our partnership with Valens and leverage their near-term access to various global markets,” says Howard Lee, CEO of SōRSE. “Over the last year, our team of more than 40 plus professionals has continued to actively focus on creating and developing innovative, desirable products and formats of consumption for cannabis consumers. As emulsion technology becomes more popular through new delivery methods such as ingestion, transdermal, topical and more, it is imperative that quality and safety in consumption leads all innovation in this sector. This is a shared value and mandate that our teams at SōRSE and Valens both prioritize. We look forward to continuing this working relationship with Valens and introducing our award-winning emulsion technology to the global markets.”

Geographic Expansion

The Agreement grants Valens an exclusive licence to use the Technology in CanadaEuropeAustralia and Mexico (except in respect of medical applications requiring clinical trials) during the initial 5-year term, subject to certain performance milestones. This increases the addressable market from 37 million in the current Canada only agreement to 700 million people in the new Agreement, an increase of almost 20x. Furthermore, the Agreement provides a framework for Valens to obtain rights to establish non-exclusive agreements to sell cannabis-infused products using the Technology in the U.S. market and other markets, globally.

Bolstering “Cannabis 2.0” Platform

With the expanded exclusivity, Valens and its white label clients are positioned to not only succeed in the Canadian market, but also in the rapidly emerging legal cannabis and hemp-derived CBD markets in EuropeAustraliaMexico and beyond. The Agreement adds to the Company’s leading white label product offerings across numerous “Cannabis 2.0” categories such as beverages, edibles, transdermal products and more, enabling Valens to better serve its current and future partners.

“We have seen incredible interest from our current and potential clients regarding the SōRSE emulsion technology and we are thrilled to finalize the expanded licence agreement with SōRSE,” said Tyler Robson, CEO of Valens. “We expect the expanded exclusive territory will provide our clients with improved visibility and greater opportunity as they look to build global businesses around cannabis-infused products over the long term.

This is an exciting time in the evolution of ingestible cannabis products such as beverages and edibles. Historically, ingestible products have been lacking the necessary technology to provide a consistent, predictable experience, ultimately giving little reason to consume in this manner. At Valens, we expect that properly formulated, extract-based cannabis products, and infused beverages in particular, could disrupt many established beverage categories such as soft drinks, sports drinks, value-added water and alcohol, the latter of which has a monthly spend per capita that is roughly 16 times higher compared to legal cannabis spend in Canada. We believe the ability to plan an occasion and predict the outcome of use will be a game changer in the market and be the catalyst to bring about the full market potential of cannabis infused beverages and edibles, globally.”

Future White Label Services

The Agreement furthers the existing relationship between Valens and SōRSE and enables Valens to produce and sell SōRSE’s portfolio of branded products in Canada and the other exclusive markets at the option of the Company. These branded products include Happy Apple, a cannabis-infused sparkling cider and Major, a cannabis-infused fruit drink, both recognized as top selling cannabis beverages in the State of Washington, Pearl20, a cannabis-infused food and beverage mixer, and the Utopia line of cannabis-infused sparkling water, among others.

Agreement Summary

The consideration at closing for the exclusivity in the expanded geography was US$10 million, comprised of US$6 million in cash and US$4 million to be issued in common shares of the Company (the “Common Shares“). The Agreement carries an initial 5-year exclusive term with a 2-year renewal of the exclusivity, subject to certain performance milestones related to operational and financial achievements (the “Milestones“). As part of the Agreement, Valens will transfer to SōRSE royalty payments calculated as a percentage of sales (the “Royalty Payments“) and the Royalty Payments will be subject to an annual minimum of $2 million over the 5-year term. The Agreement also provides for a continuation of the Agreement on a non-exclusive basis after the 2-year renewal, subject to annual minimum royalty payments.

All Common Shares pursuant to the Agreement were issued at an indicative price of CDN$3.0471, being the volume-weighted average price of the Common Shares on the TSX Venture Exchange (“TSXV“) for the ten (10) trading days ending December 9, 2019. The Agreement remains subject to approval from the TSXV. All Common Shares issued in connection with the Agreement will be subject to a restricted period of four months and one day. There are no finders’ fees payable by the Company in connection with the Agreement.

 

SOURCE Valens GroWorks Corp.

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Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. Reminds Investors That Class Action Lawsuits Have Been Filed Against Energy Transfer LP, Grubhub, Aurora Cannabis, and The RealReal and Encourages Investors to Contact the Firm

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Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C., a nationally recognized shareholder law firm, reminds investors that class action lawsuits have been commenced on behalf of stockholders of  Energy Transfer LP (NYSE: ET), Grubhub, Inc. (NYSE: GRUB), Aurora Cannabis, Inc. (NYSE: ACB), and The RealReal, Inc. (NASDAQ: REAL). Stockholders have until the deadlines below to petition the court to serve as lead plaintiff. Additional information about each case can be found at the link provided.

Energy Transfer LP (NYSE: ET)

Class Period: February 25, 2017 to November 11, 2019

Lead Plaintiff Deadline: January 20, 2020

On November 12, 2019, the Associated Press reported that Energy Transfer’s Mariner East pipeline project was under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”). Citing interviews with current and former state employees, the Associated Press reported that the FBI’s investigation “involves the permitting of the pipeline, whether [Pennsylvania Governor Tom] Wolf and his administration forced environmental protection staff to approve construction permits and whether Wolf or his administration received anything in return.”

On this news, Energy Transfer’s stock price fell $0.81 per share, or 6.77%, over the following two trading sessions, closing at $11.16 per share on November 13, 2019.

The complaint, filed on November 20, 2019, alleges that throughout the Class Period, defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Energy Transfer’s permits to conduct the Mariner East pipeline project in Pennsylvania were secured via bribery and/or other improper conduct; (ii) the foregoing misconduct increased the risk that the Company and/or certain of its employees would be subject to government and/or regulatory action; and (iii) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

 

SOURCE Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C.

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iX Biopharma secures Australian cannabis manufacture licence

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Specialty pharmaceutical company iX Biopharma Ltd (SGX:42C) (“iX Biopharma” or, together with its subsidiaries, “the Group”) is pleased to announce today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, iX Syrinx (“Syrinx”), has been awarded a cannabis manufacture license from the Australian Office of Drug Control under the Narcotics Drugs Act 1967. Under the said licence, the Group is permitted to manufacture and supply extracts and tinctures of cannabis and cannabis resins.

This marks a significant milestone for the Group. Syrinx operates a TGA cGMP certified facility and holds import and export licences for cannabis and State poisons licences; together with the newly granted cannabis manufacture licence, the Group is now able to fully participate in the global medicinal cannabis business.

Importantly, the Group will be able to manufacture and distribute its newly formulated Xativa™ sublingual cannabis wafers in Australia through the Australian Special Access Scheme and in overseas markets. Xativa™ leverages on iX Biopharma’s novel and patented WaferiX™ technology to improve the speed and level of absorption and predictability of effect of medicinal cannabis. Xativa™ provides patients with a more elegant and discreet way to consume medicinal cannabis compared to existing dosage forms for cannabis such as joints, vapes and tinctures, and hence offers a superior user experience. The Group has received feedback from physicians in Australia that the advantages of Xativa™ and its differentiation from the rest of the market offerings are clear and highly desired.

Produced via iX Biopharma’s proprietary freeze-drying technique, the porous and amorphous WaferiX™ matrix holding the active CBD molecules is designed to collapse quickly within the sublingual space. The actives are then transported rapidly across the sublingual membrane into the blood vessels for a rapid onset of action.

“Globally, the use of cannabis for the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions has been growing at an exponential pace. The grant of the cannabis manufacturing licence has come at a most opportune time, allowing us to manufacture, distribute and promote Xativa™ as the gold standard in medicinal cannabis delivery, thereby charting a new growth trajectory for the Group,” said Ms Eva Tan, Director of Corporate and Commercial Strategy of iX Biopharma.

 

SOURCE iX Biopharma Ltd

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