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FastForward Inn Ltd (FFWD)


Wednesday 10 March, 2021

FastForward Inn Ltd

Conditional Sale of Investment in EMMAC

RNS Number : 7181R
FastForward Innovations Limited
10 March 2021

FastForward Innovations Ltd / AIM: FFWD / Sector: Closed End Investments

10 March 2021

FastForward Innovations Ltd ("FastForward", "the Company" or, "FFWD")


Conditional Sale of Investment in EMMAC Life Sciences


Further to the announcement as set out below (the 'EMMAC Announcement') of the conditional agreement reached between FFWD's investee company, EMMAC Life Sciences Limited ('EMMAC') and Curaleaf Holdings Inc. ('Curaleaf'), for the purchase of EMMAC by Curaleaf (the 'Curaleaf Transaction'), FastForward Innovations Ltd, the AIM quoted company focusing on making investments in fast growing and industry leading businesses, is pleased to announce that, concurrent to the Curaleaf Transaction, it has conditionally agreed to sell its entire interest in EMMAC (comprising 6,666,667 ordinary shares and a £750,000 convertible loan note) for £5,036,459 (the 'Sale Consideration').


As an AIM quoted company, FastForward is unable to participate in the Curaleaf Transaction due to regulatory conditions surrounding Curaleaf's involvement in the recreational cannabis market in North America.  As a result of the Sale FastForward will at no time have an interest in Curaleaf's shares.


The Company has agreed that it will sell the 6,666,667 shares and £750,000 convertible loan it holds in EMMAC to an unrelated party (the 'Sale') for the Sale Consideration, payable in cash, being £3,333,333.50 (being £0.50 per share for the original 6,666,667 shares held by the Company) plus £1,703,125.50 for the convertible loan note. The main difference to the Curaleaf Transaction is that the Company will not be able to benefit from the deferred consideration as detailed in the EMMAC Announcement. However, in agreeing to the Sale, the Company has been able to liquidate its entire investment in one transaction rather than be restricted under lock ins and variations in the market that it would have otherwise faced had it been party to the Curaleaf Transaction.  FastForward expects to record a profit on the Sale of approximately £1,931,459 (62.2%) compared to the September 2020 carrying value of the equity and cost price of the convertible loan note, and an overall return of 1.86 times original investment.


The Sale is conditional upon the Curaleaf Transaction becoming unconditional (expected to be early April 2021). 


The Company intends to use the proceeds of the Sale for making further investments in accordance with its investing policy.


Ian Burns, Chairman of FastForward Innovations, commented: "This is an extremely positive outcome for FastForward and we are delighted to have made a significant return on our original investment in EMMAC, further increasing our confidence in our investment strategy and our ability to deliver financial gains, particularly in the medical cannabis, cannabinoid wellness and life sciences sectors.


"The current legal and regulatory framework within which we work makes it impossible for us to continue to invest in the EMMAC/ Curaleaf story despite our confidence in this investment.


"The proceeds from the Sale, together with our existing cash resources means we are extremely well placed to make significant further investments to expand our portfolio in what is currently a very active time in the market.


"This is the second liquidity event that has occurred recently within our portfolio, following in very close succession after Yooma's reverse take over of Globalive as announced on 11 February 2021. With two of our other investee companies also currently gearing up for liquidity events, we hope to continue this momentum and achieve similar outcomes in these other investments in due course."


The EMMAC announcement is set out below without material changes or adjustments.


Curaleaf to Enter European Cannabis Market with Acquisition of EMMAC Life Sciences Limited - Europe's Leading Independent Cannabis Company

EMMAC Brings the Largest Vertically Integrated Independent Cannabis Company in Europe with a Presence in Key European Medical Cannabis Markets, Including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Portugal

With the European Population of Nearly 748 Million1, the Potential Addressable Market is More than Twice the Size of U.S. Market


10 March, London. EMMAC Life Sciences Group, Europe's largest independent cannabis company, is pleased to announce that it is has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF) ("Curaleaf" or the "Company"), a leading U.S. provider of consumer products in cannabis, for a base consideration of approximately US$285 million to be paid in 85%/15% Curaleaf shares and cash. Contingent consideration of up to $57 million will be paid in Curaleaf shares and cash in the same ratio based upon the successful achievement of performance milestones.  The proposed transaction provides Curaleaf with a developed platform for entry into the European cannabis market.


As Europe's largest vertically integrated independent cannabis company, EMMAC's platform brings cultivation, EU-GMP processing, distribution, and R&D operations across several key European medical cannabis markets, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal. EMMAC also has an operational presence and partnerships in European Union countries that are enacting new medical cannabis access programs. EMMAC's Portugal based cultivation facility is an industry leader in cannabis flower production cost.

Boris Jordan, Curaleaf Executive Chairman, stated, "Curaleaf's acquisition of EMMAC, announced today, provides an advanced base to reach scale within the nascent European cannabis market and transform Curaleaf into a truly international cannabis consumer packaged goods company. The consumer and political liberalization trends around cannabis that are sweeping the U.S. are also increasingly taking hold in Europe.  Curaleaf will seek to leverage our branded cannabis consumer packaged goods strategy across Europe, a market which provides for cross-border cannabis distribution. The European cannabis market has the potential to exceed the U.S. cannabis market over the long-term and will help fuel our growth for years to come."


Antonio Costanzo, Chief Executive Officer of EMMAC, said , "Curaleaf's acquisition of EMMAC is not only a significant milestone for EMMAC, but for the European cannabis market as a whole. As part of Curaleaf, a well-capitalized leader of the U.S. cannabis market, EMMAC is poised to exploit the rapid pace of growth of the European market, driven by regulatory change and the increasing demand for access to premium quality cannabis products. The combination of Curaleaf and EMMAC creates a global platform to address these large new opportunities across Europe. With EMMAC's science-led approach, wealth of local market experience, as well as our network of supply and distribution partnerships throughout Europe, we are now uniquely positioned to reinforce our place as one of Europe's leaders in the production and supply of medical cannabis, wellness CBD, hemp and other derivative products."

Transaction Terms & Approvals

Curaleaf will acquire EMMAC for base consideration of £0.50 per share, comprised of approximately GBP£35 million in cash, approximately 16.774 million subordinate voting shares of Curaleaf (based on the exchange ratio of Curaleaf share for each EMMAC share agreed by the parties). At yesterday's Curaleaf closing share price on the CSE, the base consideration is valued at $285 million2. An additional US$57 million3 consideration will be paid subject to performance-based earn-outs. Post-transaction, the former shareholders of EMMAC will have approximately 3% pro forma ownership of Curaleaf on a fully-diluted basis, before factoring in the performance-based earn-outs. The Curaleaf share consideration will be subject to a statutory four-month hold period as well as a lock-up agreement with each recipient restricting trading of the share received, with release of 5% from such restrictions at the end of each calendar quarter following the closing.  The proposed transaction is expected to close early in the second quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both EMMAC and Curaleaf, with Mr. Boris Jordan abstaining from the voting.

Transaction Advisors

Stikeman Elliott LLP and Memery Crystal LLP acted as legal advisors to Curaleaf. Eight Capital acted as financial advisors and provided a fairness opinion to the Special Committee. Canaccord Genuity Group acted as financial advisor and provided a fairness opinion to EMMAC, and Norton Rose Fulbright acted as legal advisor to EMMAC.  EMMAC's European legal team was led by Hill Dickinson LLP in the United Kingdom.

About EMMAC Life Sciences Limited

EMMAC Life Sciences Limited (EMMAC) is the largest vertically integrated independent cannabis company in Europe, bringing together pioneering science and research with cutting-edge cultivation, extraction and production. With a unique supply and distribution network throughout Europe, EMMAC's vision is to bring the life-enhancing potential of cannabis to the people who need it. For more information please visit .

About Curaleaf Holdings

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF) (Curaleaf) is a leading U.S. provider of consumer products in cannabis, with a mission to improve lives by providing clarity around cannabis and confidence around consumption. As a vertically integrated, high-growth cannabis operator known for quality, expertise and reliability, the Company and its brands, including Curaleaf, Select and Grassroots, provide industry-leading service, product selection and accessibility across the medical and adult-use markets. Curaleaf currently operates in 23 states with 101 dispensaries, 23 cultivation sites and over 30 processing sites, and employs over 3,800 team members across the United States. Curaleaf is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbol CURA and trades on the OTCQX market under the symbol CURLF. For more information please visit .

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements and forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws which include, but are not limited to, the expected date for the completion of the transaction described above, the anticipated benefits of the transaction described above, the expected market size for cannabis in Europe and the expected penetration of Curaleaf's products in Europe, the expected expansion of Curaleaf's international footprint,. These statements relate to future events or future performance. All statements other than statements of historical fact may be forward-looking statements or information. Generally, forward-looking statements and information may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or, "proposed", "is expected", "intends", "anticipates", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases, or by the use of words or phrases which state that certain actions, events or results may, could, would, or might occur or be achieved. More particularly and without limitation, this news release contains forward-looking statements and information concerning the proposed acquisition of EMMAC Life Sciences Limited. Such forward-looking statements and information reflect management's current beliefs and are based on assumptions made by and information currently available to the Company with respect to the matter described in this new release. These assumptions include, but are not limited to, the ability of Curaleaf to complete the transaction described above, to successfully integrate the business of EMMAC and to realize the anticipated benefits to Curaleaf of the transaction described above, the ability of Curaleaf to increase the cultivation activity of Terra Verde, Curaleaf's ability to serve customers in various European markets, the assumption that the cannabis consumption habits in European markets will replicate the cannabis consumption habits in the US and the assumption that demand for cannabis products in Europe will continue to grow, the assumption that Curaleaf, EMMAC and its subsidiaries will obtain, maintain and renew the licenses required for them to operate their business in the various European jurisdictions in which EMMAC and its subsidiaries operate. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, which are based on current expectations as of the date of this release and subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Such risks and other factors may include, but are not limited to: general business, economic, political and social uncertainties; general capital market conditions and market prices for securities; the failure of Curaleaf to complete the transaction described above; the risk that Curaleaf may not be able to successfully integrate the business of EMMAC and their respective corporate cultures; the risk that the benefits of the transaction anticipated by Curaleaf may not materialize; delay or failure to receive applicable corporate or regulatory approvals; competition and changes in legislation affecting Curaleaf or EMMAC; the inability of Curaleaf, EMMAC and its subsidiaries obtain, maintain and renew the licenses required for them to operate their business in the various European jurisdictions in which EMMAC and its subsidiaries operate; potential importation or exportation restrictions prohibiting EMMAC or its subsidiaries to export its products in other jurisdictions. Additional information about these assumptions and risks and uncertainties is contained under "Risk Factors and Uncertainties" in the Company's latest annual information form filed September 25, 2020, which is available under the Company's SEDAR profile at , and in other filings that the Company has made and may make with applicable securities authorities in the future. Forward-looking statements contained herein are made only as to the date of this press release and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. We caution investors not to place considerable reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this news release. The Canadian Securities Exchange has not reviewed, approved or disapproved the content of this news release.

Curaleaf Contacts: 

Investor Relations  

[email protected]  

Media Relations

Tracy Brady, VP Corporate Communications

[email protected]  


EMMAC Contact: 
Media Relations - Buchanan

[email protected]

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000


1 European market population based on United Nations 2020 estimate for European continent.

2 Representing approximately US$285 million based on Curaleaf's closing share price of US$14.12 on March 8, 2021.  Based on Curaleaf's closing share price of US$16.37 on March 9, 2021, the base consideration value is approximately US$323 million.

3 US$10 million in cash and US$47 million to be paid through the issuance of subordinated voting shares of Curaleaf valued at £11.8398 per subordinate voting share, representing approximately US$57 million based on Curaleaf's closing share price of US$14.12 on March 8, 2021. Based on Curaleaf's closing share price of US$ 16.37 on March 9, 2021, the value of the additional consideration is US$65 million. The performance-based earn-outs consist of four separate milestones related to revenue in the United Kingdom and Germany, recreational sales in the European Union, and volume targets in Portugal.





For further information on the Company please visit   or contact:

Ed McDermott / Lance de Jersey

FastForward Innovations Ltd

Email: [email protected]  


James Biddle / Roland Cornish

Beaumont Cornish Limited,



Tel: +44 (0) 207 628 3396


Isabella Pierre / Damon Heath

Shard Capital Partners LLP


Tel: (0)207 186 9927

Isabel de Salis / Beth Melluish

St Brides Partners Ltd,

Financial PR

Tel: +44 (0)207 236 1177



FastForward Innovations is an AIM quoted investment company focused primarily on disruptive high growth life sciences and technology businesses particularly within the medical cannabis arena. The Company's strategy is to identify early stage opportunities that have an upcoming investment catalyst and grow its portfolio in terms of value whilst limiting the number of investee companies to a level where relevant time can be devoted to each.


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