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Cilo Cybin will join Labat Africa as a player on the JSE when it lists next week. Founder Gabriel Theron says the first acquisition will be CC’s privately-held Midrand facility and that international expansion plans are on the cards.

This report from News24’s Nick Wilson, published on 18 June 2024.


Now that it's secured a date for its listing on AltX , Cilo Cybin Holdings is setting its sights on significant future growth through new acquisitions in the biotech and medical cannabis sectors over the short term.


Speaking to News24 in an interview on Friday 14 June 2024, CEO and founder Gabriel Theron said some people may "laugh" at the initially small R70 million market capitalisation of Cilo Cybin when it joins the bourse on 25 June as a special purpose acquisition vehicle (SPAC).


But the bigger picture is about the growth opportunities that come with listing. After its first initial acquisition, the group plans to graduate to the main board and then look to acquisitions of other branded products and distribution businesses, both locally and offshore.


"It is about getting on to the board. It then puts us in a place where future raises become much easier."


Theron said there are no specific additional targets or regions, but its growth could entail investment in Asia, Europe and SA. It would include any asset within its focused sectors that could assist in driving efficiencies in the value chain.


While the group could acquire other cannabis distribution businesses, it would also be about adding any asset that could assist it in driving efficiencies in its value chain. Theron said: "It could be specific niche manufacturing sites, or it could be distribution (channels) or brands for that matter. It could be anything that helps us in our bouquet of services or companies."


Theron said that as the group added acquisitions to its portfolio, it would look to do share swaps with prospective sellers and in this way steadily build up its market value on the JSE.


Beyond that, Theron says the group also hoped to have a listing on the Nasdaq (US) two to three years from now.


Going public


A SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) usually lists on a bourse with no commercial operations and with the express purpose of raising money for potential viable acquisitions or takeover targets.


In the case of Cilo Cybin Holdings, the group's plan after listing the SPAC is for it to acquire its first target asset, namely the business Cilo Cybin Pharmaceutical and its 2 500m2 facility in Midrand.


Theron said this first viable target exports medicinal cannabis to Australia and elsewhere.


Cilo Cybin Pharmaceutical’s shares are held by founders Gabriel Theron and Jessica Moodley-Theron, Tham Seng Kong, CEO of Malaysian biotechnology research and medical company ALPS, and private investors.


Cilo Cybin Holdings is now held by a variety of stakeholders following its IPO including Theron, Tham Seng Kong, private investors and members of the public.


When this acquisition of the Midrand facility goes ahead, the plan would then be to look to graduate to the main board before the end of the year and then hunt for further growth opportunities, both organic and through acquisition.

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