IPO watch: Australia’s newest pot stock Althea just tripled on debut
Australia’s newest pot stock Althea enjoyed a stellar debut on the ASX today, tripling its 20c issue price.
The stock was trading at 60c at 11am AEST Friday morning with $4.5 million worth of shares changing hands by 12.40pm AEST.
Althea (ASX:AGH) raised $19.6 million in what was a genuinely over-subscribed initial public offering.
The timing of the float could not have been better with strong momentum among marijuana stocks in North America.
Althea is already importing products from Canada — though it’s yet to give details about how much or what it’s selling.
In its prospectus, Althea says the first sales of five own-brand products in Australia took place in May.
They were sent over by its 25 per cent Canadian owner Aphria, in April.
Australia’s Office of Drug Control website shows that Althea is selling five types of cannabis oil and one dried flower product via Pharmaceutical Packaging Professionals which is an authorised supplier.
Althea made $10,720 in revenue in the 15 months to June 30, 2018, the prospectus says.
The loss for the period totalled $1.8 million, largely due to $1.1 million spent on marketing.
First new pot stock since January
Althea is the first medical cannabis IPO in Australia since Elixinol launched in early January, raising $20 million for a market cap of $102 million.
A number of other cannabis companies are looking at listing in the next six to nine months.
It has an import licence and a cultivation licence, effective from November this year, which allows it to set up a growing facility (a separate permit is needed to start growing).
Canada’s Aphria, which is worth $3 billion, retain a 25 per cent shareholding in the company after listing.
The company was founded in 2017 and says it started selling five Althea-branded medical cannabis products in May this year.
It says it’s also developing an online access portal for both patients and doctors called Althea Concierge.
The Office of Drug Control has issued 18 cultivation licences, 10 research licences and 13 manufacturing licences. These all need to be renewed every 12 months.
Althea plans to use over half of the IPO funds to build a three tonne/year growing facility in Victoria, where it already has a long-term lease and a contract with Powerplants Australia to start work on the site.
It anticipates eventually winning a manufacturing licence and being able to make its own versions of the Aphria products it is currently importing, using Aphria’s genetics.