Zelda Therapeutics cofounder Mara Gordon has sold 45 per cent of her holding in the company.

Gordon, who also cofounded Aunt Zelda’s in California, sold 35.5m shares “to settle personal commitments” but the majority was taken up by Perth investor Merchant Funds Management.

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Merchant bought 27m shares, meaning it now owns 3.6 per cent of Zelda.

The Perth investor has a long track record with medical marijuana and with Zelda.

Their latest cannabis adventure is European Cannabis Corp — once better known as tech-wreck 1 Page — which is being led by Zelda chairman Harry Karelis who reckons that once they list the now-German cannabis purveyor later this year, it’ll be at a market cap of at least $1.5bn.

Gordon now owns 44m shares.

Despite Gordon’s sale to meet personal commitments, the board says they are still committed to not selling shares unless it’s to a strategic investor.

In November last year, when IPO shares came out of escrow, the board said “directors, Messrs. Karelis, Washer and Peterson and Ms. Mara Gordon (Founders), have confirmed their commitment to not sell any equity securities they own or control (directly or
indirectly) about to be released from escrow for a further 12 months, unless to help facilitate a major investment in Zelda by a key strategic investor.”

The board owns 27 per cent of Zelda.

Zelda boss Richard Hopkins says the remainder of Gordon’s shares were sold to investors in a seperate entity.

“Mara had flagged with the Zelda board her wish to sell some of her holding due to personal circumstances. To accomodate her request and to also honour the terms of the voluntary escrow, the Zelda Board worked together to place her stock with a strategic investor. This outcome is consistent with her earlier commitment,” he told Stockhead.

Zelda is putting several medical cannabis treatments through clinical trials for disorders such as insomnia, pain and anxiety, which it hopes to eventually register as drugs. In the interim, it hopes to make a killing by selling it as an unregistered drug in major markets like Germany.



Catch today’s corporate action:

The entire board of Chinese orange grower Dongfang Modern (ASX:DFM) and its company secretary has resigned, with no explanation. Chiu So also resigned as CEO. Only youthful chairman Hongwei Cai, who has been building an increasing stake in the company since September 2018 that now sits at 68.1 per cent, remains.

Cai says they’re looking for a new board now.

The last accounts for Dongfang Modern are for the year to December 31, 2018, and show a profit of 421,074 RMB ($87,324), a 7.7 per cent decline on 2017. The company has used 236,737 RMB of its $HK300m credit line taken out in January last year, to the bewilderment of its remaining Australian investors. According to the annual report, 98 per cent of the company was held by a group of individuals and anonymous investors at the end of December.

Former Vocus boss James Spenceley is succeeding in his efforts to remove the brothers Lim from control of Cambodia and Vietnam casino company Donaco (ASX:DNA). Benjamin Lim has stepped down from his role as interim CEO, making way for Paul Arbuckle, who was COO at Star Entertainment Group’s (ASX:SGR) Gold Coast casino.

Lim’s brother, former managing Joey Lim, was dumped as CEO in March after going on leave in early December “to deal with health and personal matters”.

Spenceley is leading a push to remove both Lims from the Donaco board, as the company struggles to deal with claims of key staff being poached, a bitter fight with a former owner of one of its key assets, and the death of the Thai king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, which kept mourners away from gambling for up to three months.