SPAC Investors Spurn KERN and Miss Out on $176 Million in Gains

Most of the investors who sat in the special-purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC) MTech Acquisition for more than a year before deciding they didn’t like the investment into MJ Freeway must be questioning their decision to abandon their investment this week. According to an SEC 8-K filing issued by Akerna (NASDAQ: KERN) this morning, the vast majority of the SPAC investors redeemed their shares on Monday before the deal closed.

At the Special Meeting, holders of 4,452,042 shares of MTech common stock sold in its initial public offering exercised their right to redeem those shares for cash at a price of $10.23841733 per share, for an aggregate of approximately $45,581,863.96.

MTech Acquisition went public in late January 2018 at $10 per unit, which included warrants at $11.50, selling 5.75 million altogether and raising $57.5 million in gross proceeds. MTech never resonated with investors and sat near the $10 price even after the MJ Freeway acquisition was announced in late 2018:

On 6/14, the day before the special meeting, MTech Acquisition closed at $10.50, and 77% of the holders opted to take back $10.238. KERN, which is trading in the pre-market today at $70, closed yesterday at $49.80, meaning that the early investors missed out on paper gains of $176 million by redeeming their shares. At least they got to keep their warrants!

According to the filing, Akerna has 10.4 million shares and 6 million warrants, giving it a fully-diluted market cap of $817 million, or about 73X FY19 sales  of approximately $11 million that were affirmed in an exclusive New Cannabis Ventures interview with CEO Jessica Billingsley on Tuesday. FY18 revenue was $10.5 million.

Breaking News by Alan Brochstein, CFA
Alan Brochstein, CFA
Based in Houston, Alan leverages his experience as founder of online community 420 Investor, the first and still largest due diligence platform focused on the publicly-traded stocks in the cannabis industry. With his extensive network in the cannabis community, Alan continues to find new ways to connect the industry and facilitate its sustainable growth. At New Cannabis Ventures, he is responsible for content development and strategic alliances. Before shifting his focus to the cannabis industry in early 2013, Alan, who began his career on Wall Street in 1986, worked as an independent research analyst following over two decades in research and portfolio management. A prolific writer, with over 650 articles published since 2007 at Seeking Alpha, where he has 70,000 followers, Alan is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and a frequent source to the media, including the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, and Bloomberg TV. Contact Alan: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Email

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