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Canadian SPAC punts on pot, pivots to premium US wine in last-minute hunt for quality (Then becomes US citizen!)

By Lewis Perdue
Publisher, Executive Editor, Wine Industry Insight

 

In December 2020, a $360 million cannabis-oriented Canadian (SPAC) sponsored by a combination of US and London-based executives had looked at (and rejected) more than 100 companies. As the game clock ran down toward the SPAC equivalent of a two-minute warning, the team realized it needed a smart new strategy to sign a quality acquisition agreement.

 

South of the border, Pat Roney, CEO/founder of a profitable and expanding Napa/Sonoma company with $220 million in annual revenues, was reluctantly considering a traditional IPO, but wanted more funds than would be available via that path to swiftly continue a successful 20-year record of acquisitions. Time was running out on grabbing the choicest buys among the half of American winery owners who were in a selling mood.

Then synchronicity happened. This is how.

As a result, California-based Vintage Wine Estates is now swiftly closing in on a $690 million (ESG) SPAC offering. This because — like a savvy quarterback looking at the two-minute warning — top management at British Columbia-based Bespoke Capital Acquisition Corp. (BCAC) recognized the late-game opportunity to change strategy.

 

NOTE: The links, graphics, and redacted portions of this 2,319-word article are available only to Wine Executive News premium subscribers who may log-in here:

 

 

A free, full-version will be available after the merged Vintage Wine Estates company files its S-4 IPO filing.

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Also in this issue:

  • The Players

  • The Game-Over results

  • Dual listings for stock and warrants on U.S. and Canadian exchanges

  • The need for speed: Bespoke’s swift round-about pivot from Canadian Cannabis to California Wine

  • How did Bespoke end up in the United States? Good judgment and pot froth

  • Acquisitions baked into VWE’s DNA

  • VWE CEO Roney is not shy about the place of acquisitions and the need for additional capital in his overall strategy.
  • Aggressive search for capital & SPAC target

  • Strategy change based on financial standards

  • Diageo Veteran Paul Walsh + financial expertise a vital part of the transaction
  • Finance expertise
  • Roney determined not to follow the bad examples of previous public wine companies

Screen Shot 2021-03-07 at 9.34.01 AM


Froth, supply, and too many companies gone to pot. A sampling of articles on Canadian cannabis stocks

  • 1 Big Problem With Canadian Marijuana Stocks
  • Too high? Hedge funds unimpressed by Canadian cannabis stocks’ rally
  • Marijuana investors may lose 90% of their money in Canada, so consider the really big prize elsewhere
  • Too much weed: Canadian cannabis producers are sitting on a mountain of inventory, and it’s making some industry watchers nervous
  • Are Any Marijuana Stocks Good Buys Amid March Cooldown?

A quick look at the order of events can be found in the following series of links:

  • Jul 17, 2019 — Bespoke Capital Acquisition Corp. (BCAC) Files Preliminary Prospectus for U.S.$350,000,000 Initial Public Offering
  • Aug 09, 2019 — Bespoke Capital Acquisition Corp. Files Final Prospectus for U.S. $350,000,000 Initial Public Offering
  • Aug 15, 2019 — Bespoke Capital Acquisition Corp. Announces Completion of U.S. $350,000,000 Initial Public Offering
  • Sep 13, 2019 — Bespoke Capital Acquisition Corp. Announces Exercise and Closing of Over-Allotment Option
  • Nov 13, 2020 — Bespoke Capital Acquisition Corp. Reports Third Quarter 2020 Financial Results
  • Dec 18, 2020 — Bespoke Capital Acquisition Corp. Provides Updates Concerning Acquisition Focus
  • February 8, 2021 — Bespoke Capital Acquisition Corp. Announces Listing on Nasdaq under the symbol BSPE