Salveo Capital Announces Investment in Ascend Wellness

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Salveo Capital, an alternative investment firm specializing in the legalized cannabis space, today announced it has acquired a minority equity interest in Ascend Wellness (“Ascend”), a vertically integrated multi-state operator in the cannabis industry.

“As the cannabis industry continues to evolve, having the ability to vertically scale while creating a premium customer retail experience has become critically important”

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Ascend is a Massachusetts-based cannabis company with developing licenses in Illinois and Michigan. Together, the three markets are comparable in size to California, one of the most profitable cannabis regions in the U.S. With its multiple retail locations, along with a sizable grow facility, Ascend Wellness aims to build a best-in-class, multi-state premium cannabis retail experience. Ascend is led by Abner Kurtin, a successful Boston-based entrepreneur, along with Andrea Cabral, the twice-elected Sheriff of Suffolk County and the first female sheriff in Massachusetts history.

“As the cannabis industry continues to evolve, having the ability to vertically scale while creating a premium customer retail experience has become critically important,” said Abner Kurtin, Chief Executive Officer of Ascend. “We are excited about the opportunities in our target markets and Salveo’s investment further validates our growth strategy. Salveo’s deep investment and operational experience within the cannabis space will help stimulate significant growth and permit us to further expand our footprint in the markets in which we serve. It is an honor to accept Salveo’s investment and we are eager to begin working closely with them to promote further value creation in the business.”

“With top-tier management and aggressive multi-state growth plans focused on the East and Midwest regions, we believe that Ascend is well positioned to take advantage of the ever-evolving market,” said Michael Gruber, a Managing Partner at Salveo Capital. “Importantly, we are firmly aligned with Ascend’s belief that Massachusetts, Illinois, and Michigan present compelling opportunities for expansion. We are very pleased to complete this investment and look forward to working collaboratively with the entire Ascend team.”

Salveo Capital focuses on high-growth, ancillary service providers to the cannabis industry as well as businesses that cultivate and dispense the plant. The firm is currently investing capital out of its first private equity fund (“Fund I”) and is targeting a $25 million close. Salveo is seeking to rapidly scale its platform with a goal of reaching $100 million of committed capital by late 2019. In addition to Ascend, Salveo Capital has completed ten investments thus far including Harborside, PathogenDx, Flow Kana, Baker, Front Range Biosciences, Headset, Purissima, Hiku (formerly Tokyo Smoke), Treez and Wurk. Legalized cannabis is a $9 billion market in North America and, according to industry research, is expected to reach an estimated $22 billion by 2020. From an international perspective, various countries around the world including Australia, Germany and Spain are legalizing marijuana, while others including Israel and The Netherlands are permitting exportation. Most recently, Canada enacted full legalization on October 17, 2018.

About Ascend
Ascend Wellness is a vertically integrated cannabis company operating in Massachusetts, Illinois, and Michigan. Ascend is redefining the cannabis retail experience, offering a customer-centric environment and a curated selection of products with effect-based categorization. Ascend also operates a large-scale indoor cultivation facility in Massachusetts.

About Salveo Capital
Launched at the end of 2016, Salveo Capital is an alternative investment firm specializing in the legalized cannabis space, particularly ancillary businesses. Salveo Capital's approach is to bring an institutional quality discipline to company vetting, investment structures and portfolio management. The Firm is committed to shaping the early-stage, yet rapidly growing, industry by providing funding and development to companies with the will and vision to be the future faces of legalized marijuana. As cannabis legalization spreads, Salveo Capital seeks to build long term sustainable companies and support innovative technologies, products and services to help address the unique requirements of the industry. The firm is led by Managing Partners Michael Gruber and Jeffrey Howard and based in Northbrook, Illinois, and with vertical industry executives and cannabis operating advisors across the country, including key markets of California and Colorado. For more information, please visit www.salveocapital.com.

Sean Doyle