Cilo Cybin, medical cannabis investment company, lists on JSE’s AltX Board

Gabriel Theron, the CEO and founder of Cilo Cybin, which listed on the JSE. Photo: JSE x

Gabriel Theron, the CEO and founder of Cilo Cybin, which listed on the JSE. Photo: JSE x

Published Jun 26, 2024


Medical cannabis investment company Cilo Cybin Holdings listed on the JSE’s AltX Board yesterday as a Special Purpose Acquisition vehicle (SPAC), with ambitions for future expansion and growth through new acquisitions in the biotechnology and medical cannabis industries.

The company is the first cannabis SPAC to list on the AltX Board, the JSE said in a statement yesterday.

Cilo Cybin Pharmaceutical, the first target of the SPAC, was the first entity in South Africa to obtain both medical cannabis cultivation and manufacturing licences. It produces and supplies Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) medical cannabis products, including GMP CBD, CBG, CBN isolates and GMP THC and CBD distillates, to local and international markets.

“Embrace the highs, conquer the challenges. Each hurdle we overcome fuels our growth and strengthens our resolve. Together, we forge ahead, unwavering in our commitment to redefine possibilities and lead with innovation in the health and wellness industries,” Gabriel Theron, CEO and founder of Cilo Cybin, said in a statement.

An SPAC is listed on a stock exchange with the goal of gathering funds through an initial public offering (IPO), to purchase one or more established companies or assets. By listing as an SPAC, Cilo Cybin aimed to secure its first target asset – Cilo Cybin Pharmaceutical and its 2 500-square-metre facility in Midrand.

Once this acquisition was complete, the strategy was to transition to the JSE Main Board and then pursue additional growth avenues, both organic and through further acquisitions.

Cilo Cybin Holdings was only making 10% of its total equity available, with over 71 million ordinary shares at R1 per share.

“We are pleased to welcome Cilo Cybin to our AltX Board, which is a springboard for small and medium-sized companies and catalyses their growth. With this listing, the JSE, is able to diversify its offering, presenting investors with unique, forward-looking opportunities. The addition of Cilo Cybin to the AltX underscores our commitment to embracing sectors poised for innovation, like medical cannabis and biotechnology,” said Valdene Reddy, director of Capital Markets at the JSE.

The listing increased the number of listed companies on the JSE to 282 with a market capitalisation exceeding R18.6 trillion.

According to Cilo Cybin’s pre-listing statement, Theron had established Cilo Cybin in February 2022 as a vertically integrated drug-manufacturing company that aimed to revolutionise the manufacture and processing of products such as cannabis, psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, and ketamine.

Cilo Cybin was initially designed to list as a SPAC in 2022, but the listing attempt was unsuccessful even though 1890 private investors applied for R20.5 million worth of shares.

Cilo Cybin had since refined its focus and strategy to focus on drug manufacturing. The company secured an investment from a leading global biotech company, ALPS Global Holding. Additionally, the ALPS founder and CEO had invested $1.5m in his personal capacity. ALPS would bring a wealth of experience and expertise to Cilo Cybin, the pre-listing statement said.

ALPS is a biotechnology research, medical and wellness company dedicated to the development of personalised medicine using technologies such as DNA, mRNA, and cellular therapy. It manufactures and distributes patented drugs and other biotech solutions.

“With ALPS’s support, Cilo Cybin will have access to its existing network of clients and industry knowledge. This collaboration will enable the company to expedite clinical trials and to bring registered cannabis product to the global market,” the pre-listing statement said.