Irish-French venture looks to raise funds for investments in Europe

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An Irish-French investment fund says it is looking to raise €30 million in the first phase of a venture focused on private cannabis companies, including those in hemp and hemp derivatives.

The private equity Óskare Fund said it will offer investors the chance to join its portfolio in the medicinal cannabis space. The minimum investment is €100,000, and terms of the offer require investors to commit their money for at least four years.

Partners

Partners in the fund, Crossroads Capital Management, Ireland, and cannabis investors Óskare Capital of France, say it is the first such fund to be based in Ireland after approval by Ireland’s Central Bank in May 2020. London-based law firm Eversheds Sutherland is an adviser on the venture.

The partners said in a press release their strategy is to invest mainly in private companies that have “a broad global exposure to the cannabis industry,” including those in research, and makers of “devices, goods and equipment.” The fund will look primarily for European-based enterprises but will not invest directly in cannabis cultivation, according to the release.

Europe’s advantage

Paris-based Óskare Capital said Europe “enjoys the best regulatory environment for innovation and for research and development in medical and therapeutic cannabinoids”.

Óskare Fund said it will look to raise an additional €120 million in future funding rounds.

The partners noted that investors over the past year have plowed billions into similar funds in North America as legal frameworks for medicinal and recreational cannabis continue to be put in place. The recent listing of a publicly traded fund managed by Purpose Investments of Canada on the Irish Stock Exchange is also a positive indicator for cannabis ventures based in Ireland, the partners said.

Risks are noted

In its prospectus, the Óskare fund is described as “a long-term, potentially high-risk investment which is suitable only for sophisticated institutional and high-net-worth investors which are able to bear the risk of losing the entirety of the value of their shares.”

“Dublin is one of the world’s largest venues for managed funds and particularly for the more unusual asset classes,” said Deborah Hutton, a partner at Eversheds Sutherland in Dublin. “The potential for this kind of investment is massive.”


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