By Emily Ledger
The all-female led CBD firm Southwest Brands has announced plans to pursue a London IPO with an aim to float on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
The firm launched in January of this year after successfully raising funds, including through the AIM-listed FastForward Innovations. According to the company’s mission statement, Southwest Brands hope to become the “The Hut Group of cannabis”.
Southwest Brands was founded by Rebekah Hall, a former City banker who set up Botanic Lab, Europe’s first CBD drinks brand in 2014. Botanic Lab products can now be found in retailers such as Waitrose. The brand now forms part of the Southwest Brands portfolio.
The company has also hired experienced News UK executive and British Fashion Council advisory board member, Meribeth Parker, as non-executive chair.
It is believed that Southwest Brands plans to use proceeds raised through the stock listing to fund the launch of new products and the expansion of the firm’s portfolio. The company recently revealed that upcoming launches will include CBD-infused female care and skincare products.
A number of CBD and cannabis companies have announced their launch onto the London Stock Exchange in recent months, including medical cannabis company Kanabo. However, Southwest Brands would be the first multi-brand consumer goods business in the CBD/cannabis industry to list.
Southwest Brands founder, Rebekah Hall recently told Canex: “My approach in this industry is much the same as it was in the financial sector – actions speak louder than words. South West Brands has an all-female management team, which I believe is one of the most talented in the industry.
“We are ambitious in our plans both in terms of scale and impact on the wider industry and hope to redress some of the inequality in the allocation of capital to female-led businesses.”
The UK currently has the largest consumer market for CBD outside of North America. While the market was previously under-regulated, it is hoped that the introduction of Novel Foods regulation will help to legitimise the relatively new sector in the future.