Bitcoin Miner Gryphon to Go Public Via All-Stock Merger With Cannabis Firm Akerna
Private bitcoin miner Gryphon Digital plans to go public with a merger with publicly traded cannabis company Akerna (KERN) in an all-stock deal.
The new company will assume Gryphon's name and be headquartered in Las Vegas Nevada, after the deal closes, according to a statement. The miner's current equity holders are expected to own about 92.5% of the new publicly traded entity, while Akerna's shareholders will own about 7.5%, the statement added.
The CEO of Gryphon, Rob Chang, will be the new CEO of the publicly traded company. The CEO of Akerna, Jessica Billingsley, will be on the board of the new company, and six of the remaining seven members will be designated by Gryphon.
Akerna's top three investors include Vanguard (2.6% ownership as of Sept. 2022), Perkins Capital (2% as of Dec. 2022) and BlackRock Fund Advisors (1.2% as of Sept. 2022), according to FactSet data.
The deal comes after Gryphon terminated its drawn-out process to go public via a reverse merger with publicly traded data management firm, Sphere 3D (ANY). The proposed deal was announced in 2021 and the closing of the deal was pushed back multiple times due to the complicated regulatory approval process, before the deal was eventually terminated.
Gryphon also found itself in the middle of controversy last year after Sphere 3D signed a $1.7 billion deal with unknown mining rig manufacturer NuMiner. The deal came under serious scrutiny by the mining community, after several red flags were raised about the viability of NuMiner.
Gryphon, which started mining operations in September of 2021, has a potential revenue generating profile of 1.1 exahash per second (EH/s) on a cost basis of 0.75 EH/s, according to the statement.
The shares of Akerna fell about 15% on Friday, trading around $1.51 each. Akerna has a market capitalization of about $8 million, according to TradingView.
UPDATE (Jan. 27, 16:01 UTC): Added information on Akerna's investors.