Top cannabis-focused website Leafly to go public in $532 million merger

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Aug 9 - Top cannabis-focused website Leafly will go public through a merger with the Merida Merger Corp I that values the combined company to about $532 million, the blank check firm said on Monday.

The blank check firm is owned by Leafly, one of the biggest backers of Merida Capital Holdings, whose site visits have seen a meteoric rise thanks to easing regulations in the United States and rising weed use.

Existing Leafly shareholders will own about 72% of the combined company after this deal, Reuters first reported on Friday.

The merger is expected to generate up to $161.5 million in proceeds.

Prospects of pandemic legalization and federal lockdowns pushed Leafly's site visits to more than 220 million last year, up 12% from 2019, making it the most visited website on weed in the world.

Leafly is expected to report revenue of about $43 million in 2021 and $65 million in 2022, Merida said. The company will be listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol LFLY after its merger with the blank-check firm.

Blank check firms, or special purpose acquisition companies use the capital raised through initial public offerings to buy and merge with a private company in a deal that then takes it public.