New York-based cannabis MSO, Ascend Wellness Holdings (AWH), secured a loan of at least $210 million at a 9.5% annual interest rate in order to repay “substantially all” of the company’s outstanding debt. The only exception will be roughly “$12 million of outstanding acquisition payments with near-zero interest rates,” Ascend reported in a news release.
At the close of its second quarter on June 30, before closing the new loan, Ascend Wellness had $104.2 million in cash and equivalents on hand.
The money will also be used to finance Ascend’s pending investment in MedMen NY and “support (Ascend’s) future growth and acquisition initiatives.” Abner Kurtin, Founder and CEO of AWH, commented, “We are actively building one of the most robust networks of retail stores and cultivation facilities in the highest quality markets. With our strong balance sheet and successful track record, we are well positioned to implement our growth strategies to take advantage of the significant market opportunity ahead and drive strong value for our shareholders.”
The loan will mature in four years, is payable quarterly, and is secured by a first lien against all of Ascend’s assets. “Subject to certain conditions,” Ascend can increase the loan by up to $65 million.
Ascend Wellness Holdings is vertically integrated and has assets in Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio. As New York is on the precipice of unveiling its recreational program, Ascend's move into the Empire State is a brilliant next step in their national expansion endeavor.