All-female led CBD firm South West Brands plans float on London’s main market

·2-min read
Jolyn Teoh, Rebekah Hall, Francesca Pearce-Higgs and Hannah Skingle make up the leadership team (SWB)
Jolyn Teoh, Rebekah Hall, Francesca Pearce-Higgs and Hannah Skingle make up the leadership team (SWB)

South West Brands, the all-female led CBD products firm, is to pursue a London IPO, the Evening Standard understands.

The company, which launched in January after raising cash from funds including the AIM-listed FastForward Innovations, is on a mission to become “The Hut Group of cannabis". The Evening Standard has learned the firm is to announce its intention to float on the main market of the London Stock Exchange this week.

Arden Partners are working with the firm on the planned IPO, sources said.

SWB is headed up by former City banker Rebekah Hall, 40, who launched Europe's first CBD-infused soft drink, Botanic Lab. Today the drinks are stocked by retailers including Waitrose, and form part of the SWB portfolio.

Upcoming SWB launches include a product aimed at helping women through all stages of their menstrual cycle, while future developments will be aimed at areas such as Generation Z skincare and menopausal care.

The company has hired News UK executive and British Fashion Council advisory board member, Meribeth Parker, as non executive chair ahead of the rumoured float. Parker has previously served as an NED for high-end brands including Jimmy Choo.

The Evening Standard understands the company plans to use proceeds from the listing to help grow its portfolio and pursue product rollouts.

The company is the latest in a string of firms in the space to opt for a UK listing this year, after regulator the Financial Conduct Authority gave permission for medicinal cannabis firms to float.

Many have received a warm welcome from the markets in 2021, including the Snoop Dogg-backed Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies, the David Beckham-backed firm Cellular Goods, and Israel-based sleep disorder-focused CBD firm, Kanabo.

SWB is the first multi-brand consumer goods business in the space to list.

CBD stands for cannabidiol - the non-psychoative compound in cannabis plants. It is used medicinally to treat conditions including insomnia, and demand for products containing the compound is growing fast in the UK. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has estimated CBD's global consumer market is set to reach a value of $39 billion by 2032.

Hall has previously told the Standard that it is "time for the professionalisation" of the industry, and that the firm aims to offer products containing CBD without it being "a shock factor".

Parker said she is "delighted" to be joining the firm, and that "it's refreshing to see a driven and dynamic female senior team in place at South West Brands and the unique perspective that creates".

She said: "I look forward to bringing my knowledge of building customer first, brand centric propositions to the team which already prides itself on a deeply strategic, innovative and creative approach to brand portfolio development.”

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