WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE American: XXII), a plant biotechnology company that is a leader in tobacco harm reduction, Very Low Nicotine tobacco, and hemp/cannabis research, announced today that the Company was added to the Russell 2000, Russell 3000, and Russell Global indexes on June 22, 2018 when Russell FTSE (Russell) reconstituted its U.S. and global equity indexes. Russell added 22nd Century to the Russell Microcap index in 2017.
Russell determines inclusion of companies in its equity indexes by market-capitalization rankings and style attributes. Russell indexes are widely used by investment managers and institutional investors for index funds and as benchmarks for active investment strategies. Russell publicly states that approximately $8.6 trillion in assets are benchmarked against Russell’s U.S. indexes.
In other news, 22nd Century announced that research partner, Anandia Laboratories, a global leader in cannabis genetics and R&D, has publicly announced that it signed a term sheet to be acquired by Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX: ACB.TO). The transaction values Anandia at approximately $115 million Canadian, payable in units consisting of one share of Aurora common stock plus a warrant to purchase one-half of a share of Aurora common stock, for each share of Aurora that is issued to Anandia. At the closing of this transaction, the value of the shares of Aurora common stock that will be issued to 22nd Century Group in consideration for the Company’s approximately 14.8% equity ownership of Anandia, will be approximately $17 million Canadian (approximately $12.8 million U.S.).
“We are pleased to have been added to the Russell Indexes… and we are very pleased that our initial investment in Anandia Labs has increased in value by more than 9 times. Further, our existing and continuing agreements with Anandia provide 22nd Century with an exclusive sublicense in the United States and a co-exclusive sublicense in the remainder of the world, outside of Canada, to patents and patent applications relating to the hemp/cannabis plant and to the production of cannabinoids,” explained Henry Sicignano, III, President and Chief Executive Officer at 22nd Century Group. “The Anandia sublicense continues through the life of the last to expire patent, which is expected to be in the year 2035; in the meantime, we will receive free-trading shares of Aurora Cannabis worth approximately $13 million… in addition to a substantial number of 5-year warrants to purchase Aurora shares at a fixed price. All in all, the Anandia-Aurora transaction will be a great result for 22nd Century shareholders.”
About FTSE Russell
The FTSE Russell website states that it is a leading global index provider creating and managing a wide range of indexes, data and analytic solutions to meet client needs across asset classes, style and strategies. Covering 98% of the investable market, FTSE Russell indexes offer a picture of global markets, combined with the specialist knowledge gained from developing local benchmarks around the world.
The FTSE Russell website further states its index expertise and products are used extensively by institutional and retail investors around the world. FTSE Russell states that more than $10 trillion is currently benchmarked to FTSE Russell indexes. For more than 30 years, leading asset owners, asset managers, ETF providers and investment banks have chosen FTSE Russell indexes to benchmark their investment performance and create investment funds, ETFs, structured products and index-based derivatives.
FTSE Russell is wholly-owned by London Stock Exchange Group. For more information, visit www.ftserussell.com.
About Anandia Laboratories Inc.
The Anandia Laboratories website states that it is a leader in cannabis genetics and variety improvement. Building on the pioneering research of Co-Founder Dr. Jonathan Page and utilizing the company’s world-leading intellectual property position, Anandia is applying modern plant breeding approaches and genomics to create next-generation cannabis strains optimized to address grower and consumer challenges. Anandia also continues to contribute to the evolution of the cannabis industry by helping partners through shared knowledge, analytical testing, and genomic analysis services. Visit www.anandialabs.com for more information.
About 22nd Century Group, Inc.
22nd Century is a plant biotechnology company focused on technology which allows it to increase or decrease the level of nicotine in tobacco plants and the level of cannabinoids in hemp/cannabis plants through genetic engineering and plant breeding. The Company’s primary mission in tobacco is to reduce the harm caused by smoking. The Company’s primary mission in hemp/cannabis is to develop proprietary hemp strains for important new medicines and agricultural crops. Visit www.xxiicentury.com and www.botanicalgenetics.com for more information.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking information, including all statements that are not statements of historical fact regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of 22nd Century Group, Inc., its directors or its officers with respect to the contents of this press release, including but not limited to our future revenue expectations. The words “may,” “would,” “will,” “expect,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend” and similar expressions and variations thereof are intended to identify forward-looking statements. We cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity or performance. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date that they were made. These cautionary statements should be considered with any written or oral forward-looking statements that we may issue in the future. Except as required by applicable law, including the securities laws of the United States, we do not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements to conform these statements to reflect actual results, later events or circumstances, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. You should carefully review and consider the various disclosures made by us in our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, filed on March 7, 2018, including the section entitled “Risk Factors,” and our other reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission which attempt to advise interested parties of the risks and factors that may affect our business, financial condition, results of operation and cash flows. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if the underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual results may vary materially from those expected or projected.