Invictus MD Strategies (GENE.V) announced tonight that, in accordance with its efforts to work through creditor protection proceedings, it has been kicked off the Venture Exchange. On the upside, if Invictus’ history of going back on news releases is anything to go by, we’ll receive another release inside ten days that the bankruptcy proceedings have been cancelled and they’ll continue on as usual.
Because that’s how it’s always been for Invictus, which has the worst track record in Canada’s cannabis space for announcing things, only to un-announce them very shortly after.
Why, it’s almost as if any time someone began due diligence on them, they found something they didn’t like…
If you want a pair of news releases that pretty much perfectly encapsulate the world of Invictus, these two will do it.
2nd December, 2019: Trevor Dixon is returning to the board of directors of Invictus MD Strategies Corp., his health issues having been resolved, effective today.
Uh-huh. 11 days later.
13th December, 2019: Invictus MD Strategies Corp.’s Trevor Dixon has resigned from the board of directors of the company, effective immediately.
Or maybe these two are better:
16th December, 2019: Invictus MD Strategies Corp. has signed a binding letter of intent dated Dec. 11, 2019, with Unified Cannabis Corp. of Calgary, Alta., pursuant to which Unified, subject to acceptance by the TSX Venture Exchange, has agreed, by way of a non-brokered private placement, to subscribe for secured convertible debentures in the principal amount of $5.7-million
Uh-huh. 17 days later.
3rd January, 2020: Invictus MD Strategies Corp., further to the company’s news release dated Dec. 16, 2019, has terminated the binding letter of intent with Unified Cannabis Corp. of Calgary, Alta., in respect of the proposed $5.7-million convertible debenture financing.
Not so binding then?
Maybe these two news releases tell the story better:
January 21, 2019: INVICTUS MD STRATEGIES CORP. announced today an update to its intention to proceed with a consolidation of its issued and outstanding shares with a newly proposed reduced share consolidation ratio of one new share for every five old shares (1:5) in connection with its proposed listing on Nasdaq Stock Market LLC.
Uh-huh. Four months later.
15th May, 2019: Invictus MD Strategies Corp. is withdrawing its plans to list the company’s common shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
I could go on.
Fuck it, I will.
January 16, 2019: The Joint Venture has entered into a binding LOI with Z3 Sciences, LLC (“Z3”) to purchase 80% of the membership interests of Z3 for aggregate consideration, including performance incentives, of USD$42.25 million.
7th March, 2019: The joint venture will no longer be purchasing 80 per cent of the membership interests of Z3 Sciences LLC, as previously announced on Jan. 16, 2019, due to a mutual decision made by all parties involved.
Finally, there was this:
November 16, 2018: INVICTUS MD STRATEGIES CORP. is pleased to announce that it has entered into a non-binding Letter of Intent (the “Agreement”) with GTEC Holdings Ltd. (TSXV:GTEC) for the acquisition by Invictus of all of the issued and outstanding shares in the capital of GTEC in an all-share transaction valued at approximately $100 million, forming Western Canada’s largest indoor vertically integrated cannabis companies.
Two months later:
January 15, 2019: INVICTUS MD STRATEGIES CORP announced that pursuant to the terms of a non-binding letter of intent (the “LOI”) entered into with GTEC Holdings Ltd., as announced on November 16, 2018, the parties have mutually agreed to terminate the LOI and not proceed with the merger
In the midst of all this, we had the group changing its ticker to GENE as it handed millions in stock to KISS frontman (and lifelong anti-weed advocate) Gene Simmons to show up at some investor events and take photos, a deal that, no surprise, ended early when Simmons barely showed up for work.
Invictus MD Strategies was an utter gong show, and not for the litany of things it started and never completed, but for the one simple thing it was supposed to do that, somehow, it forgot to talk about: Grow weed and sell it.
While Invictus is currently dealing with how to pay back all the people it owes money to, it somehow managed to get into that mess WHILE OWNING THREE LICENSED WEED FACILITIES.
Not one. Not two but, for three!
Of course, if you or I had three licensed cannabis grows in our hands and found money tight, we might flip one. I mean, two grows and money in pocket is obviously better than none.
Invictus bought Canandia Labs, all 4k sq ft of it, for $20 million, with $10 million more to be invested along the way. It eventually surrendered Canandia back to its original owners in return for being let out of its final $3 million in payments.
If only this was the last reversal of fortune for Invictus… not even close.
- It also sold its interest in Future Harvest back to its original owners for $1.4 million, most of which was loan forgiveness and a promissory note.
- Then there was the deal with Authentic Brands to develop ‘lifestyle-inspired cannabis brands’… that deal lasted a year and ended with Invictus having to hand over $4.3 million to kill it.
I can’t be arsed looking back for more. This whole thing has been one giant sinkhole of cash, with endless stories of amazing deals ending quickly, and usually at great expense to Invictus shareholders. The Gene Simmons thing served as a great smokescreen, because after that shitshow, mostly people just took Invictus off their radars entirely. They missed the ensuing cavalcade of jiggeryfuckery that walked all the dollars out the door until the only option left was to just hand everything back and signal a lifeguard.
The people who paid for Invictus’ mismanagement were the Invictus shareholders who, rightly, would have at one point figured three licensed weed grows would assign a worth of some $60 million-plus to the company, even just at liquidation.
But that’s not how it works in the real world, where so much of Invictus’ worth has been already mortgaged, where its subsidiaries were lending the parent company money and where assets weren’t auctioned industry-wide, but handed back meekly in return for an agreement not to yell too loudly about it all and just go away.
Due diligence? No wonder a dozen or more companies ended partnerships and mergers and acquisitions early. No wonder subsidiaries ended up owning themselves for next to no money forked out. No wonder Gene fucking Simmons took a walk, reasoning the deal he agreed to was barely worth getting out of bed for once his Invictus stock became nigh worthless.
Invictus was a client of ours, several years back, before the dark time brought Simmons and mockery to the company. Back then it was oddly quiet most of the time – we tried to help them tell their story but the story – then – was mostly ‘shh.. trust us, we’re doing good stuff.’
And they did! Invictus will always be remembered as the first weed company to pay a dividend to investors, and managed to pick up multiple licenses when few were getting one.
But when boss Dan Kriznic took on financial responsibilities at Lithium One (LIX.V) right as it took off, thereby turning his attention to what was then the next big thing, those left at the helm didn’t have much sway and the company began to take on water.
When the team responsible for finding those licensed subsidiaries left to form GTEC Holdings, where they repeated their wins another three times, Invictus floated aimlessly, gormlessly, maybe even deliberately.
The board and management owed it to Invictus investors to tell them sooner that the whole damn thing was bankrupt, but they let it go until there was nothing left to be had. There will be no fire sale, no arbitrage, even at a $6 million market cap.
Invictus is fucked. Those associated should be run out of town on a rail.
— Chris Parry
FULL DISCLOSURE: Invictus was previously an Equity.Guru marketing client, in 2017. GTEC was a marketing client in 2019.