Founder, chairman and chief executive Robert Price is leaving the company to pursue other interests as Highlands looks to grow its CBD business.
() has announced that chairman and chief executive Robert Price is leaving the company to pursue other interests as the AIM-quoted firm has become a vertically integrated CBD company.
Announcing his resignation, the natural resources executive said: “It has been a privilege to have worked with Highlands over the past four and a half years.
“I am proud to have developed the portfolio of natural resources projects and also to have been involved with the company as it re-shaped its business and established itself as a vertically integrated CBD business. I wish the company well for the future.”
Price is to be replaced as chief executive by Nick Tulloch, who joined the company earlier this year as finance director.
A new chairman will be sought later this year, the company noted.
Tulloch said: “I have known Robert for over four years and, during that time, he has become a good friend and a supportive colleague.
“As the founder and leader of the company since IPO, he has been instrumental in bringing the company to where it is today and he leaves the company with the opportunity to become a leading player in the rapidly developing CBD industry.”
Asset sales and pure-play on CBD
Highlands revealed that over this summer it has become clear that the cannabis operation is now the company’s core business driver.
In the best interests of the company and its shareholders it now intends to become a pure CBD company.
Consequently, it will over the coming months aim to conduct the orderly sale or closure of its natural resources businesses.
Price has agreed, as part of his severance arrangements, to assist in the disposal process.
Indeed, Highlands noted that it is negotiating with him specifically over a possible sale of some or all of the natural resources assets.
Highlands noted that the natural resources business has several liabilities that will need to be satisfied, particularly taxes on production at its East Denver project and potential plugging and abandonment costs at its Montana operations.
Whilst cashflow and the potential capital value of the East Denver project exceeds such liabilities the company said it is likely that the net future capital contribution from the natural resources assets may be limited, in the absence of any potential upside from its earlier stage projects.
Highlands added that it has in recent weeks received a number of invoices for work done in its natural resources business, primarily by external consultants and legal advisers. Such costs will not be repeated, it said.
Expansion of CBD business and loan drawdown
The company highlighted that it has increased CBD inventories at the Zoetic business ahead of several significant presentations to potential customers.
Highlands emphasised that it is imperative that Zoetic is in a position to fulfil orders quickly, if the round of meetings are successful.
It has therefore decided to draw down in full a US$500,000 bank facility. The company expects that any sale of natural resource assets will generate sufficient surplus funds to repay bank facilities.