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Australis Capital names experienced cannabis investments expert Harry DeMott its new CEO; adds new independent director

DeMott is a founder and managing partner of Hamerle Investments, which targets cannabis, music and entertainment companies

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DeMott, who has sat on Australis’ board since April 2019, is taking the reins from Cleve Tzung, who himself is shifting to the role of COO

Australis Capital Inc (CSE:AUSA) (OTC:AUSAF) has found a new head man, the company announced Monday, in cannabis and entertainment industry veteran Harry DeMott.

DeMott is a founder and managing partner of Hamerle Investments, which targets cannabis, music and entertainment companies. He also co-founded the investment firm Raptor Ventures I LP, where he has been a general partner since 2011. 

He was also a founding investor of Columbia Care Inc (CSE:CCHW) (OTCQX:CCHWF), a multi-state cannabis operator, and previously served on the board of Pandora Inc from 2006 through its initial public offer (IPO) in 2011. All told, DeMott brings some 30 years of experience in the US investment community.  

READ: Australis Capital appoints cannabis industry veteran Sameer Kumar as independent director

"I am excited to take the reins at Australis during this unprecedented time of opportunity in the US cannabis business," DeMott said in a statement. "Having witnessed the opportunities firsthand as an investor and operator in the space, I truly believe that the time to invest in and build branded cannabis assets is now.”

DeMott, who has sat on Australis’ board since April 2019, is taking the reins from Cleve Tzung, who himself is shifting to the role of COO. 

“I am very much looking forward to strengthening my working relationship with Cleve, who I have had the pleasure of getting to know over the past few months,” DeMott said. “With the focus directly back on US cannabis, Cleve's skills as an operator should come to the fore in a way that we have not been able to see heretofore at Australis. I look forward to partnering with him to build the company."

Australis also announced the addition of Rick Cutler to the board of directors as an independent member. Cutler is vice president of corporate development and Portfolio Analysis at Helen of Troy, a $1.6 billion global consumer packaged goods company. He has led numerous acquisitions and doubled annual revenue across several business units.in his more than 20 years of experience, the company said.

"I am extremely excited to have Rick join the board and look forward to working with him to build the company," DeMott said. "Having known Rick for well over a decade, I feel confident that he adds a level of experience with branded products that is unmatched at AUSA, and that he will be a valuable addition to the team."

Cutler replaces John Dover, who resigned from the board.

"We thank John for his tireless service to the company," DeMott said. "His dedication to all stakeholders has been evident from the beginning. He has been tough, fair, and above all, a person you want in your corner when times are tough. We will miss him at board meetings, but know that he will continue to work on behalf of the company."

Australis Capital invests in, operates and builds companies operating in highly regulated industries. The company already has nine assets in the cannabis industry, six of which it wholly owns. The assets in the company’s portfolio include Cocoon Technology, Body and Mind Inc, Quality Green, and Folium Biosciences.

Contact Andrew Kessel at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kessel

Quick facts: Australis Capital Inc

Price: 0.145 CAD

CSE:AUSA
Market: CSE
Market Cap: $24.76 m
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