AppHarvest and Novus Capital announced a definitive agreement for a business combination that would result in AppHarvest becoming a public company. Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company will be named AppHarvest and is expected to remain listed on Nasdaq under a new ticker symbol. The combined company will be led by Jonathan Webb, AppHarvest’s Founder & Chief Executive Officer.
AppHarvest operates a 60-acre controlled environment agriculture facility in Morehead, KY — one of the largest high-tech greenhouses in the world — and has an active development pipeline for additional large-scale indoor controlled environment farm projects.
Upon the closing of the transaction, AppHarvest will retain its management, a team of growers with over 140 years of agricultural experience, including 120 years of sustainable agriculture experience, a sustainability team with more than 40 years of experience; and construction managers who have successfully managed over $19 billion in projects.
In addition, AppHarvest announced that Peter C. Halt has joined the executive team as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Halt is a seasoned finance professional with several years of experience as a publicly traded company CFO, most recently having served as the CFO for TiVo Corporation, up until its announced acquisition by Xperi Corporation.
“We are excited to transition AppHarvest to a public company and raise nearly a half a billion dollars in the process,” said Jonathan Webb, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of AppHarvest. “This will allow us to pursue our mission of transforming agriculture. A mission that’s become even more important since the global pandemic exposed how a rapidly increasing reliance on imports jeopardizes food security. We now know that, to build a more resilient food system that meets our growing population demands, we must immediately start building controlled environment agriculture facilities, as these farms use far fewer resources to grow far more produce. We believe that this partnership with Novus Capital is a transformative transaction which will allow us to both rapidly scale our agriculture facilities, in pursuit of our goal to redefine American agriculture, and build the country’s AgTech capital within Appalachia. Together we can transform agriculture.”
Bob Laikin, Chairman of Novus Capital, commented, “AppHarvest is a unique and compelling investment opportunity that is redefining American agriculture by improving access for all to fresh non-GMO produce, growing more with fewer resources, and creating an AgTech hub from within Appalachia. With significant tailwinds from heightened investor focus on ESG initiatives and the secular shift to plant-based foods, we believe AppHarvest is well-positioned to execute on its strategy for rapid growth and value creation.”
David Lee, Chief Financial Officer of Impossible Foods and AppHarvest Board Member, said, “AppHarvest is working to solve the critical need for a more resilient and sustainable food supply chain — both of which are fundamental to the future of farming, our food ecosystem and our ability to ensure food security. I believe the company is building a scalable business that could revolutionize the business of food production in the United States.”
Dave Chen, CEO of Equilibrium Capital and AppHarvest Board Member, commented, “Jonathan Webb is exceptional at getting big complex projects done fast and with the highest precision. He is the right leader for AppHarvest’s disruptive mission. Furthermore, with his leadership AppHarvest has drawn together some of the most talented individuals in the AgTech industry to drive the needed scale. I am extremely excited to see the fruits (or vegetables as the case may be!) of this team’s labors, as they execute on their plans to change food production in the United States.”
Martha Stewart, Founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and AppHarvest Board Member, said, “All Americans should believe in the AppHarvest mission to develop large-scale sustainable food production in the heart of Central Appalachia. Jonathan and his exceptional team are disrupting the food production ecosystem in the best way — to provide better, healthier food in a more sustainable manner.”
J.D. Vance, Narya Capital Partner and AppHarvest Board Member, said, “AppHarvest is developing a world-class food production ecosystem to benefit a majority of consumers in the United States, right here from Central Appalachia. This region offers tremendous resources in terms of location, and in terms of the skilled hardworking people of the region who make this incredible mission possible.”
Jeffrey Ubben, Founder and Managing Partner of Inclusive Capital Partners and AppHarvest Board Member, said, “Our investment platform is about leveraging capitalism and governance in pursuit of a healthy planet and the health of its inhabitants — and AppHarvest is perfectly aligned with this mission.”