Akerna Receives Superior Acquisition Proposal, Terminates Agreement with POSaBIT

DENVER, April 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Akerna (Nasdaq: KERN), an emerging technology firm, announces that it has received an unsolicited acquisition proposal that Akerna’s Board has determined is a superior offer, from an undisclosed company, for Akerna’s software business. As a result and in accordance with their fiduciary duties, the Board approved the termination of the agreement for the sale of its software business to POSaBIT.

Akerna’s Board of Directors carefully evaluated the confidential, unsolicited acquisition proposal and consulted with financial and legal advisors in making its determination. The Board believes the confidential, unsolicited acquisition proposal will provide enhanced value to shareholders. This decision reflects the Board’s commitment to maximizing shareholder value and acting in the best interests of the company and its stakeholders.

Gryphon Digital Mining, Inc. (“Gryphon”) supports Akerna pursuing the new acquisition proposal as a superior offer that will ultimately benefit the stockholders of the combined company and, once the new transaction is finalized, the transaction with Gryphon will be amended to reflect the new party’s acquisition of Akerna’s software business.

The termination fee due to POSaBIT under the terms of the agreement will be borne by the undisclosed party. The company remains grateful for the efforts and collaboration of POSaBIT during the negotiation process and wishes them continued success in their future endeavors.

Further details regarding the unsolicited acquisition proposal will be disclosed as the negotiation process advances and all necessary regulatory approvals are obtained.

Akerna looks forward to sharing more information with stakeholders and the market as permitted.

Additional Information and Where to Find It
This press release may be deemed to be solicitation material with respect to the proposed transaction between Akerna and Gryphon. In connection with the proposed transaction, Akerna intends to file relevant materials with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, including a registration statement on Form S-4 that will contain a prospectus and a proxy statement. Akerna will mail the proxy statement/prospectus to the Akerna stockholders, and the securities to be issued pursuant to the prospectus may not be sold or exchanged until the registration statement becomes effective. Investors and securityholders of Akerna and Gryphon are urged to read these materials when they become available because they will contain important information about Akerna, Gryphon and the proposed transaction. This press release is not a substitute for the registration statement, definitive proxy statement/prospectus or any other documents that Akerna may file with the SEC or send to securityholders in connection with the proposed transactions. Investors and securityholders may obtain free copies of the documents filed with the SEC, once available, on Akerna’s website at www.akerna.com, on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov or by directing a request to Akerna’s Investor Relations at (516) 419-9915.

This press release is not a proxy statement or a solicitation of a proxy, consent or authorization with respect to any securities or in respect of the proposed transactions, and shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offering of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

Participants in the Solicitation
Each of Akerna and Gryphon and their respective directors and executive officers may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the stockholders of Akerna in connection with the proposed transactions. Information about the executive officers and directors of Akerna are set forth in Akerna’s Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A relating to the 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, filed with the SEC on April 19, 2022. Other information regarding the interests of such individuals, who may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the stockholders of Akerna, will be set forth in the proxy statement/prospectus, which will be included in Akerna’s registration statement on Form S-4 when it is filed with the SEC. You may obtain free copies of these documents as described above.

Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements based upon the current expectations of Akerna. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of these risks and uncertainties, which include, without limitation: (i) the risk that the conditions to the closing of the proposed transaction are not satisfied, including the failure to timely obtain stockholder approval for the transactions, if at all; (ii) uncertainties as to the timing of the consummation of the proposed transaction and the ability of each of Akerna and Gryphon to consummate the proposed merger; (iii) risks related to Akerna entering into a definitive agreement regarding the new sale transaction with the new party pursuant to the terms of the acquisition proposal and risks related to whether the terms of such definitive agreement will result in increased stockholder value (iv) risks related to potential lawsuits regarding Akerna’s determination to terminate its agreement with POSaBIT, (iv) risks related to Akerna’s ability to manage its operating expenses and its expenses associated with the proposed transactions pending closing; (v) risks related to the failure or delay in obtaining required approvals from any governmental or quasi-governmental entity necessary to consummate the proposed transactions; (vi) the risk that as a result of adjustments to the exchange ratio, Akerna stockholders and Gryphon stockholders could own more or less of the combined company than is currently anticipated; (vii) risks related to the market price of Akerna’s common stock relative to the exchange ratio; (viii) unexpected costs, charges or expenses resulting from either or both of the proposed transactions; (ix) potential adverse reactions or changes to business relationships resulting from the announcement or completion of the proposed transactions; (x) risks related to the inability of the combined company to obtain sufficient additional capital to continue to advance its business plan; and (xi) risks associated with the possible failure to realize certain anticipated benefits of the proposed transactions, including with respect to future financial and operating results. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of these risks and uncertainties. These and other risks and uncertainties are more fully described in periodic filings with the SEC, including the factors described in the section titled “Risk Factors” in Akerna’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022 filed with the SEC, and in other filings that Akerna makes and will make with the SEC in connection with the proposed transactions, including the proxy statement/prospectus described under “Additional Information and Where to Find It.” You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are made only as of the date hereof or as of the dates indicated in the forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, Akerna expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in its expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements are based.

About Akerna
Akerna (Nasdaq: KERN) is an emerging technology firm focused on innovative technology.
To be included on the Company's email distribution list, please sign up at https://ir.akerna.com/news-events/email-alerts.
For more information, visit https://www.akerna.com/.

About Gryphon:
Gryphon Digital Mining, Inc. is an innovative venture in the cryptocurrency space dedicated to helping bring digital assets onto the clean energy grid. With a talented leadership team coming from globally recognized brands, Gryphon is assembling thought leaders to improve digital asset network infrastructure.

More information is available on https://gryphondigitalmining.com/.

Meghan Shine, VP of Strategic Communications & Marketing


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Source: Akerna Corp.