London Inc. Weekly 08 • 24 • 2018

Vancouver cannabis firm acquires London’s KGK Science

VANCOUVER-BASED AUXLY Cannabis Group Inc. has announced that it has entered into a share purchase agreement with London’s KGK Science Inc. to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of KGK for total consideration of $12,300,000 payable in cash and common shares of the company.

KGK is a leading health and wellness focused private contract research organization, and works clients in substantiating claims for their products through randomized clinical trials and other research services.

Auxly says it expects to leverage KGK’s expertise and research abilities to further their product development efforts through collaboration with the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Dosecann Inc.

Najla Guthrie, president & CEO of KGK Science, commented, “KGK is thrilled with the opportunity to partner and grow with Auxly. Our partnership continues a trajectory of growth in cannabis research and most importantly enhances our expertise to offer research services to the nutraceutical industry. Our ability to continue operating as an independent business unit within the Auxly family allows us to maintain our goals of being a high-quality, objective and best practice contract research organization not only in North America, but globally.”

The purchase is subject to regulatory approvals.


Former Blu Duby on Dundas Street to reopen as Gnosh

THE FORMER BLU Duby restaurant at 125 Dundas Street will reopen next week as Gnosh.

The room is being revived by former Blu Duby co-founder, Joe Duby. Duby and Cheryl Milani opened the restaurant in 2012, and then went on to open a second location, Blu Duby North, in 2017. Both locations were shuttered earlier this year for personal and business reasons.

According to Duby, he decided to reinvest in the Dundas Street location because he sees significant promise in the new Dundas Place flex-street concept, as well as increased traffic from the new developments such as the Fanshawe College campus in the former Kingsmill’s building.

Commenting on the flex street project, Duby told the London Free Press, “It will be a huge boon to the downtown. Lots of patio space works in places like Kingston and Montreal. This is the next evolution for out downtown.”

Duby says Gnosh will open next Wednesday with minor cosmetic changes to the space, and a menu featuring fresh and innovative casual fare.


Digital Echidna and rTraction announce partnership deal

CHANGE IS UNDERWAY in London’s digital agency sector as two well-known firms, Digital Echidna and rTraction, have announced a partnership deal. 

As of August 1 of this year, Digital Echidna has been providing development support services for new and existing rTraction clients as rTraction focuses its attention on re-envisioning its core business. Digital Echidna assumed the responsibility of providing support services to rTraction clients for the duration of their existing support agreements.

“As Digital Echidna has continued to grow and expand over the years, we’ve been able to establish an infrastructure that allows us to partner with other agencies to provide foundational support,” explained Andrew McClenaghan, owner of Digital Echidna. “We are happy to support the technology community and continue to work with companies like rTraction to continue to position London as a regional leader in innovation.”

“Every time we have surveyed our clients, they’ve always come back to say they value the same things: creative thinking, problem solving and excellent facilitation,” added David Billson, CEO of rTraction. “We are catalysts for organizations looking to make a positive change – it was important us to focus all of our activities on this core purpose. We are thrilled to have a trusted partnership with Digital Echidna that allows our clients to continue to receive excellent service while we focus on our respective core competencies.”


New Electric expands to London 

NEW ELECTRIC, A full-service industrial electrical contracting company headquartered in Oakville, has expanded to London with the opening of their ninth Ontario branch at 77 Bessemer Road. The company, a division of the Spark Power Group of Companies, provides electrical contracting, automation and related services.

With the opening of the London branch, New Electric says it will be able to expand on their success in the region’s growing food-and-beverage industry. Food-and-beverage processing requires all work on-site to adhere to stringent food-safety requirements from a broad array of third-party certification and standards organizations.

 “We are thrilled to be expanding our business into London to better serve our customers in southwestern Ontario,” says New Electric president, Roland Van Olst. “We take great pride in our ability to offer a high level of responsiveness and expertise and this new location will enable us to not only better serve our customers, but also create employment opportunities for skilled electrical trades in the region.”

New Electric aims to foster growth in employment opportunities in the electrical trades and says it will work with local institutions like Fanshawe College to provide apprentice opportunities and jobs. The company employs 200-plus in Ontario and Manitoba, and is currently hiring for a variety of positions at the London location.


Two area insurance firms join forces

LONDON-BASED SUTHERLAND Elliott Insurance and Exeter-based Gaiser-Kneale Insurance Brokers have merged to become Gaiser Elliott Insurance Brokers.

Founded in 1947, Sutherland-Elliott has two London offices (York Street and Willow Drive) and additional locations in Grand Bend and Exeter. Gaiser-Kneale, established in 1931, has its head office in Exeter and a satellite office in Grand Bend.

In an interview with the London Free Press, Gaiser-Kneale principal owner, Jon Gaiser, said the merger will provide both firms a wider geographic base, “The marketplace is changing. We needed to do this to look after our customers with a bigger market, more volume.”