This was facilitated by the sale by Zelda's founder and director Mara Gordon of 35.5 million shares, of which Merchant acquired 26,931,660.
The sale by Gordon represented part of her holding in Zelda and she retains more than 44 million shares while remaining on the company's board.
Zelda worked with CPS Capital Group to facilitate this investment by Merchant.
The company's managing director Richard Hopkins said: “We are delighted to have secured Merchant as a strategic investor in Zelda and welcome their long-term support.”
Merchant Funds managing director Andrew Chapman said: “Merchant was an early mover into the Australian medical cannabis sector and enjoys a long association with some of the founders of Zelda.
“We believe Zelda has the potential to create significant shareholder value over the next 12 months as clinical trials complete and international commercialisation commences.
“Developing novel intellectual property combined with a clear path to market is a valuable position to occupy in this rapidly expanding global industry.”
READ: Zelda Therapeutics to use Federal Government R&D tax rebate of $769,000 to drive clinical trials
Following this change in shareholding, the board of Zelda now holds a combined 204,222,646 shares representing 27% of issued capital and remains focused on growing shareholder value.
On November 7, 2018, the board confirmed the commitment to not sell equity securities they own or control unless to help facilitate a major investment by a strategic investor.
Zelda welcomes the support of Merchant who has a long and successful track record in the Australian medicinal cannabis sector.
Last month Hopkins presented at Proactive’s CEO Sessions in Sydney and Melbourne and told investors that the company was well placed to service a rapidly growing global market.
He said the company was building a portfolio of clinically validated assets which presented multiple revenue opportunities to license as well as generate milestone and royalty payments.
This strategy was well advanced because the company had a singular focus on clinical validation to address key unmet needs.