With the ongoing trend of increasing M&A activity continuing to grow in Canada, the industry is also seeing a number of cannabis giants sell smaller companies amongst themselves.
Canadian cannabis company Cronos Group Inc (TSE: CRON) announced today that it had decided to sell all of it’s ownership of Whistler Medical Marijuana Corp to Aurora Cannabis Inc (TSE: ACB)(NYSE: ACB). The sale, which would see the company give up it’s remaining 19 percent ownership in the well-known British-Columbian brand, was sold to Aurora for a sum of $131.4 million in stock.
“Now that this transaction is complete, we intend to accelerate development of Whistler and leverage its iconic brand globally. Applying certain of our best practices to the Whistler cultivation protocols, we anticipate an increase in capacity of the Pemberton facility beyond the stated 5,000 kg annual production target,” said Aurora CEO Terry Booth. “Furthermore, in pursuing Eu GMP certification, we expect, once certified, to offer Whistler’s premium organic flower and derivative products in the much higher margin EU medicinal cannabis market, further increasing the accretive nature of this transaction. Whistler and Aurora are very much aligned with respect to cannabis culture and community. We expect a swift and successful integration with Whistler, our latest partner.”
Located in Whistler, British Columbia, Whistler Medical Marijuana quickly became one of the countries most iconic and award-winning cannabis brands. Aurora has had an eye out to acquire the company for a while now, purchasing a significant stake of the company earlier, although failing to acquire full ownership as Cronos at the time still chose to keep it’s 19 percent stake.
“We’d like to thank and congratulate Whistler for their partnership over the past two years,” added Mike Gorenstein, CEO of Cronos Group. “Whistler’s commitment to creating high-quality products and establishing a premium brand has generated value for consumers and investors alike. We are proud to have been part of their growth and look forward to their progress through this venture.”
In response to the news, both Cronos Group and Aurora shares dropped around 1.5 percent in today’s trading session. So far, Aurora has consistently been gobbling up smaller cannabis companies through all stock transactions, something that is irking current investors. With more shares used to fuel M&A activity, this is exerting downward pressure on stock prices as many analysts are bearish on the cannabis giant in the future. As for Cronos, the company is seen by many as being overvalued and is one of many companies expected to drop in price in the coming months by analysts.
Cronos Group Company Profile
Cronos Group is a globally diversified and vertically integrated cannabis company with a presence across five continents. Cronos Group operates two wholly-owned Canadian licensed producers: Peace Naturals Project Inc., which was the first non-incumbent medical cannabis license granted by Health Canada, and Original BC Ltd., which is based in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia.
Cronos Group has multiple international production and distribution platforms across five continents. Cronos Group intends to continue to rapidly expand its global footprint as it focuses on building an international iconic brand portfolio and developing disruptive intellectual property. Cronos Group is committed to building industry leading companies that transform the perception of cannabis and responsibly elevate the consumer experience. – Cronos Group