CORAL GABLES, FL / ACCESSWIRE / April 24, 2019 / Marijuana Stocks took a brief but much-needed breather on April 23, 2019. This came after a bullish session on Monday, April 22, 2019. Analysts are looking at several industry catalysts that could be coming in the near term. More specifically, M&A activity is expected to continue to grow in 2019.
Total M&A activity reached nearly $14 billion in 2018, which was up from just $3.5 billion in 2017 according to portfolio manager of the Cannabis Growth mutual fund, Korey Bauer. The mutual fund was launched by Foothill Capital Management. This trend has been clearly observed from some of the key players in the cannabis industry.
Aurora Cannabis (ACB) (Market Cap: $9.208B) has seen shares climb since hitting lows of $8.45 on April 15, 2019. This week, ACB stock hit highs of $9.23, which is a 9% gain in comparison. Aurora has quietly become of the more active players in the marijuana M&A arena. To date, Aurora's M&A portfolio includes 15 wholly owned subsidiary companies. In addition to this, the company has also strategically invested in and partnered with some of the leading, publicly traded marijuana companies in the market. The company recently signed a letter of intent with Hempco Foods to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of the company for around C$63.4 Million.
Canopy Growth (CGC) (WEED.TO) (Market Cap: $16.282B) saw analysts upgrade ratings on its stock after the company's latest acquisition announcement. Specifically, Canopy announced that it had secured the rights to buy publicly traded Acreage Holdings when cannabis is legalized in the US. This buyout would help Canopy quickly expand into the US market. Acreage currently owns 87 dispensaries and 22 cultivation and processing sites across 20 states in the US.
GMP Securities' Martin Landry upgraded Canopy Growth from Hold to Buy with a price target lifted from $65 to $72.
Aphria (APHA) (Market Cap: $1.955B) announced this week that it closed its offering for 5.25% convertible senior notes for gross proceeds of $300 million. On top of the closing of this raise, on April 23, 2019, the initial purchasers exercised their option to purchase up to an additional $50 million principal amount of notes in full, resulting in gross proceeds of $350 million in total. The sale of the additional notes to the initial purchasers is expected to settle on April 26, 2019, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. In line with the current M&A trends of the cannabis industry, Aurora is looking to use this money to expand internationally. This includes deals for future acquisitions.
This news comes shortly after Aphria reported that its German subsidiary, Aprhrua Deutschland GmbH secured licensing for domestic cultivation of medical cannabis from the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices ("BfArM").
Innovative Properties Inc. d/b/a Nabis Holdings (INNPF) (NAB.CN) (Market Cap: $45.141M) is following suit with the new trend of rapid expansion. Today the company announced that it had officially completed its investments, in strategically located property in Bangor City, Michigan, that has received municipal approvals for ten cultivation licenses and one processing license. This property allows Nabis to grow indoor, outdoor and greenhouse cannabis with an unlimited stacking ability of cultivation licenses.
As far as timing is concerned, cultivation at the property is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2020. Nabis Holdings will be developing a 60,000 square foot indoor cultivation and processing center along with a 45,000 square foot hybrid greenhouse.
This news follows another announcement from the company that Nabis has completed its investments in strategically located properties that have municipal approvals for provisioning centers in Battle Creek and Constantine, both located in Michigan. Shay Shnet, CEO & Director of Nabis said in a press release, ''Our strategic plan to aggressively expand into many other limited license states remains the top priority for our team. The closing of these two investments marks another important milestone for Nabis, as we continue to successfully expand our presence nationwide.''
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