Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB; TSX: ACB) has completed its C$290 million ($220 million) deal to purchase Uruguay-based ICC and become a market leader in Latin America.
Shares of ICC were valued at C$1.95 apiece and shareholders received 0.2161 common shares in Aurora as payment, with 31,904,668 pursuant to the agreement. Uruguay’s Instituto de Regulación y Control del Cannabis rubber-stamped the takeover and Aurora now describes itself as the industry leader in Latin America.
It includes Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America in that region, accounting for 650 million people. Uruguay was the first country in the world to legalize cannabis for recreational use, and ICC is well established there. Uruguay will be Aurora’s base in the region, and it seeks to benefit from low-cost labour, production, and cultivation capacity.
It now boasts two greenhouses totalling 92,000 sq ft and three outdoor farms covering 800 acres, of which two-thirds are in Uruguay. It estimates that ICC will produce 450,000 kilos of cannabis flower per year, further bolstering its ambition of becoming the outright global leader in the marijuana industry.
At the start of the year, analysts estimated that Aurora would be able to grow around 100,000 kilos at peak capacity. However, it has since blazed a trail of mergers and acquisitions and the juggernaut shows no signs of slowing down.
It has partnered with Denmark’s Alfred Pederson & Son to create a 1 million sq. ft. facility that will yield 120,000 kilos per year. It acquired CanniMed Therapeutics in May and then snapped up Ontario firm MedReleaf, which is expected to reach 140,000 kilos at peak production. Finally, it announced the construction of a 1.2 million sq. ft. facility in Alberta that will produce another 150,000 kilos each year.
Now that it has closed the deal for ICC, it should eventually stand out ahead of its closest competitors – Canopy Growth Corp. and Aphria – as the largest cannabis producer in the world.
“Together, ICC and Aurora will accelerate the development of our well-diversified product portfolio, and extensive distribution channels to capitalize on the substantial opportunities in the global cannabis industry,” said chief executive Terry Booth, who founded the company back in 2006 along with Steve Dobler, Dale Lesak and Chris Mayerson. Booth and Dobler stumped up $5 million of their own cash to launch the company, but it now has a market capitalization of more than $7 billion.
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