Two of the biggest players in cannabis now are a single company. Tilray this week completed its acquisition of Aphria, making Tilray into the cannabis-focused CPG company with the industry’s largest global geographic footprint. The combined company has a market cap of $8.2 billion based on closing stock prices from April 30, and Tilray expects the merger to create $81 million in synergies within 18 months.
As part of the merger, Aphria will be delisted, with Aphria shareholders receiving 0.84 shares of Tilray per Aphria share and the new company trading under the ticker symbol TLRY on the Nasdaq. It also debuted May 5 on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the same ticker symbol.
“Our focus now turns to execution on our highest return priorities including business integration and accelerating our global growth strategy,” said Irwin Simon, Tilray chairman and CEO, who formerly led Aphria as CEO. “COVID-19-related lockdowns have presented unique challenges across Canadian and German markets. As these markets begin to re-open, Tilray is poised to strike and transform the industry with our highly scalable operational footprint, a curated portfolio of diverse medical and adult-use cannabis brands and products, a multi-continent distribution network, and a robust capital structure to fund our global expansion strategy and deliver sustained profitability and long-term value for our stakeholders.”
The company said that the combination would provide certain financial and strategic benefits, including being the world’s largest global cannabis company. That distinction brings with it a strategic footprint and an operational scale that will make it competitive, the company said, alongside low-cost production and a portfolio of branded cannabis products in Canada. In the United States, Tilray has a strong CPG presence with its SweetWater cannabis craft brewer and its Manitoba Harvest CBD and wellness brand, which collectively have access to more than 17,000 North American stores.
“Our global team is laser-focused on turning potential into performance and addressing consumer and patient needs for safe, innovative, and high-quality products,” Simon said. “We are eager to get to work and want to thank both the Aphria and the Tilray Boards of Directors and especially Brendan Kennedy for his spirit of partnership and irrepressible belief in the art of ‘what’s possible.’ We will benefit enormously from his legacy and continued service on the Tilray Board.”
The company’s new c-suite will include Carl Merton, CFO; Denise Faltischek, head of international and chief strategy officer, Jim Meiers, president of Canada; Jared Simon, president of Manitoba Harvest and Tilray Wellness; and Freddy Bensch, CEO of SweetWater, among other executives.