B.C.-based Tilray now the world’s largest cannabis company after merger

Tilray and Canadian cannabis producer Aphria have merged to create the world’s largest cannabis company, based on combined pro-forma revenue. (News Bulletin file)

Nanaimo-based Tilray medical and recreational cannabis company has merged with Ontario-based Aphria to create the world’s largest cannabis company.

The merger was announced Wednesday, Dec. 16. Operating under the Tilray name, estimated revenue is $874 million.

The combined company will have its principal Canadian offices in Leamington, Ont., and Nanaimo, B.C., as well as U.S. offices in Seattle and New York and European offices in Portugal and Germany. Shares will trade on NASDAQ under ticker symbol ‘TLRY.’

Irwin D. Simon, Aphria’s chairman and chief executive officer, will continue as chairman and CEO, with a board of nine directors – including Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy and one director yet to be designated. Seven members will join from Aphria.

“We are thrilled to bring together two cannabis industry leaders,” Kennedy said in a statement.

“At this nascent stage of development and expansion of the global cannabis market, we believe companies with leading geographic scale, product range and brand expertise are most likely to benefit long-term. By leveraging our combined strengths and capabilities, we expect to be able to meet the needs of consumers more effectively all over the world and advance patient care.”

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Simon said the two businesses are highly complementary and share a leading branded-product portfolio.

“This is an exciting day for both companies including our 2,500 employees, for the cannabis industry, and for patients and consumers around the world,” said Simon in the release.

“We are bringing together two world-class companies that share a culture of innovation, brand development and cultivation to enhance our Canadian, U.S., and international scale as we pursue opportunities for accelerated growth with the strength and flexibility of our balance sheet and access to capital.”

Stated benefits of the merger include financial strength and flexibility, creation of the leading Canadian adult-use cannabis licenced producer, increased product range and commitment to innovation, enhanced consumer packaged good presence and infrastructure in U.S., a stronger platform to pursue growth opportunities in European markets and growth in the beverage segment of the Canadian and U.S. markets.

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