Following the company’s heavily discounted deal with Canopy Growth and the departure of co-founder and CEO Kevin Murphy, Acreage Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: ACRGF) reported first-quarter 2020 reported revenue of $24.2 million, an increase of 88% increase compared to the same period in 2019, and a 15% sequential increase. The earnings were unaudited.
The revenue that was reported paled in comparison to the company’s charges, which were almost double what Acreage had told investors they could expect. Acreage reported a one-time, non-cash pre-tax charge of $196.0 million, or $164.7 million after taxes. The company had originally told the market it could expect to see a charge between $80-$100 million. Acreage blamed the discrepancy on current fair market value in certain states and the write-down
for its services agreement in Maine, which was not initially contemplated.
The net losses were equally eye-popping at $172 million. These results explain the departure of Murphy and his replacement by Bill Van Faasen.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting millions across the U.S., the cannabis industry was faced with yet another significant challenge. Our dispensary and processing and cultivation associates quickly adapted to these changing dynamics ensuring our patients and customers in need were still served with dignity and respect, while maintaining a safe environment for everyone. Additionally, I am pleased with the reacceleration of our reported and pro forma revenue as our wholesale business continues to ramp and our dispensaries continue to mature,” said Bill Van Faasen, interim Chief Executive Officer of Acreage.
The company continues to report pro forma numbers, however, many past deals in which Acreage included those pro forma numbers have been terminated or sold. At this point, the company that once claimed to be the largest cannabis business in the country only has (assuming completion of pending acquisitions), 15 operational dispensaries. Acreage has or will have management or consulting services agreements, (including pending acquisitions), with entities operating 12 dispensaries.
Murphy’s Voting Shares
Not unlike the structure that was originally established at MedMen (OTC:MMNFF), Murphy, he exercises a significant majority of the voting power in respect
of the Acreage Shares. According to the company’s May MD&A, “The Subordinate Voting Shares are entitled to one vote per share, the Proportionate Voting Shares are entitled to 40 votes per share, and the Multiple Voting Shares are entitled to 3,000 votes per share. As a result, Mr. Murphy has the ability to control the outcome of all matters submitted to the Company’s shareholders for approval, including the election and removal of directors and any arrangement or sale of all or substantially all of the assets of the Company.”
“As a shareholder, even a controlling shareholder, Mr. Murphy will be entitled to vote his shares, and shares over which he has voting control, in his own interests, which may not always be in the interests of the Company’s shareholders generally. Because Mr. Murphy holds most of his economic interest in the Company’s business through High Street, rather than through the Company, he may have conflicting interests with holders of the Acreage Shares.”
The company is hosting a call to discuss the earnings on Friday morning. The stock closed higher by 23% on Thursday to end the day at $2.88.