Aphria Inc. NYSE: APHA has decided to throw in the towel on its listing at the New York Stock Exchange and is moving to NASDAQ effective Friday, June 5, 2020, after the market close. Aphria said that shareholders can expect the common stock will begin trading as a Nasdaq-listed security at market open on Monday, June 8, 2020 and will continue to be listed under the ticker symbol “APHA.” This transition will not impact the company’s primary listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: APHA).
It is cheaper for companies to list at NASDAQ than it is to list at the NYSE. The amenities offered to companies that list at NYSE don’t apply to cannabis companies. For example, a cannabis company can list at NYSE, but is not allowed to ring the opening or closing bells. Cannabis companies are treated like second class citizens at the NYSE, but their exchange listing money seems to be considered of equal value.
“We are excited to have Nasdaq as our new exchange partner. This move is a reflection of our ongoing commitment to find cost-effective ways of operating so we can continue to deliver long-term value to shareholders,” said Irwin D. Simon, Chief Executive Officer. “Additionally, as a purpose-driven company, we believe Nasdaq will be a good fit for Aphria, particularly given our focus on, and the progress we have made, integrating ESG practices across our business.”
ESG stands for environmental, social and governance and is typically considered to be a measurement of the sustainability and societal impact of an investment in a company or business. These criteria help to better determine the future financial performance of companies (return and risk).
“With over 76% of Nasdaq-listed companies reporting on at least one ESG metric, we welcome Aphria to the Nasdaq family as they strive to integrate ESG best practices across their business and add strategic value to all of their stakeholders,” said Bob McCooey, Global Head of Capital Markets, Nasdaq.
The NASDAQ has been a bit more welcoming of cannabis companies, although only slightly. For example, the Green Market Report is often declined on-site interview requests because it is a cannabis-only news outlet despite having a long-standing relationship with the NASDAQ.