Aphria Raises $225M to Build 'Centre of Excellence,' Expand Production Facilities

Aphria (APHQF) announced that it has entered into an agreement with Clarus Securities to raise $225 million on a “bought deal” basis, as it looks to expand both its production facilities around the world and its state-of-the-art Extraction Centre of Excellence.

The announcement, made Wednesday, will see Aphrais sell 18.9 million shares at a price of C$11.85. The underwriters also have the option to buy an additional 2.8 million shares at the offering price, 30 days from when the offering closes, which is expected to close on or about June 28, 2018, the company said in a statement.

Aphria, which trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker “APH.TO,” will also use the proceeds, which could total as much as C$258.7 million if the over-allotment is exercised, for “strategic acquisitions and investments and other industry related transactions, and for general corporate purposes.”

Shares of Aphria jumped more than 5 percent on Wednesday, closing at C$12.79.

The company could look to expand its business presence in Quebec or its hometown of Leamington, Ontario, which it describes as “the greenhouse capital of Canada.” Aphria describes itself as “one of Canada’s lowest cost producers, produces, supplies and sells medical cannabis.”

Aphria makes and markets four different products, according to its website: cannabis capsules, oral solutions, concentrate syringes and THC & CBD vaporizers.

In the U.S., Aphria’s products are available in dispensaries through Liberty Health Sciences. Liberty has 4 dispensaries in Florida and is opening a fifth later this year.

The capital raise comes after some cooling off in the cannabis sector, particularly in Canada. Aphria stock was lately trading at C$12.79, down from its 52-week high of C$24.75 but above its year low of C$4.78.

Investors recently fretted that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his team hinted that recreational use could start in the fall, as opposed to July, as had been previously thought.

Coupled with a later-than-expected start to legalization and regulatory concerns in the U.S., where cannabis is still illegal on the federal level (though 29 states and the District of Columbia have legalized it on some level), a sharp correction was seen across the cannabis sector in the first quarter. The Green Market Report Cannabis Company Index fell 21.9 percent in the first quarter.

Jack Smith

Jack Smith is a tech reporter that dabbles in cannabis reporting to help out his good friends at GMR.


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