Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED) (NYSE: CGC) has completed an all-cash transaction to purchase a majority stake in sports nutrition company BioSteel Sports Nutrition Inc. The amount of the acquisition was not disclosed. The deal gives Canopy a significant entry into the sports nutrition and hydration category and lays the groundwork for cannabidiol (CBD) products to be sold in the U.S.
BioSteel was founded in 2009 and focuses on premium natural ingredients with a reputation for being the hydration beverage of choice for high-performance athletes. According to the company statement, BioSteel products have been purchased by over 70% of the teams in North America’s four major sports leagues and ambassadors of the brand include: Ezekiel Elliott, of the Dallas Cowboys; Connor McDavid, of the Edmonton Oilers; WTA player, Eugenie Bouchard; Andrew Wiggins with the Minnesota Timberwolves; Tyler Seguin with the Dallas Stars; Jalen Ramsey, with the Jacksonville Jaguars; NHL Hall of Famer, Wayne Gretzky; Gleyber Torres, with the New York Yankees; and Smiths Falls very own, LPGA golfer Brooke Henderson. In particular, Elliott’s agreement with BioSteel allows them to activate the star running back as the leading endorser of CBD products once permitted by the NFL. To date no active player has been able to do so.
“BioSteel has a reputation for being a best-in-class provider of natural sports nutrition products and all of its products are well positioned to benefit from the increasing trend of plant-based and all-natural products, preferred not only by professional athletes, but active consumers as well,” commented Mark Zekulin, CEO, Canopy Growth. “This acquisition allows us to enter the sports nutrition space with a strong and growing brand as we continue towards a regulated market of food and beverage products that contain cannabis. We view the adoption of CBD in future BioSteel offerings as a potentially significant and disruptive growth driver for our business.”
“The use and acceptance of CBD-based products in the professional sports landscape has changed. We have witnessed the negative effects of prescription painkillers and athletes are looking for healthier alternatives,” said Michael Cammalleri, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, BioSteel Sports Nutrition. “Its presence is already commonplace amongst NHL players and as a regular CBD user myself, I couldn’t be more proud to champion BioSteel’s evolution and leadership in this space.”
In addition, BioSteel has national organizational partnerships with USA Hockey, Canada Basketball, Athletics Canada and the Professional Hockey Players Association. The company has 10,000+ points of distribution in Canada and the U.S. and continues to expand in both markets and into Europe.
Venture capital firm Canopy Rivers Inc. (TSX: RIV)(OTC: CNPOF) completed a $10 million investment ( in TerrAscend Canada Inc., a subsidiary of its portfolio company TerrAscend Corp. (CSE: TER)(OTCQX: TRSSF). The investment includes the purchase of 13,243 units, with each unit consisting of: (i) one unsecured convertible debenture of TerrAscend Canada with a principal amount of CA $1,000, and (ii) 25.2 common share purchase warrants of TerrAscend exercisable until October 2, 2024.
“We think TerrAscend is uniquely positioned to meet the evolving consumer demands in the three largest cannabis markets worldwide,” said Narbe Alexandrian, President & CEO of Canopy Rivers. “We strongly believe in TerrAscend’s ability to execute on its global strategy, market a diversified brand portfolio, and build on its recent acquisitions, and this additional investment is an affirmation of that belief.”
“We are privileged to have the continued confidence and support of Canopy Rivers, one of the preeminent investment firms specializing in cannabis,” said Michael Nashat, CEO of TerrAscend. “This growth capital enables us to accelerate our organic and acquisition-driven investments in our key markets across the globe, as we execute our strategic vision of being a truly global cannabinoid company.”
Canopy Rivers, along with Canopy Growth Corporation, first invested in TerrAscend in November 2017. In October 2018, both parties restructured their investment in TerrAscend. This restructuring enabled TerrAscend to pursue strategic international transactions in the cannabis space while ensuring all parties remained compliant with industry and securities regulations.
The investment was part of a larger raise of approximately $25 million through the issuance of units of each of TerrAscend and TerrAscend Canada Inc. The first tranche of the Canadian Offering was the $10 million lead order from Canopy Rivers Inc. The company expects to close on additional tranches by mid-October 2019