Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE:ACB) continues to pull back, dropping about 50% off its highs. However, the stock is still up over 250% in the past year. Like Canopy, this is a long game in play for Aurora. Think of the old board game “Risk”. The world is a big map of the territory to be won or lost if you believe, like the management teams at these two companies believe, that we are on a path to see most of the world gradually start to increasingly legalize cannabis.
The science is increasingly supportive of this move, and the world has gotten smaller and smaller in terms of cultural differentiation with the advent of a global fiber optic IT infrastructure in the late 1990’s. The result is increasing homogenization of views on many things, with cannabis being part of that equation. So, given this outlook on the world, what is the goal of the strategic vision of one of the best and biggest, and most well-capitalized, cannabis players?
Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE:ACB) is one of the most widely diversified players in the cannabis space due to its powerful strategic investments.
And that status has just been further augmented with the company’s recent announcement that Aurora has received consent and approval from its consortium of lenders led by Bank of Montreal to move forward with the acquisition of all of the issued and outstanding common shares of ICC Labs Inc. (ICC), a fully licensed producer and distributor of medicinal cannabinoid extracts, recreational cannabis, and industrial hemp products in Uruguay as well as a fully licensed producer of medicinal cannabis in Colombia.
In other words, Aurora is setting up camp in a big way in the South American market.
Think of that risk board again. This is a territorial race between several of the biggest players, including Aurora and Canopy as probably the frontrunners, then perhaps, Aphria and several others. We would see Tilray as somewhere just outside of the top ten on this list (despite the company’s somewhat baseless attempts to hype itself as some sort of leading player in the space).
Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE:ACB) managed to rope in revenues totaling $19.1M in overall sales during the company’s most recently reported quarterly financial data — a figure that represents a rate of top line growth of 222.6%, as compared to year-ago data in comparable terms. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels far exceeding current liabilities ($149.4M against $75.2M).
As noted in the release detailing the strategic rationale behind the acquisition, Aurora states that this deal “will create a strong foundation for expansion, and will leverage ICC’s first-mover advantage in South America, bringing significant low-cost production capacity, a well-diversified product portfolio, and extensive distribution channels throughout South America and internationally. Led by CEO Alejandro Antalich, a widely-recognized leader in the South American cannabis market with over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical sector, the acquisition of ICC will establish Aurora as the industry leader in South America, a continent with over 420 million people. ICC is based in Uruguay, the first country in the world to legalize cannabis for adult consumer use. In addition, ICC holds licenses in Colombia for the production of medical cannabis.”
Knowledge is Power
Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE:ACB) has demonstrated rapid organic growth and strong execution on strategic M&A, which to date includes 15 companies – MedReleaf, CanvasRX, Peloton Pharmaceutical, Aurora Deutschland (formerly Pedanios), H2 Biopharma, Urban Cultivator, BC Northern Lights, Larssen Greenhouses, CanniMed Therapeutics, Anandia Labs, HotHouse Consulting, Agropro, Borela, and the pending acquisition of ICC Labs.
We would also note that the company has invested in and established strategic partnerships with a range of leading innovators, including: The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TSX: TGOD), Radient Technologies Inc. (TSXV: RTI), Hempco Food and Fiber Inc. (TSXV: HEMP), Cann Group Ltd. (ASX: CAN), Micron Waste Technologies Inc. (CSE: MWM), Choom Holdings Inc. (CSE: CHOO), Namaste Technologies Inc. (TSXV: N), Evio Beauty Group (private), Wagner Dimas (private), CTT Pharmaceuticals (OTCC: CTTH), and Alcanna Inc. (TSX: CLIQ).
However, just drilling down into its core cannabis production operations, Aurora Cannabis Enterprises Inc, trumpets itself as “one of the world’s largest and leading cannabis companies” and a licensed producer of medical cannabis pursuant to ACMPR.
We would expect expansion on the way given the inflow of investment capital. But, at present, the Company operates a 55,200 square foot, state-of-the-art production facility in Mountain View County, Alberta, known as Aurora Mountain, is currently constructing a second 800,000 square foot production facility, known as “Aurora Sky”, at the Edmonton International Airport, and has acquired, and is undertaking completion of a third 40,000 square foot production facility in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, on Montreal’s West Island.
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