LEAMINGTON, Ontario, and NANAIMO, British Columbia – Aphria Inc. and Tilray Inc., two Canadian cannabis superpowers traded on the NASDAQ exchange, merged to form one entity, reportedly the largest global operation in the world. The new conglomerate, to be known as Tilray and traded under the Nasdaq symbol TLRY, reportedly had a pro forma equity value of C$5 billion (roughly U.S. $4 billion) when markets closed December 15. Combined, the companies posted revenue of C$874 million (U.S. $685 million) for the twelve months preceding the transaction. Together they employ 2,500 people and address both medical and recreational markets in Canada and hemp and beverage alcohol markets in the United States.
Aphria will continue to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Tilray, with combined corporate offices in the U.S. (New York and Seattle), Canada (Toronto, Leamington, and Vancouver Island), Portugal, and Germany.
In the U.S., the company will have a consumer-packaged-goods presence and infrastructure anchored by SweetWater Brewing Company, a cannabis lifestyle branded craft brewer that does not yet sell cannabis, and Manitoba Harvest, a hemp food manufacturer and purveyor of branded CBD and wellness products.
Upon formalization of the merger, Aphria shareholders will own approximately 62 percent of the outstanding Tilray shares on a fully diluted basis, making the transaction a reverse acquisition of Tilray.
Aphria Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Irwin D. Simon will assume the same positions in the new Tilray, and Aphria board members will hold seven of nine seats on the board of directors. The rest of the senior management team has not been named.
Prior to the merger, Aphria owned 17.3 percent of the Canadian retail market. The original Tilray’s share was much smaller, at about 2 percent.