Aphria seeks EU GMP certification before closing deal for German distributor

Photo by Stefan Widua on Unsplash

Aphria, one of Canada’s largest medical cannabis companies, aims to obtain an essential European quality standard certification before closing its deal to buy a large distributor of pharmaceutical products in Germany.

Aphria announced last week its intention to buy Densborn, Germany-based CC Pharma for 24.5 million euros ($28 million) in cash on closing and another 23.5 million euros if certain performance milestones are met.

The transaction is expected to close in early 2019.

Meeting EU Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) would mean Ontario-based Aphria could export medical cannabis products from its facility in Canada to the European Union.

Tamara Macgregor, vice president of communications, confirmed Aphria is working toward getting the certification before the deal closes.

CC Pharma is the fifth-largest distributor of pharmaceutical products in Germany with about 6% market share.

The company reported a profit of 2 million euros in 2017 after losing about 3.3 million euros the previous year.

Germany is accepting applications to grow medical cannabis, but the amount called for remains well short of anticipated demand in the coming years.

That means the country will require significant imports from places such as Canada and the Netherlands to meet domestic demand – even after domestic licensees reach full production.

Canadian medical cannabis companies  – including Aphria and several of its rivals – have been racing to make deals with German pharmaceutical importers to capitalize on the country’s booming MMJ market.

Alberta-based Aurora Cannabis acquired Germany-based importer, exporter and distributor Pedanios last year and sent its first shipment of medical marijuana to Germany in September.

Cronos Group of Ontario inked an exclusive agreement to distribute its medical cannabis in Germany through Pohl-Boskamp.

Canadian companies with EU GMP certification include Aurora, Maricann, Cronos, Tilray and Canopy Growth.

Matt Lamers can be reached at [email protected]

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