Aurora targets high-margin cannabis market with CA$175M Whistler acquisition

Be at the forefront of cannabis and psychedelics science and innovation. Register by March 14 & Save $100 on tickets to The Emerald Conference by MJBiz Science, April 1-3 in San Diego.

Alberta’s Aurora Cannabis has agreed to acquire privately held British Columbia-based Whistler Medical Marijuana Corp. – one of Canada’s first licensed producers – for 175 million Canadian dollars ($131 million) in an all-share transaction.

The acquisition will add Whistler’s recognized cannabis brand to Aurora’s portfolio. It also provides Aurora a proven export channel.

Whistler already has experience shipping products overseas, having sold medical cannabis derivatives to companies in Australia and the Cayman Islands.

Whistler’s two indoor licensed production facilities are anticipated to have a combined production capacity of more than 5,000 kilograms (11,000 pounds) per year, Aurora said in a news release.

The company’s newer facility, located outside Whistler, will enable Aurora to supply high-margin organic medical cannabis products to the European market once it is EU Good Manufacturing Practice certified.

Whistler also possesses a deep product portfolio with a genetics bank of over 150 strains.

The company is certified by the Fraser Valley Organic Producers Association.

The acquisition agreement includes milestone payments based on Whistler achieving certain operational objectives.

For Aurora – never shy in the M&A market – this represents its first major acquisition this year.

“We intend to accelerate the completion of Whistler’s Pemberton expansion project and leverage our domestic and international distribution channels to increase market reach for their exceptional products,” Aurora CEO Terry Booth said in the release.

Aurora trades as ACB on the New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange.

To sign up for our weekly Canada marijuana business newsletter, click here.