Marijuana producer Tilray buys two more craft beer brands for $5.1 million

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(This story has been updated to note that AB InBev – the maker of Budweiser – and Tilray ended their partnership.)

Marijuana producer Tilray Brands acquired two California craft beer brands in late 2021, Alpine and Green Flash, in a cash and stock deal worth $5.1 million (6.4 million Canadian dollars), according to a new regulatory disclosure.

Tilray bought the assets from WC IPA on Dec. 17, 2021, in exchange for 366,308 Tilray shares, worth $3 million, and the rest in cash, according to the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

WC IPA had acquired the assets in a foreclosure sale in 2018.

Tilray’s latest foray into the craft beer market was first reported by the Brewbound publication.

The Alpine and Green Flash acquisition happened a little more than a week after Tilray bought Colorado-based Breckenridge Distillery in a deal worth $102.9 million and one year after the New York company’s purchase of Atlanta-based SweetWater Brewing Co. for about $300 million.

The SweetWater purchase was executed by Aphria in late 2020, before the company completed its merger with Tilray last year.

The latest acquisitions are part of Tilray’s strategy to eventually enter the U.S. cannabis market.

They come just as Tilray and brewing giant AB InBev – the maker of Budweiser – quietly ended their partnership.

In an earlier interview with MJBizDaily at the time of the SweetWater purchase, Chief Financial Officer Carl Merton said, “(SweetWater) has an incredible reach to a consumer that is already thinking about cannabis, and this acquisition allows us to access that consumer years in advance of federal legalization.

“If federal legalization happens two years from now, that’s two years we have to talk to that consumer about our brands.”

In the SEC filing, Tilray said the Alpine and Green Flash acquisition builds upon SweetWater’s strategic plan to expand into all 50 U.S. states.

“This strategic acquisition was completed shortly after SweetWater announced plans to move into a 32,450-square-foot production facility in Fort Collin (Colorado) that it recently acquired, which also includes a 10,000-square-foot taproom.

“We believe that these initiatives, coupled with SweetWater’s new taproom inside Denver International Airport, will provide a launch pad for SweetWater to further distribute to the West Coast.”

Tilray’s beverage-alcohol revenue has declined for three consecutive quarters, from approximately $16 million in the quarter ended May 31, 2021, to $15.5 million in the quarter ended Aug. 31, 2021, and then to $13.8 million in the latest quarter, which ended Nov. 30, 2021. 

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On a conference call with analysts this week, Tilray CEO Irwin Simon said he doesn’t see legalization happening in the United States for at least the next two years.

Tilray shares trade as TLRY on the Nasdaq and Toronto Stock Exchange.

Matt Lamers can be reached at mattl@mjbizdaily.com.