US cannabis firm iAnthus inks CA$835 million acquisition of MPX Bioceutical

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(This story has been updated to include comments from the CEO of iAnthus Capital.)

Multistate marijuana firm iAnthus Capital agreed to acquire the U.S. assets of Toronto-based cannabis company MPX Bioceutical Corp. in an all-stock deal valued at 835 million Canadian dollars ($640 million), the second mega-acquisition in the American MJ industry in less than a week.

The acquisition positions New York-based iAnthus as one the largest U.S. cannabis operators and expands the firm’s footprint to 10 states, nearly doubling its reach.

The transaction also marks the first public-to-public acquisition in the U.S. cannabis industry, according to a news release.

The mega-deal comes on the heels of last week’s announcement that MedMen Enterprises had agreed to acquire multistate medical marijuana company PharmaCann in an all-stock transaction valued at $682 million.

The deals are reflective of a ramp up in merger and acquisition activity in the U.S. cannabis market that could shake out and leave just “eight to 10 major national players,” iAnthus CEO Hadley Ford said.

“We don’t see any more than that, which is why it’s so important to build out that national scale now,” he said.  “This gives us two super-regional footprints on the West and East coasts, and we will continue to acquire new companies across the U.S.”

Scott Boyes, CEO of MPX added that the “U.S.  cannabis market is still in a land-grab phase, and we feel that our footprint, when combined with iAnthus, provides our investors with the strongest possible exposure to this explosive marketplace.”

Under the agreement, which is subject to shareholder approval, MPX shareholders will receive 0.1673 shares of iAnthus for each common share of MPX – representing roughly CA$1.28 per MPX share.

MPX shareholders also will receive common shares of MPX International, which will be created as a holding company for the firm’s non-U.S. businesses and will apply to list on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE).

MPX Bioceutical trades on the CSE as MPX and on the over-the-counter markets as MPXEF; iAnthus lists on the CSE as IAN and on the OTCs as ITHUF.

The combined company – excluding MPX International – will include 56 cannabis retail stores and 14 cultivation and processing licenses across 10 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, New York and Vermont.

After the merger, the company will roll out a new brand name for all of its stores and products, Ford said.