Takeover in Canada pegged at $1.1 billion

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Vancouver-based Aurora Cannabis Inc. purchased rival CanniMed Therapeutics Inc., Saskatoon, for about $1.1 billion, as the two companies settled a hostile takeover attempt to arrive at a “friendly” deal.

Observers said the transaction marks the biggest deal in the MMJ sector so far, and could put pressure on other industry players to look for acquisitions or ramp up organic growth.

Both companies are medicinal marijuana centric, but Aurora also makes low-THC cannabidiol (CBD). The previous biggest deal in the MMJ sector was Canopy Growth’s acquisition of Mettrum Health Corp. for $430 million in 2016.

“It probably creates an expectation that there will be more consolidation in the sector,” said Aurora’s chief corporate officer Cam Battley said.

The combined operation will have about 650 employees and Aurora said the company looks to hire more. CanniMed chief executive Brent Zettl is expected to served the joined board during a transition period.

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