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Aphria CEO with big plans: Fateful day for merger with Tilray is imminent
Tomorrow Friday is a fateful day for the cannabis industry, because then the Tilray shareholders vote on the planned merger with competitor Aphria. Recently, however, a postponement caused rumors that the merger could still burst. However, the Aphria CEO is confident and has big plans for the nascent cannabis giant.© Provided by Finance.net ASIF HASSAN / AFP / Getty Images
• Tilray will vote on merger on April 30th, Aphria shareholders have already given the go-ahead
• Tilray with short-term postponement and amendment of the statutes
• Aphria CEO Irwin Simon believes the combined company has tremendous potential
When the two Canadian cannabis companies Aphria and Tilray announced their plans for a merger in December, it caused enthusiasm, especially among Tilray shareholders: The price of Tilray shares shot up by more than 18 percent on the day of the announcement. But while the Aphria shareholders approved the merger in mid-April with an overwhelming majority of 99.4 percent, Tilray of all people caused a delay: The vote, which was actually scheduled for April 16, was postponed to April 30 at short notice. So is the merger, which you already believed to be so safe, possibly still on the brink?
Voting postponed: That's going on at Tilray
Actually, Tilray's shareholders' meeting should also approve the planned merger with Aphria in mid-April. Then everything turned out differently. Instead of waving through the merger, Tilray unceremoniously changed the articles of association for the shareholders' meeting and postponed the decision to April 30th. At first glance, this approach makes it appear as if Tilray is having trouble convincing its shareholders, according to "The Motley Fool". This is because the articles of association for the shareholders' meeting have been adapted so that a quorum is already achieved if only one third of the voting rights eligible to vote participate in the meeting. Previously, a simple majority of the voting shares had to be represented at the shareholders' meeting so that it could make binding decisions.
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Aphria CEO Irwin Simon, who will later lead the combined company, is apparently not worried that plans to create a new cannabis giant may fail. "I'm very confident that the vote [at Tilray] will go well. As I said before, the merger of the two companies will be great for both groups of shareholders," he told CNBC. In fact, it seems more as if Tilray's change of the statutes ensured that the plans would definitely get approval - otherwise it would have been completely pointless.
If there was actually a hesitation among Tilray shareholders, this was due to the latest quarterly figures from Aphria, which were anything but positive on the stock exchange, according to "The Motley Fool". The Tilray balance sheet for the fourth quarter, however, beat expectations. The merged cannabis company will be called Tilray, but Aphria will hold the reins. According to "Sharedeals", the former Aphria shareholders will ultimately represent 62 percent of the combined company, which will then also be led by former Aphria boss Irwin Simon.
Aphria CEO: World's top-selling cannabis company is born
Irwin Simon told CNBC that the combination of Tilray and Aphria would create the largest cannabis company in the world in terms of sales, with sales of billions of dollars. So far, the Canadian cannabis giant Canopy Growth has held this position. According to Simon, however, Aphria is already the largest cannabis company in Canada and, in combination with Tilray, would have a market share of almost 20 percent. The head of the company wants to expand this to 30 percent in the next few years. The new group could benefit from the combination of cannabis knowledge and research from Tilray and the branding and marketing strategy of Aphria. But the CEO is also apparently open to further acquisitions. "Because of the size of the new Tilray and our balance sheet, there is a lot out there that we can buy [...] so that we can become a global company," Simon told CNBC.
Head start for new Tilray in legalizing cannabis in more countries
In Canada, the use of cannabis for adults has been legal since 2018, in the USA individual states have legalized its use, but it is still banned by federal law. But that could change in the near future, believes Irwin Simon. "When the legalization of cannabis is carried out, the new Tilray will be ready to make a major entry into the US market," said the Aphria CEO in the "CNBC" interview. You can benefit from the experience that you have gained in the context of cannabis legalization in Canada, where not everything went smoothly for the marijuana companies. Simon sees strong competition coming up to the new company in the USA, but he is convinced to "CNBC" that one has little to worry about because of the position that one has in Canada and Europe and instead refers to the resulting ones Possibilities.
However, the company director also points out that the difficulty today is that it is not yet known what exactly the legalization of cannabis will ultimately look like when it is implemented. However, the merger with Tilray will put you in a better position. "So I would rather pay more and have a good view of what the legalization will be like and what it will look like and look to the partner we want to be a part of," said Simon.
You might also be interested in: finanzen.net guide The best cannabis stocks to buy
Even if, according to "CNBC", around 90 percent of the global cannabis market is currently in the USA and Canada, the future boss of the cannabis giant emerging from Aphria and Tilray believes that the market will grow beyond North America. "I'll say it again: We could see legalization in Europe before it happens in the United States," Simon told CNBC. Medical cannabis is already a big thing in Europe, including Germany, Portugal and Spain - so it is no longer a big step towards full legalization. Should this happen, the new cannabis group could benefit from the extensive distribution network of Aphria, which the group already has in Germany, for example, and thus secure a strong market position in Europe
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