VANCOUVER and EDMONTON, Dec. 4, 2017 /CNW/ - Aurora Cannabis Inc. ("Aurora") (TSX:ACB) (OTC:ACBFF) (Frankfurt: 21P; WKN: A1C4WM) today announced that the Company is increasing its ownership stake in Cann Group Ltd ("Cann") (ASX:CAN) from 19.9% to 22.9% by participating in Cann's latest, fully underwritten Placement of Shares (the "Placement"), priced at AUS$2.50 per share (approximately CA$2.41).
Cann's Placement consists of an Institutional Share Placement ("ISP"), as well as a Share Purchase Plan ("SPP") for eligible, registered retail shareholders for total proceeds of up to AUS$60 million (~CA$58 million). Aurora will invest up to AUS$26 million (~CA$25.1 million) to increase its ownership participation to 22.9%. The Placement consists of three stages. The first AUS$50 million ISP stage has been completed, while the third and final stage is anticipated to complete on January 15, 2018. A detailed description of the Placement's terms and conditions, as well as Aurora's participation therein, can be found in Cann's press release issued today: http://bit.ly/2jHIa4A
Cann is Australia's first company licensed to do research on and cultivate cannabis for medical purposes. The Company currently has two small-scale facilities, and has commenced working on a Phase III, 172,000 square foot expansion. The funds raised will enable Cann to accelerate completion of this facility and ramp up production to meet demand, which is anticipated to grow rapidly.
"Cann is the leading cannabis company in Australia, having been awarded the first ever license, and funding the acceleration of its expansion plans makes strong strategic sense," said Terry Booth, Aurora's CEO. "The value of our initial $6.5 million investment, based on Cann's closing share price as of Friday 1 December 2017, has already increased ten-fold to $65 million, and we have strong confidence in the Cann team to continue executing on their expansion plan and generate further shareholder value in the process."
Additionally, the Company announced that Aurora's Chief Global Business Development Officer, Neil Belot, has been appointed to Cann's Board, effective 22 November 2017, further strengthening the ties between the two companies beyond the Technical Services Agreement ("TSA").
Mr. Belot added, "This investment and the services, genetics and consultancy we will be delivering to Cann under our TSA, will help to significantly accelerate Cann's development. Beyond the planned capacity expansion, we are also very excited about the scientific research conducted by Cann, its planned investments in product diversification, and its export potential. I look forward to being closely involved with the company, and actively support its development as member of the Board."
Cann Group CEO Peter Crock, stated, "We can now move ahead with full certainty on our phase 3 expansion program, which includes the development of a 16,000m2 greenfield facility, incorporating some 9,600m2 of flowering production area. In addition, we can progress plans for the development of further production sites located on a strategic basis to help mitigate production-related risks. The export opportunity is now being evaluated by the relevant authorities and I expect an announcement in the near future. Leading into 2018 and beyond, the Company will continue to deliver on its strategic objectives and milestones, with an immediate focus on the phase 3 expansion program."
Aurora's wholly-owned subsidiary, Aurora Cannabis Enterprises Inc., is a licensed producer of medical cannabis pursuant to Health Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations ("ACMPR"). Aurora operates a 55,200 square foot, state-of-the-art production facility in Mountain View County, Alberta, known as "Aurora Mountain", a second 40,000 square foot high-technology production facility known as "Aurora Vie" in Pointe-Claire, Quebec on Montreal'sWest Island, and is currently constructing an 800,000 square foot production facility, known as "Aurora Sky", at the Edmonton International Airport, as well as is completing a fourth facility in Lachute, Quebec through its wholly owned subsidiary Aurora Larssen Projects Ltd.
Aurora is invested in Radient, a leading extraction technology company, as well as is in the process of completing an investment in Edmonton-based Hempco Food and Fiber for an ownership stake of up to 50.1%. Furthermore, Aurora is the cornerstone investor with a 22.9% stake in Cann Group Limited, the first Australian company licensed to conduct research on and cultivate medical cannabis. Aurora also owns Pedanios, a leading wholesale importer, exporter, and distributor of medical cannabis in the European Union, based in Germany. The Company offers further differentiation through its acquisition of BC Northern Lights Ltd. and Urban Cultivator Inc., industry leaders, respectively, in the production and sale of proprietary systems for the safe, efficient and high-yield indoor cultivation of cannabis, and in state-of-the-art indoor gardening appliances for the cultivation of organic microgreens, vegetables and herbs in home and professional kitchens. Aurora's common shares trade on the TSX under the symbol "ACB".
Cann is building a world-class business focused on breeding, cultivating and manufacturing medicinal cannabis for sale and use within Australia. The Company has established research and cultivation facilities in Melbourne and is striving to provide access to medicinal cannabis for Australian patients. Cann has executed collaboration agreements that will enable it to establish a leading position in plant genetics, breeding, extraction, analysis and production techniques required to facilitate the supply of medicinal cannabis for a range of diseases and medical conditions. It was issued with Australia's first medicinal cannabis research licence in February 2017, in addition to Australia's first medicinal cannabis cultivation licence in March 2017. Aurora Cannabis Inc – Canada's second largest listed medicinal cannabis company – is a cornerstone investor in Cann, with a 22.9% shareholding.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
AURORA CANNABIS INC.
Terry Booth, CEO
This news release includes statements containing certain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities law ("forward-looking statements"), including, but not limited to, statements with respect to the investment in Cann Group by Aurora and the use of the proceeds thereof by Cann Group. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "continue", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", "may", "will", "potential", "proposed" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. These statements are only predictions. Various assumptions were used in drawing the conclusions or making the projections contained in the forward-looking statements throughout this news release. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Neither Aurora nor Cann Group is under any obligation, and each expressly disclaims any intention or obligation, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by applicable law.
Neither TSX nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of Toronto Stock Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.