Aphria Inc. is “absolutely” interested in acquiring pot assets from its beleaguered competitor CannTrust Holdings Inc., Chief Executive Officer Irwin Simon said in a phone interview.
“I think they have some great medical clients and they have some real interesting assets,” Simon said Friday. “As somebody that looks for opportunities all the time, it’s something that absolutely we would be looking at.”
CannTrust put itself up for sale earlier this week after a regulatory breach erased more than C$500 million ($378 million) in market value and resulted in the firing of CEO Peter Aceto. The Joint Serious Offences Team -- an enforcement partnership between the Ontario Securities Commission, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Ontario Provincial Police’s anti-rackets branch -- is investigating, CannTrust disclosed Thursday. The shares have plunged more than 57% this year.
Aphria hasn’t spoken to the special committee of CannTrust’s board that initiated the sale process and will wait for it to finish its review of the breach, Simon said.
He added that Aphria is already attracting CannTrust’s former medical patients after the company froze sales of its products. “We’ve seen a nice increase in our medical cannabis business,” he said.
Aphria, which only eight months ago was the subject of a short-seller report that erased half its market value in three days and resulted in the ouster of CEO Vic Neufeld, has posted a remarkable turnaround.
Its shares surged as much as 34% Friday, the most this year, after the company’s fiscal fourth-quarter results beat expectations on virtually all metrics. Analysts were particularly impressed by the 85% quarter-over-quarter jump in net cannabis revenue after the company had previously guided to flat performance.
Simon said the results were a combination of better production results from the Aphria One facility in Leamington, Ontario, improved sales numbers and a focus on cost cutting.
“If you have more sales and you have good gross margins, a lot more’s going to drop to the bottom line,” he said.
Aphria Inc .首席执行官欧文·西蒙( Irwin Simon )在接受电话采访时表示， Aphria Inc .对收购陷入困境的竞争对手佳能信托控股有限公司( CannTrust Holdings Inc .)的大麻资产“绝对”感兴趣。
本周早些时候，佳能信托( CannTrust )将自己挂牌出售，原因是一项监管违规行为抹去了5亿加元（合3.78亿美元）的市值，导致首席执行官彼得?CannTrust 周四透露，安大略省证券委员会( Ontario Securities Commission )、加拿大皇家骑警( Royal Canadian Mountain Policy )和安大略省警察局( Ontario Provision )反诈骗局( Antia Policy's Anti-scales Branch )正在调查这支联合严重犯罪调查组。今年以来，该股暴跌了57%以上。
西蒙说， Aphria 还没有与 CannTrust 董事会的特别委员会谈过，该委员会启动了出售程序，并将等待其完成对违规行为的审查。
他补充说， Aphria 已经吸引了 CannTrust 的前医疗患者，此前该公司冻结了其产品的销售。“我们看到我们的医用大麻业务有了很好的增长，”他说。
仅仅8个月前， Aphria 就是卖空者报告的主题，该报告在3天内抹去了一半市值，导致 CEO 维克•纽菲尔德( Vic Neufeld )下台。
西蒙说，这一结果是由于安大略省莱明顿的 Aphria One 工厂生产出了更好的结果，销售数量得到了改善，成本得到了削减。