Aurora Cannabis to Acquire CBD-Maker Reliva

Deal gives Canadian company a foothold in the United States

EDMONTON, Alberta — Canadian company Aurora Cannabis Inc. will acquire U.S. cannabinoid product maker Reliva LLC.

The Canadian company has entered into an agreement in which Aurora will acquire all of the issued and outstanding membership interests of Reliva, a leader in the sale of hemp-derived CBD products in the United States.

The transaction will combine Edmonton, Alberta-based Aurora's Canadian recreational brands and Canadian and European medical market position with a major U.S. hemp-derived CBD brand in retail stores.

Miguel Martin, CEO of Reliva, Natick, Mass., said the deal combines the companies' "highly complementary businesses and brands to build an even stronger company" for future success.

"We were fortunate enough to be able to choose our long-term partner and believe this partnership provides a significant opportunity to accelerate sales growth for Reliva in the United States and internationally," Martin said. "With the assistance of Aurora, we believe enhancements to Reliva's innovation, consumer insights and marketing systems will allow our portfolio of hemp-derived CBD products to become even more attractive to retailers and consumers in this exciting new category."

Michael Singer, executive chairman and interim CEO of Aurora, said the acquisition will give Aurora a strong platform on which to grow in the United States and beyond.

"Reliva provides us options to grow in hemp-derived CBD internationally," he said. "Similar to Aurora, Reliva has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and successful track record of transforming categories and creating growth brands. We welcome Miguel Martin and his team to Aurora and look forward to the opportunity to increase our operating scale, international reach, and product and brand diversity as we drive ... profitability.

"We plan to capitalize on each company's market leadership and sales infrastructure to drive higher revenue growth than either company could independently accomplish."

About the Deal

Under the terms of the agreement, members of Reliva will receive approximately $40 million of Aurora common shares. The transaction also includes a potential earn-out of up to a maximum of $45 million payable in Aurora shares, cash or a combination thereof, over the next two years contingent upon Reliva achieving certain financial targets, according to the company.

The transaction represents the culmination of a multi-month strategic evaluation of the U.S. hemp-derived CBD industry, according to Aurora Cannabis. It said Reliva stood out among a lengthy list of potential partners for its:

  • Focus on regulatory, testing and compliance protocols.
  • Proven management team with extensive experience selling and marketing regulated consumer packaged goods (CPG).
  • Deep relationships with critical trade partners that provide a U.S. national distribution footprint.
  • Financial discipline and track record of growth and profitability.

"Together with Reliva, Aurora is expected to be positioned as a meaningful player in the United States, the world's largest cannabinoid market," the company said.

Building a Team

The transaction will add a talented U.S. management team, with strong international CPG backgrounds and a proven track record of growth, to the core Aurora team, the company said. This includes more than 40 years of experience in sales and marketing of regulated consumer packaged goods led by Martin, who will continue to lead his team as president of Aurora USA and join the executive leadership team of Aurora. Martin is a 25-year CPG veteran, former president and general manager of Logic Technology, one of the largest manufacturers of electronic cigarettes, and former senior vice president and general manager of Altria Sales & Distribution.

Reliva's CBD products include tinctures, shots and sprays. They are available in more than 18,000 retail stores.

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