Aurora Cannabis strikes deal to sell cultivation facilities, document suggests

Canadian producer Aurora Cannabis has an agreement in principle to sell at least two cultivation facilities in Canada that were closed earlier this year, Marijuana Business Daily has learned.

The two buildings – one in Saskatchewan and another in Alberta – are valued on paper at 12 million Canadian dollars ($9.4 million). It is unclear whether they would be sold for that amount.

The information about the deal and the facilities is contained in a document and emails obtained by MJBizDaily.

The communications detail a CA$28 million funding pitch by New York-based business advisory firm Teneo on behalf of an unidentified client interested in buying the cultivation facilities.

Teneo said in the document its client is an “emerging multi-country operator in the cannabis space,” though the firm did not disclose the company.

Teneo representatives did not immediately return a query from MJBizDaily.

One of the emails being circulated with the document notes that Teneo’s “client is in contract to acquire these facilities.”

The “opportunity” described in the funding pitch – dubbed “Project Oktober” – lists three assets involved in the pending transaction.

They include two facilities in Canada as well as what Teneo dubs “Project Europe,” described as “a controlling interest in a licensed German API (active pharmaceutical ingredient) importing and distribution business.”

The document states: “The company will emerge as a pre-eminent multi-country operator supplying cannabinoid APIs to Europe via Canada, creating a proforma business with run-rate EBITDA in excess of $100 million.”

The document does not identify who owns the assets.

However, Aurora Cannabis appears to be the owner of at least two of the assets.

One of the buildings depicted in the Project Oktober document, dubbed “Project Prairie,” is identical in appearance and capacity specifications to Aurora’s cultivation facility in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

The property was among the assets Aurora obtained in 2018 as part of the CA$1.2 billion acquisition of Saskatchewan’s CanniMed Therapeutics.

The Project Oktober document values that property at CA$6 million.

An Aurora Cannabis spokesperson said the company “had no information to share at this stage.”

“Further to our announcement in June of the shuttering of non-core facilities, we continue to actively market the closing facilities for sale,” the spokesperson said.

Another asset depicted in the document, referred to as “Project Mountain,” appears to be the Alberta company’s “Aurora Mountain” facility in Cremona, Alberta.

The document values that property at CA$6 million.

The two facilities were among the closures Aurora announced in June 2020 to cut costs.

The move comes as large Canadian cannabis producers look to sell off assets that were built or acquired in the frothy days of the cannabis bubble – often at significant premiums.

But producers have had a hard time recouping costs – often getting half, or less, of what they had originally paid.

Aurora has already offloaded one of its large greenhouses in Exeter, Ontario, for what appeared to be roughly half of its CA$17 million listing price.

The struggling company also recently shuttered a massive CA$250 million greenhouse in Alberta “indefinitely.”

MJBizDaily exclusively reported earlier this week that Aurora reduced production at its flagship marijuana greenhouse in Edmonton, Alberta, to only a quarter of its capacity while laying off more than 200 employees.

Aurora trades as ACB on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.

Matt Lamers is Marijuana Business Daily’s international editor, based near Toronto. He can be reached at [email protected].

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