The cannabis producer Tilray is gaining ground after announcing plans to acquire cultivator Natura Naturals

Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesTilray CEO Brendan Kennedy speaks during the Web Summit 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal on November 8, 2018.
  • Tilray on Tuesday announced plans to acquire Natura Naturals, the parent company of a licensed cannabis cultivator.
  • Tilray began trading on the Nasdaq in July, becoming the first cannabis company to have an initial public offering in the US.
  • Since then, the company sped up developing its cannabis business.
  • Watch Tilray trade live.

The Canadian marijuana-producer Tilray was ticking Tuesday, up 1%, after announcing plans to acquire Natura Naturals, the parent company of a licensed cultivator of cannabis.

Under a definitive agreement with Natura, Tilray will pay as much as 70 million Canadian dollars ($US52.45 million) when the deal closes over the following 12 months, including 15 million Canadian dollars in cash ($US11.24 million), according to the company.

“We’re very pleased to have an agreement in place that allows us to expand our capacity to supply high-quality branded cannabis products to the Canadian market,” said Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy.

“Through an extensive and thorough search for the right supply partner, we’re pleased to have come to a mutually-beneficial agreement with Natura.”

“Tilray continues to see under-supply throughout the adult use market,” Vivien Azer, an analyst at Cowen, said in a note out on Tuesday. “In particular, the company’s supply agreements with 3rd party farmers continue to disappoint on product quality.”

“The Natura transaction will allow TLRY to significantly expand its capacity. Natura currently owns a 662,000 square foot greenhouse cultivation facility in Ontario, which Natura has previously announced will have an annual capacity of ~70,000 kg upon completion. As such, this transaction would approximately double TLRY’s domestic cultivation capacity,” Azer added.

Tilray began trading on the Nasdaq in July, becoming the first cannabis company to have an initial public offering in the US. Since then, the company has sped up developing its business.

In December, Tilray announced a partnership with a division of Swiss drug giant Novartis AG, hoping to commercialize its non-smokable medical-cannabis products, develop new products, and educate pharmacists and physicians about cannabis.

And last Tuesday, the company said it signed a revenue-sharing agreement with Authentic Brands to market consumer-cannabis brands globally. Through the deal, Tilray will supply cannabis-based products through Authentic’s various distribution channels, in order to get its products into more mainstream retail outlets.

Tilray was up 241% since going public in July and is trading at $US78.32 a share on Tuesday.

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