Largest US Cannabis Retailer Buys Europe’s Largest Medical Cannabis Independent

SPECULATION EMMAC Life Sciences would be the next to float on the London Stock Exchange has been brought to a swift conclusion – with its purchase by leading US cannabis player Curaleaf Holdings.

The deal matches Massachusetts-based Curaleaf Holdings, the world’s largest cannabis retailer, with Europe’s largest independent cannabis company.

The initial purchase price of $286m could rise to almost  $350m depending on performance.

Vertically-integrated EMMAC comprises Portuguese cultivation, EU-GMP processing, distribution, and R&D operations across several key European medical cannabis markets, including the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal. 

100 Cannabis Shops

Curaleaf operates more than 100 cannabis shops in 23 US states. Boris Jordan, its Executive Chairman, said the deal provides ‘an advanced base to reach scale within the nascent European cannabis market and transform Curaleaf into a truly international cannabis consumer packaged goods company’. 

“The European cannabis market has the potential to exceed the U.S. cannabis market over the long-term and will help fuel our growth for years to come,” he added.

Joseph Bayern, Curaleaf CEO, added, “Today marks a milestone moment as Curaleaf will immediately become the US multi-state operator with the largest European footprint. 

“Based on consumption habits we have seen in the US, we believe that over time Europe could grow to in excess of a US$120bn total addressable market opportunity.” 

Boost For Europe Cannabis

Antonio Costanzo, Chief Executive Officer of EMMAC, said “Curaleaf’s acquisition of EMMAC is not only a significant milestone for EMMAC, but for the European cannabis market as a whole. 

“With EMMAC’s science-led approach, wealth of local market experience, as well as our network of supply and distribution partnerships throughout Europe, we are now uniquely positioned to reinforce our place as one of Europe’s leaders in the production and supply of medical cannabis, wellness CBD, hemp and other derivative products.”

Terra Verde, EMMAC’s European market cultivation facility in Portugal is one of the oldest licensed cannabis growing facilities in Europe with approximately two hectares of cultivation.  

EMMAC plans to significantly increase its cultivation capacity in 2021, and to exceed 10 tons per year by 2022.

Yooma CBD Sale

The deal follows EMMAC sale of its CBD division Yooma last week and a series of listings of cannabis companies on the LSE fuelling speculation that it would be next, after withdrawing from a potential listing on the NASDAQ late last year.

The initial S$286m will be paid in paid 85% in Curaleaf subordinate voting shares and 15% in cash. Contingent consideration of up to US$57m will be paid in Curaleaf subordinate voting shares and cash in the same ratio based upon the successful achievement of performance milestones.

Stikeman Elliott LLP and Memery Crystal LLP acted as legal advisors to Curaleaf. Eight Capital acted as financial advisor and provided a fairness opinion to the Special Committee. 

Canaccord Genuity Group acted as financial advisor and provided a fairness opinion to EMMAC, and Norton Rose Fulbright acted as legal advisor to EMMAC.  EMMAC’s European legal team was led by Hill Dickinson LLP in the United Kingdom.

Curaleaf Holdings is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbol CURA and trades on the OTCQX market under the symbol CURLF.

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