The largest-ever deal in the marijuana business is getting the thumbs-up from PI analyst Jason Zandberg.
Wednesday night, publicly traded Licensed Producer Canopy Growth Corp. (Canopy Growth Corp. Stock Quote, Chart, News: TSX:CGC) announced it would acquire peer Mettrum Health (Mettrum Stock Quote, Chart, News: TSXV:MT) in a transaction valued at approximately C$430 million. The deal, which is subject to shareholder approval, valued Mettrum at $8.42 a share, a more than 42 per cent premium to the stock’s Wednesday closing price of $5.92.
“From day one, Canopy Growth has viewed production capacity, brand diversity, and highly-skilled management as the foundational aspects of our business,” said Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton. “Mettrum has established a line of cannabis products that work well in a medical context and will transition naturally into a natural and healthy lifestyle market. Their substantial production facilities will add to our growing production platform as we expand to meet the needs of patients, and their experienced personnel will help Canopy Growth drive our vision forward to the next level. Both Canopy Growth and Mettrum have proven themselves with Canadian patients; and together we intend to make our industry-leading product and service offering even stronger, while developing our common hemp objectives.”
Zandberg says if you are a Canopy Growth Corp. shareholder, there is a lot to like about this development.
“We like this acquisition for the following reasons,” says Zandberg. “(It) adds an additional two licensed facilities increasing Canopy’s total to six licensed facilities and creates a clear market leader. The valuation for this acquisition made sense due to Mettrum’s perceived underperformance by the market resulting in it trading below industry valuation metrics across all measures. Mettrum has had past production problems (recent recalls) which we believe Canopy can help resolve. (It) adds to Canopy’s recently acquired hemp.ca platform with the integration of Mettrum Originals which will help increase Canopy Growth’s position in the hemp market.”
In a research update to clients yesterday, Zandberg maintained his “Buy” rating on Canopy Growth Corp, but raised his one-year price target on the stock from $12.00 to $13.00.
Zandberg thinks Canopy will generate EBITDA of negative $5.25-million on revenue of $44.14-million in fiscal 2017. He expects these numbers will improve to EBITDA of $27.84-million on a topline of $141.4-million the following year.
At press time, shares of CGC were down 0.4 per cent to $11.30.