Constellation Brands May Buy Rest of Cannabis Distributor Canopy Growth, Analyst Says

Wine and liquor distributor Constellation Brands is "more likely than not" going to acquire the rest of cannabis firm Canopy Growth, a Cantor Fitzgerald analyst said.
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Constellation Brands (STZ) - Get Report may acquire the stake in cannabis distributor Canopy Growth (CGC) - Get Report that it doesn't already own, an analyst from Cantor Fitzgerald said Wednesday.

Shares of Constellation Brands were up 4.7% to $192.19, while Canopy Growth was up 2.6% to $20.32.

Analyst Pablo Zuanic said Constellation Brands, the Victor, N.Y., distributor of Corona and other popular beer and wine brands, "more likely than not" will eventually acquire the rest of the Smith Falls, Ontario, company. 

Zuanic said that if Constellation Brands exercises November 2017 warrants that expire this May, it would own nearly 39% of Canopy. 

Based on the current stock price, Constellation Brands could buy the rest of Canopy for C$6.7 billion, or about US$5.1 billion, assuming a 15% premium.

If Constellation Brands takes no action and Canopy’s share price goes above C$77, or $59, in coming years, it would end up paying about C$8 billion, or US$6.1 billion, for a 55% stake and C$17 billion, or $13 billion, for the remaining 45%.

The analyst report follows release of Constellation Brands' third-quarter earnings report.

Constellation posted earnings of $360.4 million, or $1.85 a share, vs. $303.1 million, or $1.56, in the year-earlier period. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting earnings of $1.82 a share.

The results included a $71.1 million loss related to the company’s investment in Canopy Growth. The cannabis company has taken a chunk out of Constellation Brands’ bottom line in recent quarters amid a drop in demand for legalized marijuana and related products.

In November, Canopy Growth posted a wider fiscal-second-quarter loss on a big drop in selling prices of legal cannabis and related products amid declining consumer demand.

Last month, Canopy Growth named David Klein, former chief financial officer at Constellation Brands, as CEO, effective Jan. 14. 

Klein has served on the cannabis company's board for more than a year and serves as its chairman.