Canadian cannabis company Tilray Inc. (TLRY) announced Wednesday that it was acquiring FHF Holdings Ltd., the parent company of hemp-food maker Manitoba Harvest, from a U.S. private-equity firm for up to C$419 million ($315 million) in cash and stock.
The deal arms Tilray with another high-profile brand name in the marijuana production world, and one of the biggest hemp-food producers globally, particularly in the rapidly expanding U.S. cannabidiol, or CBD, market.
CBD is a compound found in cannabis plants that has been used for its medicinal properties.
"Tilray's acquisition of Manitoba Harvest is a milestone for the cannabis industry. It builds on the strategic partnerships we have formed with consumer brand industry leaders and demonstrates our track record of disrupting the global pharmaceutical, alcohol, CPG, and functional food and beverage categories," Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy said in a statement.
"We're excited to work with Manitoba Harvest to develop and distribute a diverse portfolio of branded hemp-derived CBD food and wellness products in the U.S. and Canada."
Tilray will pay C$277.5 million at closing, comprised of C$150 million in cash and C$127.5 million in Tilray Shares. Six months after closing, Tilray will pay C$92.5 million, comprised of C$50 million in cash and C$42.5 million in Tilray Shares.
Tilray will issue an additional C$49 million in Tilray shares based on Manitoba Harvest achieving certain performance milestones in 2019. The transaction will be subject to normal post-closing adjustments.
The deal is the latest move by Tilray to focus its investment on the fast-moving U.S. CBD market, which some analysts estimate could be worth more than US$20 billion by 2022, up from roughly US$600 million now.
Manitoba Harvest has a portfolio of hemp-derived foods including Hemp Harts, Hemp Oil, Hemp Yeah! Granola, Hemp Yeah! Protein Powder, and Hemp Bliss Milk. The company's products are available in about 16,000 retail outlets across North America.
Shares of Tilray were up 5.92% to $81.59 on Wednesday.