Tilray Inc. (TLRY) shares surged Friday after its biggest stakeholder said it would hold onto shares of the Canadian cannabis company until at least the second half of the year.
Privateer Holdings, a Seattle-based private equity group that limits its investments to the cannabis industry that owns an estimated 76% of Tilary's outstanding shares, said it has a strong belief in Tilray's long-term global growth strategy and its "pioneering role" in shaping the future of the legal marijuana market.
"We do not have plans to register, sell or distribute the shares Privateer holds in Tilray during the first half of 2019," Privateer managing partner Michael Blue said in a statement. "When we decide to distribute shares, we will do so in an orderly and deliberate manner to maximize tax-efficiency considerations for Privateer investors, while also taking into consideration potential impacts on Tilray's public float. And we will do it in a way that reflects our long-term confidence in Tilray's business model and management team."
Tilray shares were marked 28.3% higher by mid-morning trade Friday and changing hands at $103.22 each, the highest since November 29.
Last month, Tilray and AB InBev's BUD unveiled a new research partnership that will explore non-alcoholic beverages that contain THC and CBD, both key chemicals found in marijuana but with very different purposes.
THC is the psychoactive chemical in marijuana the produces the high, while CBD is non-psychoactive and blocks the high.
As part of the deal, each company will pitch in $50 million, with Tilray taking part through its subsidiary, High Park Co., which develops, distributes and sells cannabis products in Canada.
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Bill Newlands, the incoming CEO of Corona Beer market Constellation Brands STZ, called the global cannabis market "the most significant global growth opportunities of the next decade, and frankly, our life time" adding that it was "opening up much more rapidly than originally anticipated."
Constellation Brands rebounded from a two year low Thursday after weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings and a muted outlook pegged to rising costs associated with its $4 billion investment in cannabis specialists Canopy Growth Corp. (CGC - Get Report)