Aphria Inc (OTCMKTS:APHQF) is not shooting down Wednesday's report in The Globe and Mail that the US tobacco giant Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) is looking to acquire a minority stake in the Canadian cannabis grower.
In a press release, Aphria said that it engages in discussions with potential strategic partners and investors from time to time and "there is no agreement, understanding or arrangement in place with a potential investor at this time.” Aphria will advise investors “of any material changes, if and when they occur” in keeping with disclosure requirements.
Aphria shares shot up Wednesday, closing up 14% higher at $15.30 after The Globe and Mail published a report that said Altria had expressed an interest in acquiring a minority stake with the intention of eventually holding a majority of the company’s shares.
READ: Tobacco powerhouse Altria in talks to acquire equity stake in Canadian cannabis grower Aphria, says The Globe and Mail
Altria and Aphria’s management have met on a number of occasions, with the most recent talks arranged on Monday, G&M said, citing sources.
A number of US companies in related industries are looking to orchestrate deals with Canadian cannabis companies given that recreational marijuana will be legal across Canada, beginning on October 17.
Chatter about Altria’s interest in Aphria follows on the heels of Constellation Brands Inc, the prominent US wine, liquor and beer company, (NYSE:STZ) making a $4 billion investment in Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth Corp, which brings its stake in the company to 38%.
Altria shares were flat at $63.23 in Thursday's morning trading session while Aphria shares closed up 14% at $15.30 on Wednesday.
Contact Ellen Kelleher at [email protected]