One of Canada’s largest marijuana growers is harshing the buzz of a U.S. cannabis retailer, rejecting a hostile takeover offer.
Ohio-based Green Growth has offered $2.8 billion Canadian (roughly $2.1 billion in U.S. dollars) to buy Canada’s Aphria, but the board of the pot producer said Friday the unsolicited bid “significantly undervalues the company.”
“While we appreciate GGB’s interest in the value we have created at Aphria and our significant growth prospects, their proposal falls short of rewarding our shareholders for participating in such a transaction,” said chairman Irwin Simon in a statement.
Aphria says the C$11 per share bid is roughly 23% below its average share price over a 20-day period. Aphria found itself in the crosshairs of potential acquirers earlier this month after its share price fell almost 50% when it was accused of overpaying for certain Latin American assets. (The company has denied the allegations and says it has asked independent directors to review the purchase.)
But the Green Growth offer has given Aphria stock a bump. Shares were up 11% in early afternoon trading Friday. And they’ve climbed 36% this week.
Marijuana is an industry that’s showing explosive growth, and some feel next year could be its best yet. Canada has seen tremendous demand since legalizing the drug, almost running out of weed in its early days.
That hasn’t escaped the notice of Big Tobacco, either. Earlier this month, Altria took a stake in a Canadian cannabis firm for $1.8 billion.