Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF) (“Curaleaf” or the “Company”), a leading U.S. provider of consumer products in cannabis, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire EMMAC Life Sciences Limited (“EMMAC”), the largest vertically integrated independent cannabis company in Europe for base consideration of approximately US$286 million to be paid 85% in Curaleaf subordinate voting shares and 15% in cash. Contingent consideration of up to US$57 million will be paid in Curaleaf subordinate voting shares and cash in the same ratio based upon the successful achievement of performance milestones. The proposed transaction provides Curaleaf with a developed platform for entry into the European cannabis market.
As Europe’s largest vertically integrated independent cannabis company, EMMAC’s platform brings cultivation, EU-GMP processing, distribution, and R&D operations across several key European medical cannabis markets, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal. EMMAC also has an operational presence and partnerships in European Union countries that are enacting new medical cannabis access programs. EMMAC’s Portugal based cultivation facility is an industry leader in cannabis flower production cost.
Boris Jordan, Curaleaf Executive Chairman, stated, “Curaleaf’s acquisition of EMMAC, announced today, provides an advanced base to reach scale within the nascent European cannabis market and transform Curaleaf into a truly international cannabis consumer packaged goods company. The consumer and political liberalization trends around cannabis that are sweeping the U.S. are also increasingly taking hold in Europe. Curaleaf will seek to leverage our branded cannabis consumer packaged goods strategy across Europe, a market which provides for cross-border cannabis distribution. The European cannabis market has the potential to exceed the U.S. cannabis market over the long-term and will help fuel our growth for years to come.”
Joseph Bayern, Curaleaf CEO, commented, “Today marks a milestone moment as Curaleaf will immediately become the U.S. multi-state operator with the largest European footprint. Our acquisition of EMMAC will provide a strong platform for the future introduction of our Curaleaf and Select brands into the European market, all leveraging our science, R&D, formulated product and form factor innovations, as well as vast consumer insights that we have built through our leadership position in the U.S. Based on consumption habits we have seen in the U.S., we believe that over time Europe could grow to in excess of a US$120 billion2 total addressable market opportunity.”
EMMAC’s best-in-class management team brings extensive experience leading and delivering in highly regulated industries. Following the successful completion of the proposed transaction, the EMMAC management team will continue to lead Curaleaf’s new European presence, driving local European strategy and day-to-day operations under the leadership of Antonio Costanzo, Chief Executive Officer of EMMAC.
Antonio Costanzo, Chief Executive Officer of EMMAC, said “Curaleaf’s acquisition of EMMAC is not only a significant milestone for EMMAC, but for the European cannabis market as a whole. As part of Curaleaf, a well-capitalized leader of the U.S. cannabis market, EMMAC is poised to exploit the rapid pace of growth of the European market, driven by regulatory change and the increasing demand for access to premium quality cannabis products. The combination of Curaleaf and EMMAC creates a global platform to address these large new opportunities across Europe. With EMMAC’s science-led approach, wealth of local market experience, as well as our network of supply and distribution partnerships throughout Europe, we are now uniquely positioned to reinforce our place as one of Europe’s leaders in the production and supply of medical cannabis, wellness CBD, hemp and other derivative products.”
Terra Verde, EMMAC’s European market cultivation facility in Portugal is one of the oldest licensed cannabis growing facilities in Europe with approximately 2 hectares of cultivation area. It provides EMMAC with the potential to serve customers across key European medical cannabis country markets as well as supporting exports internationally to countries such as Israel, among others. EMMAC plans to significantly increase its cultivation capacity in 2021, and to exceed 10 tons per year by 2022, in order to accommodate future growth related to the expansion of access to cannabis across the major European medical and adult-use, as well as export markets.
The proposed transaction constitutes a “related party transaction” within the meaning of Multilateral Instrument 61-101 – Protection of Minority Security Holders in Special Transactions (“MI 61-101”) as a result of Measure 8 Ventures, LP an investment fund managed by Mr. Boris Jordan, the Executive Chairman of the board of directors and control person of Curaleaf, having an interest in the proposed transaction by way of a profit interest and a convertible debt instrument which will convert into shares of EMMAC representing 8% of EMMAC equity at closing of the proposed transaction. Mr. Jordan owns a minority interest in Measure 8 Ventures, LP. Curaleaf intends to rely upon the exemptions provided under Sections 5.5(b) of MI 61-101 – Issuer Not Listed on Specified Markets and 5.7(1)(a) of MI 61-101 – Fair Market Value Not More the 25% of Market Capitalization from the requirements that Curaleaf obtain a formal valuation of the proposed transaction and that the proposed transaction receive the approval of the minority shareholders of Curaleaf.
The terms of the proposed transaction were negotiated by management and advisors under guidance of, and unanimously recommended for approval by, a committee composed of members of the board of directors of Curaleaf free from any conflict of interest with respect to the proposed transaction (the “Special Committee”), all of which are independent members of the board of directors within the meaning of National Instrument 52-110 – Audit Committees. The Special Committee has received a fairness opinion from Eight Capital (“Eight Capital”) to the effect that, in its opinion, and based upon and subject to the assumptions, limitations and qualifications set forth therein, the consideration to be paid by Curaleaf as part of the proposed transaction is fair from a financial point of view, to Curaleaf. The fee paid to Eight Capital in connection with the delivery of its fairness opinion is not contingent on the successful implementation of the proposed transaction.