Westleaf Inc. has exercised its option to acquire 100% of Canndara Canada Inc., a cannabis retail company with over fifty (50) prospective premium retail locations across Canada. On Dec. 20, 2018, Westleaf purchased 21.4% of the Class “A” common voting shares of Canndara and secured an option to acquire the remaining 78.6% of the Canndara Shares for an aggregate purchase price of $48.4 million. The Purchase Price is payable in common shares in the capital of Westleaf at a deemed value of $2.24 per Common Share. Closing is expected to occur on or about January 31, 2019.
Canndara’s locations are at varying stages of development with seventeen (17) development permits already awarded in Western Canada. As a result of the transaction, Westleaf has increased its guidance from 20 to 30 cannabis retail locations to approximately 50 locations, that are expected to be operating by the end of 2020, subject to provincial and municipal licensing and regulations.
“Since the announcement of our original investment we continue to be impressed with the progress of the development of the Canndara retail portfolio and how well it complements the Westleaf Prairie Records retail locations. This acquisition will position Westleaf to become one of the largest premium cannabis retailers in Western Canada,” said Scott Hurd, President and CEO of Westleaf. “Cannabis retail is the cornerstone of our vertically integrated strategy as the unique Prairie Records concept enables Westleaf to engage with consumers and build brand equity and loyalty for its stores and produced product brands.”
- Increased Retail Footprint and Accelerated Development – Following Closing, Westleaf will have one of the largest cannabis retail footprints under development in Western Canada and will target opening approximately 50 cannabis retail stores in Canada through 2020.
- Premium Cannabis Retail Portfolio – The Canndara portfolio of cannabis retail real estate locations is highly complementary to the existing Westleaf portfolio and reinforces Westleaf’s strategy of focusing only on tier-1 locations. Examples of prime locations in the portfolio will include, following Closing, the only approved development permits adjacent to the University of Alberta complemented by Westleaf’s premium locations under development in Calgary and Banff, including a flagship Prairie Records store in the iconic Palace Theatre in Calgary.
- Differentiated Cannabis Retail Experience – The Westleaf retail concept “Prairie Records” is the most unique cannabis retail experience in Canada and offers a musically inspired shopping journey, using “records” as a tactile medium for consumers to browse and educate themselves on cannabis products for sale in store.
- Unique Branding Opportunity – Prairie Records offers an unparalleled in-store branding opportunity that provides dimension and visibility to product brands for consumers that is difficult to achieve due to the highly regulated packaging and advertising restrictions.
- Demonstrated Focus on Accretive Consolidation – The exercise of the Option reinforces Westleaf’s focus on consolidation in the various verticals of the cannabis industry. The cannabis market is highly fragmented and Westleaf continues to actively evaluate additional accretive merger and acquisition opportunities.
- Truly Vertically Integrated Company – Westleaf is one of the few truly vertically integrated companies in the Canadian cannabis industry, with assets owned and under development across each vertical of the business, including cultivation, extraction, processing and manufacturing, distribution and wholly owned retail. Westleaf believes that being vertically integrated provides significant optionality and defensively positions the company to protect margins across the life cycle of the industry.