Aurora Cannabis Inc., the Canadian company defining the future of cannabinoids worldwide, today provided a business update.
“Our substantial liquidity position has enabled us to revise our credit facility terms by extending maturity and transitioning us from a minimum EBITDA covenant to a minimum liquidity covenant, thereby providing us with the financial flexibility we need to execute our business transformation plan. We are already seeing progress with improving cashflow and product successes such as the recent relaunch of our vapour portfolio. We are also driving our consumer strategy that will serve as a foundation for sustainable revenue growth and profitability over the long-term,” stated Miguel Martin, Chief Executive Officer of Aurora.
“We are moving to a more variable cost structure in cultivation by expanding our network of external supply and responsibly scaling back production from our fixed asset network. Specifically, in November we closed our Aurora Sun facility and are now scaling back production at Aurora Sky to 25% of its previous capacity. At this level of production, we intend to transform the Sky facility into a high-value cultivation center for our premium strains, and in turn, better align production with current demand for premium flower.”
“Our plan to address the opportunities in the Canadian consumer market, combined with a formidable balance sheet, positions Aurora to remain the leader by revenue in the high-margin Canadian medical market. It also allows the Company to invest in the international medical business, which is exhibiting solid growth. Lastly, we will be able to build on our CBD brand Reliva, which is #1 ranked by Nielsen in U.S. CBD.”
Amended Credit Facility and Cash Balance Provides Runway for Growth
The Company is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement, subject to definitive documentation, regarding a second amended and restated credit facility (the “Agreement”) with its existing syndicate of lenders. Given Aurora’s substantial liquidity position the Agreement provides Aurora with greater financial flexibility to execute the business transformation plan by transitioning the facility to a minimum liquidity covenant rather than a minimum EBITDA covenant and extends the maturity to December 31, 2022.
There are no changes to the commitment amounts under the facility which currently stand at $101.2 million under the term loan and $15 million under the revolver (currently $2 million drawn). The second amended and restated credit facility has a first ranking general security interest in the assets of Aurora and can be repaid without penalty at the Company’s discretion.
The Agreement is predicated on the Company’s “back to basics” regulated consumer packaged goods strategy. This strategy will delay the Company’s ability to achieve positive Adjusted EBITDA as management invests in its consumer business; a strategy that the Company believes will serve as a foundation for sustainable growth and profitability in the future. Also contributing to the profitability delay is the unpredictability of the current demand environment, including the resurgence of COVID-19. However, with ~$450 million in cash on hand as of December 15, 2020, management is confident in its liquidity position and its ability to fund its current plan, while maintaining optionality for future opportunities.
Rationalizing Production Strategy with Commercial Strategy
Aurora is increasing its operational flexibility to improve its cashflow and better address consumer needs. This entails shifting to a more variable cost structure, leveraging outsourcing, and exploring opportunities to increase throughput of high margin premium products.
The Company has expanded its network of external supply by implementing spot purchasing of outsourced third-party supply. Aurora expects to further expand external supply of dried flower across its brand architecture to reduce cultivation risks and improve its cash conversion cycle.
Aurora Sun & Aurora Sky Facilities
Effective December 15, 2020, the Company has shuttered operations at the Aurora Sun facility and reduced production at its Aurora Sky facility by 75%. Aurora Sky is testing new processes and methodologies proven successful at other cultivation sites in Aurora’s leading network, combined with increased focus on innovation led by deep plant science and genetics expertise.
Mr. Martin concluded “These hard decisions are being taken to improve cashflow and provide agility to our business. We will continue to make decisions and transform Aurora in the long-term best interests of our shareholders. We look forward to 2021 and providing updates on our business transformation.”
Aurora is a global leader in the cannabis industry serving both the medical and consumer markets. Headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Aurora is a pioneer in global cannabis dedicated to helping people improve their lives. For more information, please visit our website at www.auroramj.com.
Aurora’s common shares trade on the TSX and NYSE under the symbol “ACB”, and is a constituent of the S&P/TSX Composite Index.