Here’s the release in full
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (“Aurora” or the “Company”) (TSX: ACB) (OTCQB: ACBFF) (Frankfurt: 21P; WKN: A1C4WM) today announced that it has acquired Europe’s largest producer, processor and supplier of certified organic hemp and hemp products, Agropro UAB (“Agropro”), as well as hemp processor and distributor Borela UAB (“Borela”).
Agropro, a hemp seed contracting and processing company, and its sister company Borela UAB (“Borela”), a processor and distributor of organic hulled hemp seeds, hemp seed protein, hemp flour and hemp seed oil, currently has 1,600 hectares (4,000 acres) under contract, potentially yielding more than 1,000,000 kg of organic hemp with additional contracts available to expand to more than 3,000 hectares across Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland.
Previously, the companies were focused exclusively on the production and sale of hemp seed-based products to markets across Europe, North America and Asia. Each year, very substantial quantities of CBD containing hemp biomass were left on the field unutilized.
Post-acquisition, Aurora intends to extract, refine and productize the organic hemp biomass into a wide range of organic CBD-based wellness products to generate new and significant revenue streams in this burgeoning market. With increasing recognition of the medical and general health benefits of CBD-based products, Aurora continues executing on a CBD-focused strategy that covers the entire value chain, from supply, through genetics research and clinical trials, to product development and distribution to various domestic and international markets across five continents.
In addition to the CBD-related market potential, hemp is an increasingly sought-after food supplement and meat substitute for the large and rapidly growing health food, vegetarian and vegan markets, due to its high protein content. Through its majority owned subsidiary Hempco, Aurora is already executing on a number of hemp food market opportunities, and intends to integrate Agropro’s organic supply and distribution with Hempco’s to enhance market access and accelerate growth of high margin, premium hemp-based product offerings.
On February 1, 2018, Borela’s hemp grain processing facility became the only European hemp company to receive a BRC quality certificate, enabling Borela to supply supermarkets with its product. Borela’s operations have also received USDA Organic, Eco-Cert, as well as other certifications, enabling the company to market premium products across large markets.
The organic certification achieved by both Agropro and Borela will enable the launch of new premium products, positively impacting the Company’s margin profile for hemp-based products.
“Agropro’s position as Europe’s leading producer of premium organic hemp along with the significant and previously unutilized CBD production from the large quantities of currently discarded biomass, makes this an accretive acquisition and one that positions Aurora well to become a global leader in organic CBD-based wellness products, said Terry Booth, CEO”
Neil Belot, Chief Global Business Development Officer, added, “With our industry-leading team of crop and plant scientists, extraction and product formulation expertise, and wide-reaching global distribution networks and partnerships, we anticipate increasing production, extraction, refinement and supply of CBD, as well as other hemp-based food products. With a broad European footprint, extensive contracted land agreements and solid existing revenue streams, Agropro and Borela provide further expansion of our international footprint, while playing an important role in the execution of our CBD wellness and hemp-based food products strategy.”
Skirmantas Nikstele Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Agropro, added, “As the largest producer, processor, and supplier of organic hemp products in Europe, we have developed a strong reputation for quality and consistency with our customers across the globe. Through Aurora, we gain access to a wider distribution network, as well as an access to industry-leading science to help ramp up production, while enhancing margins through the introduction of new products, proven production techniques, and robust genetics.”