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Mar 6, 2018

Canopy is said to bid for Spain’s Alcaliber

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Canopy Growth Corp., the world’s largest cannabis producer by market value, is among bidders for closely held Spanish firm Alcaliber SA, according to people familiar with the matter.

Canopy, based in Smiths Falls, Ontario, is competing against U.K. health-care investor GHO Capital and Spanish investment firm Alantra Partners SA, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The producer of morphine and thebaine could be valued at about 200 million euros (US$246 million) to 275 million euros in a deal, they said.

While talks are ongoing and Alcaliber may attract more bidders, Canopy is seen as the most likely acquirer, the people said. Final bids are due in coming days and a buyer could emerge by early April, they said.

Representatives for Canopy and Alantra declined to comment.

GHO didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Alcaliber is majority-owned by Spanish billionaire Juan Abello’s investment fund Torreal SA, with French drugmaker Sanofi also holding a 40 per cent stake. Founded in 1973, it supplies narcotic raw materials based on the cultivation of the opium poppy and its transformation into poppy straw, as well as the extraction of alkaloids, according to the owner’s website. A representative for Torreal also declined to comment.

Canopy counts more than half a million square feet of indoor and greenhouse production capacity, according to its website. Last year, alcohol giant Constellation Brands Inc. bought about 10 per cent of the company, becoming its biggest shareholder.