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Nov 8, 2018

'That's the real home run': Aphria seeking beverage partner with global reach

Aphria CEO: We've had talks with many entities, including beverage firms

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Aphria Inc.’s chief executive says the Canadian pot producer is not looking for just any beverage partner.

“When Aphria makes the ultimate decision to get into bed with a strategic partner, we want to make sure that they bring the brands that we can leverage together with who we are, what our vision is, and our science,” Aphria (APHA.TO) Chairman and CEO Vic Neufeld told BNN Bloomberg in an interview on Thursday.

“We are very desirous, if I could say that. We’ve had conversations with many entities and beverage is part of it.”

Neufeld was addressing BNN Bloomberg’s report that Toronto-based brewery Steam Whistle is seeking a cannabis partner. While he said “it would be foolish” to think Aphria is the only Canadian cannabis company pursuing beverage partnerships, he also stated that any potential tie-up has to fit with the company’s global ambitions.

Aphria extended its medicinal cannabis footprint in Germany on Thursday, striking an all-cash deal with CC Pharma GmbH worth about $36.7 million with another $35 million earn-out multiple to be paid following closing. The company acquired Nuuvera Inc. in January, which already had deals in place with German distributors at the time of the deal.

Neufeld said global reach will factor in to any beverage partnership the company decides to forge.

“We are in a very good position on an understanding [of] where we go, and it’s a global footprint we’re looking for,” he said.

“That’s where the real home run gets hit. It’s not if, but when, will Germany go recreational and country by country [will follow].”

Cannabis Canada is BNN Bloomberg’s in-depth series exploring the stunning formation of the entirely new – and controversial – Canadian recreational marijuana industry. Read more from the special series here and subscribe to our Cannabis Canada newsletter to have the latest marijuana news delivered directly to your inbox every day.