Aurora Cannabis completes US$2.5B acquisition of MedReleaf

On July 25, 2018, Aurora Cannabis Inc. completed the acquisition of MedReleaf Corp. in a transaction valued at US$2.5 billion or ($3.2 billion). 

The MedReleaf transaction is the largest merger in the Canadian cannabis space, and comes only three months after Aurora completed what is now the second largest transaction in the Canadian cannabis space – its acquisition of CanniMed Therapeutics valued at US$852 million or $1.1 billion. 

The transaction was supported by certain key shareholders of MedReleaf and announced in May 2018. The friendly all-stock acquisition was finalized pursuant to a court ordered plan of arrangement in the Ontario Supreme Court of Justice. 

The new entity has more than 1,200 employees and is designed to become the largest Canadian cannabis producer with presence across Canada and internationally.  

MedReleaf is an R&D-driven company focused on the production of top-quality cannabis and is Canada’s most awarded licensed producer of medical marijuana. 

Aurora Cannabis (TSX:ACB) is one of the world’s largest and leading cannabis companies with sales and operations in 14 countries across five continents. 

Aurora has established a uniquely advanced, consistent and efficient production strategy, based on purpose-built facilities that integrate leading-edge technologies across all processes, defined by extensive automation and customization, resulting in scale production of high quality product at ultra-low costs. 

McMillan LLP acted as counsel to Aurora Cannabis with a team led by Desmond Balakrishnan and comprising Cory Kent, Stephen Wortley, Ravipal Bains, Michael Reid, Morgan McDonald, Lindsay Dykstra, Maneesha Dhaka, Brandon Deans, Sandra Zhao (securities) with support from Herb Ono (US securities), Peter Botz and Michael Friedman (tax), François Tougas and Ryan Gallagher (competition), and Brett Harrison (litigation). 

Dorsey & Whitney LLP acted as US tax counsel to Aurora Cannabis with a team led by John Hollinrake. 

Stikeman Elliott LLP acted for MedReleaf Corp. with a team comprising Stewart Sutcliffe, Sean Vanderpol, Sidney Horn, Daniel Borlack, Katarina Zoricic, Chres Lee, Billy Rosemberg, Peter Buckles and Patricia Joseph (securities) and Dean Kraus and Jonathan Willson (tax), Michael Kilby and Megan MacDonald (competition), Neil Shapiro (real estate), Andrea Boctor (benefits), and Kathleen Chevalier and Alex Lemoine (employment). 

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP acted as legal counsel to shareholders of MedReleaf with a team led by Patricia Olasker and including Ghaith Sibai.