Aphria Thirsty for Deal with Beverage Company

Cannabis Investing News

Vic Neufeld, CEO of Canadian cannabis producer Aphria, says the company is looking for the right global established partner.

On Thursday (November 8), Aphria (NYSE:APHA,TSX:APHA) CEO Vic Neufeld said the company wants to make sure the partner they choose from an established industry will “leverage” the company’s vision.

Amid pressure to deliver a similar relationship to the one Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) and Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC,TSX:WEED) formed last year Neufeld, during a televised interview with BNN Bloomberg, said Aphria has been in conversation with “many entities.”

“We remain in dialogues with many different industry global giants in different spaces,” the executive said.

Most recently, Aphria was linked with tobacco company Altria Group (NYSE:MO) the makers of Marlboro cigarettes. A report from The Globe and Mail indicated a deal was in place but nowhere near being finalized.

Rumors have circulated of veteran companies such as Diageo (NYSE:DEO) and The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) making heavy moves towards the marijuana industry; no deals have been finalized yet with any cannabis company.

Despite confirming a general interest in the potential for cannabinoid infused health beverages, Coca-Cola has denied its involvement or the possibility to sign a deal with cannabis producer.

“Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world. The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time,” Coca-Cola said at the time.

PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) chief financial officer (CFO) Hugh Johnston stated the beverage company would take a critical look at the potential for infused beverages, but had no announcements yet.

Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE:TAP,TSX:TAP) formed a joint venture with Quebec-based licensed producer (LP) HEXO (TSX:HEXO), which saw the creation of Truss.

The new company will oversee the development of infused beverages with cannabis and the eventual sale of these into the Canadian market.

Investor takeaway

As cannabis investors continue to wait for the confirmation of deals with established players to provide a boost in the stock market, cannabis companies without these deals continue the promise that they are looking for the “right” deal.

Aphria was able to uplist and gain a spot on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in October, a move that was seen by experts as a way to expand its investor audience and get one step closer to a deal with an established company.

“Listing on the NYSE provides Aphria with access to the largest equity market in the world, with increased exposure to a vast array of US institutional and retail investors,” Neufeld said in the statement.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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