Revised Credit Facility Terms Supports Execution of Business Transformation Plan that Focuses on Long-Term, Sustainable Revenue Growth & Improving Operating Cashflow

  • Credit facility terms improved including maturity extension to December 2022
  • ~$450 million of cash on balance sheet & improving cashflow positions company to drive sustainable, long-term revenue growth
  • Production volumes now aligned to sales by adopting a more agile, variable cost model
  • Expects fiscal 2021 Q2 Adjusted EBITDA loss to improve from Q1 despite a resurgence of Covid-19 restrictions in key markets

NYSE | TSX: ACB


 Aurora Cannabis Inc. (the “Company” or “Aurora”) (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), the Canadian company defining the future of cannabinoids worldwide, today provided a business update.

“Our substantial liquidity position has enabled us to revise our credit facility terms by extending maturity and transitioning us from a minimum EBITDA covenant to a minimum liquidity covenant, thereby providing us with the financial flexibility we need to execute our business transformation plan.  We are already seeing progress with improving cashflow and product successes such as the recent relaunch of our vapour portfolio.  We are also driving our consumer strategy that will serve as a foundation for sustainable revenue growth and profitability over the long-term” stated Miguel Martin , Chief Executive Officer of Aurora.

“We are moving to a more variable cost structure in cultivation by expanding our network of external supply and responsibly scaling back production from our fixed asset network. Specifically, in November we closed our Aurora Sun facility and are now scaling back production at Aurora Sky to 25% of its previous capacity. At this level of production, we intend to transform the Sky facility into a high-value cultivation center for our premium strains, and in turn, better align production with current demand for premium flower.”

“Our plan to address the opportunities in the Canadian consumer market, combined with a formidable balance sheet, positions Aurora to remain the leader by revenue in the high-margin Canadian medical market. It also allows the Company to invest in the international medical business, which is exhibiting solid growth.  Lastly, we will be able to build on our CBD brand Reliva, which is #1 ranked by Nielsen in U.S. CBD.”

Amended Credit Facility and Cash Balance Provides Runway for Growth

The Company is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement, subject to definitive documentation, regarding a second amended and restated credit facility (the “Agreement”) with its existing syndicate of lenders. Given Aurora’s substantial liquidity position the Agreement provides Aurora with greater financial flexibility to execute the business transformation plan by transitioning the facility to a minimum liquidity covenant rather than a minimum EBITDA covenant and extends the maturity to December 31, 2022 .

There are no changes to the commitment amounts under the facility which currently stand at $101.2 million under the term loan and $15 million under the revolver (currently $2 million drawn). The second amended and restated credit facility has a first ranking general security interest in the assets of Aurora and can be repaid without penalty at the Company’s discretion.

The Agreement is predicated on the Company’s “back to basics” regulated consumer packaged goods strategy. This strategy will delay the Company’s ability to achieve positive Adjusted EBITDA as management invests in its consumer business; a strategy that the Company believes will serve as a foundation for sustainable growth and profitability in the future. Also contributing to the profitability delay is the unpredictability of the current demand environment, including the resurgence of COVID-19.  However, with ~$450 million in cash on hand as of December 15, 2020 , management is confident in its liquidity position and its ability to fund its current plan, while maintaining optionality for future opportunities.

Rationalizing Production Strategy with Commercial Strategy

Aurora is increasing its operational flexibility to improve its cashflow and better address consumer needs. This entails shifting to a more variable cost structure, leveraging outsourcing, and exploring opportunities to increase throughput of high margin premium products.

The Company has expanded its network of external supply by implementing spot purchasing of outsourced third-party supply. Aurora expects to further expand external supply of dried flower across its brand architecture to reduce cultivation risks and improve its cash conversion cycle.

Aurora Sun & Aurora Sky Facilities

Effective December 15, 2020 , the Company has shuttered operations at the Aurora Sun facility and reduced production at its Aurora Sky facility by 75%.  Aurora Sky is testing new processes and methodologies proven successful at other cultivation sites in Aurora’s leading network, combined with increased focus on innovation led by deep plant science and genetics expertise.

Mr. Martin concluded “These hard decisions are being taken to improve cashflow and provide agility to our business. We will continue to make decisions and transform Aurora in the long-term best interests of our shareholders.  We look forward to 2021 and providing updates on our business transformation.”

About Aurora

Aurora is a global leader in the cannabis industry serving both the medical and consumer markets. Headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta , Aurora is a pioneer in global cannabis dedicated to helping people improve their lives. The Company’s brand portfolio includes Aurora, Aurora Drift, San Rafael ’71, Daily Special, AltaVie, MedReleaf, CanniMed, Whistler, and Reliva CBD. Providing customers with innovative, high-quality cannabis products, Aurora’s brands continue to break through as industry leaders in the medical, performance, wellness and recreational markets wherever they are launched. For more information, please visit our website at www.auroramj.com .

Aurora’s common shares trade on the TSX and NYSE under the symbol “ACB”, and is a constituent of the S&P/TSX Composite Index.

Forward Looking Statements

This news release includes statements containing certain “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities law (” forward-looking statements “). Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as “plan”, “continue”, “expect”, “project”, “intend”, “believe”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “may”, “will”, “potential”, “proposed” and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions “may” or “will” occur. Forward-looking statements made in this news release include statements regarding: scaling back and shift of operations at Aurora Sky and the anticipated effects on the Company’s business as a result thereof; the anticipated effects of the amendments to the Credit Facility on the Company’s business, and the anticipated rationalization of the Company’s production strategy with its commercial strategy, and the effects on the  These forward-looking statements are only predictions. Various assumptions were used in drawing the conclusions or making the projections contained in the forward-looking statements throughout this news release. Forward looking statements are based on the opinions, estimates and assumptions of management in light of management’s experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected developments at the date the statements are made, such as current and future market conditions, the ability to maintain SG&A costs in line with current expectations, the ability to achieve high margin revenues in the Canadian consumer market, the current and future regulatory environment and future approvals and permits. Forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks, uncertainties and other factors that management believes to be relevant and reasonable in the circumstances could cause actual events, results, level of activity, performance, prospects, opportunities or achievements to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks associated with: entering the U.S. market, the ability to realize the anticipated benefits associated with the acquisition of Reliva, achievement of Aurora’s business transformation plan, general business and economic conditions, changes in laws and regulations, product demand, changes in prices of required commodities, competition, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and responses of Governments to the COVID-19 pandemic, and other risks, uncertainties and factors set out under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s annual information form dated September 24, 2020 (the ” AIF “) and filed with Canadian securities regulators available on the Company’s issuer profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and filed with and available on the SEC’s website at www.edgar.gov . The Company cautions that the list of risks, uncertainties and other factors described in the AIF is not exhaustive and other factors could also adversely affect its results. Readers are urged to consider the risks, uncertainties and assumptions carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such information. The Company is under no obligation, and expressly disclaims any intention or obligation, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by applicable securities law.

The Company uses financial measures regarding itself, such as Adjusted EBITDA, that do not have standardized meaning under the International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) and may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other entities (“non-IFRS measures”). Further information relating to non-IFRS measures, is set out in the Company’s management discussion and analysis for the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 under the heading “Cautionary Statement Regarding Non-GAAP Performance Measures” and the “Revenue” section for reconciliation to the IFRS equivalent.

Cision View original content to download multimedia: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/aurora-cannabis-announces-operational–balance-sheet-improvements-301193919.html

SOURCE Aurora Cannabis Inc.

Cision View original content to download multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2020/16/c9686.html

News Provided by Canada Newswire via QuoteMedia

 

Cannabis - Will The Fortune 500 Join The Party?

 
Our Exclusive FREE Report Contains Information You NEED To Know About Cannabis Stock Investing!
 
Cannabis Market Update: Q3 2020 in Review

Click here to read the previous cannabis market update.

During the first few months of investment time in 2021, cannabis faced some volatility alongside optimism about federal changes in the most important market for the drug.

The cannabis business found its stride during Q1 thanks to policy change signals and consolidation.

To find out more, the Investing News Network (INN) asked experts about progress in the market during the first major period of the new year, and which developments investors should watch out for.

 

Cannabis - Will The Fortune 500 Join The Party?

 
Our Exclusive FREE Report Contains Information You NEED To Know About Cannabis Stock Investing!
 

Cannabis market update: New York and US potential boost operations

New York state’s legalization of recreational cannabis was a huge Q1 announcement that added pressure to the US federal government when it comes to cannabis policy, said George Mancheril, co-founder and CEO of Bespoke Financial, a debt financing business with a particular focus on servicing cannabis businesses.

“It’s going to add to the chorus of voices in the federal scene to basically move sooner rather than later,” he explained to INN.

Following the US election in 2020, the momentum for cannabis businesses went on the upswing, as did company valuations, with the idea of expansion at the heart of it all, according to Mancheril.

Before starting Bespoke Financial, Mancheril learned from traditional investment banks, working in the lending, fixed income and debt markets with Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Guggenheim Partners.

Nawan Butt, portfolio manager with Purpose Investments, agrees with Mancheril. The financial expert told INN the ongoing legalization process seen in the US market is leading to expansion.

“It’s becoming more of a national move, then small pockets of proliferation. That’s very exciting about cannabis right now,” said Butt, who co-manages the Purpose Marijuana Opportunities Fund (NEO:MJJ).

This proliferation effect is causing a change in valuations and enthusiasm for US-based operations. Mancheril told INN that by the end of Q1, multi-state operators (MSOs) had raised approximately US$3.3 billion.

The cannabis lender said he sees the industry as having grown from the woes of 2019; it is now undergoing a return to form as excitement about the US opening up increases.

The expert explained that there is likely to be a windfall of capital in the wake of major federal changes in US cannabis policy, although the timeline for these changes is becoming increasingly hard to predict.

Leading up to that capital influx, Mancheril said he wants to see operators really drill down on the value of desired assets and whether they make sense.

“What I’d hope is that we continue to see bullish sentiment, but with some measure of responsibility, and let’s not just get over ahead of ourselves,” Mancheril told INN. “The idea is let’s minimize the volatility and continue growing responsibly.”

 

Cannabis - Will The Fortune 500 Join The Party?

 
Our Exclusive FREE Report Contains Information You NEED To Know About Cannabis Stock Investing!
 

As far as struggles go, Butt explained that the cannabis industry has cemented itself as a growth-type sector, and as such there are macro pressures affecting the way these assets operate.

“We’ve seen this preference for cash flows at growth in the current or in the near future, rather than in the far future, and that’s what we’re seeing as far as valuations go in the broad market,” Butt said.

Cannabis market update: Volatility continues to rule as industry foundations build

Despite the industry’s potential and the growing pains it has gone through as a whole in both the US and Canada, volatility remains a key factor in the cannabis investment scene.

Butt explained that the current shareholder base, which is dominated by hedge funds and retail investors, still lacks enough institutional support to avoid the day-to-day volatility cannabis has come to be known for.

These two investor groups, Butt said, can be easily spooked and excited by the news of the day when it comes to their investments.

“A lot of these institutions’ strategies are not about short-term profits, but they’re about long-term sustainability of the businesses themselves,” Butt said.

“That’s why you see a lot of volatility in the space, and that’s essentially what we’ve seen over the past, I’d say, three to two months as well,” he added.

That means investors shouldn’t expect an end to volatility anytime soon.

“It’s not about whether we continue to expect volatility, because we do,” Butt said. “We really think that the volatility will be taken out when the shareholder base becomes more institutional, but it’s really about understanding why there is volatility in the first place.”

Cannabis market update: Canadians talk up US business, but questions remain

A surge of mergers and acquisitions has taken over the Canadian cannabis sector recently as more producers see potential in America.

One of the biggest announcements in this regard came when Organigram Holdings (NASDAQ:OGI,TSX:OGI) secured a C$221 million investment deal from British American Tobacco (NYSE:BTI,LSE:BATS).

Using the funds, the two will work in tandem to develop new branded products designed for the international stage, including in the US. Organigram CEO Greg Engel previously told INN that the US represents a critical opportunity for Canadian companies, but the entry point isn’t as clean as it could be.

 

Cannabis - Will The Fortune 500 Join The Party?

 
Our Exclusive FREE Report Contains Information You NEED To Know About Cannabis Stock Investing!
 

While the long-term potential may be exciting for investors, Butt told INN he’s still unsure how the approach will work for Canadian companies.

The Purpose Investments expert said there will be plenty of space for the biggest Canadian names to pursue US market entries, beyond the initial hemp-derived CBD moves some operators have mde, since the US represents the biggest market in the world.

“But there’s just way too many unknowns right now to say exactly what that participation is going to look like, or when that participation will happen,” he said.

“What we do know is that currently the US MSOs are in a wonderful sort of position to expand on their market leadership that they have. And it will be tough for Canadians to come in and compete with them,” Butt said.

Canadian players still retain the upper hand at times in terms of valuation, which is confusing for both Butt and Dan Ahrens, chief operating officer and portfolio manager at AdvisorShares.

“The performance in quarterly earnings of US companies has been rather spectacular. They’ve knocked it out of the park in most instances,” Ahrens told INN.

Butt praised the recent performance reports from MSOs across the board, pointing to year-over-year growth lines and projections for continued positive performance. In his view, share prices still don’t reflect company value. “Those are really being discounted at this point,” Butt told INN.

“We’ve seen the Canadian licensed producers be really hot stock performance-wise, outpacing the US (MSOs), and I’ll say it’s rather nonsensical to me,” said Ahrens, who oversees the AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (ARCA:YOLO) and the recently launched AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF (ARCA:MSOS).

Cannabis market update: Investor takeaway

The cannabis investment proposition finds itself at an interesting moment in time, as the entire sector eagerly awaits confirmation in the US at the federal level.

While for the Canadian companies waiting on the sidelines, this development may feel like a major necessity to address current financial struggles, for US-based operators, the heat around the corner could represent future positivity for already thriving operations.

Keep reading... Show less

 Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (“Trulieve” or the “Company”) (CSE: TRUL) (OTC: TCNNF), a leading and top-performing cannabis company in the United States will release its first quarter 2021 financial results on Thursday, May 13, 2021 before markets open. Following the earnings release, management will host a conference call at 8:30 AM Eastern Time to review the financial results.

All interested parties can join the conference call by dialing 1-888-231-8191 or 1-647-427-7450, conference ID: 4880609. Please dial in 15 minutes prior to the call to secure a line. The conference call will be archived for replay until May 20, 2021 . To access the archived conference call, please dial 1-855-859-2056 and enter the encore code 4880609.

Keep reading... Show less

Appointment of Dr. Kelmendi, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University and co-founder of the Yale Psychedelic Science Group, brings another experienced medical professional to Lobe’s advisory team.

 Lobe Sciences Ltd. (CSE: LOBE) (OTC Pink: GTSIF) (“Lobe” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the appointment of Benjamin Kelmendi, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, to its Scientific Advisory Board.

Keep reading... Show less

Ayurcann Holdings Corp. ( CSE: AYUR ) (the “ Company ” or ” Ayurcann “), a Canadian extraction company specializing in the processing of cannabis and hemp for the production of oils and various derivative products, is pleased to unveil further details of its Phase 2 expansion plans.

Ayurcann has commenced trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange (” CSE “) on April 8, 2021 and subsequently announced a private placement of up to $500,000 (” Financing “), as per the Company’s press release dated April 12, 2021. The proceeds of the Financing are intended to be used to further pursue Phase 2 of the expansion of the production capacity of the Company’s Pickering facility.

Keep reading... Show less