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Aurora Cannabis Inc. is a Canadian licensed cannabis producer, headquartered in Edmonton. It trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange as ACB. As of late September 2018, Aurora Cannabis had eight licensed production facilities, five sales licences, and operations in 24 countries. It had a funded capacity of over 500,000 kilograms of cannabis production per annum. Aurora is the second largest cannabis company in the world by market capitalization, after Canopy Growth Corporation. The company began trading on the NYSE on October 23rd, 2018.
|Traded as||TSX: ACB|
|Founder||Terry Booth, Steve Dobler, Chris Mayerson, Dale Lesack|
|Canada, Europe, Australia|
|Revenue||C$ 18 million (2017)|
|C$ -11 million (2017)|
|C$ -54 million (2019)|
|Total assets||C$ 323 million (2017)|
|Total equity||C$ 219 million (2017)|
Number of employees
|Subsidiaries||Pedanios GmbH, Urban Cultivator, Australis Capital Inc., CanvasRx Inc., H2 Biopharma Inc., Peloton Pharmaceuticals Inc., Aurora Larssen Projects Ltd., Larssen Ltd., Aurora Cannabis Enterprises Inc., BC Northern Lights Enterprises Ltd.|
Aurora was founded in 2006 by Terry Booth, Steve Dobler, Dale Lesack and Chris Mayerson. Booth and Dobler collectively invested over $5 million of their own capital. The founding group secured a 160+ acre parcel of land in Mountain View County, Alberta, where they established Aurora's first facility. The company received its license to grow cannabis in 2014, making it the first cannabis producer to obtain a federal license in that province.
They decided to establish the company in Alberta due to comparatively low corporate tax rates and an ideal farm credit program.
On November 27, 2014, Health Canada issued Aurora's license to sell medical cannabis. Since then they have built, and are operating, numerous growing facilities throughout Canada, and have acquired facilities in Canada and Europe.
On January 10, 2017, Aurora received a license from Health Canada to sell cannabis oils, having been granted a license to produce the oils in February 2016. Sales of four product lines of cannabis oils commenced in April, 2017.
Aurora grew through several acquisitions. By 2018 Aurora's subsidiaries included Pedanios GmbH (Germany's largest distributor of cannabis to pharmacies), CanvasRx (the largest medical cannabis patient outreach service in Canada), BC Northern Lights (an indoor growing supplies manufacturer), Aurora-Larssen Projects (a globally leading greenhouse engineering and design consultancy), and H2 Biopharma (a late-stage ACMPR applicant in Quebec)
By April 2018, the company had a market value of C$4.5 billion; revenue in 2017 totaled C$31.1 million. At the time, the company was concluding its takeover merger of previous competitor CanniMed Therapeutics. The takeover was finalized in January 2018, based on a C$1.1 billion deal. The subsequent plan to purchase MedReleaf was expected to make the company the largest in Canada with a market capitalization of approximately $7 billion. Competitor Canopy Growth Corporation's market value exceeded that amount by $3.7 billion however after a partial takeover by Constellation Brands was announced in late August 2018. By 24 September 2018, however, Tilray Inc., a portfolio company of Seattle-based Privateer Holdings, with grow facilities in Nanaimo, B.C., had become the world's second most valuable cannabis company with a market capitalization of about US$10 billion.
A report in mid-September, by BNN Bloomberg, stated that Coca-Cola was considering the development of cannabis-infused beverages for medical purposes (with a non-psychoactive ingredient, CBD) and was in preliminary discussion with Aurora. Although Coke and Aurora then announced that they were merely studying the market, and had no plan to announce regarding the distribution of such products at this time stated; Monica Y. Miller.  Aurora's shares increased and its market cap reached US$10.71 billion by 3:11 pm on 18 September 2018.
On 20 September 2018, Tilray Inc., a portfolio company of Seattle-based Privateer Holdings, with grow facilities in Nanaimo, B.C., had become the world's most valuable cannabis company but a major drop in share price (and a subsequent market capitalization of about US$10 billion) made it only the third largest, after Canopy Growth and Aurora. On 26 September 2018, Aurora reported fourth quarter (ended June 2018) revenues of +19% over the third quarter and +223% over the fourth quarter of 2017. On the same day, at the closing of the TSX, the company's market capitalization was over US$11.6 billion.
All products are third-party laboratory tested with results displayed on the company's website and mobile app. In March 2017, Aurora allowed public access to a simplified Certificate of Analysis (CoA) for every cannabis product available for sale on the company's online store and mobile app. The system was developed in partnership with Anandia Labs Inc., a Canadian cannabis genetics and testing laboratory.
Acquisitions and growthEdit
Aurora owns Pedanios GmbH, a wholesale importer, exporter, and distributor of medical cannabis in the European Union, based in Berlin, Germany. Pedanios is the EU's largest distributor of cannabis by volume of product sold. As of March 2018, it is one of three distributors to offer cannabis flowers sourced from both Canada and the Netherlands.
In January, 2018, Aurora became the first private company to be granted a supply agreement to the Italian market through its German subsidiary Pedanios. Aurora announced on January 23, 2018 that the first tender would consist of three lots of different cannabinoid profiles totalling 100 kg.
On November 13, 2017, Aurora Cannabis delivered an all-stock takeover bid to CanniMed Therapeutics's board of directors, which became public on November 14. It claimed that it had the support of 38% of shareholders. CanniMed management responded by rejecting the offer, and proposed an alternative merger with Newstrike Resources, a recreational cannabis firm, instead. CanniMed also enacted a "poison pill" to fend off the acquisition by enacting a rights plan that would allow CanniMed shareholders to vote on the Newstrike deal. On November 20, Aurora launched a hostile takeover bid for CanniMed, conditional on shareholders rejecting the Newstrike deal.
The Ontario Securities Commission intervened in this, the first major hostile takeover bid in Canada's cannabis industry, ordering Aurora Cannabis Inc. to provide more disclosure regarding any ties to individuals "in a special relationship" with target CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. and blocking CanniMed from adopting the so-called "poison pill" defence. The ties were deemed unfounded by the Securities Commission. On January 17, 2018, Newstrike shareholders approved the proposed merger. On January 18, CanniMed postponed its shareholder vote on the Newstrike deal, submitting that it will hold talks with suitor Aurora Cannabis. On January 24, it was announced that Aurora Cannabis finally hammered out a deal to acquire CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. for $1.1 billion, and CanniMed dropped its plans to acquire Newstrike.
In March 2018, Aurora completed their acquisition of Cannimed, with both parties agreeing to the transaction on friendly terms. This agreement brought Aurora's total patient count to 42,000 registered cannabis patients in Canada.
In mid-May 2018, the company announced a planned friendly takeover of MedReleaf in a $3.2 billion stock deal already approved by the directors of both companies. The deal still requires approval by shareholders and government regulators. After the takeover is completed, the company will be able to produce 570,000 kilograms of cannabis at its nine grow operations in Canada and two in Denmark, if it uses all of the available capacity. The value of the new company could be as high as $7 billion, making it substantially larger than Canopy Growth Corporation with its market cap of $6.45 billion. It would have distribution agreements in a number of countries, including Germany, Italy, Brazil and Australia. MedReleaf's German Partner, Cannamedical Pharma GmbH filed damage claims against Aurora and MedReleaf of 14.70M€ in October 2018 for breaching the exclusive supply 2 years supply agreement as a result from overcomitting to the canadian recreational cannabis market, that opened shortly after.  Cannamedical had sponsored MedReleaf's Markham EU-GMP certification and played a decisive role in the successful completion.
Aurora has three operational facilities in Canada (Aurora Sky, Aurora Vie, and Aurora Mountain) plus two new facilities projected to be operational by the end of 2018, including a 1,000,000 square foot facility under construction in Odense, Denmark.
Aurora Vie is a 40,000-square-foot, fully licensed, indoor production facility in Pointe-Claire, Quebec. It was the second licensed producer in Quebec, and was acquired in 2017 for $7 million when it was about 80% complete.
In 2017, Aurora Cannabis began construction of an automated 800,000-square-foot plant in Alberta that it said would be capable of producing 100,000 kilograms of cannabis annually. The land is part of the acreage owned by the Edmonton International Airport.
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