The bud of a cannabis plant is seen on plant inside the KannaSwiss GmbH greenhouse facility near Kerzers, Switzerland, on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. KannaSwiss, a company founded in 2014, is already producing marijuana that meets Switzerland’s legal standard containing no more than 1% Tetrahydrocannabinol—known as THC, the psychoactive chemical that gets you high.  Photo credit: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg
Kristine Owram Bloomberg, September 10, 2018

Pot stocks continued charging higher Monday after Aurora Cannabis Inc. reached a deal to acquire South America-focused ICC Labs Inc.

The C$290 million ($220 million) deal is the latest in an acquisition spree that has seen Aurora buy at least 10 companies in the past two years. Aurora shares gained as much as 4.1 percent, while ICC added 5.6 percent at 9:30 a.m. in Toronto.

Vancouver-based ICC has more than 70 percent of the market share in Uruguay, which was the first country to legalize recreational cannabis. It also holds Colombian licenses to produce medical marijuana. The company’s current and under-construction facilities will bring its production capacity to an estimated 450,000 kilograms (992,080 pounds) per year.

“ICC is an ideal partner for Aurora to establish leadership in the South American cannabis market, delivering clear first-mover advantage on a continent with over 420 million people,” Aurora Chief Executive Officer Terry Booth said in a statement.

The purchase price of C$1.95 per share represents a 34 percent premium to ICC’s 20-day volume-weighted average trading price as of Aug. 22, the day before ICC said it was aware of a Spanish-language media report about a potential acquisition. Aurora will issue approximately 36 million shares in connection with the transaction.

Shareholders representing approximately 29.4 percent of ICC have agreed tender their shares to the offer.

Pot stocks have posted significant gains since mid-August, when Canopy Growth Corp. announced a C$5 billion investment from Constellation Brands Inc. The BI Canada Cannabis Competitive Peers index has added 35 percent since Aug. 14.

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