Curaleaf Holdings—a U.S. cannabis company with over 100 dispensaries across 23 states—has gained a secure position in the European marijuana market with the $286 million acquisition of EMMAC Life Sciences Limited.
Weed Giant Curaleaf Acquires London-Based Medical Marijuana Company EMMAC
On Tuesday, March 9th, Curaleaf Holdings announced it had signed an ironclad agreement to acquire EMMAC Life Sciences Limited for nearly $286 million—85% to be paid in Curaleaf shares and 15% in cash.
The acquisition gives Curaleaf a defined lead against other U.S. operators in the European cannabis market. Curaleaf CEO Joseph Bayern commented that the agreement “marks a milestone moment as Curaleaf will immediately become the U.S. multi-state operator with the largest European footprint. Our acquisition of EMMAC will provide a strong platform for the future introduction of our Curaleaf and Select brands into the European market, all leveraging our science, R&D, formulated product and form factor innovations, as well as vast consumer insights that we have built through our leadership position in the U.S.”
Before news broke of the company’s involvement with EMMAC, Curaleaf was already considered a leading cannabis operator in the United States. In recent years, it’s established itself as a vertically integrated cannabis company with roots planted from coast to coast. The Massachusetts-based business manages 22 cultivation sites, 30 processing sites, and over 100 dispensaries across the country. But even with that broad reach, Curaleaf’s latest acquisition widens the operator’s influence significantly.
The Impact of Curaleaf’s New Acquisition
Executive Chairman of Curaleaf Boris Jordan said that, “Curaleaf’s acquisition of EMMAC . . . provides an advanced base to reach scale within the nascent European cannabis market and transform Curaleaf into a truly international cannabis consumer packaged goods company. The consumer and political liberalization trends around cannabis that are sweeping the U.S. are also increasingly taking hold in Europe,” but the strategic acquisition of EMMAC wasn’t purely based on mirrored market trends.
EMMAC Life Sciences Limited is the largest vertically integrated marijuana company in Europe, and it has operations in some of the continent’s most noteworthy medical cannabis markets—like the UK, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Germany.
But more importantly, EMMAC has a top-tier management team that’s poised to capitalize on a potential shift in Europe’s cannabis market. Many industry experts foresee a more consumer-focused, recreational turn in the near future, and Antonio Costanzo—CEO of EMMAC—thinks the new business pairing is equipped to manage the change.
“Curaleaf’s acquisition of EMMAC is not only a significant milestone for EMMAC, but for the European cannabis market as a whole. As part of Curaleaf, a well-capitalized leader of the U.S. cannabis market, EMMAC is poised to exploit the rapid pace of growth of the European market, driven by regulatory change and the increasing demand for access to premium quality cannabis products. The combination of Curaleaf and EMMAC creates a global platform to address these large new opportunities across Europe,” said Costanzo.
In addition to the eight countries that EMMAC already has a strong foothold in, they also have operations or partnerships in multiple E.U. countries that have new medical cannabis plans in development. When it’s all said and done, Boris Jordan believes “the European cannabis market has the potential to exceed the U.S. cannabis market over the long-term and will help fuel our growth for years to come.”
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