Harvest Health & Recreation Inc (CSE:HARV) (OTCQX:HRVSF), a vertically integrated cannabis company, announced Monday that it has entered into an agreement to acquire privately-held Verano Holdings LLC for US$850 million in stock.
The combined company will be one of the largest multi-state operators in the United States, measured by licenses held and facilities permitted.
Upon completion of the transaction and regulatory approval, Harvest will hold licenses that will allow it to operate up to 200 facilities in 16 states and territories across the country, including 123 retail dispensaries.
Harvest’s planned acquisition of Verano will lead to total cultivation expansion capacity of 900,000 square feet in Illinois, Nevada & Maryland.
Harvest Health CEO Jason Vedadi said in a statement that the combination with Verano fit perfectly with the company’s vision of creating “the world’s most valuable cannabis company.”
“This is a natural match between like-minded entrepreneurs who have built our companies from the initial facilities into two of the largest multi-state operators in the United States,” said Verano co-founder and CEO George Archos.
The newly combined company plans to continue hubs of operation in both Arizona and Illinois and merge key leadership talent. It is also likely to lead to hiring for approximately 300 new positions in 2019 with a focus on hiring minorities, women and veterans, said the company.
As cannabis restrictions fall in one state after another, cannabis companies are racing to build scale and muscle.
“We are confident that this is an opportunity to continue to leverage each of our company’s strengths and drive continued shareholder value, while at the same time achieving the scale we know will give us a leadership position in one of the largest cannabis markets in the world,” said Vedadi.
It is anticipated that the acquisition will close in the first half of 2019.
Since its founding in 2011, Harvest has grown its footprint every year, has been ranked as the third largest cultivator in the U.S. and currently owns licenses for more than 140 facilities across the US.
Contact Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]