Four Pot Firms Merge in Bet Bundled Services Beat Volume

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(Bloomberg) -- The burgeoning cannabis industry, rife with mergers these days, is adding another to the list.

Four businesses agreed to join forces as TILT Holdings Inc., which will have a market capitalization of more than $500 million and plans to trade on the Canadian Securities Exchange, the company said Tuesday. The merger focuses on bundling services -- from software to development of indoor cultivation, rather than amassing marijuana volume, according to Chief Executive Officer Alex Coleman.

Pot M&A is front of mind for many after Aurora Cannabis Inc. agreed to buy Canadian rival MedReleaf Corp. Monday in the largest pot deal to date. The combined producer will have the capacity to grow 570,000 kilos (1.26 million pounds) of marijuana a year across two countries.

“I would argue there should be more attention paid to how the consumer is going to purchase it and what they’re going to consume,” Coleman said when discussing recent industry deals.

TILT is taking a distinct path. Rolling together different parts of the business means the company will be prepared to serve interest from new brands as well as existing consumer-packaged-goods giants who want to gain entry into the space, he said.

The four entities that are merging are Baker Technologies, a software company; Briteside, a developer of products including modular cultivation units; Sea Hunter, an investment and management firm for the industry; and Sante Veritas Holdings, a planned Canadian cannabis producer working to obtain a license. The merged company expects to establish operations in every state where cannabis laws exist, it said in a statement.

$75 Billion Market

The cannabis industry in the U.S. alone is expected to reach $75 billion by 2030, according to investment bank Cowen & Co. That’s caught the attention of many adjacent industries including alcohol, healthcare, tobacco and agriculture. Constellation Brands Inc. paid C$245 million ($191 million) for a minority investment in Canopy Growth, a Canadian pot company, in order to develop a weed-infused beverage.

TILT expects to have $70 million in revenue by the end of 2018 and $200 million the following year.

“Most of our models indicate that you’re headed to a hundred-plus billion-dollar market,” Coleman said. “The only variable in that is going to be time.”

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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