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Curaleaf's Acquisition of Grassroots Chain Clears a Regulatory Hurdle

By Eric Volkman - Feb 14, 2020 at 9:53AM

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The cannabis company said the deal announced in July should finally close this spring.

Curaleaf (CURLF 1.55%) is one step closer to acquiring a large new asset. The cannabis grower and distributer announced Thursday that the mandatory waiting period stipulated by the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Antitrust Improvements Act has expired for its purchase of GR Companies, which owns the Grassroots chain of marijuana dispensaries.

In the case of a fairly typical acquisition, the waiting period is 30 days after the parties involve file a formal notification to the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice. The DOJ can issue subsequent requests for information; it has done so on many cannabis industry buyouts. It can also extend the waiting period as it sees fit.

Marijuana flowers atop a collection of US currency.

Image source: Getty Images

Curaleaf and Grassroots announced their $875 million cash-and-stock deal in July 2019, and filed their initial HSR notifications the following month.

Now that the waiting period has expired, Curaleaf said it and GR Companies are working together to secure the regulatory approvals they require to conclude their deal. Curaleaf reiterated that it expects the deal to close this spring.

Once it happens, it will dramatically widen the company's footprint. The Grassroots locations will significantly beef up Curaleaf's presence in Midwestern markets. It has previously stated that the acquisition would transform it into "the world's largest cannabis company by revenue."

That said, it won't significantly alter the way it does business. "We will continue to focus on executing on our strategy, while enjoying the benefits of greater scale and brand recognition across both new and existing markets," Curaleaf said in its update.

On Thursday, Curaleaf's stock price closed marginally higher.


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