A large stash of Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) shares might soon hit the market. The company announced Tuesday that it has released 11 million such shares from lock-up agreements stemming from a corporate reorganization plan effected last September.
Share lockups typically occur when a company first issues stock; they are mandated by law to prevent big shareholders from flooding the market with their stock, thereby theoretically driving down the price.
They can also be stipulated by shareholder agreements, in the case of Tilray. Last year, the marijuana company entered into a merger agreement with a major stockholder, Privateer Holdings. Part of the deal involved the flotation of new shares; these were the ones subject to lock-up.
However, they were also permitted to be released under certain circumstances; apparently the cannabis company's present situation qualifies.
Tilray said the shares will be formally released this Friday, April 3. That 11 million count comprises roughly 14.5% of all locked-up shares.
The company touted the gradual nature of its "freeing" of the stock. "We believe the staggered release of locked-up shares, as well as strategic and marketed offerings, will manage our public float in an orderly fashion," it wrote in the press release trumpeting the move.
According to data compiled by Yahoo! Finance, Tilray's outstanding share count as of Tuesday afternoon was just under 87.4 million.
Although 11 million new shares potentially on the market risks existing stockholder dilution, investors were well aware that they might eventually make their way to the exchange. It's also likely considered a positive move that they are being released at a modest rate, at least for now. Perhaps that's a reason Tilray's stock gained 4% the day the announcement was made, in contrast to the decline of the broader market.