Aurora Cannabis (ACB -3.33%) has increased its financial leverage. The company announced on Thursday that it has managed to nearly double an existing credit facility.
The company says that the syndicate behind the facility has agreed to expand it to roughly 360 million Canadian dollars from the previous level of CA$200 million. The new arrangement takes the form of term loans and a revolving credit facility; these will mature in August 2021. Aurora did not specify other terms for the new funding.
Aurora Cannabis added that new top-tier Canadian banks have become part of the lending syndicate. Aurora did not get more specific other than saying that the widened syndicate is led by Bank of Montreal (BMO -0.44%).
Aurora did quote its CFO, Glen Ibbott, as saying:
The upsizing of our credit facility to approximately CA$360 million and the broadening of the lending syndicate to include additional Schedule 1 Canadian Banks is further recognition that our best-in-class production facilities lead the industry. Access to this non-dilutive capital is a core funding source the Company intends to utilize as it further executes on its strategic growth initiatives. In addition to cash being generated from operations, the Company also has access to other unsecured debt alternatives, a number of equity investments, and has access to a C$514 million... At-The-Market equity program.
Capital is particularly valuable for marijuana companies at the moment because many are eager to build scale through means such as organic expansion, partnerships, and acquisitions.
Aurora says it has funded production capacity of over 625,000 kilos per year. It has been particularly active in buying complementary assets -- recent purchases include an expensive ($2.5 billion) deal to acquire producer MedReleaf, and the more modest $852 million buy of medical cannabis specialist CanniMed. All told, the company currently holds 16 wholly owned subsidiaries in its corporate structure.
Most of the larger companies in the cannabis sector also have ambitions to move product on foreign markets where marijuana laws are at least relatively permissive. Aurora plans to grow its international footprint, which for the moment consists of operations and sales across 25 countries.
Investors weren't excited about news of the new funding. Aurora stock closed down by nearly 7% on Thursday.