Canadian Cannabis Company To Acquire SweetWater Brewing for $300 Million

Nov. 5, 2020
Irwin Simon-led Aphria Inc. banking on more states legalizing marijuana.

Emboldened by news that five more U.S. states just legalized marijuana, Aphria Inc., a Canadian cannabis company, on Nov. 4 announced a deal to acquire SweetWater Brewing Co. for $300 million.

"We will establish and grow our U.S. presence through SweetWater's robust, profitable platform of craft brewing innovation, manufacturing, marketing and distribution expertise," said Irwin Simon, Aphria's chairman and CEO. "We will build brand awareness for our adult-use cannabis brands Broken Coast, Good Supply, Riff and Solei, through our participation in the growing $29 billion craft brew market in the U.S. ahead of potential future state or federal cannabis legalization."

Yes, that Irwin Simon. Simon founded Hain Celestial Group 27 years ago and grew it into a $3 billion but wildly diversified natural products company. He led Hain until accounting problems forced it to not report figures from mid-2016 to mid-2017, and Hain was de-listed by Nasdaq. He was replaced as CEO in late 2018 by Mark Schiller.

SweetWater, founded in 1997, is an independent craft brewer with its flagship 420 beer as well as seasonal and specialty beers. The acquirer called it "a portfolio of brands closely aligned with a cannabis lifestyle." Its headquarters and sole facility are in Atlanta. For 2019, it had sales of $66.6 million and earnings before taxes of $22.1 million.

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