Licensed hemp, medical marijuana grower in UK bought by investment group

An ornamental flower producer in the United Kingdom that is licensed to grow hemp and medical marijuana has been acquired by a group led by a cannabis investment firm.

The U.K.’s Bridge Farm Group, which cultivates ornamental plants, flowers and herbs, announced last week that it was acquired by an entity controlled by representatives of Artemis Growth Partners, an asset management firm based in Costa Rica.

According to a Bridge Farm statement, the deal was worth 105 million Canadian dollars ($75 million) and is the largest sponsor-driven European acquisition in history for cannabis and cannabis-related companies.

Former parent company Sundial Growers Inc. confirmed the sale of Bridge Farm in its own statement.

As part of the deal, the buyers assumed CA$45 million ($32.2 million) of debt under Sundial’s existing CA$115 million term debt facility, the Canadian company said.

Calgary, Alberta-based Sundial has been implicated in a lawsuit by investors who said they were misled into believing that Bridge Farm could “almost immediately” start exporting hemp and CBD products to the European Union.

Bridge Farm is licensed to cultivate – but not export – industrial hemp and medical marijuana. The group’s cultivation-only hemp license was approved in November 2018. It was awarded one of the U.K.’s 12 research-and-development licenses to cultivate and extract high-THC cannabis in January of this year.

To date, Bridge Farm has not sold cannabis of either variety, a spokeswoman for Bridge Farm told Hemp Industry Daily.

Sundial said the Bridge Farm sale is subject to:

  • Standard closing conditions.
  • Sundial restructuring the remaining CA$70 million under its debt facility.
  • Sundial entering into a new syndicated credit agreement with the company’s senior lenders by June 1.

Sundial trades on the Nasdaq as SNDL.