Ottawa hemp company to buy natural-products manufacturer for CA$20M to boost product research

A Canadian hemp company is buying a natural-products manufacturer for $20 million Canadian dollars ($15.4 million) in a bid to accelerate development of CBD consumer goods.

Ottawa-based LiveWell Canada agreed to acquire Acenzia, which manufactures neutraceuticals, including powders and sports drinks, in a 36,000-square-foot facility in Tecumseh, Ontario.

The acquisition gives LiveWell (TSXV: LVWL) a place to ramp up development of CBD products to be sold in both the U.S. and Canada.

The company said it has already secured hemp biomass for the products.

Acenzia currently uses zebrafish to investigate products for human consumption – research methods LiveWell plans to apply to new CBD products.

“The acquisition of Acenzia represents an opportunity for proprietary brand insight and product innovation,” David Rendimonti, president of LiveWell Canada, said in a statement.

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, zebrafish are “rapidly gaining popularity” for use in tissue studies instead of mice or rats. Zebrafish share about 70% of human genes but are cheaper to house and maintain than mice or rats.

The CA$20 million purchase price includes CA$2 million in cash and CA$18 million in common shares of LiveWell.