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Aphria Chairman: 'Short-Seller Report Was A Wake-Up Call'

Jayson Derrick

Canadian cannabis company Aphria Inc (NYSE: APHA) has a plan to boost revenue to CA$1 billion ($746 million) by the end of next year, newly appointed Chairman Irwin Simon told Bloomberg.

Aphria expects to increase its revenue by about fivefold by the end of 2020 from an estimated CA$209 million as of the end of May 2019, Simon told Bloomberg's Kristine Owram. The company expects to take advantage of the "low-hanging fruit" in the Canadian business, he said. The multiple opportunities in the Canadian cannabis market are expected to help the company generate a profit and achieve margins of at least 40 percent.

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Short-Seller Report A 'Wake-Up Call'

Simon became chairman in late December and shortly afterward became interim CEO following the release of a short-seller report. Quintessential Capital argued Aphria that is a top short idea — a thesis Simon said marked a "wake-up call" for the company.

The report prompted Aphria to take a more active role in telling the investment community "all the great things we're doing," he said. 

"It's time to change the conversation." 

Green Growth's Hostile Takeover Attempt

Green Growth Brands Inc (OTC: GGBXF)'s hostile takeover offer values Aphria's stock at a 42-percent discount, according to Bloomberg.

The offer comes at a time when Aphria is "wounded" and vulnerable to other companies looking to "take advantage," Simon said. 

"Shareholders are not going to accept it." 

Aphria's stock was down 3.78 percent at $9.28 at the time of publication Wednesday. 

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