Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Aphria CEO Vic Neufeld to step down, as company posts quarterly earnings

Aphria CEO Vic Neufeld to step down, as company posts quarterly earnings

Now, the company says he and Cacciavillan "are both nearing the end of their five-year journey with the company and will transition out of their executive roles over the coming months but remain on the board". But his departure comes amid ongoing uncertainty regarding the company's future, as a potential takeover offer looms and questions over its acquisitions in Latin America remain unanswered.

The company will host a conference call Friday at 9 a.m.

The CEO of a Canadian cannabis producer recently targeted by short sellers will step down from an executive role at the company he helped found, but stay on the board. Shares in the company plunged in the wake of the report by Quintessential Capital Management and Hindenburg Research. Since their report was released on December 3, the company's stock is down 17 per cent.

Aphria's stock fell 4.6 percent to $6.28 as of 8:22 a.m.in pre-market trading in NY.

Newly appointed chairman Irwin Simon and President Jakob Ripshtein, who joined the company from Diageo Plc in May, will "complete a smooth and responsible transition to a globally-minded executive leadership team", the company said.


Aphria also received a hostile takeover offer late past year from Ohio-based Xanthic Biopharma Inc., which does business as Green Growth Brands, that it rejected as being too low.

Irwin Simon, the company's newly-appointed chairman, also spoke during the conference call, noting that he sees many similarities between the cannabis industry and the natural organic sector that he first worked in almost three decades ago.

"I spent the last two days in Leamington at Aphria".

The change in the executive suite came as Aphria reported revenue totalled $21.7 million in what was its second quarter as Canada's legal recreational market began. It also posted net income of $55-million, due mainly to gains on its investment portfolio from selling shares of Hiku Brands Company Ltd. and Liberty Health Sciences Inc.

Cannabis sales rose 92 percent to 3,409 kilogram equivalents, with more than 1,900 kilograms of that sold to the Canadian recreational market after pot was legalized on October 17. The average selling price fell to $6.54 per gram, from $7.12 per gram in the prior quarter.

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