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Harvest Health to acquire privately held cannabis company Verano for $850M

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. agreed to acquire Chicago-based cannabis company Verano Holdings LLC for about $850 million in an all-stock transaction.

The combined company will own licenses to operate up to 200 cannabis facilities in the U.S. Harvest expects to have 30 dispensaries, eight cultivation facilities and seven manufacturing plants operational at the time of closing, according to a March 11 press release. The company will continue to operate hubs in Arizona and Illinois.

Harvest will give shareholders of privately held Verano a combination of subordinate and multiple voting shares based on Harvest's share price of C$8.79 on the Canadian Stock Exchange.

Both companies have entered into a binding agreement to negotiate and carry out a definitive agreement within 30 days. Either party failing to enter into a definitive agreement within the given timeframe will have to pay a termination fee of $20 million. Harvest expects to complete the transaction in the first half of the year subject to closing conditions, including shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Eight Capital is Harvest's financial advisor and INFOR Financial Inc. is acting as financial adviser to the special committee of Harvest's board of directors in connection with the transaction.