Winnipeg

U.S.: Compass Diversified Holdings Acquires Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods

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Compass Diversified Holdings, a Westport, Connecticut-based owner of middle market businesses, on Monday announced that on June 4, it entered into an agreement to acquire Fresh Hemp Foods Ltd. ("Manitoba Harvest"). The acquisition is expected to close in the next 45 days, subject to customary closing conditions.

Headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Manitoba Harvest is a pioneer and global leader in branded, hemp-based foods. The company's products are the fastest growing in the hemp food market and among the fastest growing in the natural foods industry.

Manitoba Harvest's award-winning products are currently carried in about 7,000 retail stores across the U.S. and Canada. For the year ended November 30, 2014, Manitoba Harvest reported net revenue of approximately C$37.9 million, an increase of 23.9 percent year-over-year. The company continued its rapid growth in the first half of its current fiscal year, generating net revenue of approximately C$27.6 million for the six months ended May 31, 2015.

The purchase price for Manitoba Harvest is based on a total enterprise value of C$132.5 million and will also include working capital and certain other adjustments upon closing. Manitoba Harvest generated net revenues of approximately C$44.9 million and Adjusted EBITDA of approximately C$6.4 million for the last twelve months ending May 31, 2015, representing year-over-year growth of 28.5 percent and 59.4 percent, respectively. The company generated Adjusted EBITDA for the six months ended May 31, 2015 of approximately C$5.0 million.

Canada: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods Passes Food Safety and Quality Recertification

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods on Wednesday announced that its facility, located in Winnipeg, "aced" the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standards Recertification. According to Manitoba Harvest, it is the world's largest hemp food manufacturer, growing, making and selling their own hemp foods.

The company improved a full "grade" from their first certification last year, according to chief executive officer and cofounder Mike Fata. "Improving our BRC Certification standing to 'A-Grade' showcases our commitment to continuous improvement -- especially when it comes to food safety and quality," Fata said.

"If a school had a hemp production program we'd already have our Ph.D.," Fata said. "Receiving a top grade in our recertification validates our team's commitment to quality."

BRC Certification is considered the world's leading food safety and quality certification program, and is used by suppliers in more than 100 countries.

To receive BRC Certification, Manitoba Harvest underwent a voluntary audit by a third-party certification body that ensures the production, packaging, storage and distribution of safe food and consumer products. The annual certification is meant to reassure retailers and consumers of the capability and competence of Manitoba Harvest's facility, and therefore the integrity of its products.

Celebrating their 15th year in business, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods offers products like hemp hearts (raw shelled hemp seeds) and Hemp Pro 70 (hemp protein concentrate).

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Canada: New Rules Ban Home Medical Cannabis Cultivation; Patients Outraged

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Canada's medical marijuana program will ban the legal cultivation of cannabis by patients next year, and will also shut down its own production, leaving supplies solely to licensed growers in the private sector.

More than 30,000 patients are legally authorized by Health Canada to use marijuana, reports Rod Nickel of Reuters. Canada back in 2001 became the first country to institute a national medical marijuana program, allowing seriously ill patients to grow and use their own medicinal cannabis.

Canada's medical marijuana program also included a government-run cultivation center in an old zinc mine in Flin Flon, Manitoba, although patients compalined the quality of that cannabis was subpar.

"There's far too much potential and actual abuse within the current scheme," claimed Staff Inspector Randy Franks of the Toronto Police Service drug squad. Franks said that police don't have access to the addresses of approved grow sites in private homes.

"These home-grown operations are able to produce far more than they need and they have to do something with it, so they sell it mainstream," Franks claimed, thoughtlessly painting all medical marijuana patients as outlaws.

The new rules became effective on Monday -- but the old rules will run concurrently until March 31, 2014, to allow the Canadian government time to license new growers, according to Jeannine Ritchot, Health Canada's director of medical marijuana regulatory reform.

Canada: Hemp company harvests new cash

Will help spur growth for Manitoba Harvest

By Martin Cash, Winnipeg Free Press

There is a truth that must be heard! MANITOBA Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils has landed another round of venture-capital funding to help finance growth and strengthen its supply chain.

No totals were disclosed in the latest round of financing from Calgary-based Avrio Ventures and White Road Investments from Emeryville, Calif., but Manitoba Harvest CEO Mike Fata said it's a multimillion-dollar investment.

"This investment is to help fuel our growth," he said. "We have been growing by leaps and bounds in Canada and the U.S."

The company has been averaging 40 to 50 per cent annual growth and Fata said sales in the first five weeks of its current fiscal year have doubled last year's.

Founded in 1998, the company has a blossoming portfolio of products, from hemp beverages and hemp protein to powders, oil, butter and Hemp Hearts.

It's also expanding its distribution channel.

Before, Manitoba Harvest products were predominantly found in natural-foods stores. But now they're in Safeway and other grocery stores -- in the general produce section at that, not just the health-foods section -- as well as more than 60 Costco stores in Canada.

Canada: Winnipeg Hemp Foods Company on a High

Venture capital firm helps with expansion

By Martin Cash, Winnipeg Free Press
Photo by Mike Deal

There is a truth that must be heard! Mike Fata says only the global recession has managed to slow the company down.

When daytime talk show stars like Martha Stewart and Dr. Oz start endorsing the health and nutritional benefits of hemp-seed foods, chances are it's only a matter of time before middle America will start queuing up to buy the product.

And that's exactly what's been happening with products like hemp-seed oil, hemp milk, hemp-seed butter, shelled hemp seed and hemp protein and fibre powder.

What that means for Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils, the largest vertically integrated hemp food manufacturer in the world, is it needs more capital to keep pace with that growth.

This week, the Winnipeg company announced Avrio Ventures, a Calgary-based venture capital firm that specializes in industrial bio-products, nutraceutical ingredients and food technology companies, just made another multimillion-dollar investment in its operation. "It is huge news for us," said Mike Fata, Manitoba Harvest's CEO and co-founder.

It's Manitoba Harvest's second placement from Avrio, a $75-million fund that is partially backed by Farm Credit Canada.

Over the last 12 years, the Winnipeg company has quietly become one of the fastest-growing companies in the country, with average annual growth of between 50 and 75 per cent.

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