Owner of the Circle K chain of retail stores, Canada’s multinational convenience-store business Alimentation Couche-Tard has announced that it is investing in Fire & Flower Holdings Corp., owners of the Fire & Flower Inc. cannabis retailer in Canada. Fire & Flower offers a curated selection of hand-picked strains, in addition to apparel and accessories such as dab gear, grinders, housewares, and more. The cannabis company maintains a Saskatchewan-based wholesale distribution unit and operates or licenses 23 cannabis retail stores in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. Fire & Flower also owns the proprietary Hifyre™ digital retail platform for cannabis consumers.
“Convertible debentures worth about $26 million Canadian ($19.8 million) would give the Quebec-based company a 9.9 percent stake under the agreement,” reports the Boston Globe. “Couche-Tard will also get warrants which would allow it to boost its stake to 50.1 percent. Edmonton-based Fire & Flower said that would give it more than $380 million Canadian in growth capital.”
With American Eagle Outfitters and Rite Aid both now selling CBD-infused products, Couche-Tard is the latest in a line of major retailers to become involved in the cannabis industry.
“Couche-Tard is excited to make this strategic investment in one of the fastest growing cannabis ‘pure-play’ retailers,” president and CEO of Couche-Tard, Brian Hannasch, said in a press release. “This investment in Fire & Flower, with a path to a controlling stake, will enable us to leverage their leadership, network and advanced digital platform to accelerate our journey in this new and flourishing sector.”
Fire & Flower’s CEO, Trevor Fencott, added: “This strategic investment by Couche-Tard, one of the world’s largest retailers, is transformative for Fire & Flower. The support of Couche-Tard’s world-class leadership team, coupled with their capital strength and impressive international footprint, provides us with outstanding opportunities for aggressive growth.”
Couche-Tard has a network of nearly 10,000 convenience stores throughout North America, employing over 100,000 people throughout its network and North American service offices. Fire & Flower is the second cannabis company to attract the attention of Couche-Tard, which also recently came to a financial agreement with Ontario-based Canopy Growth Corporation, the first publicly-traded cannabis company in North America.