Aurora Cannabis names new CEO, to book $1.8 billion in charges

Miguel Martin has been named new chief executive officer

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Aurora Cannabis Inc. on Tuesday named Miguel Martin its chief executive officer, tasking the insider to turn around the troubled pot producer, and said it would book $1.8 billion (US$1.37 billion) in charges related to a restructuring.

For most weed producers in Canada, which legalized recreational cannabis in October 2018, profits have proven elusive due to fewer-than-expected retail stores, cheaper rates on the black market and slow overseas growth.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also made it harder for the cash-strapped industry to get investor dollars and forced companies to shut stores.

In response, Aurora unveiled earlier this year a plan to lay off hundreds of employees and shut five facilities. It had also made amendments to its secured credit facilities.

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Martin will replace interim CEO Michael Singer, who will remain executive chairman and took the helm after the exit of founder and Chief Executive Officer Terry Booth in February, the company said.

Aurora forecast fourth-quarter net revenue to be between $70 million and $72 million, including $66 million to $68 million in cannabis net revenue.

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Analysts on average are expecting fourth-quarter revenue to be $76.8 million, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

The Edmonton, Alberta-based company also said it has ended its partnership with the Ultimate Fighting Championship as it focuses on financial discipline and maintaining positive adjusted core earnings.

Aurora is slated to report its fourth-quarter financial results after the close of markets on Sept. 22.

? Thomson Reuters 2020

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