Rumors Of Green Thumb And Boston Beer Merger: What Investors Need to Know, Analyst Breaks It Down

Green Thumb Industries GTBIF has expressed interest in merging with Boston Beer SAM, according to a recent report by Pablo Zuanic of Zuanic & Associates. What strategic advantages does this merger offer? How will this impact the profitability of both companies? Could this merger set a precedent for future deals in the cannabis and beverage industries?

Zuanic’s report presents the implications for investors of this potential merger, as it could reshape the cannabis and beverage sectors.

$3 Billion In Proforma 2023 Revenues

Boston Beer shares rose by 30% following a report of Suntory STBFY being in talks to acquire the company. On June 4th, a letter from Green Thumb CEO Ben Kovler to Boston Beer chairman Jim Koch was revealed, expressing interest in a merger. According to the report, despite Green Thumb issuing a statement refusing to comment on market rumors, the details suggest this is more than mere speculation.

A merger between Green Thumb and Boston Beer would create a company with $3 billion in proforma 2023 revenues, with two-thirds from SAM.

Zuanic’s report explains SAM's revenues are projected to increase by 2% in 2024, while Green Thumb's are expected to grow by 15%. Despite higher sales, SAM operates in a flat to declining industry, whereas Green Thumb is in a growth sector.

Green Thumb's 31% adjusted EBITDA margin in 2023 surpasses SAM's 10.5%, highlighting the cannabis company's profitability.

"While SAM sales are 2x those of Green Thumb, the latter is more profitable. Adjusted EBITDA margins at GTBIF in CY23 were 31% ($326Mn) vs. 10.5% for SAM ($210Mn), with reported gross margins of 50% vs. 42%, respectively. Reported EBIT margins at SAM were 10.5% in 2023 and 17.5% at Green Thumb. For proforma calculations we would estimate at most 3% cost synergies (some back-office functions and corporate overheads), as there is not much overlap," reads the report. 

Financial Considerations

Financially, Green Thumb's net debt stood at $147 million at the end of 2023, with a manageable 0.5x EBITDA, while SAM had $298 million in cash and no financial debt.

According to Zuanic, a cash offer for SAM would significantly increase Green Thumb's leverage, making it an unlikely scenario. An equity-based offer, either 50/50 or 100%, would be more feasible and beneficial for both parties.

Strategic Benefits And Industry Impact

The merger would provide SAM with a platform for growth and profitability, while Green Thumb would gain strategic advantages, including an indirect NASDAQ listing.

Current trading multiples show SAM at 1.3x forward sales and 10.3x EBITDA, compared to Green Thumb at 2.8x and 9x, respectively.

This potential merger could trigger other consumer packaged goods companies to explore opportunities in the cannabis sector.

The move aligns with the strategies of companies like Canopy Growth CGC and Tilray TLRY, which have made similar moves.

With federal rescheduling of cannabis likely before January 2025, this could be a critical window for such mergers and acquisitions.

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Photo: AI-Generated Image. 

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Posted In: Analyst ColorCannabisM&AMid CapNewsPenny StocksRumorsContractsAsset SalesSmall CapMarketsAnalyst RatingsBen KovlerBoston Beer Company Inc.Cannabis Beveragescannabis marketcannabis stocksGreen Thumb IndustriesHempJim KochPablo Zuanitop cannabis stocks
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