Why Did Tilray Stock Drop Sharply Today?

Shares of Tilray (TLRY - Free Report) fell more than 17% on Tuesday after its post-IPO lockup period expired, allowing early investors in the Canadian marijuana company to cash out of their positions for the first time.

Lockup periods restrict insider investors from selling their shares for a specified period of time after a company’s IPO. Typically, some insiders will sell some or all of their positions immediately after the lockup in order to secure guaranteed profits.

This phenomenon can flood the market with new shares of the stock in question, putting negative pressure on existing public shares. It’s also possible that the lockup expiration itself would cause other investors to sell in an effort to avoid the risk—even if insiders don’t end up dumping their shares en masse.

Some combination of those two outcomes likely resulted in Tilray stock’s drop on Tuesday, although there are indications that the latter of the pair was more in play. Privateer Holdings, a Seattle-based private equity firm backed by Peter Thiel and owner of roughly 76% of Tilray’s outstanding shares, announced that it would not sell after the lockup, or at all in the first half of 2019.

Privateer’s decision to hold on to its entire position meant that about 11% of Tilray’s shares held by other insiders could have been sold today. It makes sense that some of these early investors would want to cash out, and moves like this on lockup-expiration dates are not entirely uncommon.

Interestingly, Tilray faced down the expiration date with an exciting new announcement. The cannabis producer today revealed a long-term revenue-sharing partnership to market and distribute marijuana products with Authentic Brands (ABG), the owner of shoe brands Nine West, Airwalk, and Tretorn.

“We are thrilled to partner with ABG, a global leader known for expertly managing and marketing an owned portfolio of iconic brands,” said Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy. “As we work to expand Tilray's global presence, this agreement leverages our complementary strengths and will be accretive to our shareholders as we reach new consumers across the entertainment, fashion, beauty, home and health and wellness sectors.”

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