The Globe and Mail reports in its Tuesday edition that Aphria paid nearly $300-million to buy allegedly worthless foreign assets that had been owned previously by firms with apparent ties to a key investor in the cannabis grower, a short-seller report claims. The Globe's Christina Pellegrini writes that Aphria's stock plunged $2.91 to close at $7.60 on Monday, erasing the gains it made in the past year, after Gabriel Grego -- who runs a fund in New York called Quintessential Capital Management and co-authored the report -- presented the allegations Monday at a short-selling conference in New York. In July, Aphria said it would issue nearly 16 million shares to purchase a company that owned stakes in three cannabis entities in Jamaica, Colombia and Argentina. The seller -- then-named Scythian (now Sol Global) -- was still in the process of finalizing deals of its own to buy the foreign assets from three privately held Canadian firms for what ultimately turned out to be less than a third of what Aphria would end up paying. On Monday, the short sellers claimed the valuations of those assets "appear to be vastly inflated or outright fabrications." Aphria said Monday the allegations are "false and defamatory."
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