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Cannabis company stock soars after Thiel-backed fund says it won’t sell shares

Shares of pot grower Tilray soared as much as 26 percent on Friday after a fund backed by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel said it has no immediate plans to sell any of its 75 million shares.

The announcement helped chill out investors who had been seriously concerned that the Thiel-backed Privateer Holdings, a PE firm that invests in the legal cannabis industry, would sell the volatile stock as soon as it was able. Tilray is down more than 60 percent since mid-September but up 500 percent since its July IPO.

“Privateer Holdings strongly believes in Tilray’s long-term global growth strategy and pioneering role in shaping the future of the legal cannabis industry,” managing partner Michael Blue said of the decision.

“Given this, we do not have plans to register, sell or distribute the shares Privateer holds in Tilray during the first half of 2019,” Blue added.

Canada-based Tilray is about to exit a lockup period that has prevented shareholders from selling their stock.

Tilray last month rolled out a partnership with Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch InBev, which is looking to explore beverages that contain THC and CBD — the two main chemical compounds found in the marijuana plant.

Tilray shares finished Friday up 19.4 percent, at $96. Earlier, they rose as high as $103.69.

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