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CanniMed Therapeutics shareholders should be happy with Aurora Cannabis deal, Echelon Wealth says

Take it.

That’s the advice from Echelon Wealth Partners analyst Russell Stanley to shareholders of CanniMed Therapeutics (TSX:CMED) regarding a new takeover bid from Aurora Cannabis (TSX:ACB).

On Tuesday, Aurora Cannabis announced it had reached an agreement with CanniMed Therapeutics on a friendly deal to acquire the latter in a deal worth about $1.1-billion.

“We are very pleased to have come to terms with CanniMed on this powerful strategic combination that will establish a best-in-class cannabis company with operations across Canada and around the world,” said Aurora CEO Terry Booth. “Market recognition of Aurora’s continued performance and strategy execution since we first announced our intention to acquire CanniMed allows us to share that benefit directly with CanniMed shareholders by increasing the offer price, as well as by offering a cash component. The amended offer includes value certainty and represents a full, compelling and immediate 75-per-cent premium over CanniMed’s 20-day average price ending Jan. 17, 2018, the day prior to CanniMed and Aurora disclosing they were in discussions. Aurora now invites CanniMed shareholders to share in Aurora’s ongoing growth, as we continue to create superior shareholder value, by joining with the CanniMed board of directors and tendering their shares to our amended offer.”

Stanley this is a good deal for CanniMed shareholders.

“While the new offer price represents a modest 15% premium to last night’s closing price, CMED stock had run 49% over the prior week, which we attribute to speculation that a sweetened offer was coming,” the analyst says. Noting that shareholders representing 51 per cent of the stock support the deal, Stanley thinks the transaction is likely to go through.

“In addition to the locked up shareholders that supported the original ACB offer (representing 36% of CMED stock), additional CMED shareholders representing 15% of the stock (including the CEO, Mr. Brent Zettl) have agreed to support the new offer,” the analyst notes. “The CMED board of directors, as well as the special committee of the board, have also endorsed the agreement. We therefore believe this transaction has very limited deal risk. Aurora will receive non-solicitation protection, and a right to match any competing proposal made to CMED, with a break-fee (amount unspecified in the press release) payable to ACB.”

In a research update to clients today, Stanley raised his one year target on CanniMed Therapeutics from $30.00 to $43.00, and changed his target price on the stock from “Speculative Buy” to “Tender”.

“Our new target price represents an EV/EBITDA multiple of 25.25x our F2019E EBITDA estimate (vs. the adjusted average for the full peer group of 22.7x, and the 15.3x average for the closest peers), and a price of $60/gram of funded production capacity (vs. the peer group average of $22/gram),” Stanley says.

About The Author /

Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.
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