A close photo of an untrimmed crows foot on a commercial cannabis plant.

Rory Savatgy

Canadian Regulators Make Initial Ruling in Aurora-CanniMed Takeover Saga

The Ontario (Canada) Securities Commission has issued a regulator ruling in Aurora Cannabis Inc.’s attempted hostile takeover of CanniMed Therapeutics Inc., indicating that any securities issued by CanniMed as a defense against the bid must be cease-traded, the Canadian Press reports.

The ruling requires Aurora to amend its takeover bid circular and all related press releases to include information that could impact CanniMed shareholders if they decide to accept or reject the offer. Aurora must also include information pertaining to how they became aware CanniMed’s board would meet to mull a plan to buy Newstrike Resources Ltd. As part of the deal, Aurora wants that deal voided.

Regulators also rejected Aurora’s request to shorten the minimum 105-day period for shares to be deposited to its offer. However, the decision neutralizes CanniMed’s poison pill defense of the takeover, which involved issuing more shares.

“Aurora’s attempt to reduce the minimum bid period was inappropriate and clearly an attempt to pressure CanniMed shareholders into tendering to the coercive Hostile Bid by unfairly shortening the statutorily required bid period.” – CanniMed in a statement to the Press

Aurora CEO Terry Booth was confident that the deal, which has the support of CanniMed shareholders with 36 percent stake, would still get done.

“Aurora has secured key legal victories that take us a big step forward towards acquiring CanniMed, and integrating its team and operations into our organization to further build the preeminent global cannabis company.” – Booth in a statement to the Press

Aurora must amend its publications related to the deal by Jan. 12.

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