Actions Versus Words: Aurora CEO’s Actions Reveal That Aurora Stock is Inflated; Insiders Sell $17 Million in Stock During Their Hostile Take-over Bid for CanniMed and During a Financing
Despite trying to convince CanniMed shareholders to take Aurora’s shares in their opportunistic and coercive hostile bid, Aurora insiders’ cash out evidences their belief that Aurora’s shares are inflated
Shareholders are advised to take NO ACTION regarding the unsolicited bid
SASKATOON, Saskatchewan–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. (“CanniMed” or the “Company”) (TSX: CMED) draws the attention of CanniMed shareholders to the recent sell-off by the CEO, other senior management and directors of Aurora Cannabis Inc. (“Aurora”) of over $17.8 million worth of Aurora shares, while at the same time trying to convince CanniMed shareholders and the market of their stock’s long-term value under their opportunistic and coercive hostile bid for CanniMed.
These actions by Aurora’s CEO and other insiders clearly demonstrate their actual belief that the Aurora shares are inflated. That these share sales occurred is disturbing. However, what is perhaps even more troubling is that these share sales occurred while Aurora is in the middle of a major proposed transaction, the hostile bid for CanniMed, as well as a fund-raising of convertible debentures through special warrants.
“We fully expect that both CanniMed and Aurora shareholders will be surprised by these actions and realize the inconsistency between what Aurora’s board and management says and what they do. The most logical inference from what they have done is that they believe Aurora cannot and will not remain at its currently inflated valuation,” said Brent Zettl, President and CEO, CanniMed. “Shareholders should ask themselves if they can trust an Aurora management team who are publicly talking up the stock and trying to convince CanniMed shareholders to tender to their opportunistic and coercive bid, while at the same time selling and taking millions in dollars for themselves. We ask CanniMed shareholders to compare these action to their words and draw their own conclusions.”
CanniMed shareholders should note that on November 28, 2017, the day before Aurora’s stock tumbled 14 per cent, four Aurora insiders took part in the sell-off of over $17.8 million worth of Aurora shares, including Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora. Other Aurora insiders who sold Aurora shares include Aurora directors Jose Del Moral and Stephen Dobler (co-Founder of Aurora) and Ronan Levy, Aurora’s Vice President of Business and Corporate Affairs. The details of this sell-off are as follows:
|Name and Position||Date of Sale||Aurora’s Share Price||
Number of Aurora
|Total Sale Price|
Chief Executive Officer of Aurora
|November 28, 2017||$7.94||700,000||$5,558,000|
|Jose Del Moral
Director of Aurora
|November 28, 2017||$8.48||500,000||$4,240,000|
President of Aurora
|November 28, 2017||$8.23||900,000||$7,407,000|
|November 28, 2017||$8.49||71,670||$608,478|
In contrast, Mr. Zettl has maintained his significant ownership interest in CanniMed (9.51 per cent, calculated on a non-diluted basis) signaling his firm belief that the acquisition of Newstrike Resources Ltd. (TSX-V:HIP) will reap significant financial returns for all CanniMed shareholders and further demonstrating his support for CanniMed and aligning his interests with CanniMed shareholders.
Shareholders are advised to take NO action on the Hostile Bid until they have received further communication from the Special Committee and the Board. Further details will be provided to CanniMed shareholders as soon as practical.
Shareholders with questions should call CanniMed’s strategic shareholder services advisor, Kingsdale Advisors, at 1-888-518-1554.
Kingsdale Advisors is acting as strategic shareholder and communications advisor. AltaCorp Capital Inc. is acting as financial advisor to the Board and Borden Ladner Gervais LLP is acting as legal advisor to the Board. Cormark Securities Inc. is acting as financial advisor to the Special Committee and Stikeman Elliott LLP is acting as legal advisor to the Special Committee.
About CanniMed Therapeutics Inc.
CanniMed is a Canadian-based, international plant biopharmaceutical company and a leader in the Canadian medical cannabis industry, with 16 years of pharmaceutical cannabis cultivation experience, state-of-the-art, GMP-compliant production process and world class research and development platforms with a wide range of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products. In addition, the Company has an active plant biotechnology research and product development program focused on the production of plant-based materials for pharmaceutical, agricultural and environmental applications.
The Company, through its subsidiaries, was the first producer to be licensed under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, the predecessor to the current Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. It was the sole supplier to Health Canada under the former medical marijuana system for 13 years, and has been producing safe and consistent medical marijuana for thousands of Canadian patients, with no incident of product diversion or recalls.
Notice Regarding Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of CanniMed to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to CanniMed’s expectations with respect to: the timing and outcome of the proposed acquisition of Newstrike; the anticipated benefits of the acquisition of Newstrike to CanniMed; improvements to CanniMed’s production capabilities and capacity resulting from the acquisition; and the Hostile Bid. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “estimates”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved.
In respect of the forward-looking statements and information concerning the anticipated benefits and completion of the proposed acquisition of Newstrike, CanniMed has provided such statements and information in reliance on certain assumptions that it believes are reasonable at this time, including assumptions as to the ability of CanniMed to receive, in a timely manner and on satisfactory terms, the necessary regulatory, court and shareholder approvals for the Newstrike acquisition; the ability of the parties to the Newstrike acquisition to satisfy, in a timely manner, the other conditions to the closing of the transaction; and other expectations and assumptions concerning the acquisition. There can be no assurance that the proposed acquisition of Newstrike will occur, or that it will occur on the terms and conditions contemplated in this news release. Moreover, there is no certainty that the conditions in the offer by Aurora will be satisfied. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements and information contained in this press release. Since forward-looking statements and information address future events and conditions, by their very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties.
Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors and risks. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date of this release and, accordingly, are subject to change after such date.
CanniMed does not assume any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time by us or on our behalf, except as required by applicable law.
Executive Vice President, Communication Strategy
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