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Aurora Cannabis and CanniMed Therapeutics Agree to Terms on Friendly Transaction

Jan 24, 2018 • 1:13 PM EST
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4 MIN READ  •  By Michael Berger
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Aurora Cannabis Inc. (“Aurora”) (TSX: ACB) (OTCQB: ACBFF) (Frankfurt: 21P; WKN: A1C4WM) and CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. (“CanniMed”) (TSX: CMED) announce today that they have entered into a support agreement (the “Support Agreement”) whereby the Board of Directors and the Special Committee of the CanniMed Board have agreed to support a new offer made by Aurora for the acquisition of all of the issued and outstanding shares of CanniMed not owned by Aurora. In addition to the Board and Special Committee, the new offer (“New Offer”), as described below, will continue to be supported by certain CanniMed shareholders (the “Locked-up Shareholders”) representing 36% of CanniMed’s outstanding shares and by Brent Zettl, President and CEO of CanniMed.

Key Transaction Highlights

Under the New Offer, CanniMed shareholders may receive in respect of each CanniMed share, 3.40 Aurora shares or a combination of cash and shares at the election of each CanniMed Shareholder, subject to pro-ration with the maximum aggregate cash consideration of $140 million. Based on an implied Aurora share price of $12.65 and the 3.40 exchange ratio, the New Offer would equate to $43.00, representing a 181% premium over the closing price of CanniMed Shares on November 14, 2017, the last day prior to the public disclosure of Aurora’s intention to pursue a combination with CanniMed, and a 79% increase to the previous offer Cap Price of $24.00.

The total consideration for CanniMed under the New Offer is approximately $1.1 billion based on Aurora’s implied share price of $12.65. The maximum amount of cash available under the amended offer will be $140 million, and the number of Aurora shares to be issued will be between approximately 72 million (assuming full cash elections) and 84 million (assuming full share elections and no cash elections). Assuming maximum cash elections, each CanniMed shareholder would receive $5.70 in cash and 2.9493 Aurora shares.

Support Agreement

The Support Agreement provides that CanniMed will support the New Offer and will recommend to its shareholders in an amended directors circular that CanniMed Shareholders will tender to the Aurora New Offer. In addition to the foregoing, Aurora will receive customary non-solicitation protection and a right to match any competing proposal made to CanniMed and a break fee payable to Aurora in certain circumstances, together with customary representations and warranties. In addition to the Locked-up Shareholders certain CanniMed shareholders representing approximately 15% of the issued shares of CanniMed, including Brent Zettl, Chief Executive Officer, have agreed to support the New Offer.

The New Offer and the transaction are subject to customary closing conditions, including Canadian Competition Act approval.

Termination of Newstrike Arrangement Agreement

In connection with the New Offer, CanniMed has entered into a termination agreement with Newstrike Resources Ltd. (“Newstrike”), terminating the arrangement agreement between Newstrike and CanniMed, resulting in the payment of a $9.5 million break fee paid to Newstrike. As a result, the CanniMed shareholder meeting originally scheduled for January 23, 2018 and adjourned to January 25, 2018 has been cancelled.

Management Commentary

“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 Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora. “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% premium over CanniMed’s 20-day average price ending January 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.”

Brent Zettl, President and CEO of CanniMed, added, “A testament to the great team at CanniMed, this transaction clearly confirms that the Company has been highly successful in becoming a preeminent global leader in the medical cannabis industry. In this leadership position, CanniMed has provided invaluable education, resources, support and relief of symptoms for thousands of patients served around the globe.”

“This is an excellent outcome for both Aurora’s and CanniMed’s shareholders after a hard-fought and diligently negotiated process,” said Cam Battley, Aurora’s Chief Corporate Officer. “We now look forward to warmly welcoming CanniMed’s employees and forging one unified team. Together, under the Aurora banner we’ll continue to invest in domestic and international growth, and continue executing on our strategy of building the most dynamic, innovative integrated cannabis company in the world.”

Advisors

Canaccord Genuity Corp. is acting as financial advisor to Aurora, McMillian LLP is acting as legal advisor and Laurel Hill LLP is acting as strategic shareholder advisor. Kingsdale Advisors is acting as strategic shareholder and communications advisor to CanniMed, AltaCorp Capital Inc. is acting as financial advisor to the board of CanniMed and Borden Ladner Gervais LLP is acting as legal advisor to the board of CanniMed. Cormark Securities Inc. is acting as financial advisor to the Special Committee of CanniMed and Stikeman Elliott LLP is acting as legal advisor to the Special Committee.

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Authored By

Michael Berger

Michael Berger is Managing Partner of StoneBridge Partners, LLC and Founder of Technical420.com. Prior to entering the cannabis industry, Michael was an Equity Research Analyst at Raymond James Financial covering the Energy Sector. Michael has been featured in publications such as The Street, Bloomberg, US Money News, and hosts various cannabis events across North America.

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