May 28, 2019

Acreage, Canopy launch charm offensive on $3.4 billion merger

The companies behind the $3.4 billion as-soon-as-marijuana-is-legal merger, Acreage Holdings and Canopy Growth, have launched a charm offensive intended to get disgruntled shareholders to approve the deal.

What's happening: Since being announced in April, the deal has been touted as a coup for Canopy and a cop-out for Acreage by unhappy investors.

  • Activist hedge fund Marcato Capital Management said in a public letter on May 6 it would vote its nearly 3% of Acreage stock against the "value destructive" deal, and urged other shareholders to do the same, Barron's reported.
  • The market is clearly worried about the possibility that the merger falls apart — Acreage shares have fallen by more than 15% since the deal was announced, while Canopy's stock, which rose 15% in the days following news of the deal, has fallen below its share price before the deal's announcement.

On the other hand: Canopy agreed to pay $2.55 in cash and 0.5818 of Canopy shares for each Acreage share. The growing divide between the 2 companies' share prices is making that deal look sweeter.

Yes, but: Acreage CEO Kevin Murphy has downplayed the discontent, saying in an interview Friday that he feels "very, very good about where we are and where we're going,” and expects 100% approval. The deal requires 66% of shareholders approve to be finalized.

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