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Jan 18, 2018

Cannimed postpones Newstrike meeting to buy time for Aurora talks

The next steps for Aurora and CanniMed Therapeutics: Echelon Partners

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Cannimed Therapeutics (CMED.TO) is postponing a special shareholder meeting on its proposed acquisition of Newstrike Resources (HIP.V) to buy time for further talks with Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO).

In a press release, Cannimed said it was pushing back the meeting by two days in the wake of overwhelming Newstrike shareholder support for that deal. The company added there’s no guarantee its talks with Aurora will result in an agreement.

The announcement further clouds an already complicated takeover picture in the cannabis sector. Cannimed had rebuffed Aurora’s original all-stock offer, which was worth just shy of $550 million when it was tabled, arguing it undervalued the company. Aurora responded by taking its bid hostile and demanding Cannimed drop its bid for Newstrike, and the two sides traded barbs over their various tactics.

Eventually, the spat landed before the Ontario Securities Commission, which issued a split decision. The OSC shot down Cannimed’s so-called poison pill defense, allowing Aurora to buy up to five per cent of its float on open markets, while simultaneously ordering Aurora to amend a number of press releases from the early days of its takeover approach.