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Here are the top reads on deals and financial services over the last 24 hours,

Cannabis deal: Constellation Brands Inc., marketer of Corona beer and Kim Crawford wines, is pumping $5-billion into Canopy Growth Corp. to accelerate the Canadian cannabis company’s international expansion plans. The deal cements the link between the global alcoholic-beverage giant, with all of its marketing and deal-making expertise, and the marijuana sector, where recreational use is winning legitimacy in Canada and elsewhere. Story (Jeffrey Jones, for subscribers)

Wall Street loves cannabis: An investment banker who routinely talks to beverage and pharmaceutical executives likes to tell a quick story about the current state of the world: Every meeting with CEOs used to start with five minutes of small talk about U.S. President Donald Trump. Now every session starts with a conversation about cannabis. Story (Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

Media: Rogers Communications Inc. wants out of the magazine business. The Toronto-based telecommunications and media company is soliciting bids for a package of assets that includes eight of its digital and print magazine titles − Maclean’s, Canadian Business, MoneySense, Today’s Parent, Hello! Canada, Flare and Chatelaine’s French and English editions − as well as its custom-content group. Story (Susan Krashinsky Robertson, for subscribers)

Cohodes and Badger saga: Short-seller Marc Cohodes is free to trade shares of Badger Daylighting Inc. after Alberta regulators on Wednesday dismissed an application for a cease-trade order against the prominent U.S. investor. Story (Jeff Lewis, for subscribers)

Property fund: The value of the LaSalle Canada Property Fund has now reached more than $1-billion, including debt. The Chicago-based real estate investor has US$60-billion in assets under management. It launched the Canadian fund in December. Story (Rachelle Younglai, for subscribers)

Banks: Credit-ratings agency S&P Global Ratings has boosted the Bank of Montreal’s creditworthiness, citing good loan diversification and lower credit losses compared with its peers. On Tuesday, the ratings agency raised BMO’s standalone creditworthiness, a measure that looks at the bank’s fundamentals without factoring in the likelihood of government support, to A from A-. Story (Alexandra Posadzki, for subscribers)

New SPAC: Already a leading adviser to cannabis companies, Canaccord Genuity Corp. is now a potential buyer of a marijuana business after the investment bank launched a takeover vehicle that is searching for an acquisition worth up to $250-million. Canaccord filed the paperwork on Wednesday for an initial public offering from a cannabis-focused special-purpose acquisition corporation, or SPAC. Story (Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

Stress test: Canada’s largest banks are better prepared to weather a homegrown housing crisis than they were two years ago, even though total losses from soured mortgages would be larger, according to a new report. Moody’s Investors Service has updated its stress test for the country’s seven largest banks, which imagines a severe – though still unlikely – shock to the housing market. Story (James Bradshaw, for subscribers)

Financial products: Canadian investors looking to broaden their exposure to Asian equities can now do so through two new Asian-focused exchange-traded funds launched earlier this month by WisdomTree Asset Management Canada Inc. Story (Clare O’Hara)


Blockchain: The Bank of Montreal’s capital markets arm says it has successfully launched a pilot involving the use of blockchain in a Canadian dollar debt deal transaction. Story


Regulation: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has sent subpoenas to Tesla Inc. regarding chief executive Elon Musk’s plan to take the company private and his statement that funding was “secured,” Fox Business Network reported on Wednesday, citing sources. Story

Lampert: A hedge fund owned by the chief executive of Sears Holdings Corp, Edward Lampert, has offered to buy the company’s Kenmore appliances brand for US$400 million in cash, Sears said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday. Story

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