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Streetwise newsletter: HEXO, Aphria stocks surge, regulators to crack down on how companies report financial results

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

Key shareholder puts pressure on HEXO to sell amid concern over valuation: Is there such a thing as an undervalued pot stock? A U.S. investor sees one in HEXO Corp., known until last week as Hydropothecary Corp., and is urging the company to sell itself or merge with another player if it can’t drive its share price higher. Shares in HEXO were up about 9 per cent in midday trading after a small New York investment firm, Riposte Capital, published a letter sent to HEXO’s board expressing concern about the company’s “severely depressed valuation.” Story (David Milstead)

Canadian securities regulators moves to crack down on non-GAAP reporting: The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), an umbrella organization comprised of provincial securities watchdogs, has published new proposed regulations for the use of financial measures that don’t adhere to generally accepted accounting principles, often referred to as “non-GAAP” measures. Story (Alexandra Posadzski and David Milstead, for subscribers)

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Aphria stock surges as it sells the last of its U.S. assets: Aphria Inc. has offloaded the last of its holdings that violate U.S. federal laws in a creative deal that satisfies regulators while retaining the option to get the stake back. Story (Christina Pellegrini, for subscribers)

MORE FINANCIAL SERVICES NEWS

Probe: The U.S. Justice Department is probing whether employees committed fraud in Wells Fargo & Co.’s wholesale banking unit, following revelations that employees improperly altered customer information, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. Story

MORE DEALS NEWS

Takeover approval: The European Union approved Apple’s planned acquisition of British music discovery app Shazam on Thursday, saying an EU antitrust investigation showed it would not harm competition in the bloc. Story

Drug sector: New Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan has further reshaped the Swiss drugmaker, announcing on Thursday he is selling U.S. dermatology and generic pill assets to India’s Aurobindo Pharma Ltd for up to US$1 billion. Story

Retail sector: Germany’s two major department-store chains Galeria Kaufhof GmbH and Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH have agreed to merge, several sources close to the deal told Reuters on Thursday, in the latest changes to the retail sector brought by fierce competition from e-commerce players. Story

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Nightmare on Wall Street: Gord Nixon and other insiders recall Lehman’s sudden collapse: Ten years ago, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, becoming a symbol of the excesses of the U.S. financial system and triggering a global crisis. We talked to three players who helped Canada avoid the worst of the fallout, and one who watched Lehman collapse from the inside. ROB Magazine (Dawn Calleja and Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

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