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A roundup of some of the North American equities making moves in both directions today

On the rise

Lithium Americas Corp. (LAC-T) jumped 10.3 per cent on Monday after China’s Ganfeng Lithium Co said it would spend $160-million to boost its ownership stake in an Argentina lithium project.

Lithium Americas and Ganfeng will form a 50/50 joint venture. Upon closing, LAC and GFL will each own a 50-per-cent equity interest in Cauchari-Olaroz, adjusted from the current 62.5 per cent and 37.5 per cent interests, respectively.

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“The new US$160 million investment by our partner Ganfeng significantly de-risks Cauchari-Olaroz by providing additional assurances that the Company remains fully-funded for the current 25,000 tpa development plan and supports the evaluation of an increase in initial production capacity to 40,000 tpa of lithium carbonate,” said Lithium Americans CEO Tom Hodgson and president Jon Evans in a statement. “We are delighted to have Ganfeng Lithium and Lithium Americas as 50/50 partners in Cauchari-Olaroz and we look forward to building on our long and productive history of working together.”

Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. (CF-T) rose 2.6 per cent after announcing Sunday it will restructure its capital markets business in the United Kingdom, pointing to a “prolonged period of political and market uncertainty” that has impacted capital raising and related activities and led to “unacceptable” returns.

“The plan is expected to result in a significant reduction in the Company's London-based capital markets staff level and will primarily affect businesses and related functions that do not align with the core capabilities of Canaccord Genuity's broader global capital markets operations and are most sensitive to changes in the current market environment,” it said. “The Company anticipates operating a more focused UK Capital markets business, which is capable of delivering excellence for its clients across a smaller group of core focus sectors.”

With the restructuring, the company will record a charge of approximately $12-million in its fourth fiscal quarter.

Harvest One Cannabis Inc. (HVT-X) was up 7.4 per cent after announcing it has acquired a 52-per-cent interest in Greenbelt Greenhouse Ltd., a private company located in Hamilton.

Harvest One will receives a “high quality” greenhouse-grown cannabis from Greenbelt’s 152,000 square foot facility, which it said will primarily be dedicated its Dream Water and Satipharm brands. The Greenbelt facility also has a 42,000 sq. ft. headhouse, which Harvest One said “is an ideal location for future extraction and processing capabilities.”

Greenbelt has an application pending with Health Canada for a standard cultivation license and a standard processor license under the Cannabis Regulations.

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“We are excited to acquire a majority interest in Greenbelt which significantly increases Harvest One's cannabis supply, as we continue our formulations on cannabinoid infused health, wellness, and self-care products across our house of brands" said Harvest One CEO Grant Froese in a statement. "In addition to the exceptional greenhouse facility, this acquisition also gives Harvest One space to build out its own extraction capabilities upon licensing which fulfills our goal of vertical integration from cultivation, to processing, extraction and, ultimately, premium infused products."

In connection with the deal, Harvest One agreed to acquire $3.25-million of treasury common shares of Greenbelt.

Village Farms International, Inc. (VFF-T) was up 8.5 per cent following an announcement that its 50-per-cent-owned joint venture, Pure Sunfarms, has exercised its option on the existing 1.1 million square foot Delta 2 greenhouse facility currently owned by Village Farms in Delta, B.C.

“The addition of the Delta 2 greenhouse operation doubles Pure Sunfarms’ total production area to 2.2 million square feet and, with conservatively targeted annual production of approximately 75,000 kilograms of dried cannabis, doubles its annual cannabis production potential to approximately 150,000 kilograms,” the company said.

U.S. automakers were up a day after China’s State Council said it would continue to suspend additional tariffs on U.S. vehicles and auto parts after April 1.

“It is a positive reaction to the U.S. decision to delay tariff hikes and a concrete action adopted (by the Chinese side) to promote bilateral trade negotiations,” the State Council said.

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“We hope the U.S. can work together with China, accelerate negotiations and make concrete efforts towards the goal of terminating trade tensions.”

General Motors Co. (GM-N) rose 1.8 per cent and Ford Motor Co. (F-N) was up 2.2 per cent.

Chicago-based Cresco Labs Inc. (CL-CN) rose 4 per cent after announcing a deal to acquire Origin House (OH-CN) for approximately $1.1-billion.

Origin House was down 3.3 per cent.

“The Transaction represents the largest public company acquisition in the history of the U.S. cannabis industry,” said Cresco in a release. “The combined entity will be: one of the largest vertically-integrated multi-state cannabis operators in the United States; a leading North American cannabis company, by footprint; and one of the largest cannabis brand distributors.”

Under the agreement, holders of common shares of Origin House will receive 0.8428 subordinate voting shares of Cresco Labs for each Origin House share.

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Knight Therapeutics Inc. (GUD-T) was up 0.3 per cent after its largest shareholder launched a proxy fight Monday for control of the $1-billion drug company, following a year-long activist campaign against Canadian pharmaceutical entrepreneur Jonathan Goodman.

Medison Biotech Ltd., a pharmaceutical company based in Israel, owns about 7 per cent of Montreal-based Knight. On Monday, Medison proposed six new directors and the reappointment of its own chief executive to the company’s board. Knight has a seven person board that includes Medison CEO Meir Jakobsohn.

On the decline

Kellogg Company (K-N) dipped 2.4 per cent after announcing it has reached a definitive agreement to sell selected businesses, including its Keebler cookie unit, to the Ferrero Group in a cash deal valued at US$1.3-billion.

“This divestiture is yet another action we have taken to reshape and focus our portfolio, which will lead to reduced complexity, more targeted investment, and better growth," said chairman and chief executive officer Steve Cahillane. "Divesting these great brands wasn't an easy decision, but we are pleased that they are transitioning to an outstanding company with a portfolio in which they will receive the focus and resources to grow."

Ecobalt Solutions Inc. (ECS-T) fell 2.9 per cent in the wake of a premarket announcement that it has entered into an agreement to combine with Australia-based Jervois Mining Ltd.

Under the deal, Jervois, which currently owns almost 5-per-cent of Ecobalt, will acquire all of the remaining issued and outstanding common shares. Each common share of eCobalt will be exchanged for 1.65 common shares of Jervois.

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Fiera Capital Corp. (FSZ-T) was down 5.4 per cent after an equity analyst at BMO Nesbitt Burns downgraded its stock.

Imperial Metals Corp. (III-T) dipped 4.9 per cent after reporting fourth-quarter revenue of $91.7-million, falling from $140.5-million during the same period a year earlier.

“Variations in revenue are impacted by the timing and quantity of concentrate shipments, metal prices and exchange rates, and period end revaluations of revenue attributed to concentrate shipments where copper and gold prices will settle at a future date along with finalization of contained metals as a result of final assays,” it said.

The Vancouver-based company’s net loss in the quarter was $44.3-million, rising from $2.1-million in 2017.

Lyft Inc. (LYFT-Q) fell 12 per cent on Monday, below its initial public offering price of US$72. The company debuted on Nasdaq on Friday, opening at US$87.24, over 21 percent above its IPO price.

With files from staff and wires

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