A roundup of some of the North American equities making moves in both directions today
On the rise
Whitecap Resources Inc. (WCP-T) rose after it closed its acquisition of Kicking Horse Oil & Gas earlier than expected and raised its dividend by eight per cent.
The Calgary-based company says outstanding production from recently acquired and existing assets, along with strong oil prices, will allow it to increase its monthly dividend from 1.508 to 1.625 cents per share, equal to 19.5 cents per share per year.
Its shares rose after it also announced it has approval to buy back and cancel up to five per cent of its shares over the next year.
It announced in early April it would buy private Kicking Horse for 34.5 million Whitecap common shares, $56 million in cash and assumed debt, with the deal expected to close by the end of May.
During the first quarter of 2021, it completed the all-shares purchase of Calgary rivals NAL Resources Ltd. and TORC Oil & Gas Ltd.
Whitecap says it expects to generate more than $200 million to pay down debt in the first half of 2021 after setting aside funds for its capital program and dividends, thanks to benchmark U.S. oil prices that are trending higher than its US$60 per barrel forecast.
Massachusetts-based Curaleaf Holdings Inc. (CURA-CN) was up after announcing agreements to acquire the Los Sueños Farms and its related entities, the largest outdoor growing operation in Colorado, for US$67-million in cash and stock.
The proposed transaction includes three cannabis grow facilities covering 66 acres of cultivation capacity, including land, equipment and licensed operating entities, an 1,800 plant indoor grow and two retail locations serving adult use customers.
“The acquisition of Los Sueños provides Curaleaf with outdoor cannabis cultivation expertise at commercial scale and establishes our foothold in the $2.2-billion Colorado market,” said Executive Chairman Boris Jordan. “This deal furthers our strategy of constructing low-cost supply chains that will secure healthy margins and position us for interstate commerce when it comes. Ultimately, our goal is to cultivate cannabis at less than $100 per pound, and this acquisition is a significant step in the right direction.”
Centerra Gold Inc. (CG-T) was higher after saying the Kyrgyz Republic is moving to install external management at its Kumtor gold mine in the Central Asian country after “effectively seizing control” of the operation over the weekend.
In a news release, it warns of the potential for a material impact or loss of its entire investment in the mine, which produced 90,169 ounces of gold in the first quarter.
Centerra says it is no longer in control of the gold mine and can no longer ensure the safety of the mine’s employees or operations, though all key safety, monitoring and operational systems at the mine were functioning properly before control was lost.
It says it has suspended the access of all local Kumtor Gold Co. employees in the Kyrgyz Republic to its global IT systems to prevent any unauthorized intrusions.
Ongoing disagreements with the Kyrgyz government resulted in Centerra reporting a series of developments last week that it said were part of a concerted effort to coerce it to give up economic value or ownership of the Kumtor mine or to falsely justify a nationalization of the mine.
On the decline
Shares of AT&T Inc. (T-N), the owner of HBO and Warner Bros studios, and cable and streaming network Discovery Inc. (DISCA-Q), the owner of lifestyle TV networks such as HGTV and TLC, fell on Monday after confirming they will combine their media assets to create a standalone global streaming business.
The proposed deal would put together one of Hollywood’s most powerful studios, home to the Harry Potter and Batman franchises, with Discovery’s stable of unscripted home, cooking and nature and science shows.
The deal also marks the unwinding of AT&T’s US$108.7-billion acquisition of U.S. media conglomerate Time Warner in 2018, and underscores its recognition that TV viewership has moved to streaming, where scale is required to take on the likes of Netflix Inc (NFLX-Q) and Walt Disney Co. (DIS-N).
Discovery President and Chief Executive Officer David Zaslav will lead the new company.
Under the terms, AT&T would receive US$43-billion in a combination of cash, debt securities, and WarnerMedia’s retention of certain debt. AT&T’s shareholders would receive stock representing 71 per cent of the new company, while Discovery shareholders would own 29 per cent of the new company.
With the acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T sought to create a media and telecoms powerhouse, combining content and distribution.
Ottawa-based Hexo says the deal is structured so 48North shareholders will receive 0.02366 of a Hexo common share, a 20 per cent premium on the 10-day volume-weighted average price.
Hexo says the deal could generate up to $12 -million worth of accretive synergies within one year of closing and will position the company to keep growing domestically and internationally.
Hexo says the acquisition will bring the company closer to its goal of achieving a top two position in Canada for adult-use cannabis sales.
Hexo previously announced it would buy pot company Zenabis Global Inc. for $235-million in February, while 48North said in March that it would lay off about 20 per cent of its staff and end outdoor cultivation at an Ontario facility.
The deal has been unanimously approved by both company’s boards, but still needs the approval of two-thirds of 48North shareholders and includes a $2-million fee 48North will have to pay Hexo if the deal is terminated.
Intertape Polymer Group Inc. (ITP-T) declined after announcing before the bell its intention to offer $350-million of senior unsecured notes due in 2029.
The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the Offering to redeem its outstanding $250-million, 7.00-per-cent senior unsecured notes, which are scheduled to mature on Oct. 15, 2026, to repay an outstanding portion of its existing five-year, $600-million credit facility and to pay related fees and expenses, as well as for general corporate purposes.
Tesla Inc. (TSLA-Q) shares slid after boss Elon Musk said on Twitter the carmaker’s bitcoin “has not sold any bitcoin.”
That seeming clarification came after weekend tweets hinted that Tesla was considering or may have already sold some of its massive holdings.
Mr. Musk has boosted crypto markets with his enthusiasm for the asset class, but has lately roiled trade by appearing to cool on bitcoin in favour of its one-time parody, dogecoin. The gyrations are beginning to spook even steeled traders.
On Wednesday, Mr. Musk said Tesla would stop taking bitcoin as payment, owing to environmental concerns about energy use to process transactions. Defending that decision on Sunday, he suggested Tesla may have sold its own holdings.
An unverified Twitter account called @CryptoWhale, said:
In response, Musk wrote: “Indeed.”
With files from staff and wires