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

On the rise

WPT Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust (WIR.UN-T, WIR.U-T) soared after Blackstone (BX-N) has agreed to buy it for about US$1.86-billion, as it looks to capitalize on the e-commerce-driven boom in demand for logistics properties.

The deal announced on Monday values Toronto-based WPT Industrial, the owner of more than 100 logistics properties across 19 U.S. states, at US$22 per unit. That represents a premium of 17 per cent to its last close.

“Logistics remains one of our highest conviction themes as the sector continues to benefit from strong tailwinds driven by e-commerce,” Blackstone senior managing director David Levine said in a statement.

The acquisition, which will be executed through Blackstone’s real estate income trust, is valued at US$3.1-billion including debt. It includes a break-up fee of US$73.8-million in case WPT Industrial enters into a superior deal.

Morgan Stanley and Desjardins Capital Markets served as advisers to WPT Industrial, while Eastdil Secured advised Blackstone.

Exfo Inc. (EXF-T) gained ground after its founder and majority shareholder raised his offer to take the company private ahead of a shareholder vote this week.

Exfo says Germain Lamonde is now offering US$6.25 per share, up from an earlier proposal of US$6 per share.

The company also says it and Lamonde have secured the support of minority shareholders holding 14.75 per cent of its issued and outstanding subordinate voting shares, other than those held directly or indirectly by Germain Lamonde and Philippe Morin.

A special meeting of shareholders to vote on the offer is set for Friday.

Last week, proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis said minority shareholders should vote against the deal, however Institutional Shareholder Services has recommended shareholders accept the offer.

Shares in Exfo, which makes test, monitoring and analytics equipment for the communications industry, closed at $7.14 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday.

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (BAM.A-T) was flat after it reinsurance unit said on Monday it has agreed to buy insurer American National Group Inc (ANAT-Q) for about US$5.1-billion in an all-cash deal.

Started in 1905 by William Lewis Moody Jr., American National is majority-owned by the founder’s family, which controls the company through a range of trusts and holdings.

The company offers several products, including life, health, and property and casualty (P&C) insurance, as well as annuities, according to its website.

The potential deal comes as U.S. insurers are stepping up sales of annuities and other capital-intensive assets amid a surge in interest from new and established private equity buyers hungry to boost the amount of money they manage.

American International Group (AIG-N), for example, plans to use an initial public offering to sell part of its life and retirement business, while Blackstone Group last month agreed to buy a sizable stake.

Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN-N) jumped as it raised its forecast for fiscal 2021 revenue and reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings due to strong demand for its beef products from U.S. restaurants and hotels resuming business.

Pent-up demand among consumers for a dine-in experience following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions have boosted sales for U.S. meat packers, which have also benefited from robust exports.

“Our foodservice volume improved as the restaurant industry began to reopen and recover,” said Donnie King, who in June became Tyson’s fifth chief executive in five years.

The Jimmy Dean hotdogs maker said it expects total sales of about US$46-billion to US$47-billion for fiscal 2021, compared with an earlier forecast range of US$44-billion to US$46-billion. Analysts on average expect sales of US$45.09-billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Tyson has increased beef production to meet strong demand for higher-quality products, according to the company. Its pork business, however, is grappling with limited supplies of U.S. pigs.

Net income attributable to Tyson increased to US$749-million, or US$2.05 per share, from US$526-million, or US$1.44 per share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, Tyson earned US$2.70 per share, crushing estimates of US$1.62.

Sports betting company DraftKings Inc. (DKNG-Q) was higher after saying on Monday it would buy online gaming firm Golden Nugget Online Gaming Inc. (GNOG-Q) for about US$1.56-billion in an all-stock transaction.

As part of deal, DraftKings said it will form a new holding company called New DraftKings, which will be treated as the going-forward public firm for DraftKings and Golden Nugget.

DraftKings said it plans to leverage Golden Nugget’s iGaming product experience and existing combined database of more than 5 million customers.

Both companies went public through special purpose acquisition companies or SPACs.

Golden Nugget’s parent company Fertitta Entertainment Inc, owned by Billionaire Tilman Fertitta went public in February, while Draftkings went public in April last year.

If a deal comes through, Golden Nugget shareholders will receive 0.365 shares of New DraftKings’ stock for each share held.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.

See also: Penn National Gaming to acquire Score Media in US$2-billion deal

On the decline

Lightspeed Commerce Inc. (LSPD-T) dropped after announcing it looking to raise cash with an offering of shares in an effort to help grow its business.

The e-commerce company, which recently changed its name from Lightspeed POS, says seven million subordinate voting shares will be for sale under the offering.

The underwriters have also been granted an over-allotment option for an additional 1,050,000 shares.

The price of the offering was not immediately available.

Lightspeed shares closed at $122.12 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday.

Closing of the offering is subject to a number of customary conditions.

See also: Lightspeed shares surge after Montreal commerce-software provider beats expected revenue gains

Tracking a dip in gold prices, Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX-T) was lower as it stuck to its full-year targets after it reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, as higher prices for the yellow metal offset rising costs.

A weaker dollar and safe-haven buying due to COVID-19 pandemic-related uncertainties have underpinned prices for gold, which ticked up slightly in the second quarter to average around US$1,814 per ounce.

While Barrick’s realized gold prices rose 5.5 per cent to $1,820 per ounce in the second quarter, production fell 9.4 per cent to 1.04 million ounces, due to planned maintenance shutdowns at its Nevada Gold Mine in the United States and Pueblo Viejo in the Dominican Republic.

Barrick maintained its estimate to produce 4.4 million ounces to 4.7 million ounces of gold attributable to the company, and 410 million pounds to 460 million pounds of copper in 2021.

The company also reiterated its plans to spend between US$1.8-billion and US$2.1-billion, and all-in-sustaining costs of US$970 per ounce to US$1,020 per ounce of gold and US$2-$2.20 per pound of copper.

All in sustaining costs, an industry metric that reflects total costs associated with production, rose 5.4 per cent to $1,087 per ounce of gold in the second quarter.

Adjusted earnings per share of 29 US cents beat estimates of 26 US cents, according to Refinitiv IBES. Revenue of US$2.89-billion, however, slightly missed estimates of US$2.92-billion.

Last month, rival Newmont chief executive officer warned of rising costs for materials, energy and labor in second half of the year and in 2022, adding aggregate costs were seen rising about 5 per cent when steel, fuel and oils were factored in.

Shares of global miners have fallen so far this year after surging on record high gold prices last year.

With files from staff and wires

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