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

On the rise

Just Energy Group Inc. (JE-T) soared on Thursday after announcing it has received approval from the United States' Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on its previously announced recapitalization plan.

“The Recapitalization is part of a comprehensive plan to strengthen and de-risk the business and position Just Energy for sustainable growth as an independent industry leader. The Recapitalization significantly improves Just Energy’s financial flexibility with a cash injection from its equity raise and reduces net debt and preferred shares by approximately C$520 million,” said the company in an August release announcing the plan.

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Constellation Software Inc. (CSU-T) was higher after The Globe and Mail reported it is taking steps to ramp up the pace and scale of its acquisition-focused growth strategy by spinning off European subsidiary Topicus.com Inc.

Constellation announced plans this week to list shares in its Netherlands-based subsidiary on the Toronto Venture Exchange, creating a new public entity with 4,250 employees, 85 business units and a mandate to snap up rival European tech companies focused on health care, government and education software.

- Andrew Willis

U.S. TV station owner E.W. Scripps Co. (SSP-Q) soared after revealing will buy peer ION Media in a US$2.65-billion deal backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B-N).

The U.S. broadcast media sector has seen a flurry of mergers in recent years, with operators looking for scale to counter the rise of online streaming and the shift of advertising dollars to the internet.

Berkshire will make a US$600-million preferred equity investment in Scripps to finance the deal.

ION Media said it has the fifth-largest average primetime audience among all U.S. cable-carried networks and added it reaches more than 100 million homes through over-the-air and pay TV platforms.

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Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (NDM-T) finished flat after it said on Wednesday Tom Collier, chief executive officer of its U.S.-based subsidiary, Pebble Limited Partnership, has resigned after his comments on elected and regulatory officials in the U.S. state were covertly videotaped and released by an environmental activist group.

The comments embellished both his and the company’s relationships with elected officials and federal representatives in Alaska, including Governor Michael Dunleavy, Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and senior representatives of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd said.

The video tapes, released on Monday, come as President Donald Trump’s administration is considering whether to approve the company’s copper and gold project, which opponents say would permanently damage Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, an ecosystem that supports the world’s largest salmon runs.

“The unethical manner in which these tapes were acquired does not excuse the comments that were made, or the crass way they were expressed,” Northern Dynasty CEO Ron Thiessen said in a statement.

After two consecutive days of losses, Tesla Inc. (TSLA-Q) reversed course and increased in the wake of Tuesday’s “Battery Day” presentation by Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk that drew mixed reviews.

See also: Tesla’s Battery Day drives reality check for recent share surge

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On the decline

Shares of BlackBerry Ltd. (BB-T) erased early gains late in the session after the Waterloo, Ontario-based tech firm reported a near 6-per-cent rise in quarterly revenue, as demand for its security software suite, Spark, and its QNX car software rose.

Total revenue for the second quarter ended Aug. 31 was $259-million, higher than analysts' estimates of $237.6-million, according IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net loss narrowed to $23-million, or 4 cents per share, from $44-million, or 10 cents per share, a year earlier.

See also: BlackBerry scales back debt offering in face of shareholder complaints

CI Financial Corp. (CIX-T) and its Assante Wealth Management (Canada) Ltd. subsidiary have signed a deal to acquire a minority share in Assante’s operation in Dorval, Que, sending its shares lower.

The companies say it’s the first direct equity investment in a regional or local operation for Assante, as the offices are typically owned by an adviser or adviser team.

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Financial terms of the agreement were not immediately available.

Assante Dorval provides wealth planning services to clients across Quebec. It has 59 licensed financial advisers and also serves as Assante’s Quebec regional corporate office.

CI has made a series of acquisitions this year to grow its wealth management business in Canada and the U.S.

It announced last month a deal to buy a majority interest in Aligned Capital Partners Inc. of Burlington, Ont.

U.S. motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc. (HOG-N) slid after it said on Thursday it expects to report US$75-million in additional restructuring costs for 2020 related to actions including discontinuing its sales and manufacturing operations in India.

The announcement comes two months after Harley unveiled a strategy to shift focus back to more profitable motorcycles and core markets such as the United States.

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Harley said earlier in the year that it planned to reduce its product portfolio and exit lower volume markets, without specifying which ones.

The company said it now expects total restructuring costs of about US$169-million in 2020, and this will also include a workforce reduction of about 70 employees in India, a market where its annual sales volumes account for less than 5 per cent of the company’s total.

See also: Harley-Davidson reboots business as coronavirus hammers earnings

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (AMC-N) fell after it said before the bell it has reached a deal with some banks to sell up to 15 million shares to raise capital as the movie theater operator reels under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

AMC said in a filing that postponement of major releases slated for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays until next year would significantly impact its liquidity in the fourth quarter.

Walt Disney on Wednesday postponed the release of superhero movie Black Widow and Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story until 2021 in another setback to cinema operators. Mulan also skipped most theaters and went directly to Disney’s streaming platform.

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Disney (DIS-N) shares also slid lower on Thursday.

With files from staff and wires

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