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

On the rise

George Weston Ltd. (WN-T) gained on the announcement it’s putting its Weston Foods bakery business up for sale in a move to focus on its retail and real estate operations.

The company said Tuesday that Weston Foods is only a small part of its business and that a sale represents the best opportunity to unlock its potential.

The sale of the bakery business will leave George Weston with its majority stake in Loblaw Companies Ltd. and a large interest in Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust.

Galen G. Weston, George Weston’s chairman and chief executive, said Weston Foods has been at the core of the company for 139 years.

“It has a strong foundation, attractive and growing margins, a robust list of customers, strong brands, and a first-rate management team,” he said in a statement.

“As George Weston focuses its attention on Loblaw and Choice Properties, we are confident this is the right time to unlock the strategic growth potential that exists within Weston Foods through its sale.”

Weston Foods produces bread, rolls and other baked goods in Canada and the U.S. and had $2.1-billion in sales in 2020.

Loblaw Companies Ltd. (L-T) was up after the Weston news and the announcement of the retirement of president Sarah Davis, effective May 6.

Ms. Davis will be succeeded by Galen G. Weston, who will return to his role as chairman and president at Loblaw in addition to his current job as chairman and CEO at George Weston.

“The sale of Weston Foods will allow me to dedicate renewed time and energy at Loblaw as we increase our momentum in both our bricks-and-mortar network, and our leadership in digital and data,” Galen G. Weston said.

The companies also announced that Robert Sawyer will join Loblaw as chief operating officer and that Richard Dufresne, president and chief financial officer of George Weston, will expand his responsibilities to include chief financial officer of Loblaw on May 6.

Toronto’s Dye & Durham Ltd. (DND-T) finished flat after announcing that it has amended its existing financing arrangement, increasing its total borrowing capacity to $700-million, comprised of a term loan of $245-million and a revolving facility of $455-million.

“Combined with cash on hand, this amended credit facility provides the Company with access to over $1.0 billion in capital to execute against strategic opportunities in our acquisition pipeline,” said CEO Matt Proud. “We see a clear path to increasing the value we deliver to customers as we execute against the next phase of our strategic plan, of which acquisitions will be a critical component.”

See also: Tuesday’s analyst upgrades and downgrades

Tricon Residential Inc. (TCN-T) increased with the news it is partnering with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) in the development of two new apartment buildings in the heart of downtown Toronto.

The buildings, which will have 870 rental units, will be the first developments from a newly formed partnership between Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and the developer.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG-N) rose after announcing plans to open its first Canadian restaurant since 2018.

The U.S. chain is aiming to open eight locations over the next 12 months, starting with one in Surrey, B.C. on March 30.

On the decline

Vancouver-based Sierra Wireless Inc. (SW-T) dropped after announcing before the bell it was the subject of a ransomware attack on its internal IT systems on March 20.

“At this time, Sierra Wireless believes the impact of the attack was limited to Sierra Wireless systems, as the company maintains a clear separation between its internal IT systems and customer facing products and services,” said the company, which hated production at its manufacturing sites.

In response to the disruptions, Sierra withdrew its first-quarter guidance.

AstraZeneca Plc (AZN-Q) fell after a U.S. health agency said it may have used outdated information in the results of a large-scale COVID-19 vaccine trial, casting fresh doubt on the efficacy of the shot and its potential U.S. rollout.

The surprise public rebuke from federal health officials follows the release on Monday of interim data from the drugmaker showing better-than-expected results from the U.S. trial that were seen as a scientific counter to concerns that have dogged the vaccine since late last year.

See also: Trust in AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine wavers despite assurance from regulators

GameStop Corp. (GME-N) was lower after it said on Tuesday its chief customer officer Frank Hamlin will resign from the company on March 31, pointing to a deepening of changes driven by its new biggest shareholder, Chewy.com co-founder Ryan Cohen.

This is the second executive departure at GameStop since it tapped Mr. Cohen to spearhead a transition to e-commerce. Chief Financial Officer Jim Bell is stepping down this month.

Mr. Hamlin, who had previously served as the company’s chief marketing officer, had been in his current position since June 2019. As chief customer officer, he had been in charge of marketing, customer loyalty and GameStop’s “omnichannel business,” according to the company’s website.

Since Mr. Cohen joined GameStop’s board in January, the 35-year-old entrepreneur has been obsessing about customer service, contacting customers late into the night to solicit feedback, and has made a push to upgrade the company’s website and online ordering system, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

See also: From pet food to video games: inside Ryan Cohen’s GameStop obsession

With files from staff and wires

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