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Streetwise newsletter: TMX launches cryptocurrency platform; AutoCanada makes first foray into U.S. market

A Bay Street sign is seen in Toronto’s financial district.

Mark Blinch/The Globe and Mail

Here are the top reads,

Cryptocurrencies: The owner of Canada's oldest stock exchange, TMX Group Ltd., is launching a cryptocurrency platform that will bring the 166-year-old marketplace into the brave new world for bitcoin and other digital currencies. Story (Andrew Willis and Alexandra Posadzki, for subscribers)

Cross-border acquisition: AutoCanada Inc., making its first foray into the U.S. market, has purchased a dealership group that includes stores it is not permitted to own in Canada. Story (Greg Keenan)

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Deal skeptic: A short-seller is raising red flags over Aphria Inc.'s purchase of Nuuvera Inc., adding to pressure on their shares just a day before a deal marrying the two marijuana companies is to close. Story (Christina Pellegrini, for subscribers)

DEAL WRAP

On the block: Canadian privately held broadband provider Xplornet Communications Inc has hired two investment banks to explore a potential sale that could value the company at US$2-billion, including debt, according to sources familiar with the matter. Story

Board games: The chair of DavidsTea's current board says it's carefully reviewing a slate of director nominees submitted by a 46 per cent shareholder that has indicated an interest in taking the chain of tea shops private. Story

IPOs: Dropbox Inc's initial public offering, the largest tech stock debut in more than a year, was priced at US$21 per share, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday, above the raised price range. Story

Liquidation: Toy company executive Isaac Larian says he and other investors have pledged a total of $200-million in financing and hope to raise four times that amount in crowdfunding in order to bid for up to 400 of the Toys "R" Us stores being liquidated in bankruptcy. Story

Media sector: Four high-profile British lawmakers have called for Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox to be blocked from buying Sky, saying the mogul will be able to influence its news output despite promises to the contrary. Story

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Pension funds: WSP Global Inc., a portfolio company of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), has acquired UnionConsult Gruppen AS and its affiliated entities, a leading 160 employee Norwegian design and technical advisory firm, specialized in the Buildings sector. Private Capital Journal

WHAT WE'RE READING ELSEWHERE

Private equity: Facing low yields in the bond markets and high valuations in global equities, investors poured US$804-billion into private investments globally in 2017. But future returns may be a bit lackluster, a new report from Moody's warns. That's because the supply of capital is simply outstripping the number of promising deals, the ratings agency finds. Institutional Investor

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