Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB) shares were marked sharply higher Wednesday after it named billionaire activist investor Nelson Peltz as a strategic adviser to the Canada-based group.

Peltz will advise the group on its global acquisition strategy and potential business partnership, Aurora Cannabis said, and will be granted options to purchase around 20% of the company's shares at C$10.34 each ($7.74).  

"Nelson is a globally recognized business visionary with a strong track record of constructive engagement to generate accelerated, profitable growth and shareholder value across many industry verticals that are of great interest to us," said CEO Terry Booth. "Like us, Nelson also takes a long-term view of value creation to benefit all stakeholders. We look forward to working with Nelson to further extend our global cannabis industry leadership by aligning Aurora with each of the major market segments cannabis is set to impact."

Aurora Cannabis shares were marked 11% higher by mid-day trading Wednesday and changing hands at $8.84 each, a move that would extend the stock's year-to-date advance to around 69%.

Rival Canopy Growth Corp.  (CGC) was also on the move following the Peltz addition, with shares rising 1.33% to change hands at $46.14 each. Cronos Group Inc. (CRON)  slipped 0.98% $21.16 each.

"I believe Aurora has a solid execution track record, is strongly differentiated from its peers, has achieved integration throughout the value chain and is poised to go to the next level across a range of industry verticals," Peltz said. "I also believe that Canadian licensed producers, and Aurora in particular, are well positioned to lead in the development of the international cannabis industry as regulations evolve, with a strong, globally replicable operating model." 

Last month, Aurora Cannabis posted a wider-than-expected fiscal second-quarter loss of C$237.8 million but said it sold 6,999 kg of cannabis over the three month period, helping revenues rise to C$54.2 million.