Cannabis Keeps Consolidating

The world of cannabis continues to consolidate but it's not just a bunch of weed farms and dispensaries in Canada that are being acquired. The industry is global. Canada's Aurora Cannabis, one of the largest cannabis producers in the world, is making sure it's got its hand in a number of markets. The company announced Monday that it had acquired ICC Labs Inc., a Canadian venture-listed company that holds licenses in Colombia for the production of medical cannabis. The $200 million, all-share deal give Aurora a foothold in South America, adding to its already large footprint in Canada and Europe. The latest deal, again, all shares, is but a drop in the bucket for Aurora which has been acquiring at a rapid pace as the cannabis industry escalates. In July, Aurora Cannabis acquired MedReleaf Corp. for approximately $2.5 billion. In November, Aurora agreed to acquire marijuana producer CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. for C$1.1 billion. Aurora still finds itself with a listing only in Canada. For those investors looking to get into the pot business, TheStreet's sister site, Real Money, has the latest on Tilray (TLRY) , the first cannabis company to be listed on the Nasdaq, which began trading in August.

We talk a lot about activism in this column and today is no different. It is a bit different however, in the sense that the activist in today's highlight was PE firm Sycamore Partners and Staples, the office supply retailer the PE firm acquired in 2017. Office supply wholesaler Essendant. (ESND) on Monday moved toward reaching an agreement to be acquired by hostile bidder Sycamore after the buyout shop hiked its bid to $12.80 a share, or about $483 million. Interestingly, points out The Deal's Ron Orol, Staples and Sycamore last week employed a tactic used by activist investors. The firm launched a just-vote-no campaign urging Essendant shareholders to vote against a tie-up with S.P. Richards, owned by Genuine Parts Co., a longtime privately-held rival in the office products wholesale business.

Markets Today: Stocks fluctuated on Monday, Sept. 10, as investors reset their focus on developments in the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 59 points, or 0.23%, to 25,857, the S&P 500 rose 0.19%,and the Nasdaq moved higher by 0.27%. Snapchat parent Snap Inc. (SNAP) social media firm traded below $10 per share on Monday, sinking to a new low of $9.55 per share after its chief strategy officer, Imran Khan, said in a regulatory filing that he was leaving the company. Snap shares have been on a steady decline since the August 7 earnings report, tanking nearly 25% in the past month including a drop of about 2% in Monday trading.

Michael D. Brown, Assignments Editor, TheStreet Inc.

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