Aurora Cannabis Teams With Nelson Peltz as Share Prices Double
On Dec. 6, I took a risk. Amid a 13 percent decline in the stock, I bought several shares in Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB).
Over the next month, I was worried as ACB stock followed the rest of the market lower. But I was confident that the market was undervaluing the No. 2 Canadian cannabis company.
We all know where Aurora shares are now. The stock has more than doubled since the beginning of the year, leaving me and the rest of the ACB stock bulls with a nice gain.
But, as yesterday’s deal with billionaire Nelson Peltz indicates, there is still a long way still to go for Aurora.
Even before bringing in Peltz, Aurora was blazing. Canadian sales surged by triple-digits during the most recent quarter, with Aurora snapping up 20 percent of the country’s recreational market.
Then this past week, Aurora began shipping CBD oil to pharmacies in Germany — widely considered the biggest growing cannabis market outside of the U.S. With its EU GMP-certified facilities, Aurora is now poised to gain key brand recognition in this high-margin and under-supplied market.
But Aurora was lacking one thing that competitors Canopy Growth, Tilray and Cronos Group had — a major partner outside the Canadian boarders.
Canopy Growth famously partnered up with Constellation Brands in a $4-billion deal for a 38 percent stake in the company last year. Tilray has signed deals with AB InBev and Novartis, while Cronos has former tobacco giant Altria Group in its corner.
To help remedy that situation, Aurora brought in Peltz, the founder and CEO of multi-billion-dollar investment firm Trian Fund Management.
At the helm of Trian, Peltz has overseen the rebirth of Arby’s Restaurant Group and Snapple Beverage Group, just to name a few.
Billionaire Nelson Peltz is joining Aurora as a strategic adviser & will help the Canadian cannabis firm with potential partnerships. Peltz is also receiving stock options that could make him Aurora's second-largest
shareholder. Aurora closed last night at $10.65. pic.twitter.com/pEOk5mRr0c
— Richard Southern (@richard680news) March 13, 2019
In short, Peltz specializes in pushing undervalued companies into the limelight and helps unlock their potential. With his contacts in the beverage, cosmetics, wellness and pharmaceuticals industries, Peltz is well positioned to help Aurora do just that.
What’s more, this deal with Aurora is designed to encourage significant growth. Peltz is set to receive options to buy 20 million shares at $7.75 (for ease, I’m using U.S. pricing for ACB stock).
With ACB already trading nearly 25 percent higher, the deal is already rather sweet. But these options are scheduled to vest each quarter during the next four years.
However, Peltz can speed up the process by hitting a couple of key goals:
- Aurora must close “certain defined transactions,” according to the contract. Details have not been made public, but I would bet that signing a major partner outside of Canada is a linchpin to this section of the contract.
- Aurora stock must close higher than $23.25 and $31 for a specific number of trading days. In other words, Peltz gets his options faster if ACB stock doubles or triples in price and holds there for a period of time.
For investors like me that took a risk on depressed ACB stock, this is music to our ears. Even before the Peltz deal, I was convinced that Aurora Cannabis was undervalued and a prime investment opportunity. Now, I could realize a much greater return in a much shorter period than I ever expected.
Finally, it’s not too late for other wannabe ACB investors to get in on the bull run. While the shares are a bit overbought at the moment — their 14-day Relative Strength Index is at a lofty reading of 76 — ACB will consolidate these gains into the $9.50-$10 region barring any major hiccups in the broader market.
Look for that consolidation period and then decide if it’s right for you to take your own risk and jump into ACB stock.
Full disclosure: As of this writing, Thomas Lancaster held U.S.-listed shares in Aurora Cannabis Inc.