Aurora Cannabis names Trian's Nelson Peltz as adviser, shares rise

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Canadian pot manufacturer Aurora Cannabis on Wednesday tapped venerated activist investor Nelson Peltz to serve as a new strategic adviser to its business.

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Peltz, who is best known as CEO and founding partner of Trian Fund Management, will advise Aurora on potential partnerships, as well as its plans for global expansion, the cannabis company said in a press release. In addition, Peltz received options to purchase nearly 20 million common shares of Aurora’s stock at CAD $10.34 (USD $7.76).

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"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 in a statement. “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.”

Aurora Cannabis shares rose more than 10 percent on the news of Peltz’s appointment. Rival companies Canopy Growth and Cronos Group also saw shares rise.

Peltz’s Trian Fund Management owns or has owned stakes in various consumer goods companies, including PepsiCo, Wendy’s and Procter & Gamble.

"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," Aurora CEO Terry Booth said. "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."

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Aurora is one of several companies attempting to gain a foothold in the legal cannabis market as more countries and U.S. states legalize the substance. The Canadian firm is active in 24 countries around the world.

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