Billionaire Peltz joins Aurora Cannabis to advise on partnerships, expansion

Nelson Peltz the founding partner of Trian Fund Management at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach California in 2016

Nelson Peltz joins the marijuana industry as new strategic advisor with Aurora Cannabis, adding another layer of legitimacy to the emerging industry. Mr. Peltz began his business career by joining his family's food distribution business.

Peltz's investments are sometimes seen as adversarial by companies, as Trian's approach is to push for changes that will increase their market value.

"I also believe that Canadian licensed producers, and Aurora in particular, are well positioned to lead in the development of the global cannabis industry as regulations evolve, with a strong, globally replicable operating model", Peltz said in a statement.

The Edmonton-based cannabis company says it has granted Peltz options to purchase almost 20 million common shares at $10.34 per share, slightly below Tuesday's closing price.

Peltz, who is worth $1.6 billion according to Forbes, is the CEO and a founding partner of Trian Fund Management. Equities research analysts predict that Aurora Cannabis will post -0.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year. They presently have a C$14.00 target price on the stock. Gold was up $12.30 to $1,310 an ounce while the loonie inched near a one-week high, rising by 32/100ths of a cent to $0.7519 US.

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"We believe he could be instrumental in facilitating discussions with large CPG companies", Landry wrote in his note to investors.

Aurora shares are up more than 80 percent in 2019 and almost 25 percent in the past month, buoyed after leading cannabis analyst Vivien Azer initiated coverage on the stock with the equivalent of a buy rating.

"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 in a press release. Seaport Global Securities restated a "neutral" rating on shares of Aurora Cannabis in a report on Thursday, February 21st. "The company's large cultivation footprint, capable of producing over 575,000 kilograms, provides Aurora with the necessary infrastructure to weather early storms in adult use". Aurora Cannabis plans to make a deep foray into the recreational consumer space in Canada and the United States since hemp is legal in the country.

Aurora Cannabis (TSE:ACB)'s stock had its "outperform" rating reiterated by investment analysts at Cowen in a research report issued on Tuesday, March 5th. Year-to-date, ACB has gained 75.00%, versus a 12.56% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

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