Aurora Cannabs Inc (TSX:ACB)(NYSE:ACB) keeps adding high-profile individuals into the fold, with a focus on growth and partnerships. On Thursday, The Company announced that it had brought on Carey Squires as Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy. The role, which is a new one, is going to “focus on global growth and partnership strategies and investor development” according to the press release.
We look forward to working closely with Carey to leverage his extensive knowledge in the execution of our investor development, international growth and partnership strategies, sourcing potential accretive opportunities in the global cannabis industry and negotiating favourable business transactions
– Aurora Executive Chairman Michael Singer
It was just weeks ago that Aurora had announced it was bringing on a well-connected billionaire investor, Nelson Peltz into the mix.
These moves suggest that The Company is looking hard at making some big deals not only in the cannabis industry but perhaps outside it as well. This is a lot of money to be spending on some big names if the goal isn’t to land a key partner or acquire another company. Moreover, Aurora has been no stranger to acquisitions. A year ago, The Company acquired both MedReleaf Corp and CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. Both transactions involved big players in the industry at the time.
Is Aurora Overdue for Another Big Transaction?
Aurora has made some smaller acquisitions recently, but we haven’t seen a big splash from The Company in a while. And the recurring theme from these recent hires is finding more growth opportunities and partnerships. That’s why I would be surprised if we don’t see something big coming down the pipe soon for Aurora. With the edibles market being legalized in Canada later this year, the stakes are too high for Aurora to stand by why its competitors grab the market share.
Both Canopy Growth Corp (TSX:WEED)(NYSE:CGC) and Hexo Corp (TSX:HEXO)(NYSE:HEXO) have big deals involving key beverage companies. Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY) also has a research partnership in place while Cronos Group Inc (TSX:CRON)(NASDAQ:CRON) recently got a big investment from Altria. The name noticeably absent from these big deals: Aurora. It could be that The Company simply has not found a deal to its liking and is looking to get key executives on board to help steer things in the right direction.
The least likely scenario I see, however, is that Aurora does nothing. From these recent moves and the lack of a significant partner outside the cannabis industry, it seems as though The Company is hoping to get something done sooner rather than later. Otherwise, it would be pointless to bring these new hires on, likely paying them some big salaries in the process.
In the past year, Aurora’s stock has been very volatile. Although it has rallied to start the new year, it is still nowhere near the $16.24 that it peaked at amid the craze around legalization back in October. A big development, including a partnership or acquisition, could be what it needs to get investors behind the stock, especially if it wants to rival Canopy Growth. Because it was great.