-- Activist investor Marcato Capital Management said it plans to vote against a proposed $3.4 billion takeover of Acreage Holdings Inc. by Canopy Growth Corp., arguing the transaction undervalues the U.S. marijuana producer.
The San Francisco-based hedge fund, which owns 2.7 percent of Acreage, said in a letter to the company’s board Monday it would prefer Acreage to remain independent.
If Acreage were to pursue a sale, it should invite Canopy to participate in an auction alongside other major spirits, beer, beverage, tobacco, cannabis, and consumer companies, Marcato said.
"We believe enterprise values of cannabis companies will skyrocket upon the relaxation of current federal restrictions," Mick McGuire, Marcato managing partner, said in the letter. "Accordingly, Marcato believes it is highly imprudent for Acreage to sell itself today at the proposed valuation, with so much unlocked growth and value embedded in the company."
Representatives for Canopy and Acreage didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Canopy, the world’s most valuable pot company, agreed last month to acquire the New York-based Acreage Holdings Inc. in a cross-border deal that may usher in wave of consolidation in the burgeoning industry.
The terms are unfavorable for Acreage holders, McGuire said, noting the 6 percent slide in Acreage’s shares and a 15 percent increase in Canopy’s stock since April 17, the day before the deal was announced. That’s evidence that others agree, he said.
"The relative value is unbelievably lopsided in Canopy’s favor," McGuire said. "Canopy stock for Acreage stock is simply a bad deal for Acreage shareholders."
McGuire said it was his understanding that no third-party bidders were given the opportunity to submit a competing offer.
He also questioned the fairness opinion that Acreage was given by Canaccord Genuity Group Inc., which valued the company at $27.48 a share four months after the brokerage’s sell-side analysts had a price target of $35 on the company.
维权投资者 Marcato Capital Management 表示，计划投票反对 Canopy Growth Corp .以34亿美元收购 Acreage Holdings Inc .的提议，称这笔交易低估了美国大麻生产商的价值。
总部位于旧金山的对冲基金持有 Acreage 2.7%的股份，该基金周一在给公司董事会的一封信中表示，希望 Acreage 保持独立。
马卡托说，如果 Acreage 打算进行拍卖，它应该邀请 Canopy 与其他主要烈酒、啤酒、饮料、烟草、大麻和消费品公司一起参加拍卖。
“我们相信大麻公司的企业价值将在当前联邦限制放宽的情况下飙升，”马卡托管理合伙人米克·麦圭尔在信中说。因此,马卡托认为, Acreage 今天以建议的估值出售自己是非常不谨慎的,因为公司内有大量未解锁的增长和价值。
Canopy 和 Acreage 的代表没有立即回应置评请求。
全球最有价值的罐子公司 Canopy 上月同意收购总部位于纽约的 Acreage Holdings Inc .，这宗跨境交易可能引发新兴行业的一波整合浪潮。
McGuire 说，这些条款不利于 Acreage 的持有者。他指出， Acreage 股价下跌6%， Canopy 股价自4月17日（交易宣布前一天）以来上涨15%。他说，这是其他人同意的证据。
McGuire 说：“相对价值对 Canopy 有利，这是难以置信的不平衡。”" Acreage 股票的 Canopy 股票对 Acreage 股东来说简直是个坏买卖。"
他还对 Canaccord Genuity Group Inc .给出的 Acreage 的公平观点提出质疑。该公司对 Acreage 的估值为每股27.48美元，此前4个月这家券商的卖方分析师对该公司的目标价为35美元。