4 big deal reports: Altria-backed Cronos turning heads

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4 big deal reports: Altria-backed Cronos turning heads
Credit: © Reuters

Here is your Pro Recap of four head-turning deal dispatches you may have missed this week: Cronos attracts interest; Brookfield buys American Equity Investment Life, Thermo Fisher merges with CorEvitas, and Monster Beverage buys Bang Energy.

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Cronos garnering interest from potential suitors

Canadian cannabis outfit Cronos (TSX: CRON ) (NASDAQ: CRON ), in which cigarette maker Altria (NYSE: MO ) holds a 41% stake, said on Thursday that it has received "a number of unsolicited indications of interest from third parties, each regarding a potential transaction involving Cronos and the third party." The company added that it is in the "initial stages" of assessing these.

Reuters reported that fellow cannabis producer Curaleaf Holdings (OTC: CURLF ) is among those interested parties, and that it has recruited a financial adviser in the matter, according to anonymous sources.

New York-traded Cronos shares moved erratically on the news before ending Friday's session with a quick 6.9% surge to $2.01. Toronto shares also spiked to close the week.

Brookfield agrees to acquire American Equity Investment Life in $4.3 billion deal

Private capital manager Brookfield announced Wednesday that had agreed to buy American Equity Investment Life (NYSE: AEL ) for $55 per share, or $4.3 billion, in an effort to expand its insurance unit.

The cash-and-stock transaction will see Brookfield's listed insurance affiliate, Brookfield Reinsurance (NYSE: BNRE ), snap up all of the outstanding stake in AEL that it does not already own. The amount represents a 35% premium to AEL's closing share price on June 23.

Last week, a regulatory filing showed that the AEL board granted Brookfield permission to build on its current 20% stake.

Iowa-based AEL, which oversees more than $70B in assets, was seen as one of the last remaining large independent writers of fixed index annuities following a string of dealmaking. AEL previously rebuffed offers from Elliott Management-backed life insurer Prosperity Life as well as a joint bid from Apollo's Athene division and MassMutual.

Thermo Fisher Scientific inks deal for CorEvitas

Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO ) said it agreed to pay $912.5 million in cash for CorEvitas, which provides real-world evidence to improve decision-making and reduce time and costs associated with drug development.

Thermo Fisher said the merger should be "immediately accretive" to adjusted earnings per share by $0.03 after closing, which is anticipated at the end of 2023.

The company's Q2 earnings, due out later this month, is expected to show EPS of $5.43 per analysts polled by InvestingPro.

CEO Marc Casper said the acquisition “will further advance our capabilities to better serve our pharma and biotech customers and strengthen our value proposition." He further emphasized the "strong market demand for real-world evidence which improves decision making and reduces the time and cost associated with drug development."

Monster Beverage buying bankrupt rival Bang Energy

Monster Beverage (NASDAQ: MNST ) said it has agreed to pick up Vital Pharmaceuticals’ Bang Energy for $362 million.

Bang Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2022. The transaction is contingent upon bankruptcy court approval.

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