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CanniMed begins legal action against Aurora's takeover bid

CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. began legal action against Aurora Cannabis Inc.'s unsolicited "hostile" takeover bid and recommended its shareholders to reject the offer.

CanniMed applied to the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan and the Ontario Securities Commission claiming that Aurora's takeover offer was an "insider bid."

The company said its shareholders SaskWorks Venture Fund Inc., Apex Investments LP, Golden Opportunities Fund Inc. and Vantage Asset Management Inc. were working "jointly and in concert with Aurora."

The company is seeking to exclude the shareholders from voting on the deal under applicable Canadian laws.

CanniMed earlier adopted a shareholder rights plan in response to Aurora's takeover offer . Aurora filed a complaint with two Canadian securities regulators against the shareholder rights plan.

Meanwhile, the company continues to encourage its shareholders to vote in favor of its previously announced acquisition of Newstrike Resources Ltd.

Responding to the CanniMed action, Aurora CEO Terry Booth said the company's comments were "misleading."

"We had hoped to make this a friendly and collaborative process, but [CanniMed CEO Brent Zettl] refuses to even pick up the phone or return our calls to have a discussion. So we took our offer directly to CanniMed shareholders," Booth said in a statement.

"It's time for Mr. Zettl to step aside and allow CanniMed shareholders and the Province of Saskatchewan to benefit from the Aurora-CanniMed combination and the creation of a powerhouse leader in the global cannabis sector," Booth added.