Columnist image
Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

|Archive

Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. are taking their $20-billion deal to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for approval today. The regulator will hear from Rogers Chair Edward Rogers and Shaw Executive Chair and CEO Bradley Shaw this morning as the scene setter for what's expected to be a full week of testimony from a range of stakeholders who are seeking to influence the CRTC's decision as one of three key federal bodies that has to sign off on the takeover. We'll have special live coverage for the start of the hearing and we'll hear from industry experts this week on what it will take for Rogers to get the go-ahead, as well as how recent governance and management turmoil will factor into the process.

B.C. UPDATE

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at the conclusion of a meeting of his Incident Response Group yesterday that the government “will do whatever” is necessary to provide urgent support in the recovery from devastating floods and mudslides. The days ahead could deliver relief in British Columbia as some crucial conduits aim to resume operations. Trans Mountain said late Friday evening that if all goes according to plan, it is "optimistic" that the pipeline can restart "in some capacity" by the end of this week. Meanwhile, Bloomberg News noted late last night that Enbridge has increased the capacity on a segment of its Westcoast gas pipeline that was previously taken offline. We also learned at the tail end of last week that Canadian Pacific Railway is hoping to resume service between Kamloops and Vancouver by the middle of this week. In the meantime, the province was forced to start rationing fuel to ensure essential vehicles have priority access and has warned that another storm system could hit already flood-ravaged regions today.

BIDEN STAYS THE COURSE AT THE FED

U.S. President Joe Biden announced today that he’s nominating Powell for a second term as the world’s best-known central banker. In announcing his decision, Biden praised Powell’s “decisive action” during the pandemic. Meanwhile, Lael Brainard is being nominated as vice-chair, with Biden saluting her efforts as a Fed governor. We’ll chase insight on the implications for investors and the economy – and also who else might be in line for a plum job at the Fed as Biden still has three vacant spots to fill.  

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES

  • Here’s an interesting one: Lush Cosmetics announced today it will deactivate its Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat accounts as of Nov. 26, and will keep them dark “until the platforms take action to provide a safer environment for users.”
  • We’ll watch shares of Monster Beverage today after our Bloomberg News partners reported the energy drink maker is “exploring a combination” with Constellation Brands, though the specifics of any potential deal aren’t known.
  • Shares in Victoria-based Aurinia Pharmaceuticals are tumbling in pre-market trading on the Nasdaq amid a filing showing the company is reserving the right to raise up to US$250 million in share sales. Could be a matter of striking while the iron’s hot: Aurinia shares have surged 51 per cent off their recent low in early October amid a slew of takeover speculation.
  • Canada has halted the export of PEI potatoes to the United States amid American concerns about the presence of potato wart in the province. Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a release today that the export ban is designed to avoid “more damaging, long-term measures” after the U.S. earlier stated in planned to halt imports.
  • Vonage Holdings shares are surging in pre-market trading after Ericsson announced it’s buying the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) industry leader for US$21 per share in cash. Including debt, the deal is worth US$6.2 billion.
  • Calgary-based pot retailer High Tide announced this morning it’s buying an 80 per cent stake in NuLeaf Naturals for US$31.24 million, with an option to take full ownership over the next three years. High Tide’s CEO is framing the deal as an opportunity to grab an even bigger piece of the CBD market, which he said “is set to grow exponentially.” 

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

  • Notable data: Canadian wholesale trade early indicator, U.S. existing home sales
  • Notable earnings: Zoom Video Communications
  • 830: CGI investor and analyst day
  • 1100: Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission opens week-long hearing to consider Rogers Communications’ takeover of Shaw Communications
  • Parliament returns