First Ever Marijuana IPO; Wells Fargo In Hot Seat Again; Comcast Bows Out Of Fox Bidding War

The Water Coolest

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Canadian cannabis supplier Tilray successfully IPOed this week, making it the first marijuana-based business to offer shares publicly on the NASDAQ (via IPO). The subsidiary of Seattle-based Privateer released 9M shares at $17 a pop. Initial estimates pegged the share price between $14 and $16.

The public funding round raised $153M before costs and valued the pot peddler at $1.4B. Tilray filed for its IPO in June, shortly after Canada became the first G7 nation to legalize marijuana on a federal level.

On its first day of trading Thursday, TLRY shares popped more than 30%. While not the first cannabis company to go public, Tilray is the first do so via IPO vs. M&A.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “So it turns out that selling pot can get you an IPO and a billion dollar valuation. That kid who sold pot out of his dorm and never left his couch was just ahead of his time.”



Wells Fargo, the major financial institution equivalent of your friend who just can’t seem to get their sh*t together will begin refunding hundreds of thousands of customers whom they charged without consent for pet insurance, legal services, home insurance and more.

No refund figures are available. Although it’s unclear if WF will face a fine for its latest f*ck up, the Consumer Protection Finance Bureau does not take these indiscretions lightly. JPMorgan was slapped with a $300M fine in 2013 related to charging customers for credit monitoring they didn’t receive.

This, of course, is just another bullet in the of the gun that Wells is using to shoot itself in the foot. Earlier this year the company was forced to pay a $1B fine and barred from growing its balance sheet until further notice as punishment for a wide-ranging sales practices scandal.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “You can inflate the cost of American’s mortgage insurance, and overcharge for legal fees, but do not, under any circumstances f*ck with their puppies or kittens. Just ask United.”



Yesterday, Comcast raised the white flag in its quest to outbid Disney for Fox, thus allowing Disney to move forward with a $71.3B bid. This is compared to Disney’s original $52B offer prior to Comcast getting involved. Well played, Comcast.

So now that the Fox bid is dropped we won’t have to hear about any more Comcast and Disney bidding wars, right?

Wrong. Comcast is still eying European pay-TV provider Sky PLC, which was the spoils of a takeover battle between Comcast and Fox. Fox already owns 39% Sky, and assuming that Disney wins all necessary regulatory approvals abroad, Mickey and the gang will be in the driver’s seat to decide whether Fox continues its pursuit of Sky. It just never ends.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Just when you think it’s over, BAM, there’s more action. It’s like when Deadpool ends and the credits start rolling, but then two minutes later there’s a preview for the sequel.””




  • In an un-Presidented move, Donald Trump publicly criticized the Federal Reserve saying he wasn’t thrilled about rate hikes. The Donald thinks the move could derail an economic recovery.
  • LabCorp, a medical testing goliath was hit by a ransomware attack. No word on if LabCorp negotiates with terrorists, or if any data was actually breached. Honestly, what could go wrong if genetic data and health records fall into the wrong hands?
  •  The 90’s called and they want their ugly shoes back. Shares of Skechers dropped more than 25% on a really, really ridiculously poor sales outlook.


The Water Coolest is a daily business newsletter consisting of business news, financial advice, and unfiltered commentary. Delivered fresh in your inbox every morning so you're ready to snap necks and cash checks. Written by Tyler Morrin, AJ Glagolev, Nick Ellis, and Ian Barto.