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Canadian Drugmaker Concordia Faces Their Biggest one-day Decline



Concordia International Corp.’s $6.5 billion debt-fueled acquisition spree is coming back to haunt the drugmaker’s lenders.

Bonds of the junk-rated company lost about $245 million Monday, in their biggest one-day decline, after the company posted disappointing third-quarter earnings results and suspended its forecast. The Canadian drugmaker’s biggest note now yields about 28.5 per cent, which is close to what investors demand to hold Venezuela’s benchmark debt. Its shares plunged more than 36 per cent to close at $2.71.

Similar to its better-known and bigger peer, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., Concordia employed a growth-by-acquisition strategy that increased its debt load by more than 10-fold to $4.3 billion in the last three years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Now that debt is weighing on Concordia as it faces slow growth and an investigation of its pricing policies.

“The problem with the strategy of growth by acquisition is that it was predicated on buying drugs and raising prices significantly,” said Dimitry Khmelnitsky, an analyst at Veritas Investment Research in Toronto. “That model right now is unsustainable.”

Khmelnitsky has a sell rating on Concordia.

A lot of the company’s woes can be traced back to its largest deal: the $4.7 billion takeover of U.K.’s Amdipharm Mercury agreed to in September 2015. The acquisition left Concordia saddled with about $4 billion in debt and made it among Canadian firms with the largest exposure to Europe and vulnerable to the fallout from the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union in June.

The company’s fortunes took another hit when a bill was introduced in the U.K. House of Commons in September proposing controls on drug prices. The company’s shares plunged as much as 27 per cent on Sept. 16 when the news of the bill emerged.

All of this did little to dent enthusiasm for the company when it came to the bond market a month later to raise $467 million for debt repayments. The company was willing to pay as much as 9.25 per cent on the note sale that was handled by Goldman Sachs, but managed to sell the debt at a coupon of 9 per cent.

Adam Peeler, a Concordia representative, and Michael DuVally, a Goldman Sachs spokesman, didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Concordia financed the Amdipharm takeover with a mixture of loans and bonds.

The company is “another victim of leverage,” Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals AG, said in a tweet on Monday. “We all have to learn the lesson — don’t borrow money excessively.”

Shkreli is currently facing charges related to securities fraud. He has been dubbed the “most hated man in America” in the media for raising the price of a potentially life-saving drug by 5,000 per cent.

Investors who purchased Concordia’s $467 million bond sale last month have seen the value of those securities fall to $1.16, down from par. The bondholders could have fared worse, according to Christian Hoffmann of Thornburg Investment Management, a $71-billion money manager that owns Concordia debt.

“Owing to the secured bond deal, liquidity remains reasonable and appears to adequately cover the earn-out obligations as well as near-term debt requirements,” Hoffmann said.

Concordia reported third-quarter revenue of $247.5 million, below analysts’ estimates of $277.9 million. Earnings per share were 92 cents. Analysts had expected $1.40. The company also said in its earnings statement that it would suspend its forecast as it “assesses the business under new leadership.”

Allan Oberman, former chief executive officer of Sagent Pharmaceuticals Inc., will become CEO of Concordia on Tuesday, according to the statement. The company’s founder, chairman and CEO, Mark Thompson, announced last month that he was stepping down.

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Beauty Week is back at Hudson’s Bay in Toronto and it’s time to get glam



Beauty enthusiasts rejoice! Beauty Week at Hudson’s Bay is back in Toronto for another year. It’s time to stock up on all of your fall essentials and, maybe discover some new ones. 

From Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 27, you can expect a truly elevated beauty experience in-store with incredible special offers, limited-time gifts, and exciting activations. 

If you’re a diehard beauty lover, you’ll already know that Hudson’s Bay is the place to shop thanks to its extensive range of over 195 skin and makeup brands from both luxury labels and masstige brands — including Tata Harper, Estée Lauder, YSL, Nars Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, and so much more.

Throughout The Bay’s Beauty Week, visitors can take in some at-counter activations and interactive expert-led tutorials, where there will be chances to get makeup touch-ups from top-tier brands, try a spritz of the most alluring fragrances, and sample tons of new products.

This year’s Beauty Week highlight is the ‘Best in Beauty’ tote, a meticulously-curated selection of 30 deluxe samples from an array of top-tier brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm and Shiseido spanning skincare, fragrance, and makeup — all in a super sleek bag.

The tote, which is valued at over $300, is retailing for just $39 and is a fantastic way to explore new products (without breaking the bank). However, there is a limited quantity, so if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll need to be fast.

Wondering exactly what Beauty Week’s free gifts with purchases entail? If you spend over $95 at Lancôme, you will receive a six-piece set valued at $130. Or, you can get an Estée Lauder gift valued at $170 with purchases over $80. (And that’s just to name a few.)

If you’re a Hudson’s Bay Rewards member, you’ll also get $20 in Hudson’s Bay rewards when you spend over $100 on beauty.

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The Canadian Armed Forces are hiring for several non-combat military jobs



The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have several non-combat jobs, some of which do not require a college degree or past work experience.

Life in the forces has several benefits, such as paid education plans (college, university and graduate-level programs), 20 paid vacation days, health and dental coverage for you and your family, maternity and paternal leave, and pension plans. You can learn more about the benefits in detail here.

And to make it easier to gauge if you qualify, the listings also include related civilian jobs to see if it’s your ideal role.

Financial services administrator

Related civilian jobs: Financial records entry clerk, financial manager, accounting technician, bookkeeper, budget officer, cashier clerk, business planner technician, and verification manager.

Description: You’ll help budget resources for all military activities besides providing financial assistance.

Education: You need to have completed Grade 10.

Duties: As a financial services administrator, you’ll be responsible for bookkeeping and managing budgets. You’ll also provide support in accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Work environment: Those in this role work at CAF bases, on ships or overseas. You might also be expected to help special operation units, recruiting offices, schools, and medical organizations.

Postal clerk

Related civilian jobs: Mail clerk, mail sorter.

Description: You’ll provide postal services to members and their families at bases and establishments.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: As the postal clerk, you’ll handle mail duties.

Work environment: Besides a postal office, you may work on a ship or a mobile postal van. You might be expected to serve with Royal Canadian Navy, the Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force in Canada and abroad.

Dental technician

Related civilian jobs: Dental assistant, dental hygienist.

Description: You’ll be helping dental officers provide dental services to CAF members, their families, and dependents.

Education: Level II dental assisting diploma from an accredited college or a National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) certificate.

Duties: Those in this role will be responsible for various responsibilities, including disinfection and sterilization of dental equipment, applying rubber dams, placing cavity liners, and controlling bleeding. In addition, you’ll assist in laboratory procedures like creating casts, custom trays, and mouthguards.

Work environment: This role will require you to work in a military dental clinic, a Mobile Dental Clinic, an Air Transportable Dental System, or onboard a ship. You might be expected to work on a base in Canada or other operations in other parts of the world.

Human resources administrator

Related civilian jobs: Records administrator, data entry supervisor, receptionist, office manager, executive assistant, payroll clerk, and information management technician.

Description: Provide administrative and general human resources support.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: In addition to human resources administration and services, you’ll be handling pay and allowances, managing automated pay systems, and maintaining personnel records.

Work environment: HR administrators work at all CAF bases in Canada. They also work on ships and overseas to support the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, or Royal Canadian Air Force operations.

Medical assistant

Related civilian jobs: Emergency medical responder, ambulance and first aid attendant, registered nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, and hospital orderly.

Description: Successful candidates will help treat the sick and injured in CAF units. You’ll be assisting and supporting nursing and medical officers.

Education: Minimum of Grade 11 biology, Grade 10 physics or chemistry, and Grade 10 math.

Duties: You’ll provide initial care and essential life support treatments in trauma cases. You’ll help with health assessments (hearing and vision tests, perform basic lab procedures, etc.) and initiate and manage medical records and reports. You’ll also be expected to provide support and first aid during training exercises.

Work environment: Medical assistants may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force or the Canadian Army as part of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. Those in this role are exposed to the same risks as the forces they support.

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Porter’s new loyalty program promises to match Air Canada’s Aeroplan status



Porter Airlines is once again stirring the pot among Canadian airline rivals, now going after Air Canada’s Aeroplan members by offering to match their loyalty status to an equivalent of their own.

The beloved airline, which recently ranked as having the best cabin service in North America, challenged the competition for the second time this year, after previously deploying a similar tactic against WestJet in the spring. 

Earlier in April, Porter presented customers with a limited-time offer to match the loyalty status of WestJet’s patrons with VIPorter levels.

Now, they’re offering Aeroplan members to seamlessly transition to an equivalent VIPorter Avid Traveller status based on their existing membership tier.

Members can then take advantage of an array of travel perks that come with flying Porter, including seat selection, baggage, and flight changes.

For those currently holding an Aeroplan membership, there are two ways to acquire the Avid Traveller status for the rest of 2023:

Status-Based Match:
  • Aeroplan 25K members = VIPorter Venture
  • Aeroplan 35K members = VIPorter Ascent
  • Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elite = VIPorter First
Flight Segments-Based Match:
  • 5 flight segments = VIPorter Passport
  • 8 segments = VIPorter Venture
  • 17 segments = VIPorter Ascent
  • 28 or more segments = VIPorter First

Members will have to first submit their applications on Porter’s website. Registration will remain open until September 6, 2023.

In order to maintain their membership level through 2024, customers will have until the end of 2023 to reach the following reduced qualifying spend (QS) targets:

  • Passport = $500 in QS
  • Venture = $750 in QS
  • Ascent = $1500 in QS
  • First = $2500 in QS

Over the past year, Porter has launched an aggressive expansion strategy, including everything from introducing longer flights on newly-purchased jet planes flying out of Toronto Pearson, free WiFi, and a new all-inclusive economy experience.

With Canadians losing both Swoop and Sunwing as WestJet incorporates both into their mainline business, Porter’s direct competition is welcome to keep prices competitive.

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