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Here are the top reads on deals and financial services over the last 24 hours,

Energy: Ensign Energy Services Inc. has launched a $470-million hostile takeover bid for Trinidad Drilling Ltd. two weeks after Trinidad concluded a formal search for a buyer with no deal. Ensign, whose chairman and largest shareholder is London-based billionaire Murray Edwards, is offering $1.68 a share in cash for Trinidad, a rival oil and gas drilling contractor. That represents a premium of 20 per cent over Trinidad’s average price in the first 10 trading days of August. Story (Jeffrey Jones, for subscribers)

Private equity: Callidus Capital Corp.'s Newton Glassman is stepping aside as chief executive officer to take a medical leave due to a severe lower back condition, the lending company said on Monday as it reported a deeper second-quarter loss. Mr. Glassman’s medical leave comes after he missed Callidus’s annual meeting in July due to health reasons. Story (Jeffrey Jones, for subscribers)

Regulation: The Sequoia Resources Corp. bankruptcy is an ugly mess, not least for Alberta’s energy watchdog. Among the many threads in the case – in which an insufficiently financed gas producer left a clean-up bill of $225-million – the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has much to answer for. And a difficult task to change its ways. What’s become clear since Sequoia failed in March is that the legislation AER operates under has a gaping loophole that has allowed financially weak companies to bypass the regulator’s usual scrutiny and take ownership of assets burdened with high environmental liabilities. Most of Sequoia’s assets were acquired in one transaction that used that loophole. Opinion (Jeffrey Jones, for subscribers)

Banking privacy: Canadian government and bank officials are snooping on a grand scale, scouring our financial transactions by the millions. It’s part of the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorist groups, but the magnitude and quality of the process raise questions about whether watchdogs and financial institutions may be going too far. “It’s sort of a widespread development in policing that we don’t normally think of as policing,” said Dr. Vanessa Iafolla of the University of Waterloo, co-author of a study that documents the effort. Story (Michael Babad, for subscribers)

Utility takeover approval: U.S. regulators, concerned about the forced departures of Hydro One Ltd. chief executive Mayo Schmidt and the company’s board in July, are now questioning whether the utility will try to make up for a possible decline in Ontario revenue by raising rates for customers of Avista Corp. The public utility commission in Washington state, where Avista serves just less than 400,000 gas and electric customers, is evaluating the protections Hydro One agreed to earlier this year in order to get its acquisition of Avista approved. Story (David Milstead, for subscribers)


Mortgages: Home Capital Group Inc. says it earned nearly $30 million in its most recent quarter, but fell just short of analyst estimates. The Toronto-based mortgage lender’s net income for the second quarter of its 2018 financial year was $29.6 million compared to a $111.1 million loss in the same quarter the previous year. Story

International banking: Citigroup Inc said on Monday that Jud Linville, the head of global cards and consumer services, is leaving the company as part of a reorganization of executives in its global consumer banking businesses. Story


Leverage buyout: Tesla Inc chief executive Elon Musk said on Monday a July 31 meeting with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund convinced him he could secure funding to take the electric car-maker private, but that he was still talking to the fund and other investors as he seeks to nail down financing. Story

Spin off: VF Corp, one of the world’s biggest apparel makers, will spin off Lee and Wrangler jeans into a separate public company, it said on Monday, allowing it to focus on its more profitable Vans sneakers and The North Face outerwear businesses. Story (for subscribers)

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