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Our roundup of Canadian small-caps in the news today.


Our roundup of Canadian small-caps of between $100-million and $2.5-billion in market capitalization making news and on the move today.

CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. (CMED-T) is urging its shareholders to "take no action" in response to a hostile takeover offer from Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB-T), stating in a release after markets closed on Thursday that Aurora senior management and directors sold more than $17.8-million worth of Aurora shares earlier this week.

CanniMed said the sale happened, "while at the same time trying to convince CanniMed shareholders and the market of their stock's long-term value under their opportunistic and coercive hostile bid for CanniMed."

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CanniMed stated that: "These actions by Aurora's CEO and other insiders clearly demonstrate their actual belief that the Aurora shares are inflated. That these share sales occurred is disturbing. However, what is perhaps even more troubling is that these share sales occurred while Aurora is in the middle of a major proposed transaction, the hostile bid for CanniMed, as well as a fund-raising of convertible debentures through special warrants."

CanniMed CEO Brent Zettl said he expects both CanniMed and Aurora shareholders "will be surprised by these actions and realize the inconsistency between what Aurora's board and management says and what they do. The most logical inference from what they have done is that they believe Aurora cannot and will not remain at its currently inflated valuation."

The release said that, on Nov. 28, "the day before Aurora's stock tumbled 14 per cent, four Aurora insiders took part in the sell-off of over $17.8-million worth of Aurora shares.

CanniMed urged shareholders to take no action on the hostile bid until they have received further communication from a special committee and the board of the company.

Meantime, Aurora Cannabis responded to CanniMed's adoption of a poison pill, saying it appears contrary to the wishes of CanniMed shareholders.

"CanniMed has adopted oppressive poison pill tactics, which appear to be driven solely by entrenched self-interest, and that purposely limit their shareholders' rights and ability to choose," Aurora stated in a release. "They are taking fundamental rights away from their shareholders. We want CanniMed shareholders to be able to make their own choice, and we remain open for discussion at any time to explain the strong merits of our offer. CanniMed's Board and management claim they are protecting their shareholders, but their actions say the opposite."


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Total Energy Services Inc. (TOT-T) says Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) has filed a statement of claim against it and its subsidiary Savanna Energy Services Corp.

The claim relates to Savanna's refusal to pay a $6-million change of control penalty to AIMCo, Total said in a release.

"Total and Savanna have received preliminary legal advice that AIMCo's claim for the additional penalty is not enforceable and intend to vigorously defend such claim," the company stated.


Exchange Income Corp. (EIF-T) says it's raising $70-million in a bought-deal financing of convertible unsecured subordinated debentures.

It has reached an agreement with a syndicate of underwriters co-led by National Bank Financial Inc., Laurentian Bank Securities Inc. and CIBC Capital Markets.

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The net proceeds will fund the redemption of certain debentures and debt under its credit facility.


Reitmans Canada Ltd. (RET.A-T) reported sales of $242.4-million in the third quarter compared to $245.6-million same quarter last year. Analysts were expecting revenue of $243.7-million. Same-store sales increased 0.8 per cent.

Its net loss was $16.8-million or 27 cents per share as compared with net earnings of $7.6-million or 12 cents last year.


Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ARLZ-Q; ARZ-T) says its chief financial officer Scott Charles is leaving the company "to pursue other opportunities, effective immediately."

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Michael Kaseta will become interim chief financial officer along with his current duties as corporate controller.


Major Drilling Group International Inc. (MDI-T) reported revenue of $88-million in the second quarter, up 10 per cent from revenue of $79.9-million recorded in the same quarter last year.

Its net loss was $2.7-million or 3 cents per share versus $9.8-million or 12 cents a year ago.

Analysts were expecting revenue of $91.7-million and a loss of 3 cents.


Absolute Software Corp. (ABT-T) says it has withdrawn a resolution for its upcoming annual shareholder meeting to increase the maximum authorized share structure.

"The company has determined not to seek shareholder approval to ... increase the authorized share capital of the company to an unlimited number of common shares. As a result, the authorized capital will remain at 100,000,000 common shares," it stated.

It will also remove a clause that requires that an action against the company be brought in its home jurisdiction of British Columbia.

"The company is making these amendments in order to secure the support of Institutional Shareholder Services to recommend that shareholders of the company vote 'for' all matters to be considered at the meeting," it stated.


Bear Creek Mining Corp. (BCM-X) says the tribunal of arbitrators hearing the company's Santa Ana arbitration claim at the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes has rendered an award of about $30.4-million in favor of the company. The award includes interest and arbitration costs, the company said.

"With the Arbitration concluded, we look forward to accelerating the advancement of our Corani project in conjunction with the government of Peru and the Corani communities," said CEO Anthony Hawkshaw.

The arbitration was initiated by the company in 2014.


Canfor Pulp Products Inc. (CFX-T) says it has taken a "temporary and unscheduled outage" on one production line at its Northwood mill in Prince George, B.C. due to a tube leak in a recovery boiler.

"Canfor Pulp anticipates the number five recovery boiler to be down for approximately two weeks, and is currently projecting 15,000 tonnes of reduced NBSK [Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft] pulp production during the fourth quarter 2017, as well as higher associated maintenance costs and lower projected shipment volumes," the company stated. "Due to mitigation efforts by Canfor Pulp the temporary outage is not expected to have a material impact on the financial condition of the company. The company will be making a claim under its insurance program."


Park Lawn Corp. (PLC-T) announced a $1.96-million investment in Christie's Funeral Home and Crematorium, a funeral home operation in Yorkton, Sask.

"We believe in working with strong and professional local management and staff. Our partnerships in Yorkton  will further enhance the positive and caring experience provided to the families we serve," said CEO Andrew Clark in a release.


Fiera Capital Corp. (FSZ-T) is buying management of City National Rochdale Emerging Markets Fund, a mutual fund that currently invests primarily in Asian Emerging Markets, for $12-million on closing.

The company said there is an additional consideration of an earnout of up to $12-million of revenue share payments payable for five years after closing, "as well as additional payments structured as revenue share payments linked to realized revenue, is payable during the 10-year post-closing period."

The fund has approximately $1.7-billion (U.S.) in assets under management.


Maricann Group Inc. (MARI-CN) reported third-quarter revenue of $721,000 down from $892,000 a year earlier. Its net loss was $5.4-million or 8 cents per share compared to a loss of $1.1-million or 3 cents last year.


Imvescor Restaurant Group Inc. (IRG-T) says its subsidiary, Groupe Commensal Inc., has sold assets related to the manufacturing of Commensal products to a company owned by George Kyres for about $4.25-million.

The company said the sale is consistent with its desire to focus on its core business of restaurant franchising.

"Consistent with the objectives of our strategic plan, the acquisition of Ben & Florentine and now the divesture of Commensal, we have an asset-light business structure that allows us to focus on growing our core restaurant franchise and retail businesses.", said Imvescor CEO Frank Hennessey.

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