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James Skippen, CEO of Wi-Lan at his Ottawa offices in 2007.

Jonathan Hayward/The Globe and Mail

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

Wi-Lan Inc. (WIN-T; WILN-Q) is buying International Road Dynamics (IRD-T), a technology company that specializes in intelligent transportation systems, in a deal valued at $63.5-million.

The purchase price of $4.25 per share is a 51-per-cent premium to IRD's closing price on April 13, the company said.

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"IRD comes with a strong portfolio of more than 80 pending and issued patents," stated Wi-Lan's newly appointed executive chairman James Skippen, the former CEO. "Adding to our patent portfolio in this exciting growth industry will serve to bolster our IoT patent strength and makes this acquisition particularly attractive and synergistic. It is also comforting to know the IRD product offerings have solid patent protection."

The company also made some executive and board changes, alongside Mr. Skippen's new appointment, and says it's searching for a new CEO.

Wi-Lan also said it plans to operate under the name Quarterhill Inc. starting around June 1, as part of a new growth plan.


Atlantic Power Corp. (AT-N; ATP-T) says it's repricing the $615-million senior secured term loan and $200-million senior secured revolving credit facility at its APLP Holdings Ltd. Partnership subsidiary.

As a result of the repricing, the company said it expects interest cost savings of $2.4-million for the rest of the year, "net of fees related to the transaction that will be recorded in the second quarter."

"We are pleased to have achieved a reduction in the cost of our term loan and revolver, which will increase our cash flow," said Terrence Ronan, the company's CFO.

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Pollard Banknote Ltd. (PBL-T) says it plans to make a formal offer to buy Innova Gaming Group Inc. (IGG-T) in a deal valued at $43-million.

The offer is for $2.10 in cash per share, a 39-per-cent premium to the closing price of $1.51 per share on the TSX on March 9. That's the last trading day prior to Pollard Banknote's announcement of its initial proposal to the board of directors of Innova, the company said.

Pollard Banknote said Amaya Inc. (AYA-T;AYA-Q) has agreed to vote all of its shares, representing approximately 41 per cent of the company, in favour of the transaction in any form.

In a separate release on Tuesday, Innova reminded investors that its special committee had discussions with Pollard Banknote and determined that it "was not prepared to improve its proposed offer price of $2.10 per share."

The company has since been "exploring and considering strategic alternative transactions."

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Innova said the process is ongoing "and will continue during the offer period provided for under Pollard Banknote's take-over bid," which is until Aug. 3.

It also said Amaya has the right to terminate its support agreement if a cash offer greater than $2.10 per share is made.


Western Energy Services Corp. (WRG-T) says it has issued a formal demand for payment to Savanna Energy Services Corp. (SVY-T)  for a termination fee of $20-million related to its failed takeover deal.

"The termination fee was an incentive for Western to forego other opportunities, incur considerable financial expense and spend significant time and effort to advance the Western arrangement," the company said.

Savanna is being taken over by Total Energy Services (TOT-T) after enough shareholders tendered their shares to that original offer.

Western said Savanna provided it with a notice of termination of the agreement on March 28.

"Western does not consider Savanna to have been entitled to terminate the arrangement agreement in the circumstances and considers Savanna to have breached certain covenants," Western said.

It gave Savanna five business days to pay the termination fee.


Timmins Gold Corp. (TMM-T; TGD-N) is proposing to change its name to Alio Gold Inc. at its upcoming annual meeting on May 12. If approved, the company will begin under the ticker ALO on May 16.

"The word Alio in Latin means 'to go in a different direction' and is reflective of the important operational and management changes that have been made in 2017," said CEO Greg McCunn in a release.


Lithium X Energy Corp. (LIX-T) says it has appointed a new chief financial officer.

It named Bassam Moubarak as its new CFO following the resignation of Daniel Kriznic. Mr. Kriznic will remain as an advisor to the company "while pursuing his other business interests," the company said.

It also said 1.6 million stock options to certain directors, officers and consultants were exercisable at $1.90, expiring five years from the date of grant, subject to regulatory approval.

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About the Author

Brenda Bouw is a freelance writer and editor based in Vancouver. She has more than 20 years of experience as a business reporter, including at The Globe and Mail, The Canadian Press, the Financial Post and was executive producer at BNN (formerly ROBTv). Brenda was also part of the Globe and Mail reporting team that won the 2010 National Newspaper Award for business journalism. More


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