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Liquor Stores N.A., which operates outlets such as Liquor Depot in Edmonton seen in 2015, is involved in a proxy battle with PointNorth, which says Liquor underperforms its industry peers.JASON FRANSON/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.

Liquor Stores N.A. Ltd. (LIQ-T), which is in the midst of a proxy battle with dissident shareholder PointNorth, says six board members have advised the company that they won't be standing for re-election at the annual meeting on Tuesday.

"Liquor Stores' directors reached the decision after assessing, among other things, the proxies voted by shareholders," the company said in a release on Monday.

It said there are now eight candidates standing for election to the eight available board positions.

"Accordingly, it is expected that following the annual meeting, Liquor Stores Board will be comprised of six PointNorth nominees and two incumbent directors," the company said.

It said the two incumbent directors are Gary Collins and Peter Lynch. The six PointNorth nominees are: Derek Burney, Karen Prentice, James Burns, John Barnett, Kenneth Barbet and Richard Perkins.

The six nominated incumbent board members who will not stand for re-election are: Jim Dinning, Stephen Bebis, Henry Bereznicki, Susan Doniz, Robert Green and David Margolus.


Norsat International Inc.'s  (NII-T; NSAT-A) largest shareholder, Privet Fund Management (with about a 17.6-per-cent stake), says it will vote against the proposed takeover agreement with Hytera Communications Co., Ltd.

Privet, which launched its own bid that has since been matched by Hytera, said in a release on Monday that it believes the Norsat board "squandered a significant opportunity to extract additional value for all shareholders by failing to deliver a topping offer from Hytera while Privet's bona fide, fully financed offer of $11.50 (U.S.) was on the table."

"We find it incredible that the Norsat board believes an identical offer from Hytera represents the best interests of all stakeholders in light of the mounting political scrutiny and regulatory uncertainty surrounding a transaction with Hytera," said Ryan Levenson, managing member of Privet.

"Even more egregious, in exchange for merely matching Privet's offer, the Norsat Board gifted an additional $500,000 to Hytera in the form of an increased termination fee, making it even more expensive for a third party to deliver a topping bid."

Privet said the increased fee brings the total amount of incremental termination fees Norsat "has bestowed upon Hytera for just keeping up with Privet to $1-million – or 17 cents per share. That is money that could have gone directly to shareholders, rather than used to ensure that Hytera remains in an advantageous negotiating position."

Privet called on shareholders to demand that the board "secure the highest possible price for Norsat rather than bending over backwards to steer the company to its (seemingly) preferred acquirer."

The federal government has been criticized for its review of the Hytera takeover arrangement. The Globe recently reported that the Trudeau Liberals allowed Shenzhen-based Hytera to buy the company without subjecting the deal to a formal national-security review.


Hudson's Bay Co. (HBC-T) has acknowledged it has received a letter addressed to its board of directors from Jonathan Litt, CIO of Land and Buildings.

"The company is reviewing the letter and will respond in due course," it stated in a release.

Activist investor Land and Buildings Investment Management of Stamford, Conn., said Monday it wants a shakeup at Canada's iconic retailer.

Land and Buildings said it now holds a stake of almost 4.5 per cent in the retailer and wants the company to unlock its "substantial untapped real estate value."

In a letter to the board, released publicly, Land and Buildings called for either "monetization or repurposing" of HBC real estate assets or a management buyout of the company.


Sears Canada Inc. (SCC-T; SRSC-Q) says it has received notice from the Nasdaq's listing qualifications department about the company's shares not closing at the minimum bid price requirement of $1 (U.S) per share for 30 consecutive business days.

"The notification has no immediate effect on the listing or trading of the company's common shares on the Nasdaq Global Market and the common shares will continue to trade," the company said.

It has a grace period of 180 calendar days, or until Dec. 11, to regain compliance with the minimum closing bid price requirement for continued listing.

"If at any time during the compliance period the closing bid price of the company's common shares is at least $1 (U.S.) per share for a minimum of 10 consecutive business days, Nasdaq will provide the company with written confirmation of compliance and the matter will be closed," it stated.


Home Capital Group Inc. (HCG-T) announced its financial position as of June 15.

It said total liquidity and credit capacity stood at approximately $1.08-billion compared to $1.11-billion the day before.

Its Home Trust High-Interest Savings Account deposit balances stood at approximately $98.7-million, compared to $103.9-million the day before.

Total GIC deposits stood at approximately $12.05-billion compared to $12.06-billion the day before.


Pattern Energy Group Inc. (PEGI-Q; PEGI-T) announced a handful of strategic initiatives it says will "significantly increase" its long-term growth outlook and increase its access to capital.

"Collectively, these strategic initiatives position Pattern Energy to capture an increased share of the annual $250-billion (U.S.) global renewable energy market, and support its Pattern 2020 vision to double its portfolio to 5 gigawatts by 2020," the company said.

It said the initiatives include "a major increase in capital committed to Pattern Development 2.0, and a minority investment by Pattern Energy, as well as a significant expansion of the development pipeline."

The company also created a relationship with Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), which will have a direct ownership stake in Pattern Energy and co-invest in projects.

It said PSP Investments will buy a 9.9-per-cent stake in the company.


Bonterra Resources Inc. (BTR-X) says it has increased its recently announced bought-deal financing to about $20-million from $12.9-million.

It amended the original agreement with lead underwriter Sprott Capital Partners and Infor Financial Inc.

It said the gross proceeds from the sale of the flow-through shares will be for exploration.


North American Palladium Ltd. (PDL-T) says it plans to raise approximately $50-million in two separate financings; $40-million in common shares about $10-million flow-through common shares.

It said the proposed offering will be conducted by a syndicate of investment dealers co-led by Scotiabank, BMO Capital Markets and CIBC Capital Markets and including RBC Capital Markets and TD Securities.

The company said it plans to use the net proceeds of the proposed offering to repay debt and for exploration.

Also, the company said it has agreed to an amendment of its existing credit facility with the Bank of Nova Scotia to extend the maturity of such facility from Dec. 31, 2017 to June 30, 2018.


MedReleaf Corp. (LEAF-T) says it has become the first medical cannabis producer to receive an International Council on Harmonization certification for Good Manufacturing Practices (ICH-GMP) for active pharmaceutical ingredients.

It said the ICH-GMP compliance certification covers the medical cannabis operations for its Markham, Ont. facility.

MedReleaf said the ICH-GMP is "the globally accepted standard for the pharmaceutical industry recognized by regulatory authorities around the world" and that it will support the company's international growth.

"The ICH-GMP compliance is a milestone achievement for the company," said MedReleaf CEO Neil Closner in a statement.


Canopy Growth Corp. (WEED-T) announced a handful of updates on Monday including:

  • The renaming of its German subsidiary to Spektrum Cannabis Germany GmbH "and confirmation of ongoing sales of Tweed-branded varieties in Germany with sales growth accelerating rapidly month over month."
  • The establishment of Spectrum Chile SpA for entry into the Chilean market.
  • Its Tweed and Tweed Farms facilities have received certificates of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
  • The launch of first-to-market easy to consume softgel capsules, now available in Canada.