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A Canadian flag flies from the window of a General Motors vehicle at a car dealership in TorontoMIKE CASSESE/Reuters

Inside the Market's roundup of some of the Canadian small caps making news and on the move today. This post will be updated through the morning.

Banco Santander SA, Spain's biggest bank, agreed to buy car-financing company Carfinco Financial Group Inc. for about $298-million. Each Carfinco shareholder will receive cash consideration of $11.25 for each common share, a 32.12 per cent premium to the 90-day volume-weighted average share price.

Shares in Carfinco Financial were up $2.85, or 33.1 per cent, to $11.44 in early TSX trading - modestly higher than the offering price.

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TAG Oil Ltd. said the surface section of the Waitangi Valley-1 well, located in Petroleum Exploration Permit 38348, will be plugged and abandoned after the company encountered extreme drilling conditions, including high pressure shallow hydrocarbon zones, in the interest of safety.

Shares in the company were down 8 per cent in afternoon TSX trading.

M Partners cut its one-year price target to $5.50 from $6.50 in response to the news, but reiterated a "buy" rating. "With a number of major initiatives expected over the next 12 months (the East Coast, two deep gas wells, a shallow offshore prospect and frontier drilling in the Canterbury Basin), we believe the combination of the valuation, current development program and funded NTM exploration upside presents an attractive risk/reward opportunity," said analyst David Buma.

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Africa Oil Corp. announced a significant increase in resource estimates at its Kenya oil fields. The company said the updated resources now exceeds the threshold for development.

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African uranium producer Paladin Energy Ltd. announced that its production this quarter will be lower than expected due to various issues, including maintenance work and an unexpected plant scaling problem. However, production guidance for fiscal year 2015 remains at 5.4 million pounds to 5.8 million pounds of uranium.

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M Partners upgraded Golden Queen Mining Co. to "buy" from "hold" and kept a $1.70 (Canadian) price target. Analyst Derek Macpherson revised his rating after a site visit to the company's Soledad Mountain operation, and also cited the stock's recent share price decline for the action.

Mr. Macpherson commented, "We recently visited Golden Queen's Soledad Mountain project located in Kern County, California. Of note was the material progress towards preparing the site for construction activities to ramp up. Earthworks and haul roads are progressing. Encouragingly, site drainage and earth works for both the crushing plant and Merrill Crowe plant are in-place. As well, the truck and warehouse facilities are complete, along with the site security and employee parking lot. With the majority of financing in-place we expect construction to ramp up over the coming weeks. Based on the progress to date and with activities expected to ramp up, our estimate for commissioning in H2 2015 appears to be achievable."

In other analyst actions in the Canadian small cap arena today:

RBC Dominion Securities initiated coverage on Intertape Polymer Group Inc. with an "outperform" rating and $19 (Canadian) price target.

Clarus Securities initiated coverage on Great Prairie Energy Services Inc. with a "buy" rating and 80 cents (Canadian) price target.

AltaCorp initiated coverage on BlackPearl Resources Inc. with an "outperform" rating and $3.75 (Canadian) price target.

AltaCorp Capital initiated coverage on MEG Energy Corp. with an "outperform" rating and $53 (Canadian) price target.

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Endeavour Mining Corporation has provided notice of a substantial shareholder. The company announced Monday that it has become aware that the number of Endeavour shares under the control of Van Eck Associates Corp. has increased from 48,053,788 common shares to 55,107,061 common shares, representing approximately 13.34 per cent of the outstanding shares.

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Inovent Capital Inc. and Canada Jetlines Ltd. have entered into an agreement to become an amalgamated corporation named Amalco.

Under the terms of the agreement, each shareholder of Inovent will receive one share of Amalco for every three shares of Inovent held. Each shareholder of Jetlines will receive 1.15 Amalco Shares for each share of Jetlines held.

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Stonegate Agricom Ltd. said Mark N. J. Ashcroft has resigned from the positions of president, chief executive officer and director. The company intends to name a new CEO in the near future.

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Tethys Petroleum Ltd. said it is on track for meeting its production target of three times current gas production by the first quarter of 2015 in Kazakhstan.

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