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

Cara Operations Ltd. (CARA-T) is set to swallow Keg Restaurants Ltd. in the latest example of consolidation in Canada's fragmented restaurant industry.

Vaughan, Ont.-based Cara, the country's largest full-service restaurant company, is set to acquire its upscale competitor in a deal valued at about $200-million, according to a source familiar with the matter. The deal was formally announced ahead of the start of trading on Tuesday.

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Cara's stable of brands includes Swiss Chalet, Harvey's, Milestones and 14 other well-known Canadian restaurant chains with more than 1,250 locations across the country. Adding the Keg's more than 100 steakhouses in Canada and the United States would both expand and diversify Cara's portfolio at a time when growth has been relatively flat and challenges such as the rising minimum wage in some provinces have added to pressures.

--Marina Strauss


Atlantic Power Corp. (AT-NATP-Tannounced on Tuesday a $100-million (Canadian) offering of convertible unsecured subordinated debentures. The offering was increased from $70-million announced on Monday evening.

Atlantic Power says it plans to use the net proceeds in part to fund the redemption of Series C convertible unsecured subordinated debentures with a current outstanding balance of $42.5-million (U.S.) that mature on June 30, 2019.


Digi International (DGII-Q) says it has acquired Accelerated Concepts Inc., a provider of cellular networking equipment, for $17-million "with a potential for future earn-out consideration based on top-line performance."

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"The combination of our companies gives us a unique product mix, technology portfolio, and service capability in the IoT and enterprise connectivity marketplace," said Ron Konezny, CEO of Digi International.


AKITA Drilling Ltd. (AKT.A-T) announced its expansion into the Permian Basin. It said its U.S.-subsidiary has contracted Rig 90 with a "major" U.S. operator.

"Rig 90 was redeployed from the Western Canadian natural gas basin, where it faced limited opportunities to work, and is well equipped to drill the deepest lateral wells of the Permian Basin," the company stated. "In addition to Rig 90, Akita has other rigs that are well suited for U.S. redeployment."


Leagold Mining Corp. (LMC-T) says it intends to make an offer to buy Brio Gold Inc. (BRIO-T) before Feb. 28.

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Brio shareholders will receive 0.922 of a share of Leagold for each Brio Share held, which the company says implies a price of $2.80 per Brio share. The stock closed at $1.77 on Monday.

Leagold said it has a support with Yamana Gold, which owns 53.6-per-cent ownership of Brio on a non-diluted basis. Based on the share exchange ratio in the offer, Yamana will receive 58 million shares of Leagold, representing approximately 22-per-cent ownership in the enlarged company.

"Leagold presented an offer to Yamana that we could not overlook," stated Yamana CEO Peter Marrone. "The offer provides for a significant premium to the Brio share price which, in our view, better reflects the value of the Brio shares and of the underlying Brio assets."


Mogo Finance Technology Inc. (MOGO-T) says it formed a new subsidiary, Mogo Blockchain Technology Inc., to handle its blockchain operations.

Mogo Blockchain plans to begin bitcoin mining through an agreement with DMG Blockchain Solutions, a Vancouver-based company focused on bitcoin mining hosting.

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"Under the agreement with DMG, Mogo will initially lease 1,000 bitcoin mining machines, which the company expects to be operational later this quarter," the company stated in a release.  

"We strongly believe blockchain technology will have a profound impact on transforming financial services and will become a core part of a modern financial technology platform," stated Mogo Blockchain CEO Greg Feller.


Newstrike Resources Ltd. (HIP-X) issued a release on Tuesday saying it has adjourned the hearing for the final court order related to the proposed takeover by CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. (CMED-T), due to CanniMed's discussions with its takeover target Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB-T)

Aurora and CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. have extended talks over what could be Canada's biggest marijuana-industry takeover deal.


Cannabix Technologies Inc. (BLO-CN), developer of the Cannabix Marijuana Breathalyzer, says its Beta 3.0 prototype device is complete.

"With [the] completion of the modular Beta 3.0 prototype, Cannabix has achieved several key developmental milestones allowing this technology to be directly tested against the accepted laboratory standard of mass spectrometry," stated its chief scientific officer Dr. Raj Attariwala in a release.


Promis Neurosciences Inc. (PMN-T) says its lead product candidate for Alzheimer's disease showed "potential for improved therapeutic potency."

In a release, Promis executive chairman Eugene Williams said the company set out to design an improved antibody inspired by the initial successful clinical results announced in December, 2014.


Helius Medical Technologies Inc. (HSM-T) says it has completed the previously announced 1-for-5 reverse stock split of its outstanding Class A common stock.

"The reverse stock split is being implemented in contemplation of a potential listing of the company's Class A common stock to a U.S. national securities exchange," the company stated. "The potential listing of the Class A common stock to a U.S. national securities exchange will be subject to the company's satisfaction of additional exchange listing standards."


VersaBank (VB-T) says it's developing a blockchain-based vault initiative to securely store digital property.

In a release, CEO David Taylor said it's time for the company to "turn our attention to building this new blockchain-based product that the world clearly needs."


Nuuvera Inc. (NUU-X) says its 51-per-cent owned ARA-Avanti Rx Analytics Inc. subsidiary has a sale agreement with Tersum S.A., an Uruguayan licensed producer of cannabis derivatives.

Avanti will purchase 150 kg of Cannabidiol (CBD) this year from Tersum, which is also a subsidiary of ICC Labs Inc. (ICC-X). "All CBD will be manufactured in Tersum's GMP [good manufacturing practice]-certified laboratory in Uruguay and subject to rigorous standards throughout the storage, packaging and shipping process," the company stated.


CannaRoyalty Corp. (CRZ-CN) says it has launched Trichome Yield Corp., which offers debt financing for cannabis companies. Trichome is co-founded with Sprott Inc. (SII-T) and consulting firm Stoic Advisory Inc.

"Trichome aspires to be the preferred lending partner to emerging and established cannabis companies operating in Canada and globally by providing flexible asset-backed debt financing," the company stated.

Trichome will provide investors with "yield-oriented exposure from asset-rich companies across the rapidly growing cannabis supply chain," the company stated, adding that its goals are to "provide a secured yield investment product, with complementary equity exposure to the cannabis industry, and to become an integral lending partner throughout the Canadian supply chain and other fully legal markets internationally."

Trichome is a majority-owned subsidiary of CannaRoyalty, "and will be raising capital from outside parties to support its growth," the company said.


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