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Traders are pictured at their desks at the Frankfurt stock exchange December 8, 2011. (PAWEL KOPCZYNSKI/REUTERS)
Traders are pictured at their desks at the Frankfurt stock exchange December 8, 2011. (PAWEL KOPCZYNSKI/REUTERS)

Small caps

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Amaya Gaming Group Inc. , an entertainment solutions provider for the regulated gaming industry, announced that it has agreed in principle with CryptoLogic Limited the outline terms of a possible recommended all cash offer for all the outstanding share capital of CryptoLogic that Amaya does not already own priced at $2.50 (U.S.) per share and valuing CryptoLogic at approximately $34.5-million.

It said this announcement does not constitute an announcement of a firm intention to make an offer under the United Kingdom's City Code on Takeovers and Mergers. Accordingly, CryptoLogic shareholders are advised that there can be no certainty that an offer for CryptoLogic by Amaya will be forthcoming. Based on the closing price of the CryptoLogic Shares on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on the Dec. 14, 2011, the Possible Offer would represent a premium of approximately 52 per cent over the closing price of the CryptoLogic Shares and a premium of approximately 57 per cent over the volume-weighted average trading price of the CryptoLogic Shares on NASDAQ for the 20 trading days ending on Dec. 14, 2011. Amaya currently owns 971,629 CryptoLogic Shares representing 7 per cent of all such shares issued and outstanding. Amaya also announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell to Canaccord Genuity Corp. $20-million (CAN) in special warrants, each to be issued at a price of $1,000 (CAN).

Specialty pharmaceutical company Valeant Pharmaceuticals announced that it had made a proposal to the Board of Directors of ISTA Pharmaceuticals Inc. to acquire ISTA for $6.50 per share in cash. J. Michael Pearson, chairman and chief executive officer of Valeant, said: "The proposed $6.50 per share price represents a meaningful premium to ISTA's recent trading performance, and we believe it represents a compelling opportunity for ISTA's shareholders in light of the continuing challenges facing ISTA...our $6.50 offer will only remain in effect until Jan. 31, 2012." Valeant also announced successful results from two large international Phase 3 studies of its topical investigational drug (efinaconazole (IDP-108)) product for the treatment of mild to moderate onychomycosis of the toenail. In both the studies, the investigational drug product was found to be statistically superior to placebo for all primary and secondary endpoints. It was found to be generally safe and well tolerated.

Western Energy Services Corp. announced its planned 2012 capital expenditure budget of approximately $80-million, which includes $30-million in expansion capital and $50-million in maintenance capital expenditures. Included in the capital budget is $28-million of carry forward from the 2011 budget, of which $17-million relates to expansion capital with the remaining $11-million relating to maintenance capital. Western will finance its 2012 capital expenditure budget from operating cash flows which, it said, will maintain its conservative balance sheet going into 2012 and position the company for further opportunities.

Gran Tierra Energy Inc. , a company focused on oil exploration and production in South America, announced today a 2012 capital spending program of $367-million for its exploration and production development operations in Colombia, Brazil, Peru and Argentina. The company said the capital spending program allocates $246-million for drilling, $39-million for facilities, equipment and pipelines, including $2-million associated with corporate activities, and $82-million for seismic activities.

Jaguar Mining Inc. , which fell 3 per cent on Thursday, provided an update on the strategic review process that it previously announced was initiated by its Board of Directors on Nov. 16, 2011. The Board has appointed a Special Committee comprised solely of independent directors to review and evaluate any proposals received as part of the strategic review process and to assess whether any such proposal may be more desirable than the continued operation of the company on a stand-alone basis, and to make recommendations to the Board thereon. The Special Committee is chaired by Gil Clausen and is comprised of Clausen, Gary German and John Andrews. It said over the past several weeks, through JP Morgan, the company has solicited interest regarding a potential change of control or merger transaction with the company.

Surge Energy Inc. announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a 1,200 bbl/d (100 per cent light oil) private oil and gas company with high quality, high netback, focused Slave Point/Gilwood light oil assets in the Gift/Nipisi area of Western Alberta. Total consideration is approximately $106-million, consisting of $18.5-million in cash, 7.9 million Surge common shares and assumed net debt at closing of approximately $14.5-million. Surge also said it is on track to meet or exceed 2011 exit guidance of 7,800 boe/d. Exit Production forecast for 2012 is 11,000 boe/d (~77 per cent oil & NGLs).

Cervus Equipment Corporation announced that the board of directors of Cervus has approved a cash dividend to Cervus shareholders of $0.18 per share for the fourth quarter of 2011. This represents $0.72 per share on an annualized basis. Payment will be made on or about Jan. 15, 2012 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Dec. 30, 2011.

01 Communique Laboratory Inc. announced results for its fourth quarter fiscal 2011, which ended Oct. 31st. Financial highlights included: The GAAP loss for the quarter was $538,405 which overall is in-line with the loss of $514,614 for 2010. For the year the loss was $3,217,349 compared to $1,600,165 for 2010 an increase of $1,617,184 primarily a result of a $1,133,592 increase in costs associated with patent enforcement and re-examination expenses and $375,465 increase in non-cash expenses. The adjusted loss for the quarter was $287,256 ($290,910 in 2010) which is the GAAP loss excluding non-cash expenses of $248,200 ($33,732 for 2010) for stock based compensation and $2,949 for depreciation and amortization ($3,019 for 2010) and expenses related to accretion, interest and redeeming the debenture in 2010 of $186,953 (nil for 2011).

Canadian-based drilling company Orbit Garant Drilling Inc. announced today that it has acquired Lantech Drilling Services Inc. for a purchase price of $12-million. Eric Alexandre, President and CEO of Orbit Garant, said: "Through the transaction, we have established a new strategic hub for Orbit Garant in Eastern Canada, added 32 drill rigs to our fleet, and strengthened our team with highly skilled management personnel, drillers and field technicians."

Marathon Gold Corporation today announced that it has purchased the Bonanza Mine, located in north eastern Oregon, USA. The Bonanza Mine is a historic high-grade producer and Marathon owns 100 per cent of the property. Phillip Walford, President and CEO, said: "...this property exhibited real merit and promise and was a natural fit for the Company...We believe this property has excellent upside exploration potential and as we own 100 per cent of the asset, we anticipate it generating value for the Company."

Oceanic Iron Ore Corp. announced today a further set of assay results from both twinned and new exploration holes conducted as part of its 2011 resource verification program at the Hopes Advance project area. Steven Dean, Chairman and CEO, said: "The exploration drill holes that we are reporting today illustrate significant potential upside for the Hopes Advance resource which should become apparent when we release the updated resource estimate for Hopes Advance in the coming months."

Questerre Energy Corporation , which closed yesterday's session just 2 cents above year low 59 cents, announced today that it has entered into a letter of intent to develop oil shale opportunities in North America. Michael Binnion, President and CEO, commented: "We expect oil from shale will become the foundation of our unconventional oil strategy. Through this letter of intent, we will participate, both directly and indirectly, in the development of an existing oil shale project and a new project both in the western United States. We will also have access to the processes and technology for any oil shale projects developed by Questerre."

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