Our roundup of Canadian small-caps of between $100-million and $2.5-billion in market capitalization making news and on the move today.
Laurentian Bank of Canada (LB-T) announced on Monday that François Desjardins is stepping down as president and CEO and resigning as a director of the bank and will be retiring from the bank, effective June 30.
Stéphane Therrien has been appointed as interim president and CEO, and as a director of the Bank. Mr. Therrien currently serves as its executive vice-president, personal and commercial banking, and as president and CEO of LBC Financial Services.
Cineplex announced on Friday that it had received notice about the termination of the transaction, and acknowledged that the deal “will not proceed.” The company said it will now pursue legal action, seeking damages for what it characterized as a breach of contractual obligations by Cineworld.
Cineplex said it plans to hold Cineworld “responsible for its breaches and failure to complete the Transaction at $34.00 per common share,” which was the original price of the deal announced in December.
In a statement on Friday, Cineworld acknowledged that the Canadian company had faced “a material adverse effect” to its business, and said the termination was due to “certain breaches” of the agreement by Cineplex. According to Cineplex, Cineworld claimed those breaches included not operating its business “in the ordinary course.” Cineplex pointed out in its statement that the deal provided exceptions for “outbreaks of illness or other acts of God.” The COVID-19 pandemic has forced movie theatres around the world to shut their doors. Cineplex accused Cineworld of using the pandemic as a cover for “buyer’s remorse” and to “avoid its obligations” under the deal.
In turn, Cineplex accused Cineworld in its statement of breaching its obligations by not using “its reasonable best efforts to obtain approval under the Investment Canada Act as soon as reasonably practicable”. According to Cineplex, such an effort would have ensured the deal closed “months ago.” Cineworld denied that claim in its statement, and said it “will vigorously defend” itself against such allegations. The company added in its statement that it “has also reserved its right to seek damages from Cineplex” for breaches.
The deal was first announced in December and was initially expected to close in the first half of this year. Cineworld offered $34 per share for Toronto-based Cineplex, a 39-per-cent premium compared to the average share price in the 30 days leading up to Dec. 13 – the last trading day before the deal was announced.
In a release on Monday, Cineplex said it plans to start legal proceedings “promptly against Cineworld and seek damages for Cineworld’s breaches of the agreements governing the Transaction and its failure to discharge its obligations thereunder.”
- Susan Krashinksy Robertson
CanWel Building Materials Group Ltd. (CWX-T) announced that it has experienced “continued resilience across its business segments with steady end-market demand,” which has led to an 8-per-cent increase in year-to-date sales when compared to the same period in 2019.
"The company is also benefitting as the economy starts to re-open in certain jurisdictions that had previously restricted activity," it stated, adding that its treated wood business "has particularly shown strong performance during the period due to the positive impact from increased demand and volumes coming from consumers spending more time and efforts on home renovation and repair projects."
It said the stay-home, “do it yourself” renovation and repair market "has been extremely robust during the second quarter and we continue to see this trend in early June."
It also said there is no change to the second quarter 2020 dividend.
“The credit facility granted to New Look vision is part of the Fonds’ plan to support Québec businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the company stated.
Planet 13 Holdings Inc. (PLTH-C) announced a $10-milion bought-deal public offering. It has an agreement with Beacon Securities Limited, on behalf of a syndicate of underwriters, that will buy 4,660,000 units at a price of $2.15 each.
Each unit includes one common share and one-half of one common share purchase warrant at an exercise price of $2.85 for 24 months. The net proceeds will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes.
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