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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.

Pason Systems Inc. (PSI-T) announced a number of changes to its senior management team and board of directors effective Oct. 1, which it says is aligned with its long-term succession plan.

The company said board chair James Hill, who acquired Pason in 1987 and took it public in 1996, will be retiring. President and CEO Marcel Kessler will succeed Mr. Hill as non-executive chair of the board. Jon Faber, the current chief financial officer, will become president and CEO. David Elliott, the vice-president of finance, will become interim CFO until a permanent successor is appointed.

Pason also said it will further streamline its structure and operations by consolidating its core U.S. and Canadian operations, which it said is "in response to ongoing low activity levels across the North American land drilling market."


Sangoma Technologies Corp. (STC-X) announced a $60-million underwritten public offering. The company said it has an agreement with a syndicate of investment dealers that has agreed to buy 26.1 million shares for $2.30 each. The stock closed at $2.65 on Tuesday before the announcement.

The company said the net proceeds will be used to fund any future acquisitions, for debt repayment, and for general corporate purposes.


Excellon Resources Inc. (EXN-T) increased its previously announced private placement of secured convertible debentures to $15-million, from the $8-million announced earlier this month.

It said the proceeds will be used for repayment of a US$6-million bridge loan with Sprott Private Resource Lending II, exploration on the Silver City, Platosa and Kilgore projects and general corporate purposes.


Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AUPH-Q; AUP-T) announced late Wednesday a $200-million public offering of common shares. The company said the offering includes 13.3 million shares at a price of US$15 each. The stock closed at US$16.66 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.

The company said it intends to use the net proceeds "for pre-commercialization and launch activities, research and development, as well as working capital and general corporate purposes."


TransAlta Corp. (TA-N; TAC-N) announced it has given notice to the Alberta Electric System Operator of its intention to retire the currently mothballed coal-fired Sundance Unit 3, effective July 31.

“The retirement decision was largely driven by TransAlta’s assessment of future market conditions, the age and condition of the unit, and our ability to supply energy and capacity from our generation portfolio in Alberta,” the company stated. “This decision advances the company’s transition to 100-per-cent clean electricity by 2025.”


Mullen Group Ltd. (MTL-T) announced it will resume the dividend by paying 3 cents per common share on a monthly basis to shareholders at the close of business on July 31. The dividend will be paid on Aug. 17.

The company also reported second-quarter revenue of $257.5-million down from $319-million a year ago.

Net income was $23-million or 23 cents per share versus net income of $31.7-million or 30 cents a year ago. Adjusted net income came in at $18-million or 18 cents versus $15.5-million or 15 cents a year ago.

Analysts were expecting revenue of $252.1-million and adjusted earnings of 9 cents.


Precision Drilling Corp. (PD-T) reported second-quarter revenue of $189.8-million, a decrease of 47 per cent compared with the second quarter of 2019.

Its net loss of $48.9-million 18 cents per share compared with a net loss of $13.8-million or 5 cents a year ago.

Analysts were expecting revenue of $182.2-million and a loss of 21 cents.


The twice-spurned bidder for Torstar Corp. (TS.B-T) is planning a last-ditch attempt to derail a takeover of the media company by a rival group that has locked up shareholder support for its own $60-million bid this week.

Canadian Modern Media Holdings Inc. and one of its backers, Matthew Proud, will ask the Ontario Superior Court to not approve a plan of arrangement that would see NordStar Capital LP acquire Torstar for 74 cents per share, said their lawyer, Alistair Crawley. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

Shareholders approved the takeover by NordStar on Tuesday, voting 98.7 per cent in favour. Earlier, NordStar, which is run by Toronto investors Jordan Bitove and Paul Rivett, won commitments from the five families that control Torstar’s voting trust and major shareholder Fairfax Financial Holdings Inc. to back its bid.

Canadian Modern Media, which floated two unsolicited offers that Torstar rejected, is arguing that the bidding war could have gone on, possibly resulting in a richer deal for the company that has struggled for years with declining advertising revenues and financial losses. Its shares were worth $30 in 2004.

“CMMH is opposing the approval of the NordStar plan of arrangement on the basis that it is not fair and reasonable for Torstar shareholders,” Mr. Crawley told The Globe and Mail. “The Torstar board prematurely closed what had just become a competitive process between NordStar and CMMH for the sale of Torstar and as a result they failed to obtain the best transaction for shareholders.”

NordStar raised its offer for the company that publishes the Toronto Star newspaper to 74 cents a share from 63 cents in early July after facing a rival bid from Canadian Modern Media. That is when it secured the hard lockup agreements with the major owners.

-Sean Silcoff and Jeffrey Jones


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