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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.

An investment management company that controls about 4.8 per cent of the shares of Canfor Corp. (CFP-T) says it will vote against the proposal by a Jim Pattison Group company to take the lumber company private.

Letko, Brosseau & Associates Inc. charges in a news release the offer by Great Pacific Capital Corp. is “opportunistic and significantly undervalues the company.”

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The $16 per share bid to buy the 49 per cent of Canfor that Great Pacific doesn’t already own represented an 81.8 per cent premium to the prior closing price when made in August.

But the investment manager says that premium was based on a share price that had fallen to a level not seen since 2010 and the offer is about half what the shares were fetching a year ago.

Letko, Brosseau, which manages about $26 billion in assets, says the offer values Canfor at about 4.2 times 2018 adjusted earnings, which is “unjustifiably low.”

Shares in Canfor rose more than 70 per cent the day after the offer was made to close at $15.26 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. On Wednesday, they closed at $15.34.

“To protect the value of our investment, we intend to vote against the proposed going private transaction,” the release states.

-The Canadian Press

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Slate Retail REIT (SRT.UN-T) announced it has completed nine dispositions that will generate gross proceeds of $45.9-million as part of the REIT’s capital recycling program. On a year-to-date basis, the REIT said it has completed 14 dispositions for $81.5-million.

"The REIT will seek to reinvest net proceeds into new accretive investment opportunities that will strengthen the quality of the REIT’s portfolio and drive growth in net operating income," it stated.

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Firm Capital Property Trust (FCD.UN-X) announced the acquisition of a 50-per-cent interest in two industrial properties located in Edmonton. Its share is about $5.7-million, excluding transaction costs.

The portfolio is being financed through a combination of existing cash resources and new mortgages, the company said.

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CannTrust Holdings Inc. (TRST-T) announced that the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) will return products worth $1.3-million.

Health Canada suspended the troubled pot grower’s license to produce and sell cannabis on Tuesday, after the regulator found out about illegal cultivation by the company.

AGLC is in charge of wholesale distribution of cannabis products to licensed cannabis retailers in the province.

- Reuters

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Theratechnologies Inc. (TH-T) announced an agreement has been reached with the AIDS Drug Assistance Program Crisis Task Force for its Egrifta SV product, which the company said will commercially launch in the U.S. “very shortly.”

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The company said the agreement will help to facilitate access to low income, underinsured and uninsured Americans living with HIV in all 50 states and territories of the U.S.

The FDA approved Egrifta SV, a growth hormone-releasing factor, in November for the reduction of excess abdominal fat in HIV infected patients with lipodystrophy.

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ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc (ATA-T) announced that it has acquired iXLOG Unternehmensberatung GmbH, a Germany-based IT consulting and service provider specializing in business process optimization, business intelligence and analytics. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

"We are excited to announce the addition of iXLOG and its employees to our PA [Process Automation Solutions] business," said Andrew Hider, ATS CEO.

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Canadian mutual fund company AGF Management Ltd. (AGF.B-T) scored a $320-million windfall early Thursday from the planned merger of two large British money managers.

London-based Smith & Williamson, which is 33.6-per-cent owned by AGF, announced early Thursday that it will join forces with rival Tilney Group Ltd. in a transaction that will create one of Britain’s largest independent wealth managers, with £45-billion ($74-billion) in assets.

In the deal, Toronto-based AGF will receive $277-million in cash and retain a 2.3-per-cent stake in the merged British firm, or a total of $320-million. AGF first invested in a predecessor to Smith & Williamson in 1998 and stands to make a 260-per-cent return on its stake.

AGF executive chairman Blake Goldring said the merger “delivers on AGF’s long-term investment strategy in the U.K. while providing us the opportunity to participate in a new company that is set up to be a market leader.”

AGF’s decision to sell the bulk of its stake in Smith & Williamson reflects the rising cost of doing business in Britain, because of regulatory changes that include significant government pension reforms unveiled in 2015, Mr. Goldring said. He said the political uncertainty surrounding Brexit played no role in the move, as AGF began looking for an exit before the British referendum on leaving the European Union in 2016.

- Andrew Willis

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