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 Financial Group (LB-T) reported net income of $54.9-million or $1.23 per share for the third quarter of 2018, compared with net income of $54.8-million or $1.48 per share for the same period last year.
On an adjusted basis, net income totaled $59.4-million or $1.34 per share for the third quarter, down 1 per cent and 18 per cent respectively, compared with $59.9-million or $1.63 per share for the same period in 2017. Analysts were expecting adjusted EPS of $1.45.
CEO François Desjardins also said the company completed its mortgage loan portfolio review "and have resolved the situation with both CMHC and the third-party purchaser, with no impact on our customers."
He said the review "has been a tremendous learning experience and in the end, makes us stronger and more determined than ever to become a renewed financial institution, committed to being different and better and to deliver value to our customers.”
Endeavour Mining (EDV-T) has it has a binding sale agreement for its interest in the non-core Tabakoto mine to Algom Resources Limited, a subsidiary of BCM Investments Ltd, for US$60-million.
"We are pleased to continue to pursue our portfolio management strategy through the sale of our non-core Tabakoto mine," stated CEO Sébastien de Montessus in a release. "This will increase our overall portfolio quality and allow management to focus on high cash-generating assets with low AISC and long mine lives. Tabakoto has been sold following a comprehensive review which determined that the capital investments required to reduce its AISC did not meet our capital allocation criteria."
CRH Medical Corp. (CRH-T; CRHN-N) has acquired 100-per-cent of a gastroenterology anesthesia practice in Northeastern Ohio. Lake Erie provides anesthesia services to two GI ambulatory surgical centers. The transaction was financed through a combination of CRH’s credit facility and cash on hand, the company said.
"Lake Erie, who's affiliated physicians are an existing O'Regan customer, is our fourth anesthesia acquisition of 2018 and our second transaction in the state of Ohio," said CEO Edward Wright. "We look forward to continue leveraging the strength of our O'Regan relationships, and our existing anesthesia partners, to continue growing our anesthesia business".
“Breton CannaPharms has a very strong presence in veteran communities across Canada and the entire management team has extensive experience in holistically servicing veterans and educating communities on the positive and misunderstood effects of medical cannabis to treat veterans suffering from both chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder,” the company stated.
AGT Food and Ingredients Inc. (AGT-T) says it has entered into a minority investment, along with Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited and Missinippi Rail Limited Partnership, a consortium of First Nations and communities in Northern Manitoba, to acquire and operate the Hudson Bay Railway, Churchill Marine Tank Farm and Port of Churchill facilities from Omnitrax Inc.
"The transaction includes multi-year contribution agreements to support the share purchase, repairs of the port and rail and operations with the Government of Canada," the companies stated.
Fairfax and AGT will operate HBR and the Port facilities under a 99-year operating agreement. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
MTY Food Group Inc. (MTY-T) says one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries has signed an agreement to acquire most of the assets of the sweetFrog Premium Frozen Yogurt franchise system for US$35 million.
"sweetFrog is an exciting brand serving premium quality frozen yogurt and will fit perfectly within our portfolio of brands." said Jeff Smit, chief operating officer of MTY's U.S. operations. "We are extremely happy about everything this brand has to offer and the growth potential ahead."
sweetFrog currently has 254 franchised locations and 78 corporate-owned locations. The acquisition will be financed using MTY's cash on hand and existing credit facilities, the company stated in a release.
Aleafia Health Inc. (ALEF-X), a medical cannabis company, says it has secured its sales licence from Health Canada.
“This is a significant milestone in Aleafia’s history," Julian Fantino, Aleafia’s chairman said in a release. "We made a commitment to secure product for medical cannabis patients, and this saleslLicence will lead us further down that path. In a relatively short period of time, Aleafia has developed a strong base of core assets with an excellent executive leadership team. We are very well positioned for significant growth.”
Tahoe Resources Inc. (THO-T; TAHO-N) issued a release saying it has learned through a Guatemalan Constitutional Court press conference that the Constitutional Court reversed the Supreme Court’s decision to reinstate the Escobal mining license of Tahoe’s Guatemalan subsidiary, Minera San Rafael.
"We understand that the Constitutional Court’s resolution orders that the Escobal mining license will remain suspended until the Ministry of Energy and Mines completes the ILO 169 consultation with the Xinka communities in the region of the Escobal mine," the company stated. "At this time, the company does not have a timeline for completion of MEM's ILO 169 consultation. However, in the similar case of OXEC, MEM completed the consultation within six months."
The company said Constitutional Court is expected to issue a formal resolution in the next several days.
"Using its platform technology for organism design and development, Ginkgo will complement Cronos Group's technologies for producing a full spectrum of cannabinoids," the companies stated in a release. "As part of this unprecedented deal, Cronos Group has agreed to issue a specific number of common shares in tranches subject to Ginkgo's achievement of certain production milestones."
Cronos Group will fund certain research and development and foundry expenses expected to be US$22-million. Also, “upon Ginkgo’s demonstration that the microorganisms are capable of producing the target cannabinoids above a minimum productivity level,” Cronos Group will issue up to approximately 14.7 million common shares. The common shares allocated were based on the 60-day volume weighted average price for Cronos Group common stock of US$6.81 as of July 17, when the letter of intent was executed by both parties. The transaction had an aggregate value of US$100 million assuming all milestones are met, the companies stated.
Ballard Power Systems (BLDP-Q; BDLP-T) said it has a definitive agreement to divest “certain non-core assets” of its Protonex subsidiary to private company Revision Military Ltd. for up to $16-million in cash. Ballard said it will retain certain assets related to fuel cell propulsion systems for military and commercial unmanned vehicles.
"This divestiture is consistent with our strategy of continuous portfolio optimization," stated CEO Randy MacEwen. "We decided to divest Protonex assets that are no longer aligned with Ballard's strategic fuel cell focus, while retaining assets related to the unmanned vehicle market, under the Ballard brand. The divestiture reduces complexity while adding fuel for us to invest in our core fuel cell business."
Advantage Oil & Gas Ltd. (AAV-N; AAV-T) says its board approved the delisting its common shares from the New York Stock Exchange. The company said it made the decision “following the company’s review and careful consideration of the administrative burden and the costs and benefits of being a U.S. reporting company.”
It said the savings from this change “are expected to be financially meaningful.”
On June 4, the company said Petroperu S.A. declared force majeure on the NorPeruano pipeline, which transports crude oil from Block 192 to the export terminal at Bayovar.
"We are pleased to see the resumption of service on the NorPeruano pipeline and the increase in production from Block 192 in Peru, a very important producing asset for Peru and for Frontera," said Richard Herbert, CEO of Frontera. "We look to continue operating the Block in an effective manner for the remaining life of the contract, now expected until September 2019."
Crown Capital Partners Inc. (CRWN-T) said it closed a $15-million term loan to Triple Five Intercontinental Group Ltd., a privately held, Calgary-based oil and gas company. Triple Five’s assets are located in west central Alberta.
The loan is from Crown Capital Partner Funding, LP, an investment fund managed by Crown and in which Crown holds a 37.1-per-cent interest. The term loan bears a fixed interest rate of 10.5 per cent per year, matures in 36 months, and includes a royalty to Crown Partners Fund based on Triple Five's gross sales.
Liberty Health Sciences Inc. (LHS-CN) said it has received approval by the Florida Department of Health to implement FlorPass as the state’s first online patient management system. FlorPass is developed by Alternate Health Corp., an international corporation that provides software solutions for the medical cannabis industry.
“Liberty is transforming the way it provides its customer-centric services by being the first in Florida to provide FlorPass, the best in class, secure online shopping experience for our superior cannabis products,” said George Scorsis, CEO of Liberty Health Sciences.
"We are thrilled to acquire Mercedes-Benz Heritage Valley and to expand our luxury brand portfolio," said Paul Antony, executive chairman. "This acquisition is consistent with our strategy of selective and disciplined acquisitions, with a view to superior operational performance and diversification of our portfolio of dealerships."