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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.

The former chair of CannTrust Holdings Inc. (TRST-T) – along with a company director – sold $6-million of the company’s stock in the weeks after he was informed in writing that the cannabis producer was illegally growing marijuana plants in unlicensed rooms, The Globe and Mail reported late Monday.

Trading records show that a holding company controlled by Eric Paul and director Mark Litwin sold nearly $1-million worth of shares on Nov. 16 last year. That was the same day a CannTrust executive sent, and Mr. Paul replied to, an e-mail that outlined the company’s illicit growing operations.

The holding company, called Cannamed Financial Corp., sold a further $5-million in CannTrust shares over the next 30 days, according to records filed with the Canadian System for Electronic Disclosure for Insiders (SEDI).

Trading by company executives and board members is not illegal as long as they do not possess confidential information about the corporation that would affect the stock price. SEDI is the means by which Canadian insiders disclose their trades to the public.

-David Milstead and Mark Rendell


American Hotel Income Properties REIT LP (HOT.UN-T) announced an agreement to sell its Economy Lodging portfolio, which includes 45 hotels through certain of its subsidiaries to an affiliate of VCM, Ltd. for about US$215.5-million.

"This sale culminates an extensive review of the portfolio that reinforced AHIP's view that its long-term strategy is better focused on expanding and driving growth from its Premium Branded hotel portfolio, which currently consists of 67 hotels in larger U.S. secondary markets that are predominantly affiliated with Marriott, Hilton and IHG hotel brands," the REIT stated.

After the repayment of property mortgages and transaction closing costs, the net proceeds from the sale of approximately US$90-million, it stated. The proceeds will be used to acquire additional Premium Branded hotels "that are better suited to AHIP's long-term strategy, and also used for general corporate purposes."

"This is a transformational transaction for our business, and will simplify our corporate structure, cost base and investment story, while providing us with the opportunity to redeploy capital towards initiatives we believe will generate stronger growth prospects, as well as higher and more consistent returns for our investors," stated CEO John O'Neill.


Richards Packaging Income Fund (RPI.UN-T) reported second-quarter revenue of $85.5-million, rising from $80.3-million a year ago. Analysts were expecting revenue of $83.5-million.

While the company's revenue grew 6.5 per cent for the second quarter, organic growth was 2.8 per cent, down from 5.6 per cent during the first quarter, stated CEO Gerry Glynn in a release.

"The shock created by the Trump-China tariff will cause the U.S. market to keep adjusting until it finds equilibrium," he stated. "We lost a large customer (US$4-million per annum) to a domestic glass manufacturer and a second large customer ($4-million per annum) due to customer consolidation,"

Net income came in at about $3-million or 27.4 cents per share versus $2.6-million or 23.6 cents a year ago.


Clairvest Group Inc. (CVG-T) announced that it and Clairvest Equity Partners V made a “growth equity majority investment” of £23 million (about $37-million Canadian) in FSB Technology (UK) Ltd., a sports and internet gaming technology supplier based in London, United Kingdom. Subject to certain conditions, the investment may be increased by up to £4 million ($6.4-million Canadian), the company stated.

“We are impressed with FSB’s leadership, technology platform and tremendous growth track record to date. Having spent over two years evaluating the sports betting space, we view FSB as a strong leader with a promising opportunity to expand into new regulated sports betting markets. We are excited to back the Company’s co-founders and partner with proven and strongly aligned gaming entrepreneurs,” said Michael Wagman, president of Clairvest.


Ballard Power Systems (BLDP-Q; BLDP-T) announced a purchase order from Solaris Bus & Coach S.A., a European bus and trolleybus manufacturer and Ballard partner headquartered in Bolechowo, Poland, for 12 FCmove™-HD fuel cell modules. The modules will power 12 buses to be deployed with SASA Bolzano, the public transport operator in Bolzano, Italy under the Joint Initiative For Hydrogen Vehicles Across Europe funding program.


Western Copper and Gold Corp. (WRN-T) announced it plans to buy the 311 mineral claims that comprise the Canadian Creek Property owned by Cariboo Rose Resources Ltd. (CRB-X). The property lies directly adjacent to Western’s Casino Project. The purchase price is about $2.8-million and consists of the issuance of 3 million common shares of Western at a price of $0.928 per share, the company said.


People Corp. (PEO-X) announced the acquisition of ACL Student Benefits Ltd., a privately-owned post-secondary student benefits consulting firm based in Toronto. “The addition of ACL to the People Corporation family significantly enhances our market position in the post-secondary student benefits sector, which has very strong underlying fundamentals,” stated CEO Laurie Goldberg. “In adding the scale and capabilities of ACL to our existing student benefits business, we have solidified our position as a preeminent student benefits solution provider in Canada, broadened our reach into the international student segment, gained meaningful exposure to the Ontario student market and positioned ourselves for accelerated growth in the sector.”

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