Our roundup of Canadian small-caps of between $100-million and $2.5-billion in market capitalization making news and on the move today.
CannTrust Holdings Inc. (TRST-T; CTST-N) says it will destroy $77-million worth of cannabis in an attempt to get Health Canada to restore its licences, $26-million more than the previously disclosed estimate of the amount it would have to discard.
The cannabis regulator suspended the company’s growing and processing licences on Sept. 17. Federal investigators discovered in mid-June that CannTrust had grown thousands of kilograms of cannabis in unlicensed parts of its greenhouse facility in Pelham, Ont., and later determined that the company had also breached regulations at its manufacturing plant in Vaughan, Ont. The unlicensed growing took place in 2018 and early 2019.
Under the suspension, CannTrust was allowed to continue cultivating and harvesting existing batches of cannabis that were planted since late March, but could not plant more or sell cannabis. The destruction of the inventory “is both an essential and integral part of CannTrust executing its remediation plan, as well as addressing Health Canada’s remediation expectations,” the company said in a statement.
CannTrust said on Monday it will not challenge the suspension of its licences. It has already submitted an outline of its plans to Health Canada and will give it a detailed remediation plan by Oct. 21. The goal, the company said, is “full regulatory compliance” and “the full reinstatement of its licences.”
-David Milstead and Mark Rendell
Lundin Gold Inc. (LUG-T) issued a statement late Monday saying its operations are returning to normal “as the movement of key supplies and personnel to and from its Fruta del Norte gold project have resumed with the lifting roadblocks in Ecuador.”
The company saidits efforts are now focused on ramping up activities safely. "Now that the Project is on the national power grid, the company expects that commissioning activities, which had been cut back, will return to the normal plan within the next few days," it stated.
On Sunday, Lundin Gold said in a release that ongoing civil unrest in Ecuador "started to have an impact on the activities on its Fruta del Norte gold project," and that it had curtailed some activities in certain areas of the project.
It said ongoing road blockades that started on Oct. 3 prevented the movement of key supplies and personnel to and from the project. Lundin Gold also said it "does not foresee an impact on its goal of first gold production this quarter and work related to the outstanding permits continues."
Aphria Inc. (APHA-T; APHA-N) shares were up more than 20 per cent in pre-market trading after the company reported revenue of $126.1-million in the first quarter ended Aug. 31, an increase of 849 per cent from $13.3-million in the prior-year quarter. Analysts were expecting revenue of $131.2-million.
Net income of $16.4-million or 7 cents per share was down from $21.2-million or 9 cents a year ago. Analysts were expecting a loss of 2 cents per share. Adjusted EBITDA was $1-million versus a loss of $4-million a year ago.
HBC’s Saks Fifth Avenue chain is in talks to license the Barneys name, as part of a bid by Authentic Brands Group LLC to take over the struggling retailer, according to a person familiar with the matter. Barneys filed for bankruptcy in August, saying it planned to close eight stores and seven Barneys Warehouse locations, keeping just seven stores open.
Saks is not interested in operating the remaining stores, according to the source, to whom The Globe and Mail has granted confidentiality because they were not authorized to speak publicly. Instead, Saks might run the website, sell some Barneys merchandise in its stores, and open Barneys-branded mini-shops within some Saks stores. The licensing fee would be “minimal” and would not be a cash drain on HBC, the person said.
The deal is not finalized and the bankruptcy process continues for Barneys with no assurance of its survival. A spokesperson for HBC declined to comment.
-David Milstead and Susan Krashinsky Robertson
Mittleman Brothers LLC, which describes itself as the largest shareholder of Aimia Inc. (AIM-T) owning or exercising control over more than 23 per cent of its outstanding shares, issued a statement Tuesday saying it has requested the Toronto Stock Exchange “closely monitor any acquisition, financing, issuance of securities, or other defensive tactic or potentially-dilutive transaction or series of transactions proposed by Aimia” until after the Jan. 24 shareholder meeting is held and the composition of Aimia’s board is determined by shareholders.
Mittleman also said it's asking the TSX to "require that any such transaction or series of transactions be approved by shareholders as a condition of the TSX's consent."
The January shareholder meeting was requisitioned by a coalition of Aimia shareholders seeking to replace four Aimia directors, Mittleman noted. It's not one of the requisitioning shareholders.
See also: Mittleman files counterclaim against Aimia;