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A grower cares for marijuana plants in the "Flower Room" at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill.

Seth Perlman/AP

Our roundup of Canadian small-caps of between $100-million and $2.5-billion in market capitalization making news and on the move today.

Marijuana stocks could rise today amid reports that the federal government has been scrambling to draft legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, hoping to have a bill in place ahead of the symbolic date of April 20.

Citing sources, Globe and Mail reporter Daniel Leblanc writes that a "senior federal official said preparing the legislation has exposed a number of divisions on key issues between the Health, Justice and Public Safety departments, requiring federal lawyers to work overtime to find the appropriate legal language to express the government's final intentions."

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The government is hoping to legalize pot by July 1, 2018, CBC News reported Sunday night.

​"​The governing Liberals used last year's 4/20 celebrations – festivals held annually across the country in which marijuana enthusiasts publicly light up – to announce that they would table their legislation this spring. The government is now hoping to table the long-awaited bill in less than a month, ahead of that same date this year,​" Mr. Leblanc writes, citing sources.

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Dominion Diamond Corp. (DDC-T)  which is being pursued by Washington Cos and Stornoway Diamond Corp, said it would explore strategic alternatives, including a sale.

U.S.-listed shares of Dominion, which has a market cap of $1.41-billion, were up 7.3 per cent at $13.70 in premarket trading on Monday.

Dominion's largest shareholder, M&G Investments, last week asked the company to run a formal sales process and open its books to interested parties.

Washington Cos, a group of privately held North American mining, industrial and transportation businesses founded by billionaire Dennis Washington, revealed its $1.1-billion unsolicited bid in March.

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Dominion, the world's third-largest diamond producer by value, broke off talks with the Washington Cos, calling the terms as unusual and unacceptable. However, the miner said later that it was open to holding discussions with the Washington Cos.

Fellow Canadian diamond miner Stornoway Diamond Corp last week entered into talks with Dominion about a potential merger.

-Reuters

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Total Energy Services Inc. (TOT-T) says about 61 million common shares of Savanna Energy Services Corp. (SVY-T) or about 51.6 per cent of outstanding common shares, were "validly tendered (and not withdrawn)" under its offer for the company.

Total has also extended the period for the tender of additional Savanna common shares to midnight on April 7

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"We are pleased with the initial level of support demonstrated by Savanna shareholders for the combination of our companies," stated Total CEO Daniel Halyk in a release.

"While the process has been long and hard fought at times, the underlying rationale for the combination of Total Energy and Savanna remains sound. With this initial take-up of Savanna common shares, we believe that the level of support for this transaction will increase substantially and we look forward to engaging with Savanna to move forward in an efficient and cooperative manner that serves the best interests of all Savanna shareholders."

In a release of its own, Savanna acknowledged that Total has satisfied its minimum tender condition of 50.1 per cent in its unsolicited offer.

"On the acquisition of over 50 per cent of the outstanding Savanna Shares, an event of default occurs under Savanna's first and second lien credit facilities," the company said. "Savanna is in discussions with its lenders with respect to the impact of the event of default and expects the lenders will not immediately take steps with respect to the default."

In a separate releaseWestern Energy Services Corp. (WRG-T) also acknowledged the announcement by Total and says it's "currently evaluating" the impact.

"Western and its board of directors are understandably disappointed with the outcome of the bid," the company said, adding that it "remains a party to its arrangement agreement with Savanna, and is committed to act in accordance with the terms of that agreement."

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Aphria Inc. (APH-T) says it has made an additional investment of $3-million (U.S.) in Copperstate Farms Investors to 18.5 per cent from 10 per cent.

It said the investment will help advance its capital expenditure program related to extractions, lighting and power generation.

Investors owns a 95-per-cent interest in Copperstate Farms, a licensed producer of medical cannabis in Arizona. The remaining interest is owned by Aphria through its subsidiary Aphria (Arizona) Inc.

"Our expanded investment in Copperstate Farms Investors increases Aphria's exposure to the particularly attractive Arizona medical cannabis market," said CEO Vic Neufeld in a release.

**

K Bro Linen Inc. (KBL-T) reported fourth-quarter revenue of $39.3-mllion up from $37.7-million a year earlier.

Analysts were expecting revenue of $42.3-milllion.

Net earnings came in at $2.2-million or 27 cents per share compared to $2.2-million or 27 cents a year earlier.

In its outlook, the company described 2017 and 2018 as "transition years that will impact our margins but once complete will enable us to realize additional efficiencies, increase capacity and increase market share."

K-Bro also said it has "several proposals pending and has entered into discussions with potential new customers" and  "continues to seek potential acquisition candidates."

**

Le Château Inc. (CTU-T) says it has applied to list on the TSX Venture Exchange and voluntarily delist from the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The company said it expects the transition will be completed within 60 days "in an efficient and seamless manner, with no interruption in the ability of shareholders and investors to trade shares of the company."

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Norsat International Inc. (NII-T; NSAT-N) is being bought by Hytera Project Corp., a subsidiary of Hytera Communications Co., Ltd. for $10.25 (U.S.) per share.

The proposed transaction values Norsat at an equity value of approximately $62 million (U.S.)

We believe this all-cash transaction offers Norsat shareholders immediate liquidity and certainty of value," said Norsat chairman Fabio Doninelli.

**

Yellow Pages Limited (Y-T) appointed Ken Taylor as chief financial officer, effective March 27, 2017.

"Mr. Taylor is a seasoned executive with capital markets experience who has regularly led the development of corporate growth strategies and provided the accompanying financial and operational leadership necessary for subsequent execution," the company said.

**

Clairvest Group Inc. (CVG-T) and Clairvest Equity Partners III Limited Partnership are together selling their interest in Lyophilization Services of New England, Inc. (LSNE) for $80-million (U.S.) to a company backed by the Permira funds.

"LSNE CEO Matt Halvorsen will remain a shareholder, rolling equity alongside Permira," according to a statement.

**

Grande West Transportation Group Inc. (BUS-X) announced its first U.S. public transit order on Monday from the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) for 10 buses.

"Providing Vicinity to a U.S. transit authority is another major milestone for Grande West as it demonstrates the broad North American appeal of our game-changing mid-size bus," stated CEO William Trainer in a release.

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About the Author
Contributor

Brenda Bouw is a freelance writer and editor based in Vancouver. She has more than 20 years of experience as a business reporter, including at The Globe and Mail, The Canadian Press, the Financial Post and was executive producer at BNN (formerly ROBTv). Brenda was also part of the Globe and Mail reporting team that won the 2010 National Newspaper Award for business journalism. More

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