Our roundup of Canadian small-caps of between $100-million and $2.5-billion in market capitalization making news and on the move today.
Exchange Income Corp. (EIF-T) said it has "become aware of a short and distort campaign aimed at undermining the value of EIC's shares."
"The short report was deliberately released immediately following the end of the company's second quarter when EIC is in a quiet period, and is based on a number of statements, assumptions and opinions with which we strenuously disagree," the company said in a release.
"EIC has maintained a consistent strategy since its inception in 2004 which has enabled us to grow profitably and return a reliable and growing dividend to our shareholders. Nothing has changed. Since 2004, EIC has paid shareholders $300-million in dividends while maintaining a strong balance sheet with limited leverage.
"EIC reiterates its expectation that the company will meet analyst consensus for the 2017 fiscal year. Furthermore, we are having a strong second quarter and in order to fully inform our stakeholders of this performance on as timely a manner as possible we will accelerate the announcement of these results from our historical precedent of the second week of August to the week of July 24.
"EIC directors and management remain extremely confident in the company's business fundamentals and outlook, including its ability to generate returns on its investments that are consistent with EIC's proven strong historical track record. Company insiders, including certain directors and officers, recently increased their holdings in EIC through share purchases in the open market. The company has also been actively repurchasing shares through its normal course issuer bid."
It also said it is considering accelerating its share buyback program.
HNZ Group Inc. (HNZ-T) says the operations carried out by Norsk Helikopterservice AS, a Norwegian company it owns an 49.9-per-cent interest in, ceased on June 30.
"Norsk has encountered various challenges in the Norwegian market, and our investment in Norsk has not performed as we had hoped," said HNZ CEO Don Wall in a release. "After considering the results and prospects of this investment, we have decided to focus our efforts on other aspects of HNZ's strategic plan."
Dundee Precious Metals Inc. (DPM-T) says it has entered into an option agreement with Khalkos Exploration Inc. to earn up to a 71-per-cent interest in its Malartic gold property in Quebec.
Under the terms of the option agreement, Dundee says it can earn an initial 51-per-cent interest in Malartic in exchange for cash payments totalling $412,500, the issuance of 70,000 common shares of the company and making expenditures on the property of $2.5-million within three years. It has the option to increase its interest to 71 per cent by incurring an additional $3.5-million in expenditures on the property within three years.
Dundee will be the operator of the project during the option period.
"This initiative is in line with our corporate strategy to build a diversified pipeline of assets," said CEO Rick Howes.
Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. (CF-T) is buying Hargreave Hale Ltd., a U.K.-based investment and wealth management business with $13.5-billion (Canadian) in assets under administration.
"The acquisition of Hargreave Hale is an important step in our strategy of building a leading independent global wealth management business," said CEO Dan Daviau in a release. "We view this transaction as a significant development in our long-term strategy of transforming our business mix to grow contributions from our global wealth management businesses, and one that will deliver enhanced value for our clients and our shareholders."
Under the terms of the transaction, Canaccord says its U.K. division will pay $87.9-million and additional contingent consideration of up to $46.5-million.
"Additional contingent consideration, if paid, will be funded from the ongoing cash flow of the business," it said.
Acquisition-related costs comprised of deal costs, transaction fees, and incentive-based payments subject to certain performance criteria are expected to be about $27-million. Of that, $13.5-million will be expensed at the time of closing, with the balance to be expensed "as a significant item" over a four-year measurement period, Canaccord said.
First Global Data Ltd. (FGD-X) has signed a letter of intent to partner with AnalytixInsight Inc. (ALY-T) on various initiatives.
For example, First Global will "white label" its mobile payment app for use by AnalytixInsight Inc. and embed its stock trading app in its mobile deployment in India.
AnalytixInsight will leverage its partnerships with organizations such as Samsung and Intesa Sanpaolo, to expand First Global's mobile payments services across Europe and elsewhere as determined by the parties in a revenue sharing model.
"AnalytixInsight has incredible predictive analytics technology and are deploying across Europe in partnership with Samsung. We intend to provide these valuable services to all of our strategic partners globally and to our collective clients," said First Global CEO Andre Itwaru.
CannaRoyalty Corp. (CRZ-C) said on Wednesday that its institutional investor and joint-venture (JV) partner is Sprott Inc. (SII-T) The announcement is part of a $12-million debenture financing and the formation of a JV, details of which were released on June 19.
"As Canada continues moving towards full-adult use cannabis legalization, we are beginning to see an increased quantity and quality of true value-add domestic investment opportunities. We believe this JV will be an accretive vehicle for CannaRoyalty to leverage its extensive experience in the global value-add cannabis sector to gain additional exposure to those high-growth opportunities," said Marc Lustig, CEO of CannaRoyalty.
The JV is expected to be launched following the closing of the debenture financing and "will focus on debt investment opportunities in the rapidly growing legal Canadian cannabis sector," the company said. It said the types of assets that the JV may target include licensed producers, licensed producer applicants, and production assets.
It also said Sprott has exercised its board nomination right to Peter Gundy, chairman of Alexandria Minerals Corp.
Temple Hotels Inc. (TPH-T) says it paid off convertible debentures due on June 30 and announced an agreement for the refinancing of a five-loan mortgage portfolio with a Canadian chartered bank.
Temple also said it has also entered into a revolving credit facility with a Canadian chartered bank, which is secured by two hotel properties located in Yellowknife, NWT. The company also announced the refinancing of a hotel in Sudbury, Ont.
"As a result of the refinancings described above, Temple has resolved five of the 10 covenant violations reported at March 31, 2017," the company said. "Temple continues to work diligently with its lenders to resolve its remaining mortgage covenant violations, which have primarily been caused by the downturn in oil-dependent markets."
CEO Rai Sahi said the new financings provide financial flexibility "so that Temple can continue to focus on key strategic, business and operational targets."