29 June 2017

Helping people to get lit since 1975

It was purely by happenstance that I discovered that a company I had once worked for from 1985 to 1990 has just been in the news this spring, through becoming the vehicle by which a medical marijuana producer has become the first publicly listed company in Canada in that industry. The company is Maricann Group Inc.

That's rather interesting, since it was an electrical lighting fixture manufacturer and distributor when I knew it, operating as Danbel Industries Inc, a subsidiary of Noma Industries Limited ("Noma"). It was founded by two brothers-in-law, Les Bresge and Ben Shtang, back in 1975, and was taken over by Noma in 1985. The circumstances behind that acquisition are irrelevant to this discussion, as I want to explain what happened to it after I left.

That is not easy, but it was still feasible as all transactions were carried out by publicly listed companies, and SEDAR provides access to all documents of such entities back to 1997, and CIPO's trademark database was useful for disclosing another material change prior to that.


1 July: Amalgamation of Danbel with Noma Inc, a subsidiary of Noma Industries Limited and manufacturer/distributor of Christmas lights and accessories at that time. It continues operations as an operating division of that company.


9 January: Noma announces that it has reached an agreement to sell the assets of Danbel to Applied Inventions Management, an unlisted junior company then trading on the Canadian Dealer Network.


10 June: After delays relating to a dispute concerning the purchase price, Noma and AIM close the deal. Immediately prior to that, AIM assigns its rights to the acquisition to 1158478 Ontario Inc, a company controlled by Les Bresge. After the acquisition closes, 1158478 immediately changes its name to Danbel Inc.

21 December: Danbel Inc undergoes a reverse takeover with Augusta Technologies Limited, a junior company listed on the Alberta Stock Exchange. Augusta's previous shareholders are cashed out, and it is renamed as Danbel Industries Corporation.


9 December: The TSE grants approval for Danbel to transfer its listing to that exchange.


23 August: Danbel's secured lender appoints a receiver with respect to its operating subsidiaries.

6 September: The receiver assigns most of the operating subsidiaries into bankruptcy.


15 January: The receiver assigns Danbel Inc into bankruptcy.

21 January: Trade is suspended on the TSE. Cease-trade orders issued by the OSC, BCSC and ASC would continue in effect until 4 March 2011.


16 December: Name changed to Danbel Ventures Inc.


21 December: Exit of Les Bresge from the company.


21 April: Reverse takeover, described as a "reverse three-cornered amalgamation", is undertaken with Maricann Inc, a company licensed as a medical marijuana producer since 2013. Danbel changes its name to Maricann Group Inc.

24 April: Trading of Maricann shares begins on the Canadian Stock Exchange.

This constitutes the essential details, which I doubt will be covered in detail anywhere else, and may be of use if anyone pursuing a business degree wants to investigate it further. It does disclose several fascinating aspects of how public listings can be obtained rather easily on the Canadian markets.

Throughout the documentation, there are other interesting details tying together many underlying developments over the years that would be fascinating to insiders, but I will not dwell upon them here. However, they are all publicly available for people to look at.

The corporate history of Noma is also quite fascinating in itself, and deserves a separate article. That I will come back to at another time.

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