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Temple eyes corporate structure

TEMPLE Real Estate Investment Trust, the Winnipeg hotel REIT, announced Tuesday it plans to convert to a corporate structure operating under the new name Temple Hotels Inc.

The REIT says it is making the change because the nature of its assets and operations means it does not currently qualify for the "REIT exception" under the federal tax code.

"As a result, continuing as a trust does not provide any meaningful long-term benefits to the REIT or its security-holders," the company said in a release.

After it closed a $46-million convertible debenture offering in August, Temple has cash reserves of about $100 million, giving it the capacity to further expand the portfolio of income-producing hotel properties by $250 million.

The company posted a 24 per cent increase in revenue to $23.2 million for the quarter ending June 30, 2012 and company CEO, Arni Thorsteinson, said it's on pace for a record third quarter as well.

Temple owns a number of hotels in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. Most noteworthy, it owns seven hotels in the booming Fort McMurray market and controls about 51 per cent of that market. But Thorsteinson said recent acquisitions in Calgary and Edmonton have reduced Temple's reliance on Fort McMurray from 55 per cent of its revenue three years ago to 35 per cent now.

Under the proposed changes, unitholders will receive one common share in the new company in exchange for each unit held, while holders of options will receive options to acquire common shares of Temple Hotels which provide for the same vesting provisions, exercise prices and expiry dates.

Rich U.S. deals for Cangene

THE Cangene Corporation has signed agreements extending two of its contracts related to United States government's bio-defence programs that could mean an additional $26.3 million to the Winnipeg company over the next four years.

It will expand the scope of work under its contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the development and supply of Anthrax Immune Globulin Intravenous (AIGIV). It could generate up to approximately $16.5 million in additional revenue over the next four years, an increase of approximately 11 per cent over the original contract value.

The AIGIV, a hyperimmune antibody product, was developed to treat inhalational anthrax and was first accepted into the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile in 2007.

Cangene has also entered into a new contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the supply of Vaccinia Immune Globulin Intravenous (VIGIV) into the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile. The original five-year contract for the supply of VIGIV, entered into in 2002 and extended for a further five years, has expired. This new contract is expected to generate up to approximately $9.8 million in additional revenue for Cangene over an 18-month period.

VIGIV is a hyperimmune product to be used in treating and preventing certain types of severe complications that may be associated with smallpox vaccination, and is considered an important component of smallpox vaccination programs.

Cangene shares were up 14 cents to $1.59 in trading on Tuesday.

B.C. gets good sawlog prices

MONTREAL -- British Columbia bucked a global trend as strong demand from Asia and the United States boosted sawlog prices in the second quarter.

Global prices fell for the fourth consecutive three-month quarter and were 11.5 per cent lower than a year ago, industry publication Wood Resource Quarterly said Tuesday.

The only exceptions were Canada's key wood-producing region and the western U.S. No specific price increases were disclosed.

The Global Sawlog Price Index was US$82.90 per cubic metre in the quarter. The index, which measures sawlog prices in 20 regions of the world, was down 3.4 per cent from the first quarter and off from its 17-year high last year.

The largest price decreases were in Europe, where demand has fallen because of financial crises in many countries. Prices were on average 14 per cent lower than the second quarter of 2011 and were off 18 per cent in the Nordic countries.

-- staff / from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 29, 2012 B7

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