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Premium Brands gone corporate

Vancouver food manufacturing firm Premium Brands has completed its deal to convert from an income trust back to a corporation.

Premium Brands owns specialty food businesses in all four western provinces and Washington state including the Grimm’s, Harvest, McSweeney’s, Bread Garden, Hygaard and Hempler’s brands as well as Centennial Foodservice and B+C Foods.

The company made an arrangement last month with Montreal biotech firm Thallion Pharmaceuticals to assume its status as a publicly traded corporation, then move Thallion’s assets into a new subsidiary of Thallion’s parent company. Thallion gets $8.85 million for its trouble.

The Premium Brands Income Fund will continue trading on the TSX for the next couple of days, then begin trading under the new symbol PBH, the company said Wednesday.

The company’s decision to revert to a corporation model follows the federal government’s 2007 decision to tax income trusts.

“We are very pleased to have addressed any uncertainties associated with our ownership structure and look forward to focusing on the continued growth of our business through our unique organic and acquisition based initiatives,” Premium CEO George Paleologou said in a release.

Premium Brands, which was previously publicly traded under the name Fletcher’s Fine Foods, converted itself to an income trust in 2005.

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