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Canadian Stocks/Old share certs

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QUESTION: Hello.  I've found old share certificates in Vencap Equities (cusip 922911 10 2 - National Trust Company), Canadian Hydrocarbons (no cusip - Montreal Trust Company), and Transfield Petroleums (no cusip - Prodential Trust Company)...any thoughts?  Thank you in advance!

ANSWER: CJ, from the information I have available:

Vencap was acquired in 1996 for $8.50 cash a share. The registered holder would have received a check at that time.

Canadian Hydrocarbons were merged into Inter-City Gas on the basis of 1.5 Inter-City shares for every 1 share of Canadian Hydrocarbons. After a reorganization, shareholders received $2,100 cash dividends plus 25 common shares of the new Inter-City Products for every 100 Inter-City shares held. Inter-City Products became International Comfort Products which was acquired by United Technologies in 1999 for US$11.75 cash per share.

Transfield has no value. The Company was struck and dissolved in the mid-1960's.

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QUESTION: Thank you so much for the answer, though I'm hoping you will be OK with me asking a follow up question...  In the case of Vencap and Canadian Hydrocarbons, is it safe to assume that the cheque were received and cashed?  In other words, is there a way of knowing for sure that my father received the funds he was entitled to, and if not, would the trust agents still be responsible for paying it out?

Answer
CJ, chances are the checks were received and cashed. In many cases, the holder would not be required to return the paper certificate for cancellation and destruction before receiving a check, so there are likely numerous old certificates still out there.

However, we cannot be sure that this is the case, so it is worth spending some time and investigating to see if there is some unclaimed funds out there in your father's name. By law, if the transfer agent cannot contact the registered shareholder and deliver the funds, they must turn the funds over to the government. The government will maintain the funds in safekeeping for a period of time (which varies by jurisdiction). Some will attempt to contact the missing shareholder themselves, while others will just leave the funds in an account on the off-chance the individual, or their heirs, will track it down on their own.

Therefore, you need to contact the State or Province in which your father lived from the time he was first issued the certificates until the buyouts. You can search many of the missing property offices online for free at www.missingmoney.com and www.naupa.org. Search using your father's name exactly as it appears on the certificates, even if it is abbreviated or misspelled.  

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