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Canadian Stocks/Pan Ocean Oil Corp & First Maritime Mining Corp

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QUESTION: Hi Steven,

I have a certificate for 33 shares in Pan Ocean Oil Corporation, dated 1971. I see they were bought out by Marathon in late 70's but then lose the trail. Any value?

Also, 1000 shares in First Maritime Mining Corporation. They are no longer active, bought out by JD Irving. They referred me to Computershare-Corporate Actions offering $9.10 a share to surrender my certificate. Sounds great, but is it possible the shares split somewhere along the line? My certificate is dated 1968. Should I take the $9 offer? Or might my shares have split and I am being short changed?

Finally, I have 5 shares in AEL Industries Inc dated June 1978. Pennsylvania. They were bought out, I know. Any insight?

Thanks so much for any help or advice you can share!

ANSWER: Al, from the information I have available:

Pan Ocean was acquired by Marathon in 1976 for $18 cash per share. Registered holders should have received a check at that time. It is likely the certificate was not required to be submitted to receive the funds, which is why there are so many old Pan Ocean certificates still floating around. If the certificate is in your name and you did not receive a check, the money should have been turned over to the government for safekeeping. You can search any cash in your name at www.missingmoney.com and www.naupa.org.

For the First Maritime, if there were any splits along the way, Computershare as transfer agent/registrar would have already factored that into the offer. A certificate is not a bearer instrument - they only show ownership as maintained on the official shareholder rolls maintained by the transfer agent. That means the agent (Computershare) is the ultimate authority on your ownership, not the certificate. They have no reason to short change you and millions of reasons not to, which means you can trust them.

Since AEL is a Pennsylvania corporation, I have no information. I only have information on old Canadian companies. I suggest you contact a broker to help you with the research on AEL.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: The Pan Ocean certificate is in the name of the brokerage with the brokerage endorsement stamp on the back. Does this make any difference to how I might proceed?

Answer
Good question. It could make a different in certain situations, but in this case it should not. It the certificate was issued the registered holder should have been made in your name with the registrar. Which also means that if the money was turned over to the government as legally required, it should be in your name.

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