To convert coverage annotation to Geodatabase annotation, use ArcMap's Convert Coverage Annotation tool.
The model for annotation in the Geodatabase is quite different than the coverage annotation model. Consequently, ArcMap translates the values for the text pseudo items $JUSTIFY and $ALIGN to different properties on the new annotation text symbol. Here are the rules for this translation:
1) The vertical component of $JUSTIFY comes over as Vertical Alignment (ITextSymbol.VerticalAlignment)
2) $ALIGN comes over as Horizontal Alignment (ITextSymbol.HorizontalAlignment)
3) The horizontal component of $JUSTIFY comes over as an X Offset (ISimpleTextSymbol.XOffset)