Coverage of the latest Canadian insolvency filings, court cases, news and more

BioÉnergie AE Côte-Nord Canada Inc.

BioÉnergie AE Côte-Nord Canada Inc., which is a joint venture founded in 2012 between Biogaz SP S.E.N.C. and Ensyn BioEnergy Canada Inc. for the construction and operation of a biofuel factory in Port-Cartier, Quebec, obtained protection under the CCAA on May 5. Construction of the factory has been negatively affected by several delays and cost overruns. While most of the construction of the factory is now completed, it still does not have the capacity to produce biofuel in the volumes and level of quality provided for in various contracts. As a result of these operational issues, there is ongoing litigation between certain parties regarding who should pay for the costs of rectifying the defects that are preventing the plant from operating as intended. Raymond Chabot was appointed monitor. Counsel is Miller Thomson for the BioÉnergie AE Côte-Nord Canada Inc., Woods for Biogaz SP S.E.N.C., and BLG for Ensyn BioEnergy Canada Inc.

YG Limited Partnership and YSL Residences Inc.

YG Limited Partnership and YSL Residences Inc., which are part of the Cresford Group of Companies (“Cresford”) and are the owner/developer of the condominium project known as Yonge Street Living Residences (the “YSL Project”), at the intersection of Yonge Street and Gerrard Street in Toronto, filed NOIs on April 30. YG Limited Partnership lists approximately $64.1 million in liabilities, including $111.8 million to Westmount Guarantee, and YSL Residences Inc. owes approximately $106.8 million to Timbercreek Mortgage Servicing Inc. The YSL Project, which is currently subject to three mortgages totalling $249 million, has been suspended for more than a year due to ongoing financial difficulties of the companies and Cresford. If the NOI proposal is implemented, Concord Properties Development Corp. or its affiliate would become the owner/developer of the YSL Project. KSV Advisory is the proposal trustee. Counsel is Aird & Berlis for the companies, Davies for the proposal trustee, and Bennett Jones for the Concord Properties Development Corp.

Bridging Finance Inc. (“BFI”)

Bridging Finance Inc. (“BFI”), a Toronto, Ontario-based investment management firm with approximately $2 billion in assets under management, as well as various investment vehicles managed by the firm (the “BFI Funds”), were placed in receivership on April 30, 2021, on application by the Ontario Securities Commission (“OSC”). BFI is registered with securities regulators in all provinces and territories in Canada as a restricted portfolio manager and an exempt market dealer. The Enforcement Staff of the OSC is conducting an ongoing confidential investigation centred around allegations that BFI and certain of its officers, directors, and shareholders have: appropriated amounts from the BFI Funds for personal gain; mismanaged the BFI Funds, including by failing to disclose material conflicts of interest; breached numerous securities laws and regulations, including by misleading Enforcement Staff; and failed to act in the best interests of the Respondents’ stakeholders. As such, the OSC sought and was granted a receivership order pursuant to section 129 of the Ontario Securities Act. PwC was appointed receiver.

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Michael Rotsztain on the evolution of restructuring and insolvency work in Canada

“Study the past if you would define the future.” Confucius’ quote is a favourite of Michael Rotsztain, who has been practising insolvency and restructuring law for over 40 years. Beginning his career at the legendary insolvency firm of Harries Houser, where he had the good fortune of being mentored by a bankruptcy law dream team, Michael spent the major part of his career at a leading Bay Street firm and since 2014 has been the chair of GSNH’s five-lawyer Restructuring and Insolvency Group. Michael recounts how insolvencies and restructurings have evolved over his career and shares what he thinks are the next steps in the evolution.