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

D Films Corporation

D Films Corporation, a Toronto, Ontario-based independent Canadian film distribution company, was placed in privately appointed receivership on August 9 by Bank Leumi USA, owed approximately $3 million. The company focused on the acquisition and distribution of long-term exclusive rights of both motion picture and television content and made strategic investments with major global film producers including NBCUniversal and Miramax Films. The company had been experiencing losses and cash flow problems for some time, and with no further funds available to be injected from any source, Bank Leumi USA lost confidence in management. Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver was appointed receiver. Counsel is Goodmans for the secured creditor.

Jack Cooper Ventures

Jack Cooper Ventures, a Kennesaw, Georgia-based auto hauler that recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, obtained an initial recognition order in Canada on August 9. Founded in 1928, the company has grown to be the largest provider of finished vehicle logistics in North America, but in recent years it has experienced significant declines in revenue as a result of overall declines in the automotive industry, as well as a loss of market share to lower cost, non-unionized competitors. In Canada, the company has approximately 181 employees. The company is putting forward a restructuring plan that will see its lenders cancel more than $300 million of debt as part of a transaction to purchase all or substantially all of the company’s assets. Alvarez & Marsal was appointed information officer. Canadian counsel is Osler for the company, Stikeman Elliott for the information officer, Goodmans for the DIP ABL lender, Bennett Jones for the DIP Term Loan Agent and Cassels Brock for Cerberus.

Skywell Homes

Skywell Homes, an Ottawa, Ontario-based home builder, was placed in receivership on August 8, on application by Cardar Investments, owed approximately $2.7 million. The company had already filed for bankruptcy on October 9, 2018. Prior to bankruptcy, the company was in the process of applying for a land severance application in respect of two single dwelling homes. The severance application was needed in order for the properties to be sold separately. In order to ensure the application was not impacted and in order to maximize value for a potential disposition of the two properties separately, Cardar waited until the severance application was granted in July before proceeding with the receivership application. PwC was appointed receiver. Counsel is Brauti Thorning for the applicant and Blakes for the receiver.

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“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.

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