British Steel, one of Europe's leading steel makers, obtained Canadian recognition of its UK-based insolvency proceedings on November 13. Despite generating revenue of nearly £1.2 billion, the company lost nearly £19.0 million in its latest fiscal year, as the commercial environment in which it operated deteriorated as a result of, among other things, the uncertainty caused by the UK's decision to leave the European Union (Brexit). Rescue talks failed and on May 22, the UK Court issued an order for the company to be wound-up. Though British Steel does not have a place of business in Canada, it did sell products to Canadian purchasers. In the course of these sales, British Steel was assessed by CRA for GST/HST liabilities of approximately $850.0 thousand and is owed refunds from the CRA of approximately $527.0 thousand. CRA is holding these refunds and is threatening to take legal action to collect the assessed liabilities. In order to resolve these outstanding tax issues, recognition of the UK proceedings was sought. EY is the information officer. Stikeman Elliott is counsel for the applicant.
Purdue Pharma LP, a Stamford, Connecticut-based pharmaceutical company, obtained a Canadian recognition order of its US Chapter 11 proceedings on September 19. The company's most prominent product is its opioid pain medication, OxyContin. The company has been named in more than 2,600 lawsuits filed throughout the US state and federal court systems. The lawsuits allege that the company acted improperly in the marketing and sale of OxyContin and is responsible for fueling an opioid addiction crisis in the United States. In Canada, Purdue is also subject to over 10 class-action lawsuits. The company has sought bankruptcy protection in an attempt to find a global resolution of the existing claims against it. The company is proposing a settlement that involves, among other things, a $3.0 billion contribution from the company's shareholders and the transfer of the company's business and assets into a trust for the benefit of claimants and the US public. EY was appointed information officer. Canadian counsel is Stikeman Elliott for Purdue, Torys for the information officer, BLG for certain affiliated Purdue Canadian entities and Paliare Roland for the Sackler families.
Syncreon, a U.K.-based logistics company with operations in over twenty countries, obtained a Canadian recognition order of its U.K.-based insolvency proceedings on August 8. PwC was appointed information officer. Canadian counsel is Blakes for the company, Fasken for the information offer, Norton Rose Fulbright for the unsecured notes trustee, McMillan for Citibank, as agent in the exit ABL facility and Goodmans for an ad-hoc group of other lenders.
Hollander Sleep Products, a leading North American mattress and pillow manufacturer, obtained Canadian recognition of its US Chapter 11 proceedings on May 23. Based in Boca Raton, Florida, Hollander has 13 manufacturing facilities in the US and Canada and 2,370 employees across North America. It produces bedding products for well known license brands including Ralph Lauren, Simmons, Beautyrest, Nautica and Calvin Klein, in addition to manufacturing products under its own brands. Despite a healthy and growing sleep industry, the company cites several factors for its recent financial struggles, including a dramatic increase in the price of materials such as fiber, down and feathers and integration costs associated with the acquisition of a major competitor in June 2017. In Canada, the company maintains manufacturing facilities in Montreal, Quebec and in Toronto, Ontario, where it also has a sales office. KSV was appointed Information Officer. Canadian counsel is Osler for the applicant, Norton Rose for the Information Officer, Goodmans for the ABL lenders and Blakes for the term loan lenders.
Rockport Blocker and Rockport Canada et al. (collectively the "Rockport Group"), subsidiaries of Rockport, a West Newton, Massachusetts-based global designer, distributor and retailer of comfort footwear in more than 50 markets worldwide, brought a motion under the CCAA to recognize in Canada the US Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings that the Rockport Group filed on May 14. The company partially blamed the separation from its previous owner, Reebok, which sold the company in 2015, for its financial difficulties. The Rockport Group currently owes approximately $53.4MM (USD) under its revolving credit agreement. If the lenders were to require repayment in full of the amounts owed by Rockport Canada, as a co-borrower and under its guarantee of the US debtors' obligations under the agreement, it would be unable to repay the full amount owed. Rockport Canada itself has 64 unsecured creditors that are owed approximately $760.0MM (CAD). The company has entered into an asset purchase agreement to sell substantially all of its assets to CB Marathon Opco, an affiliate of Charlesbank - a private equity group. To facilitate the cooperation between the US and Canadian Court, Rockport Blocker requested that it be recognized to act as foreign representative. Richter was appointed Information Officer. Canadian counsel is BLG for the Rockport Group, Stikeman Elliot for Richter, Gowling WLG for Charlesbank and Goodmans for the senior secured noteholders.