Geox Canada Inc., which is indirectly controlled by Geox SpA ("Geox"), a global shoe and clothing retailer based in Italy, filed an NOI on September 8. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, traffic in stores in North America remains more than halved. In the first half of 2020, Geox's revenues amounted to $7.2 million (EUR), representing a 54% decrease compared to the first half of 2019. At this time, the company is utilizing the stability afforded by the NOI to consider its various restructuring options. Geox, which has been restructuring its operations for several years, intends to streamline its physical store network and focus on its online business. Richter is the proposal trustee. Counsel is Aird & Berlis for the company and Fasken for the proposal trustee.
Zargon Oil & Gas Ltd. (TSX:ZAR), a Calgary, Alberta-based oil and gas producer, filed an NOI on September 8, listing approximately $9.2 million in liabilities. Currently, the company is actively engaged in discussions with an arm’s length third party in connection with the company's potential restructuring. These discussions are focused on obtaining the additional financing necessary to provide the company with increased liquidity and its creditors with a better outcome than the alternatives currently available. MNP is the proposal trustee. Counsel is Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer for the company and McMillan for the proposal trustee.
D’Amani Stucco Solutions Inc., a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company that provides exterior stucco finishing for residential and commercial buildings, filed an NOI on August 13, listing approximately $1.9 million in liabilities, including $670.0 thousand to Adexmat Inc. The Bowra Group is the proposal trustee. W Law Group is counsel to the company.
TLC Vision (Canada) Corp., a Toronto, Ontario-based company which operates a laser eye centre in London, Ontario, filed an NOI on August 7, listing approximately $7.3 million in liabilities, including $6.3 million to CRA. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has been unable to operate its business and cannot defray its fixed costs which continue to accrue. In addition, key medical personnel have withdrawn their services with the intention of opening competing businesses after services open again. Farber is the proposal trustee. Weisz Fell Kour is counsel to the company.
Kanwal Inc., a Magog, Quebec-based automotive sealing supplier with almost 30 years of experience, filed an NOI on July 30, listing approximately $19.2 million in liabilities, including $4.3 million to BMO and $9.1 million to First West Capital Loan. While the company has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, moving forward, it will be creating a more consolidated corporate structure and refinancing globally as part of its restructuring efforts. PwC is the proposal trustee. Sinclair Range is the Chief Restructuring Officer.
S. Cohen, a St. Laurent, Quebec-based retailer of men's tailored clothing and outerwear which has been operating for almost 100 years, filed an NOI on July 30, listing approximately $5.1 million in liabilities, including $2.1 million to TD. Prior to COVID-19, the company was already facing a significant decline in sales and reduced traffic in its brick-and-mortar store locations. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in further decreases in sales volume. Since men's suits depend heavily on fit, customers usually require in-store and physical access to the product. Furthermore, the general spending habits of consumers have changed, with less spending going towards business attire. As part of its restructuring, the company will be selling its business and assets. PwC is the proposal trustee. Kugler Kandestin is counsel to the company.
Tidal Health Solutions Ltd., a Montreal, Quebec-based cannabis producer with a facility in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, filed an NOI on July 30, listing approximately $17.9 million in liabilities. The company, which has had significant operating losses for the past several years, attributes its financial difficulties to the significant start-up costs of building its facility, delays in obtaining a licence, much lower growth rate in the cannabis market than anticipated, and difficulty accessing financing for Canadian cannabis companies. Furthermore, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting delay in launching Ontario retail stores, initial purchase commitments from Ontario were significantly disrupted. Iostesso Holdings will be providing up to $1.0 million in interim financing during these proceedings. PwC is the proposal trustee. McCarthy Tétrault is counsel to the company.
ANN Canada Inc., a Toronto, Ontario-based premium fashion speciality retailer of women's apparel sold under the Ann Taylor and LOFT brands, and Tween Brands Canada Stores Ltd., which sells apparel under the Justice brand, filed NOIs on July 23, respectively listing $8.6 million and $7.9 million in liabilities. Ascena Retail Group, which indirectly owns the two companies, has not been profitable for the last several years and reported a net loss of approximately $661.0 million (USD) for the fiscal year ended August 2019. The companies have also been severely impacted by the changing retail landscape and, more recently, by the COVID-19 pandemic and containment measures implemented by the US in the various jurisdictions in which they operate. Weeks before filing the NOIs, the companies solicited offers from various liquidators to proceed with a liquidation of their assets. PwC is the proposal trustee. Stikeman Elliott is counsel to the companies.
Feronia Inc. (TSXV:FRN), a Toronto, Ontario-based company which operates palm oil plantations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (“DRC”) with its subsidiaries (collectively, the "Feronia Group"), filed an NOI on July 23, listing approximately $38.4 million in liabilities, including $30.4 million to the CDC, a UK development finance institution. The Feronia Group experienced significant financial difficulties for multiple years due to depressed market prices, unfavourable operating conditions, and delays in certain capital projects. As of June 30, the Feronia Group had funded debt obligations totaling approximately $86.0 million (USD). In May, the company entered into a restructuring support agreement with its key stakeholders, which provides for, amongst other things, a back-stop offer from Straight KKM 2 Ltd. ("KKM"), one of the company's largest shareholders. In the same month, the company engaged EY as financial advisor to conduct a sale process to market and sell its interest in the DRC operating subsidiary. As a result of the sale process, the company and KKM negotiated and entered into a purchase agreement. While under creditor protection, the company intends to bring a motion to seek court approval of the purchase agreement and sale transaction. EY is the proposal trustee. Counsel is Aird & Berlis for the company and DLA Piper for KKM.
Clearbeach Resources, a London, Ontario-based oil and gas company operating in southwestern Ontario, filed an NOI on July 22, listing $28.2 million in liabilities, including $9.0 million to PACE Savings and Credit Union Limited, its primary secured creditor. Causes of financial difficulty are primarily tied to depressed oil and gas prices. Richter is the proposal trustee. Counsel is Bennett Jones for the company, BLG for Richter, and Aird & Berlis for PACE.