Corner Equipment, a Carroll, Manitoba-based company that carries on the business of sales, leasing, rental and service of new and used agricultural machinery and equipment, filed an NOI on June 15, listing $10.0MM in liabilities, including $2.4MM to Farm Credit Canada ("FCC") and $1.5MM to the National Bank of Canada. Part of the reason for the company's desire to seek creditor protection is the fact that FCC, one of the company's floor plan lenders, has taken the position that the company is out of trust with respect to certain equipment sold. Another factor that contributed to the company's financial difficulties is a clear trend of acquiring used equipment at unprofitable valuations. On July 11, the company received an extension of time within which it may file a proposal. While a sale on a going concern basis as well as payment of unsecured creditors are both highly unlikely at this point, an orderly wind down will benefit some of the company's secured lenders. PwC is the proposal trustee. Counsel is Tapper Cuddy for the company, Taylor McCaffrey for FCC and MLT Aikins for the National Bank of Canada.
Greatex Mills, a Montreal, Quebec-based manufacturer and distributor of home furnishing fabrics, filed an NOI on June 13. Richter is the proposal trustee.
Aspen Air, a Calgary, Alberta-based manufacturer and distributor of industrial gases, and Aspen Air U.S., filed NOIs on June 6, respectively listing $11.2MM and $7.5MM in liabilities. Deloitte is the proposal trustee.
Groupe Traiteur, a Cowansville, Quebec-based catering company, filed an NOI on May 15, listing $893.4M in liabilities. MNP is the proposal trustee.
BioAmber Sarnia and BioAmber Canada, the subsidiaries of BioAmber (TSX:BIOA), a Montreal, Quebec-based sustainable chemicals company, filed NOIs on May 4, while the parent company filed for US Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Given that Sarnia-Lambton's economy traditionally centres around petro-chemical and refining companies, BioAmber was a pioneer in the city's push for more economic diversification. At its plant in Sarnia, which attracted approximately $52.0MM in federal and provincial funding, the company used corn syrup to make a chemical used in products ranging from paints and plastics to cosmetics and food additives. These filings will effectively impose an automatic stay of proceedings that will protect the Canadian subsidiaries and their assets from creditor claims during restructuring. PwC is the proposal trustee.
Global Flow, a Calgary, Alberta-based provider of electrical, instrumentation, fabrication and automation solutions for oil, gas and petrochemical industries in Western Canada, filed an NOI on May 1, listing $4.9MM in liabilities, including $3.0MM to GF Direct Lending. Grant Thornton is the proposal trustee. Counsel is Gowling WLG for GF Direct Lending, DLA Piper for the company and Bennett Jones for the proposal trustee.
Best Option Staffing Solutions (also known as B.O.S.S.), a Brampton, Ontario-based full service staffing agency providing staffing solutions to the transportation, manufacturing and warehousing sectors, filed an NOI on April 27, listing $2.0MM in liabilities. The company had retained the services of a purportedly licensed accountant to do its accounting, including statutory filings with CRA. In the summer of 2017, CRA requested and completed an audit as a result of what appeared to be unusually high Input Tax Credits ("ITCs") reported on the company's HST filings. The audit resulted in an increase in HST payable of approximately $2.0MM for the period of January 2014 to March 2017. It is alleged that the accountant manipulated the sales and ITCs on the HST returns filed with CRA, artificially reducing the company's liability compared to what it was presented. Surplus funds were believed to have been kept by the accountant. BDO is the proposal trustee. Speigel Nichols Fox is counsel to the company.
HB Solar Canada, a Concord, Ontario-based supplier of photovoltaic/solar energy array mounting systems and related equipment, filed an NOI on April 10, listing $2.9MM in liabilities, including $800.0M to RBC. By 2016, the company had reached the number one position in the Ontario market for solar rooftop racking. However, a confluence of factors eventually led to its insolvency. First, the local market for solar rooftop systems contracted by approximately 80% when changes were made to the Feed-In Tariff Program, which was launched in 2009 to encourage and promote greater use of renewable energy sources. Second, the company faced increased competition, thus forcing it to reduce prices and earn lower margins. Finally, it experienced a rise in bad debt write-offs and an accompanying reduction in available net working capital. Although the company has increased its efforts to attract additional capital from lenders and investors, no one is willing to invest further if there is no formal restructuring. As a result of these issues, the company now faces a liquidity crisis and is unable to maintain its obligations to creditors. Dodick Landau is the proposal trustee. Pallett Valo is counsel to the company.
Nine West Canada LP, the Canadian operations of the American fashion retail company, filed an NOI on April 6, while the parent company filed for US Chapter 11 bankruptcy, listing over $1.0B (USD) in liabilities. In order to focus on its stronger brands, like Anne Klein, the parent company plans to sell its namesake Nine West and Bandolino footwear and handbag businesses to Authentic Brands Group, who owns Juicy Couture and Aéropostale. The parent company has received $300.0MM (USD) in DIP financing, and has entered into a restructuring agreement with the parties that hold more than 78% of its secured-term debt and 89% of its unsecured-term debt. Richter is the proposal trustee in the Canadian proceedings.
Royer Developments 2015, an Edmonton, Alberta-based company specializing in excavation, site preparation and site remediation, filed an NOI on March 19, listing $3.6MM in liabilities, including $1.4MM to CRA. MNP is the proposal trustee.