The Office de la protection du consommateur has appointed PwC as the administrator for claims filed with the Compensation Fund for Customers of Travel Agents ("CFCTA") in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Travellers who purchased tourism services such as accommodations, cruises, excursions, etc. from a travel agent licensed in Quebec are covered by the CFCTA's protection. The CFCTA may reimburse tourism services that have been paid for but not received. It may also be used to compensate customers who have had to extend their stay, in particular where their flight has been cancelled.
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.
Voyage Vasco Saint-Eustache des Patriotes, a Montreal, Quebec-based company comprised of 60 travel agencies across Canada, had a provisional administrator appointed over its business on October 15 in a decision rendered by the Office de la protection du consommateur. PwC was appointed provisional administrator.
Hillview Park Condominium, a 214-unit townhouse-style condo complex located in Fort McMurray, Alberta that is one of the biggest rebuilds after the May 2016 wildfire, was placed under administration on September 20 on application by the owners of the condo corporation. Homeowners were supposed to be back in their homes by February 2018, but significant delays on the rebuild arose. Builder Viceroy Construction was removed from the project and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the condo corporation, alleging its contract was wrongfully terminated. The condo corporation filed a counter lawsuit alleging that Viceroy was negligent in ensuring work was free from defects and completed on time. PwC, who was appointed administrator, will take charge of the reconstruction project, with duties to review and assess proposed payments, monitor the reconstruction budget and manage the litigation commenced by or against the condo corporation. Counsel is Field Law for the applicant, McLennan Ross for the administrator, Witten for TD, BMO, RBC and CIBC, Duncan Craig for Genworth and BNS, Lintott Law for Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Company, Guardian Law for certain owners and BLG for CMHC.
Oxford Advanced Imaging, a Toronto, Ontario-based company that provides medical diagnostic services, including MRI and CT testing, and which owns and operates two medical diagnostic imaging clinics, had its assets and business placed under an order for sale on August 29 on application by TD, owed approximately $10.9MM. The company, which was formed by a group of four radiologists, originally acquired the business from Life Labs. Shortly after the acquisition, the company began to suffer from severe and irreconcilable disagreements among shareholding groups and board members. In particular, there was a strong discord between the company's president, Dr. Jae Kim, and the other three radiologists. The company had made a number of cash advances to related entities that did not share the same ownership as the company but in which Dr. Kim held significant equity interests. Although Dr. Kim asserted that there were good business reasons for those advances, the other doctors did not accept his claim. By the summer of 2017, the company owed approximately $1.4MM to these related corporations, which subsequently affected the company's liquidity. With the cooperation of TD, the company attempted to commence an informal winding-up of its business operations by offering them up for sale. Although the lengthy sales process eventually resulted in an Agreement of Purchase of Sale dated April 2018, a specific condition was not met; as a result, the Agreement could not be completed and was terminated by the seller. The company's business is threatened unless it is able to promptly re-market its business and complete a sale. There is public interest in keeping the clinics open and operating during the sales process as they provide 40% or more of the Ontario public's access to MRI services outside of hospital operations. KPMG was appointed sales officer. Counsel is Aird & Berlis for TD, Wilson Vukelich for the company, Foglers for three radiologists (Dr. Gordon Cheung, Dr. Davinder Gill, Dr. Deep Chatha) and Dentons for KPMG.
Vacances Sinorama, a Montreal, Quebec-based tour agency that sells bus tours and low-cost tours of Asian countries, had a provisional administrator appointed over its business on July 24 in a decision rendered by the Office de la protection du consommateur ("OPC"). The OPC took this initiative following the company's failure to comply with the requirements of the Travel Agents Act in connection with the the way it handled clients' payments. The OPC plans to withdraw the company's travel agent permit. The company's parent company, Sinorama Corporation, which is headquartered in Florida, reported a net loss of $2.8MM (USD) in the quarter ending in March 2018. PwC was appointed provisional administrator.
Building & Development Mortgages Canada (BDMC), a Richmond Hill, Ontario-based administrator of syndicated mortgage loans, had a trustee appointed over its assets following an application made by the Superintendent of Financial Services. Prior to February 1, 2018, BDMC brokered and administered investments in syndicated mortgage loans principally relating to development projects in which Fortress Real Capital or Fortress Real Developments were involved. Over $600.0MM has been invested in BDMC by over 11,000 individual investors, many of whom have invested significant portions of their savings in these loans. Following numerous complaints from investors regarding BDMC's activities and the performance of their investments, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario launched an investigation that ultimately led to a settlement agreement on January 31 under which FAAN Mortgage Administrators (FAAN) was appointed as the arm's length, independent manager of BDMC's business. FAAN has advised that BDMC has been struggling to make a number of important payments, including payroll, rent, and payments due under its administration agreement. Additionally, on April 13, the RCMP executed search warrants at BDMC's offices. For these and certain other reasons, FAAN determined that it was not prepared to continue to act without court protection and direction, as required. The Court has now formally appointed FAAN as trustee. Counsel is Aird & Berlis for the the Superintendent of Financial Services and Osler for the trustee.