November 19, 2018
Gestion Maison Éthier and Gestion Immobilière Maison Éthier, which operate household furniture stores in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Saint-Basile-le-Grand, Quebec, filed an NOI on November 9 and KPMG was appointed proposal trustee. Desjardins, owed approximately $14.0MM, eventually filed a motion for the appointment of a receiver to liquidate the assets of Gestion Maison Éthier. In response, the two companies filed a concurrent CCAA application to submit a preliminary restructuring plan to the court that would benefit the mass of creditors. On November 15, the court allowed the companies to continue their reorganization proceedings under the CCAA. KPMG was appointed monitor. The companies owe approximately $5.5 to BDC and $7.9MM to their other creditors. In 2016, Sylvain Bonneau and François Éthier acquired Maison Éthier for $19.0MM. Not only did they find this transition challenging, the rising popularity of online furniture and mattress retailers such as Casper, Endy and Wayfair also contributed to their considerable decline in margins. Counsel is Gilbert, Séguin & Guibault Avocats for Desjardins, Gowlings for BDC, Fasken for Fédération des Caisses Desjardins, Blakes for the monitor and Groleau Gauthier Plante for the companies.