DT Grain, a grain pooling company operating out of Okotoks, Alberta, filed for bankruptcy on July 24, listing $1.1MM in liabilities. The company sold grain to feedlots under contracts that included the delivery of the grain. When bidding on contracts, the company assumed it could backhaul from the drop-off locations to offset transportation costs. In reality, however, the company was unable to schedule the backhauls that it anticipated, leading to higher than expected costs and strains on cash flow. The Bowra Group was appointed bankruptcy trustee.
ILTA Grain, a Surrey, British Columbia-based grain producer, filed for protection under the CCAA on July 7, listing $149.5MM in liabilities. Founded in 2011, the company has become one of the two largest processors of quality grains in Canada, operating from six state-of-the-art facilities in Saskatchewan. As part of its growth strategy, the company has made significant efforts to export its products internationally. Over the past few years, however, the company has faced increasingly challenging international trade conditions as countries such as India, China and Saudi Arabia have decided to limit, and in some cases, entirely discontinue their Canadian imports. The reduction in international sales, coupled with a highly leveraged balance sheet, has left the company without the working capital necessary to fund operations and service its debt. While under creditor protection the company will explore its strategic alternatives, including conducting a sale and investment solicitation process. PwC was appointed monitor. Stikeman Elliott is counsel for the company.
Mike Weir Wine, a private corporation that was incorporated to produce, market and sell wine, branded as "Mike Weir Wine", from a winery located in Beamsville, Ontario, was placed in receivership on January 30 on application by Michael Richard Weir, owed approximately $2.2MM. The corporation also owes RBC around $4.3MM. In October 2017, Mike Weir sold all of his shares in the company to a company controlled by radio sports broadcaster, Bob McCown, who is the current president and director of MWW. As part of the sale transaction, Weir took back promissory notes, certain of which were secured. The promissory notes were not repaid when they became due on October 20, 2018. Since that time, the applicant, through its counsel and independently, has made numerous attempts to communicate with MWW and counsel to MWW regarding the indebtedness, however, no response has been received. The corporation's principal asset is its property and certain equipment. In order to maximize value realization from the property, the implementation of a sale process is necessary so that any buyer is able to take advantage of the spring time growing season by being in possession of the property with sufficient time to tend the vines so the vineyard does not lie fallow for another year. BDO was appointed receiver. Counsel is Sullivan Mahoney for the corporation, Cassels Brock and Kray Law for the applicant, Brauti Thorning Zibarras for the receiver and Aird & Berlis for RBC.
International Herbs (B.C.), a Surrey, British Columbia-based producer and distributor of fresh herb products to retail grocers across Canada with operations in British Columbia and Ontario, filed for bankruptcy on January 9, listing $5.3MM in liabilities, including $571.7M to BMO and $604.4M to Coastal Fresh Farms. The Bowra Group is the bankruptcy trustee.
Purewal Blueberry Farms, one of North America's largest blueberry farms, located in Pitts Meadow, British Columbia, filed for protection under the CCAA on October 11, listing approximately $17.8MM in liabilities, including $4.8MM to the Receiver General for Canada and $1.1MM to Netpak Paper & Packaging. The company already filed an NOI on April 30 but needs additional time to complete a sale process. Along with the initial CCAA order, the court granted an order approving a stalking horse agreement of purchase and sale. FTI Consulting was discharged as proposal trustee and appointed monitor under the CCAA proceedings. Counsel is Clark Wilson for the company and Cassels Brock for the monitor.
Canadian Exotic Grains, an Eston, Saskatchewan-based speciality crop marketing company that buys and exports various peas, herbs and beans, filed an NOI on July 17, listing $2.7MM in liabilities, including $1.4MM to Farm Credit Canada. Deloitte is the proposal trustee.
Écolait, a St-Hyacinthe, Quebec-based meat producer that specializes in milk-fed calves, filed an NOI on November 2. Richter is the proposal trustee.