Kalco Farms Ltd. ("Farms"), a Gibbons, Alberta-based farm which produces and markets cereal grains such as wheat, barley, and rye, along with Kalco Investments Ltd. ("Investments"), were placed in receivership on January 14 on application by BMO, owed approximately $5.0 million from Farms and $11.2 million from Investments. The companies had granted security in favour of BMO, including, among other things, general security agreements securing all of the companies' real and personal property and mortgages in relation to lands owned by the companies. These agreements allow and provide for the appointment of a receiver or a receiver and manager upon default in respect of obligations owed to BMO. By failing to keep up with their loan obligations, the companies defaulted under these agreements. In addition, various assets of the companies were seized in 2020 on the basis of a security interest and landlord distress. As such, BMO has significant concerns regarding the stability of its security and has lost confidence in the companies to repay their indebtedness. The Bowra Group was appointed receiver. Dentons is counsel to the applicant.
Destiny Organics Inc., a Nisku, Alberta-based organic fertilizer and living soil company, filed for bankruptcy on January 4, listing approximately $647.6 thousand in liabilities and $112.4 thousand in assets. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Destiny Bioscience Global Corp., a cannabis genetics and tissue culture research and development company, which (along with various other subsidiaries) was placed in receivership on May 22 on application by Synergy Projects (Destiny) Ltd. and Synergy Projects Ltd. The company was no longer operating at the time of the receivership. The Bowra Group is the bankruptcy trustee.
Tyler Smith, Pamela Smith, Smith Northern Ranching, and 101197829 Saskatchewan Ltd. (collectively, the "Debtors"), a Duck Lake, Saskatchewan-based business engaged in mixed cattle and grain farming, were placed in receivership on December 1 on application by BMO, owed approximately $1.8 million. The Debtors list $8.5 million in liabilities, including $1.6 million to CNH Industry Capital and $1.2 to Farm Credit Canada. Deloitte was appointed receiver. Counsel is Miller Thomson for the applicant, Stevenson Hood Thornton Beaubier for the Debtors, MLT Aikins for the receiver, and McKercher for Farm Credit Canada.
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.
Crowfoot Land & Livestock Corporation, a Brooks, Alberta-based agricultural company in the business of growing crops and raising livestock, along with James Clark and Robin Clark (collectively, the "Defendants"), were placed in receivership on July 22 on application by RBC, owed approximately $2.6 million from the company and $2.4 million from James Clark and Robin Clark. The Defendants defaulted on their loan agreements and forbearance agreement with RBC after, amongst other things, failing to make numerous monthly payments under several credit facilities and failing to provide evidence of satisfactory financing from a third-party lender. These defaults, in addition to James Clark's allegedly fraudulent actions and matrimonial conflict between James Clark and Robin Clark, have led RBC to lose complete faith that the Defendants can repay the indebtedness owing by the company. In May and June, RBC was forced to seize certain of the company's assets in order to protect its security. MNP was appointed receiver. Counsel is Dentons for the applicant, MacLean Wiedemann Lawyers for James Clark, Stringam for Robin Clark, and Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer for the receiver.
Hillspring Farms Ltd. ("Hillspring"), HSF Foods Ltd. ("HSF"), and Hillspring Warehouse & Logistics Inc., New Brunswick-based companies engaged in grain brokerage services, a potato farming operation and a flake plant operation, filed for bankruptcy on June 26 and was placed in receivership on June 29 on application by Farm Credit Canada ("FCC"), owed approximately $70.7 million. In addition to the financing with FCC, the companies obtained financing from CIBC, owed approximately $21.2 million, BDC, and other secured creditors. Although the combined HSF and Hillspring revenues between 2016 and 2019 remained relatively stable, averaging $30.6 million per year, the combined debt levels increased from $43.1 million in 2016 to $107.0 million in 2019. After various meetings, the companies determined that a sale of their assets was the only solution to address their financial difficulties and the court has approved a sale agreement between the companies and McCain Produce. EY is the bankruptcy trustee and was appointed receiver. Counsel is McInnes Cooper for the companies, Cox & Palmer for FCC and Davies for the McCain Produce.
Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corporation, which owns a pulp mill in Abercrombie, Nova Scotia, along with its affiliates (collectively, the "Petitioners"), filed for protection under the CCAA on June 19 after the Petitioners were forced to cease business operations of their mill on January 31 and lay off over 300 employees. The mill closed following the Nova Scotia Premier's refusal to extend the life of the company's effluent treatment plant in Boat Harbour. As a consequence of the mill's closure and associated operational issues, the Petitioners face immediate and multiple challenges to their continued viability and project they will run out of cash in late July. Without CCAA protection, the Petitioners, which currently owe approximately $84.9 million to the Province of Nova Scotia, will be unable to transition the mill and their operations into a safe state of hibernation and preservation. EY was appointed monitor. Counsel is McCarthy Tétrault for the Petitioners and Stewart McKelvey for the Province of Nova Scotia.
Neucel Specialty Cellulose Ltd., which owns a pulp mill in Port Alice, British Columbia, was adjudged bankrupt and placed in receivership on April 22 on application by the Province of BC, owed approximately $13.1 million. The company had purchased the assets of the Port Alice mill for $1 with an investment plan of $40 million before September 2007. In 2011, Fulida (Canada) Holdings purchased Neucel and announced an upgrade project totalling $33.9 million, although this project was never commenced. In 2015, the company announced a six-month curtailment of the Port Alice mill. However, since then, the mill has not returned to production status and the last annual report the company filed was in 2018. In early 2019, the company instructed the remaining maintenance workers at the Port Alice mill to vacate the site. After the affected workers contacted the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy ("ENV"), it conducted an on-site chemical hazard assessment and notified the company that it would take certain spill response actions, which cost over $11.9 million to conduct. The actions included removing over 855,000 litres of 10% Spent Sulphite Liquor, a hazardous sulphite by-product of the pulping process, removing over 437,000 litres of ammonium bisulphate and facilitating the removal by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission of 8 radioactive nuclear sources from the mill site. Despite ENV's efforts, various concerns remain. The company's employees continue to cause environmental damage and the company additionally appears to have taken steps to dissipate its assets. PwC is the bankruptcy trustee and court-appointed receiver. Counsel is Fasken for PwC and Pacific Rim Law for Fulida
Grabhers Last Stand Bison Ranch, a Dawson Creek, British Columbia-based bison ranch, was placed in receivership on February 3 on application by the Bank of Nova Scotia, owed approximately $6.6 million. After the corporation defaulted under its loan agreements with BNS, BNS made demands for repayment of amounts owed under these agreements. To date, the corporation has failed to make any payments. BNS further alleges that the corporation withheld relevant information when applying for credit, and that the corporation engaged in uncooperative and potentially fraudulent conduct. For example, while the corporation's profit and loss statement for January - September 2019 indicates revenue generated of approximately $1.8 million, this amount was not deposited into the corporation's account with BNS. Furthermore, the corporation sold 430 heads of bison to a related corporation without informing BNS or receiving its consent for the transfer of assets. Deloitte was appointed receiver. MLT Aikins is counsel to the applicant.
GWD Christmas Tree Farms, a Saint John, New Brunswick-based company which operated a Christmas tree farm on five parcels of land in New Brunswick, was adjudged bankrupt on January 15, listing approximately $11.9 thousand in liabilities. However, the bankruptcy trustee, Grant Thornton, is aware of at least 50 additional claims with claim values totaling $2.2 million. The company's creditors have not received any payments or communications from the company, and it appears the company has no formal management or representation in place.