BioÉnergie AE Côte-Nord Canada Inc., which is a joint venture founded in 2012 between Biogaz SP S.E.N.C. and Ensyn BioEnergy Canada Inc. for the construction and operation of a biofuel factory in Port-Cartier, Quebec, obtained protection under the CCAA on May 5. Construction of the factory has been negatively affected by several delays and cost overruns. While most of the construction of the factory is now completed, it still does not have the capacity to produce biofuel in the volumes and level of quality provided for in various contracts. As a result of these operational issues, there is ongoing litigation between certain parties regarding who should pay for the costs of rectifying the defects that are preventing the plant from operating as intended. Raymond Chabot was appointed monitor. Counsel is Miller Thomson for the BioÉnergie AE Côte-Nord Canada Inc., Woods for Biogaz SP S.E.N.C., and BLG for Ensyn BioEnergy Canada Inc.
Spartan Bioscience Inc., a Nepean, Ontario-based biotechnology company that developed a rapid COVID-19 testing device, filed an NOI on April 5, listing approximately $73.0 million in liabilities. The company filed for insolvency protection after finding an undisclosed problem with the technology and pausing shipments of its COVID-19 testing cube. The company is laying off 60 employees (around 70% of its workforce) and working to restructure and refine the performance of the COVID-19 test in the field. EY is the proposal trustee.
Novelion Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NVLN), a Vancouver, British Columbia-based biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing new treatments for rare diseases, commenced implementation of a shareholder-approved plan of liquidation on January 16. The company owns a minority equity interest in Amryt Pharma, a Dublin, Ireland-based biopharmaceutical company ("Amryt Equity"). Since the Amryt Equity is the company's primary remaining material asset, the company expects that any value available to its shareholders will consist almost entirely of the Amryt Equity or the net proceeds. Alvarez & Marsal was appointed liquidator. Counsel is Norton Rose Fulbright for the company and Fasken for the liquidator.
Biomod Concepts, a Sainte-Julie, Quebec-based biotechnology company, filed a proposal on October 17. Founded in 2009, the company is involved in the research and development of an innovative delivery system of active ingredients for the beauty and health industries. Facing a liquidity crisis earlier in the year, the company temporarily ceased operations and filed an NOI on April 8. A sale process yielded no bids for the business or its assets, but the company's principal shareholder has structured a transaction that will see the company's core business and technology transferred to a new entity. The company's primary secured creditors, Investissement Québec (IQ) and Quantius Innovation Income Fund LP, together owed approximately $6.3 million, have consented to the transaction, and IQ will be a preferred shareholder of the company under the new structure. The purchaser has also advanced $300.0 thousand to fund a proposal, which translates to a distribution of 22 cents on the dollar for unsecured creditors. Richter is the proposal trustee. Counsel is Gowling WLG for the company and BLG for Quantius.
OpenHydro Technology Canada, a Dartmouth, Nova Scotia-based company and wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary of OpenHydro Group of Ireland, which is controlled by French-based Naval Energies, converted its BIA proposal proceedings to CCAA proceedings on November 7. The group of companies specializes in developing marine-based renewable energy solutions, including harnessing tidal energy to create electric power. OpenHydro was managing the Cape Sharp Tidal Venture (CSTV), a tidal energy project located off Nova Scotia in the Minas Basin, an inlet of the Bay of Fundy. The CSTV is a joint venture of which OpenHydro’s parent company is the majority shareholder. OpenHydro’s operating capital was cut off when its parent company, OpenHydro Group, filed for liquidation in Ireland. One of the company’s main assets is the Scotia Tide, a barge used in the installation, recovery and testing of CSTV’s tidal turbines. The barge, which was built in 2016 at an approximate cost of $30.0MM, is subject to numerous marine claims filed in the Federal Court. The company plans to initiate a sales process for the Scotia Tide barge as well as attempt to recover various financial assets in hopes of satisfying the claims of its creditors. OpenHydro owes approximately $6.0MM to a variety of Atlantic Canadian marine service contractors that helped in the installation of a turbine in July, but never received payment. The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia approved a $500.0M DIP facility and charging order; however, the CCAA Initial Order did not exempt the marine claims from being advanced in the Federal Court. OpenHydro is meeting with its counsel to prepare a motion to the Federal Court to have the CCAA stay of proceedings recognized by the Federal Court. Grant Thornton was appointed monitor. Cox & Palmer is counsel to the company.