Clover Leaf Seafoods, a Markham, Ontario-based seafood supplier, obtained protection under the CCAA on November 22. The company is the Canadian affiliate of U.S.-based Bumble Bee, one of North America's best-known consumer shelf-stable seafood companies which commenced Chapter 11 proceedings on November 21. While Clover Leaf's business is cash flow positive and profitable, the balance sheet of the Bumble Bee Group as a whole has suffered under various financial pressures and litigation to which Bumble Bee U.S. is subject. In 2017, the company pleaded guilty to price fixing and was fined US $25.0 million. Civil litigation was also launched against the company by major grocery chains such as Walmart and Kroger. While under creditor protection, the group will launch a stalking horse sales process for the business. Alvarez & Marsal is the monitor. Canadian counsel is Bennett Jones for the company, Osler for the monitor, Blakes for the ABL Agent and ABL DIP Agent, Davies for the stalking horse purchaser, Goodmans for the Term Agent and DIP Term Agent and Torys for the company's private equity sponsor, Lion Capital.
Applefest Lodge, a retirement residence in Brighton, Ontario, was placed in receivership on October 4 on application by Pace Savings & Credit Union, owed approximately $6.4 million. Originally opened in 1984, the residence was expanded in 2010 by opening a new wing with an additional 31 suites, resulting in a total of 67 suites. The expansion, however, created financial difficulty for the company due to construction delays, expensive financing and low occupancy and Stephen Bardo, the residence's sole officer and director, turned to Bill Dillane, a personal friend and private investor for funds to cover the shortfall. In July 2019, Bardo passed away. He had no will, and there was no mechanism in the residence's articles of incorporation to replace him as officer or director. With no other signing officer for the company, Dillane continued to fund expenses personally and then reimburse himself using pre-signed cheques provided by Bardo prior to his death. While an essential arrangement, it is not sustainable, and Pace therefore sought the appointment of a receiver who could borrow money while managing and preparing the residence for a sale. Grant Thornton was appointed receiver. Counsel is Harrison Pensa for the applicant and Aird & Berlis for the receiver.
Swift Hotels Group, a company's whose primary asset is a Days Inn hotel in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, was placed in interim receivership on September 20 on application by Innovation Credit Union, owed approximately $10.4 million. Deloitte was appointed interim receiver. Counsel is Olive Waller Zinkhan & Waller for the applicant, MLT Aikins for the interim receiver and Burnet Duckworth & Palmer for the company.
Alaskan Water Seafood, a Brampton, Ontario-based seafood supplier was placed in receivership on June 24 on application by RBC, owed approximately $1.0MM. In March 2019, the accounts of the company were transferred to RBC's special loans group because its risk profile had deteriorated. RBC expressed concerns about, among other things, improprieties with respect to the completion of borrowing base certificates and late reporting. The company acknowledged its financial difficulties, which it attributed to rising competition, but its attempts to refinance its business and/or attract an equity partner have been unsuccessful and recent information provided to RBC has increased the bank's concerns about the deteriorating financial position of the company. Grant Thornton was appointed receiver. Counsel Minden Gross for the applicant and KMB Law for the company.
Octopus Holdings, a Calgary, Alberta-based company that owns 40 units of a partnership owning a hotel and resort on the Island of St. Lucia in the West Indies, was placed in receivership on June 13 on application by the partnership's general partner, East Winds Resorts Ltd. Various of the partners, including Octopus Holdings, have been in litigation since 2014 relating to the operation of the resort, which has a history of incurring operational losses. In November 2018, the general partner took an assignment of a loan to Octopus Holdings' from BNS which was in default. In May 2019, it demanded repayment of the $5.0MM owing. The amount has not been repaid, and the general partner is now seeking to acquire the units through a stalking horse sales process. Hardie & Kelly was appointed receiver. Counsel is DLA Piper for the company and Parlee for the receiver.
Waterway Houseboats, a Sicamous, British Columbia-based houseboat vacation business, was placed in receivership on June 11 on application by CIBC. A 2012 flood caused significant damage to the company's waterfront property and forced it to borrow heavily to repair its marina and upgrade its fleet. Two months after the flood, the company sued the province, the local district and neighbouring landowners. The case went to trial earlier this year and on April 16, the court issued its judgment. Although successful, the quantum of damages awarded was far less than what was needed and expected by the company. Alvarez & Marsal was appointed receiver. Counsel is Blakes for the applicant and Gowling WLG for the receiver.
Inara, an Edmonton, Alberta-based company which owns and operates a Quality Inn Hotel in Whitecourt, Alberta, was placed in receivership on May 3 on application by ATB Financial, owed approximately $1.1MM. The 81 room hotel was opened in 1956. In addition to the $1.1MM owed to ATB, Inara also owes the Town of Whitecourt approximately $452.6M in unpaid property taxes, penalties and interest. Hardy & Kelly was appointed receiver. Dentons is counsel for the applicant.
2504121 Ontario Inc., doing business as The Anne Boleyn, a British-style pub in Toronto, Ontario, filed for bankruptcy on April 18, listing $980.9M in liabilities. The pub had only been open since August 2017. BDO is the bankruptcy trustee.
Harry Chung Enterprises Inc., a Toronto, Ontario-based company that operated an Aroma Espresso Bar franchise from premises located at 1864 Queen Street East, Toronto, filed for bankruptcy on April 9. Spergel (GRIP) is the bankruptcy trustee.
RNG Restaurants, which operates a Boston Pizza from premises located at 16A Leslie Street, Toronto, Ontario, filed for bankruptcy on February 14, listing $1.9MM in liabilities, including $908.3M to RBC. msi Spergel is the bankruptcy trustee.