Ellis Fabrication Inc. et al., an Innisfail, Alberta-based company that manufactures heavy machinery attachments and trench safety systems, was placed into receivership on December 3 on application by TD, owed approximately $5.7M. KPMG was appointed receiver. Counsel is MLT Aikins for the applicant, Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer for the receiver, and Caron & Partners for the company.
Welland Forge Corp., a Welland, Ontario-based manufacturer of custom metal forgings, filed an NOI on October 27, listing approximately $11.3 million in liabilities. Welland Forge Corp.’s biggest customers have historically been in the automotive industry. Its customers are particularly vulnerable to the volatile nature of the oil and gas industry, and the pandemic has exacerbated that volatility. Earlier in the year, the company suffered the loss of its major customer, which accounted for approximately 65% of the company's sales, to an overseas supplier. Accordingly, the company has identified the need to wind down its operations. The company previously terminated its approximately 60 employees. BDO is the proposal trustee. Counsel is Miller Thomson for the proposal trustee and Madorin Snyder for the companies.
G.I. Sportz Inc., a Montreal, Quebec-based manufacturer of high-quality paintball products, along with several of its US and European affiliates, were placed in receivership on October 15 on application by GIS Debt Acquisition Partnership ("Partnership"), owed approximately $29.4 million (USD). The company's business was already under considerable stress prior to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, having incurred losses totaling over $45.0 million (USD) since January 2018. Since paintball is a social sport played by a large number of participants, often in teams and in relatively confined areas, the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the company's financial issues due to Canadian and US government policies mandating social distancing. Kore Outdoor Inc., a party related to the Partnership, has agreed to purchase substantially all of the company's Canadian and US assets in exchange for assuming the secured obligations owed by the company to the Partnership. KSV was appointed receiver. Counsel is Davies for the applicant and Cassels and Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melançon for the receiver.
Turuss (Canada) Industry Co., Ltd., a Chesley, Ontario-based company which historically operated as a hardwood flooring manufacturer and distributor, was placed in receivership on September 18 on application by Pillar Capital Corp. ("Pillar"), owed approximately $2.0 million. Given that the company's flooring business is no longer operational, the company is now effectively a real estate holding company whose sole purpose is to own and manage its industrial facility in Chesley, Ontario. After the final debt repayment date passed, the company's sole director, Yang Jiang, stopped responding to any communications from Pillar's representatives. The current whereabouts of Ms. Jiang are unknown, and further attempts to contact her have been unsuccessful. MNP was appointed receiver. Counsel is Gowling WLG for Pillar and Dentons for the receiver.
Essentia Group Inc. ("Essentia") and 6860966 Canada Inc. ("686") (collectively, the "Debtors") filed NOIs on September 14. Essentia is a domestic manufacturer and distributor of organic memory foam mattresses with facilities in Laval, Quebec, and 686 owns the patent and trademarks used by Essentia in the conduct of its business. Started in 2006, the Debtors' business has recently been plagued by a series of profitability issues and financial difficulties, including the $1.0 million it sustained in losses after its retail expansion in the US did not result in profitability, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, the Debtors continue to accumulate significant losses which have been financed by credit facilities provided by BMO and loans provided by BDC, BDC Capital Inc., and Investissement Québec. Since 2017, the Debtors have been engaged in several unsuccessful discussions with parties regarding the possibility of purchasing some or all of their assets or becoming the Debtors' financial partner. In August, While You Were Sleeping Inc. (on behalf of a purchaser) offered to purchase all of Essentia's movable property and 686's intellectual property. The court has issued an Approval and Vesting order authorizing the sale of the Debtors' assets to the purchaser, which will enable the continuation of Essentia's business and retain the jobs of its 15 employees. MNP is the proposal trustee. Counsel is Kugler Kandestin for the Debtors, Fishman Flanz Meland Paquin for the purchaser, Davies for the senior secured lender, BMO, and Société D'Avocats Dexar for BDC and BDC Capital Inc.
Ronsons Shoe Stores Inc., a comfort shoe retailer and manufacturer with multiple locations throughout the lower mainland of British Columbia, was adjudged bankrupt on September 4, listing approximately $3.4 million in liabilities, including approximately $989,000 to TD. The company was previously placed in receivership on application by TD. In recent years, the company has seen a decrease in revenues and its cash-flow issues were further affected by the pandemic-related closure of physical storefronts. MNP is the bankruptcy trustee.
Prostar Manufacturing, an Okotoks, Alberta-based manufacturer of automated well servicing equipment for the oil and gas industry, filed for bankruptcy on June 30, listing $94.6 million in liabilities, including $43.0 million to ATB Financial. The company began to experience financial difficulties as a result of the downturn in oil and natural gas pricing and its financial difficulties were exacerbated by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Grant Thornton is the bankruptcy trustee.
Korite International, a Calgary, Alberta-based company that is one of the world's largest commercial producers of ammolite, an opal-like organic gemstone, obtained production under the CCAA on June 30. Two significant events over the last year have led to the company's current financial struggles: unrest in Hong Kong and more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. A significant amount of sales are generated through trade shows in Hong Kong; however, these have been cancelled since last August due to violent protests and airport closures. The pandemic has resulted in a shut down of retail stores, the cruise industry, tourism and travel markets. In addition, due to their own financial constraints arising from the pandemic, major cruise lines and retailers have stopped paying their suppliers, which are Korite's wholesale customers. In light of the economic impact of the aforementioned factors and the uncertainty as to when circumstances may improve, the company determined that it could not sustain itself and must pursue restructuring alternatives. BDO was appointed monitor. Counsel is Bennett Jones for the company and Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer for the monitor.
Roberts Company Canada Limited, a Brampton, Ontario-based company in the business of manufacturing, marketing, and distributing flooring products, obtained protection under the CCAA on June 29, listing approximately $40.5 million in liabilities and $30.2 million in assets. For several years, the company operated a profitable business that principally manufactured and sold its products to large Canadian retailers. In 2018, in order to expand its sales distribution channels and diversity its customer base, the company acquired substantially all of the Canada-based assets of the trading product sales division of Kraus Brands ("TPS Business"). However, the benefits the company believed it would accrue from this acquisition have not materialized, and the TPS Business has incurred substantial losses since the company acquired it. Between March and April, the TPS Business had pre-tax net losses of approximately $1.2 million. The COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated the company's efforts to mitigate such losses. QEP, which indirectly owns the company, is no longer willing to provide it with financial assistance absent a significant restructuring. Richter was appointed monitor. Counsel is Bennett Jones for the company, BLG for the monitor, and Norton Rose Fulbright for the Bank of America, a secured party.
Coalision Inc., a Montreal, Quebec-based designer and developer of lifestyle and performance apparel, including activewear brand Lolë, filed an NOI on May 26, listing approximately $17.2 million in liabilities to CIBC and $15.3 million to Simon Coalision Investment Inc. Founded in 1989, the company recorded significant losses for the last several years, which have primarily been caused by a general downturn in the global retail clothing market; competition from other established and emerging clothing retailers; shifts in consumer habits; and excess inventory. The COVID-19 pandemic and closure of all the Lolë stores had a further detrimental impact on the company's business and revenues. Deloitte is the proposal trustee. Counsel is McCarthy Tétrault for the company and Fishman Flanz Meland Paquin for CIBC.