ENTREC, an Acheson, Alberta-based heavy haul transportation and crane solutions provider, obtained production under the CCAA on May 15. Operating from 11 locations across Canada and the US, the company began facing challenges in 2019 due to a number of negative macro-economic factors, including pipeline constraints, discounts in the market price for oil produced in western Canada, rising carbon taxes and increased regulatory requirements. The recent COVID-19 global pandemic, a historic decrease in oil demand and the Russian-OPEC oil price war have also contributed to the company's challenges. Despite efforts to restructure its balance sheet, the company remains in default on its lending facilities. On May 14, Wells Fargo, as agent for the syndicate, issued demands for the approximately CAD $72.3 million and US $12.7 million owing to the syndicate, prompting the company to seek creditor protection. While under creditor protection, the company will explore a Court supervised formal sale and investment solicitation process or plan of arrangement. Alvarez & Marsal was appointed monitor. PwC is financial advisor for the lending syndicate. Canadian counsel is Miller Thomson for the company, Norton Rose Fulbright for the monitor, Bennett Jones for the lending syndicate, Ogilvie for the directors and officers and McLennan Ross for CWB,
One Ocean Expeditions Inc., a Squamish, British Columbia-based polar cruise company that charters small-ship travel to Antarctica, the Arctic, Atlantic Canada and other locations, filed an NOI on April 17, listing approximately $29.5 million in liabilities, including $1.5 million to Swoop Travel and $2.8 million to Export Development Canada. The current global pandemic has disrupted the company's ongoing efforts to restructure and reposition since the Russian government unexpectedly cancelled leases on two of its ships last year. PwC is the proposal trustee.
Air Georgian, Toronto, Ontario-based regional aircraft operator, filed an NOI on January 31. The company operated over 62,000 regional flights per year on behalf of Air Canada through a capacity purchase agreement. This contract, however was not renewed on January 31. While under creditor protection, the company will look to secure a new business relationship. KPMG is the proposal trustee. Counsel is GSNH for the company, Chaitons for proposal trustee and Dentons for the senior secured lender.
Celadon Group, a significant American truckload shipping company, had its US Chapter 11 bankruptcy recognized in Canada on January 23 and a receiver was appointed to oversee the liquidation of the assets of Celadon Group's sole Canadian business, Hyndman Transport. On December 9, 2019, Celadon Group and its 25 subsidiaries (collectively, the "Chapter 11 Debtors") filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and ceased operations. During the summer of 2019, the decline in overall freight tonnage and excessive truck capacity led to a significant decline in freight rates and a corresponding decline in the Chapter 11 Debtors' liquidity. The Chapter 11 Debtors' principal secured creditors include MidCap Financial Trust, Blue Torch Finance, and Luminus Energy Partners Master Fund. Upon discontinuation of its business, Hyndman terminated nearly all of its workforce and purportedly owes former employees approximately $2.3 million. The appointment of a receiver will allow these employees to claim and receive statutory payments, including for unpaid wages and termination pay. Blue Torch Finance will be providing DIP financing during these proceedings. KSV Advisory was appointed receiver. Counsel is DLA Piper for the Chapter 11 Debtors and Celadon Group (as the foreign representative), Bennett Jones for the receiver, McMillan for Blue Torch Finance, Norton Rose Fulbright for MidCap Financial Trust, and Koskie Minsky for 200 former Hyndman employees.
Norcon, a Clarenville, Newfoundland and Labrador-based marine transportation company that operates passenger/freight and cargo ships, was deemed bankrupt on December 25. The company, which owes BDC over $1.4 million, has been negatively affected by the loss of government contracts of ferry services, the general downturn in the aquaculture business, and the need to write off a large debt from a related company. The company had previously filed an NOI on November 25 and subsequently attempted to transition its proposal proceedings into CCAA proceedings but was unsuccessful. BDC's application for a court-appointed receiver was also dismissed and it therefore turned to a privately appointed receiver to realize on its security. Deloitte is the bankruptcy trustee. Grant Thornton is the private receiver. Counsel is Boyneclarke for the company, Cox & Palmer for BDC, McInnes Cooper for the trustee, and Stewart McKelvey for BNS.
F1rst Auto Rentals +, a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based car rental company with a fleet of approximately 66 vehicles, was placed in receivership on December 19 on application by BMO, owed approximately $2.1 million. The application was made after it was uncovered that the debtor had ceased operations and had begun liquidating its assets without advising BMO. Grant Thornton was appointed receiver. Counsel is MLT Aikins for the applicant and Dentons for the receiver.
Ventures West Transport, a Sherwood Park, Alberta-based transportation company specializing in transportation across winter and ice roads in the western provinces, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, obtained protection under the CCAA on November 29. The company is majority owned by the Tłı̨chǫ government, a First Nations organization that initially invested in the business in 2009. Since the acquisition, however, the Tłı̨chǫ government has had to advance approximately $37.6 million to support the company. The company's most significant contract has been to supply fuel to a mining operation in the Northwest Territories. Recently, the company was unsuccessful in its bid to re-win the contract for a further five-year term, and management projects that without this contract, the company's will report a loss of approximately $9.3 million for the year ending March 31, 2020. Not wanting to risk the destabilization of its other companies, the Tłı̨chǫ government has decided to cut its losses and wind-down the transportation business while under creditor protection. MNP is the monitor. Counsel is McMillan for the company, Cassels Brock for the monitor and Reynolds Mirth Richards & Farmer for CIBC, owed approximately $15.6 million.
FTI Holdings, a London, Ontario-based trucking company, along with certain related companies, filed for bankruptcy on September 27, listing $18.9 million in liabilities, including $15.5 million to U.S. Bank and $1.1 million to HCI Equity Partners, a Washington, D.C.-based private equity firm which acquired the company in 2014 with a plan to merge it with another of its portfolio companies, Denver, Colorado-based HVH Transportation. However in August 2019, for various reasons both companies shut down. Grant Thornton was appointed bankruptcy trustee of the Canadian companies.
Syncreon, a U.K.-based logistics company with operations in over twenty countries, obtained a Canadian recognition order of its U.K.-based insolvency proceedings on August 8. PwC was appointed information officer. Canadian counsel is Blakes for the company, Fasken for the information offer, Norton Rose Fulbright for the unsecured notes trustee, McMillan for Citibank, as agent in the exit ABL facility and Goodmans for an ad-hoc group of other lenders.
Wow Air, an Iceland-based airline carrier company that specialized in ultra-cheap flights between North America and Europe, was deemed bankrupt on March 28 by the Icelandic court and ceased operations, leaving thousands of customers stranded or out-of-pocket for future flights. On May 13, the Office de la protection du consommateur (OPC) appointed PwC as claims adjudicator of the claims submitted to the Compensation Fund for Customers of Travel Agents, a financial protection plan administered by the OPC that protects customers who purchased services through licensed travel agencies in Quebec.