Solis Foods Corporation Inc. ("Solis"), Vivian Group Inc. ("Vivian Group") and 1610830 Alberta Ltd. ("161Co"), three related companies, filed an NOI on June 8, listing approximately $19.0 million in secured debt and $5.1 million in unsecured trade debt. Together, the companies facilitate a business enterprise in which Solis manufactures and packages snack foods for the food service and retail grocery industries, including producing national branded and private-label snack foods. Vivian Group is a holding company responsible for real estate and 161Co is a holding company solely responsible for certain Alberta real estate (and equipment) that was the home of a now-closed production facility. After Solis ran into liquidity issues in 2018, David Andrew Vivian ("Andrew") sold 50% of his interest in Vivian Group to Super Pufft Snacks Corp. ("Snacks"). In addition to providing working capital to the companies, Snacks would provide production expertise to help improve Solis' profitability. However, profitability did not improve in 2019 as certain key customers were lost and Solis reported $1.2 million in losses. With the onset of COVID-19 related shutdowns in 2020, the companies' financial situation further deteriorated as many restaurants and food services business closed. In light of the financial challenges facing the business, Snacks determined it is no longer prepared to fund the companies' working capital needs. Sun Pac Holdings Ltd. will be providing interim financing during these proceedings. EY is the proposal trustee. Counsel is Loopstra Nixon for the companies, DLA Piper for the proposal trustee, Aird & Berlis for Sun Pac Holdings Ltd. and Snacks, and GSNH and Hager Law for Andrew.
Queen Mary Park Place Ltd., which owned and operated a commercial strip mall located in central Edmonton, Alberta, was placed in receivership on May 26 on application by CMLS Financial Ltd., owed approximately $2.9 million. The Bowra Group Inc. was appointed receiver. BLG is counsel to the applicant.
P7 Construction Ltd. ("P7 Construction") and 1619904 Alberta Ltd. ("161 Alberta") were placed in receivership on May 21 on application by BDC, owed approximately $7.0 million. In February 2015, BDC approved a loan to P7 Construction in connection with its development of a Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Bonnyville, Alberta. 161 Alberta, which operates the hotel, guaranteed payment of the loan. P7 Construction has been in default of the loan since March 24, 2020, and in November 2020, BDC and its counsel demanded payment. BDO was appointed receiver. McLennan Ross is counsel to the applicant.
Salt Bush Energy Ltd., a Calgary, Alberta-based resource company engaged in the production and development of oil and natural gas assets primarily located in the Wizard Lake Oilfield, obtained protection under the CCAA on May 19. In January 2021, the company filed an NOI, listing approximately $19.9 million in liabilities, including $16.5 million to Whitebark Energy Ltd. ("Whitebark"). Deloitte, which consented to act as proposal trustee, commenced a stalking horse marketing and sales process for the company's assets (the "SISP"). However, since no qualified bids were received before the bid deadline, the SISP was automatically terminated and the company filed an application seeking the approval of an Asset Purchase Agreement between the company and Ironbark Energy Ltd. (the "Stalking Horse APA"). The Stalking Horse APA will be effected pursuant to a Reverse Vesting Order and the proposal proceedings commenced by the company under the BIA will be continued under the CCAA. Deloitte was appointed monitor. Counsel is McCarthy Tétrault for the company and Dentons for the monitor.
Alberta Foothills Properties Ltd., a Calgary, Alberta-based company that carries on a real estate development business, was placed in receivership on May 17 on application by ATB Financial, owed approximately $13.9 million pursuant to a commitment lender under which ATB Financial agreed to make certain loans to the company in order to finance a three-phase residential land development project in Okotoks, Alberta known as Wind Walk (the "Project"). By March 2018, the company had breached the terms of the commitment letter by, among other things, failing to make payments when due. After various formal extensions of the forbearance period, ATB Financial also informally agreed to allow the company two weeks to secure either a sale of the lands where the Project is located or a refinancing that would allow the company to repay the indebtedness. To date, ATB Financial has not received any evidence of substantial progress with respect to the sale of the lands or of the refinancing. FTI was appointed receiver. Fasken is counsel to ATB Financial.
Forthryte Services Inc., a Fort McMurray, Alberta-based waste disposal and garbage removal company, was placed in receivership on May 14 on application by Canadian Western Bank ("CWB"), owed approximately $540 thousand. Pursuant to a loan agreement and various amendments to the agreement, CWB extended various loan segments to the company and Carmelo Daprocida, one of the company's directors. To secure their obligations to CWB, the company and Daprocida entered into separate general security agreements with CWB. CWB now alleges that the company and Daprocida are in default of the loan agreement for, among other reasons, failing to make required principal and interest payments. On May 5, CWB's legal counsel issued a demand letter to the company and Daprocida for payment of all amounts outstanding to CWB. The parties consented and waived the 10-day notice period under the BIA, thereby allowing CWB to immediately enforce its security. Farber was appointed receiver. Counsel is MLT Aikins for the receiver and Navigator Law for the company and Daprocida
Model Panel Manufacturing Ltd., an Edmonton, Alberta-based construction company, was adjudged bankrupt on May 7 on application by TNT MPM Holdings Inc. EY is the bankruptcy trustee. Miller Thomson is counsel to the applicant.
Alter NRG Corp., a Calgary, Alberta-based company that provides renewable energy services and which operated as a publicly traded company listed on the TSX from 2008 to 2015, was placed in receivership on April 29 on application by Aleksandr Gorodetsky, Bruce Leonard, and Kenneth Willis (the "Applicants"). In May 2019, the Applicants obtained judgment against the company for approximately $1.1 million (the "Judgment"). Although the Applicants have made several demands for payment pursuant to the Judgment, the company has not made any payments to date. The only means the Applicants have to realize upon the Judgment is to monetize the company's unique technology, which will require the assistance of a receiver and manager. MNP was appointed receiver. McLennan Ross is counsel to the Applicants.
WA Grain & Pulse Solutions, an Innisfail, Alberta-based company in the business of grain processing for human and pet food consumption, with facilities in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and PEI, was placed in receivership on April 26 on application by ATB Financial (the "Lender"). The company lists a total of $24.6 million in liabilities, including $11.9 million to the Lender, $8 million to Avrio Subordinated Debt Limited Partnership II ("Avrio"), and $4.7 million to Farm Credit Canada. Pursuant to a commitment letter, the Lender made several loans to the company, including an operating loan facility of up to $10 million (the "Loans"). In 2018, the Lender's turnaround and restructuring group ("TRG") began monitoring the Loans due to the company's poor financial performance and history of requiring financial covenant waivers. Despite several attempts by the company to improve its financial performance, TRG has had to continually monitor the Loans. In April, the company experienced several further setbacks: first, police were called to the company to investigate a theft of more than $200 thousand worth of equipment; second, the Canadian Grain Commission suspended the company's license after the company was unable to pay $6.5 million for unpaid inventory before April 23. Without this license, the company cannot operate its grain business. BDO was appointed receiver. Counsel is MHR Law for the company, Fasken for the Lender, MLT Aikins for the receiver, and McCarthy Tétrault for Avrio.
Coalspur Mines (Operations) Ltd., a Hinton, Alberta-based coal development company which owns and operates the Vista Coal Mine Project, filed for CCAA protection on April 26, 2021. While the company’s operations have significant value, with Phase I alone having the capacity to produce roughly 6.5 million tonnes of clean coal per year, Coalspur’s ability to conduct its business and generate revenue and liquidity has been severely impacted by: (a) the shut down of the mine in February 2021 as a result of a permitting issue with the Alberta Energy Regulator ("AER"), thereby suspending all coal production and cutting off Coalspur’s only source of revenue; and (b) the simultaneous crystallization of an approximately $59.9 million USD hedge obligation to Trafigura Lte. Ltd. following the rapid escalation in global coal prices in late 2020. Coalspur has now resolved the permitting issue with the AER and received approvals to restart mining operations. However, Coalspur lacks sufficient funding to restart the Project and begin producing coal because of the depletion of its coal inventory and the loss of all revenue since January 2021. FTI was appointed monitor. Counsel is Osler for the company and Blakes for the monitor.