Mountain Equipment Co-operative (MEC), a Vancouver, British Columbia-based member-owned and directed retail consumer co-operative specializing in outdoor activity equipment and clothing, obtained protection under the CCAA on September 14, listing approximately $229.6 million in liabilities and $389.0 million in assets. MEC — which is a key Canadian retail partner with global outdoor brands including Patagonia, the North Face, Arc'teryx, Birkenstock, and Blundstone — currently operates 22 retail locations across Canada. While there was a considerable increase in online sales during March to September, MEC experienced a reduction in sales of $90 million compared to last year, and all MEC stores were closed as of March. The co-op is currently in the midst of a liquidity crisis, primarily due to difficult retail conditions which were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, it was necessary for MEC to refinance, downsize operations, conduct a review of strategic alternatives, or conduct a potential sale of the MEC business. MEC's board of directors has unanimously approved a deal in which Kingswood Capital Management ("Kingswood"), a Los Angeles-based private investment firm, will acquire MEC's assets. MEC's transition from a co-operative structure to a subsidiary of Kingswood is required to ensure a stable future for the business. Alvarez & Marsal was appointed monitor. Counsel is Norton Rose Fulbright for MEC, Cassels Brock for the monitor, and Fasken for Kingswood.
Urthecast Corp. (TSX:UR), a Vancouver, British Columbia-based Big Data services company specializing in satellite imaging, data services, and geo-analytics, obtained protection under the CCAA on September 4, listing approximately $151.3 million in liabilities and $126.6 million in assets. The company is well-known for operating two cameras on the Russian segment of the International Space Station. Historically, the company has been able to manage its required ongoing financing by obtaining secured bridge financing from its current group of secured creditors. Lately, however, the company has needed extensive funding to execute on projects still in development. In addition, the company's regular financing requirements have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected sales, the collection of receivables, and delayed the company in achieving payment milestones in connection with engineering and services contracts. EY was appointed monitor. Bennett Jones is counsel to the company.
TA Hotel Management Limited Partnership, which owns Vancouver's Trump International Hotel, filed for bankruptcy on August 17, listing approximately $4.9 million in liabilities, including $3.2 million to Maxfine International Limited. Grant Thornton is the bankruptcy trustee.
Vert Infrastructure Ltd. (CSE:VVV), a holding company which provides funding, infrastructure, and branding to affiliated licenced cannabis and hemp growers and extractors in the US, was placed in receivership on June 16 on application by KW Capital Partners Limited, owed approximately $5.2 million as the agent on behalf of the company's secured lenders. It is alleged that the company transferred money to its most significant subsidiary, Elite Ventures Group LLP, for the purposes of developing certain real property interests in Nevada, US. Currently, the applicant is seeking the appointment of a receiver to investigate whether the transfer of funds from Elite to other parties for no consideration constitutes a transaction at undervalue. The company's most recent interim financial statements indicate that it has a cash balance of under $2,000 and a shareholders' deficit of more than $22.0 million. KSV Advisory was appointed receiver. Garfinkle Biderman is counsel to the applicant.
C. & C. Wood Products Ltd., a manufacturer of wood products with mill facilities in Cranbrook and Quesnel, British Columbia, along with its subsidiary, Westside Logging Ltd., were placed in receivership on June 5 on application by Callidus Capital, owed approximately $91.0 million. Over the last two years, the companies sustained significant operating losses. Although the companies previously attempted to implement various restructuring initiatives and turnarounds, none of these resulted in a cash flow positive operation or a going concern sale of the companies. As a result, the companies' two facilities have now been shut down. PwC was appointed receiver. Lawson Lundell is counsel to the applicant.
Metric Modular, an Agassiz, British Columbia-based modular construction company, filed an NOI on June 1, listing approximately $14.7 million in liabilities, including $9.3 million to ATB Financial. The company attributed its financial difficulties to the significant decline in sales volume over the past several years, which caused financial losses to accumulate. Based on historical performance and future trends, the company's forecasted future losses are too significant to be supported by its available cash flow. Grant Thornton is the proposal trustee.
Port Capital Development (EV) Inc. and Evergreen House Development Limited Partnership, subsidiaries of the Port Capital Group, which is in the business of real estate development and management primarily in British Columbia, obtained protection under the CCAA on May 29, listing approximately $46.7 million in liabilities, including $20.1 million to CMLS Financial Ltd. and $14.7 million to Aviva Insurance Company of Canada. Together, the companies own the Terrace House Project, a 19-storey mixed-use luxury residential development located in Vancouver. As the companies are undercapitalized in terms of equity, they are unable to meet their obligation to fund any cost overruns on the Terrace House Project. Furthermore, the Port Capital Group has been unable to advance funds, so the companies cannot pay the interest due to their construction lender, CMLS Financial. EY was appointed monitor. Counsel is Gowling WLG for CMLS Financial, Blakes for the monitor, and Lawson Lundell for Aviva Insurance.
Eagle Q Partners Inc., a Vancouver, British Columbia-based company founded by Chris Jin, was placed in receivership on May 26 on application by Hong Liu and Meng Rui Li. The applicants allege that it is unclear what the company's business is other than having advanced considerable sums of money to the Westside Preparatory School (the "School"). Both the company and Jin, a former director of the Westside Preparatory Society — the not-for-profit society which governs the School — have been the subjects of various lawsuits, including an action against Jin alleging fraud, deceit, and fraudulent misrepresentation. These civil actions and the company's mismanagement have caused operating problems for the School, which owes the company approximately $4.1 million. In light of such circumstances, it appears the assets over which the applicants have security are at risk of being dissipated. Multiple actions have been commenced by the company's creditors and the applicants allege that Jin appears to be taking steps which may compromise the company's assets. FTI was appointed receiver. Fasken is counsel to the applicants.
Encore Vineyards Ltd., the last of a group of wineries built under the full stewardship of the late Harry McWatters, best known as the founder of Sumac Ridge Estate Winery and See Ya Later Ranch, and the founding chairman of VQA Canada, BC Hospitality Foundation, and BC Wine Institute, filed a proposal on May 7, listing approximately $18.0 million in liabilities, including $5.0 million owed to BMO. In July 2018, the company opened the TIME Winery & Kitchen in Penticton, British Columbia, with a 15,000 square foot facility offering a tasting bar, a lounge, and an outdoor patio for customers. In recent years, the company has not been profitable, with losses attributable to significant delays and cost overruns in the construction of its premises, large carrying costs on debt and higher than expected marketing costs, as well as factors outside of the company's control such as the Alberta wine boycott and forest fires impacting tourism. The company has completed a sales process and a transaction is contemplated in the proposal whereby a purchaser will pay $5.8 million for the assets of the company upon court approval of the proposal. BDO is the proposal trustee. Counsel is Fulton & Company for the company and Lawson Lundell for BMO.
Foodora Inc., the Canadian subsidiary of Delivery Hero SE and an online food-delivery service company that has operations in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia, filed an NOI on April 27, listing approximately $4.7 million in liabilities, with the vast majority of money owed to restaurants. The company, which intends to continue to operate until May 11, is working on a proposal to make to its employees and other creditors. Earlier this year, the Ontario Labour Relations Board ruled that Foodora couriers were dependent contractors and had the right to form a union. Grant Thornton is the proposal trustee. Blakes is general counsel for the company and Dentons is counsel for the company relating to employment matters.