FHC Enterprises, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based company which operates the FIELDS chain of 64 retail stores located in rural communities throughout Western Canada, filed an NOI on March 6, listing $17.5 million in liabilities, including $8.9 million to RBC. The company attributes its financial difficulties to a failure to respond quickly to increasing minimum wage costs and increased carbon taxes. In addition, several of the company's stores have been affected by the downturn in retail and the economies in Alberta and Saskatchewan. MNP is the proposal trustee. Counsel is MLT Aikins for RBC and Gehlen Dabbs for the company.
Invictus MD Strategies (TSX-V: GENE), a Vancouver, British Columbia-based cannabis company, along with certain other related companies, obtained protection under the CCAA on February 13. Several factors contributed to the company's liquidity issues. First, it was unsuccessful in obtaining additional financing to complete a custom-built cultivation facility. Second, the strains of cannabis that are currently being harvested by Acreage - the company's primary operating entity - are not in demand as they do not have sufficient potency. While Acreage is currently in the process of changing over its plants to those with a higher level of potency, these plants will not be ready to harvest until mid-April 2020. Finally, the company's revenues have decreased due, in part, to lower consumer demand and market saturation. The company currently owes approximately $10.6 million to ATB Financial and $5.3 million to Authentic Brands, a New York-based brand management company. PwC was appointed monitor. Counsel is Cassels for the company, BLG for the monitor and Blakes for ATB.
1034179 B.C. Ltd., a British Columbia-based developer of a 66-unit rental property in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, obtained protection under the CCAA on February 4, listing approximately $22.0 million in liabilities, including $6.3 million to Canadian Western Bank. In April 2017, the company purchased the Maple Ridge property and began development with $3.8 million of purchase financing from its subordinate lenders. It was contemplated that construction would finish at the end of June 2018. By the fall of 2017, however, the company realized that construction was taking longer and costing more than initially anticipated. In the beginning of 2018, the company managed to secure an additional loan from its subordinate lenders as well as from CWB in order to complete construction of the property. Shortly after these financings, it became clear that the company could not complete construction or meet the monthly interest payments under its loan agreement with the subordinate lenders. In September 2019, CWB ceased to advance funds to the company and demanded payment for $6.3 million. The company proposed to CWB that it would seek relief under the CCAA so that interim financing could be obtained to complete construction of the development for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Bowra Group was appointed monitor. Fasken is counsel to the company.
Grabhers Last Stand Bison Ranch, a Dawson Creek, British Columbia-based bison ranch, was placed in receivership on February 3 on application by the Bank of Nova Scotia, owed approximately $6.6 million. After the corporation defaulted under its loan agreements with BNS, BNS made demands for repayment of amounts owed under these agreements. To date, the corporation has failed to make any payments. BNS further alleges that the corporation withheld relevant information when applying for credit, and that the corporation engaged in uncooperative and potentially fraudulent conduct. For example, while the corporation's profit and loss statement for January - September 2019 indicates revenue generated of approximately $1.8 million, this amount was not deposited into the corporation's account with BNS. Furthermore, the corporation sold 430 heads of bison to a related corporation without informing BNS or receiving its consent for the transfer of assets. Deloitte was appointed receiver. MLT Aikins is counsel to the applicant.
Novelion Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NVLN), a Vancouver, British Columbia-based biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing new treatments for rare diseases, commenced implementation of a shareholder-approved plan of liquidation on January 16. The company owns a minority equity interest in Amryt Pharma, a Dublin, Ireland-based biopharmaceutical company ("Amryt Equity"). Since the Amryt Equity is the company's primary remaining material asset, the company expects that any value available to its shareholders will consist almost entirely of the Amryt Equity or the net proceeds. Alvarez & Marsal was appointed liquidator. Counsel is Norton Rose Fulbright for the company and Fasken for the liquidator.
Quest University Canada, a Squamish, British Columbia-based private, not-for-profit post-secondary institution, filed for protection under the CCAA on January 16, listing approximately $47.5 million in liabilities, including $16.0 million to Vanchorverve Foundation. Since the university commenced operations in 2007, it has not generated sufficient revenue to cover operating costs and the carrying costs associated with legacy debts incurred in its start-up. As such, the university requires CCAA protection to provide students with the opportunity to complete the academic year, while creating economic stability for the university's coming years. On January 27, the court approved the university's request for an extension of the stay of proceedings to May 29. The university also secured a $5.0 million loan from RCM Capital Management. Vanchorverve, the university's largest secured lender, had wanted the university to obtain the $5.0 million loan from Burley Capital and had unsuccessfully requested that the court replace four of the university's board members with appointees chosen by Vanchorverve. PwC, which was appointed monitor, advised that given the history between Vanchorverve's manager, Blake Bromley, and the university, interim financing should be provided by a third party lender. Counsel is Dentons for the university, McMillan for the monitor, and Murphy & Company and McCarthy Tétrault for Vanchorverve.
DGSTS Services Group, formally known as DGSTS Group, a British Columbia-based international engineering services company, was placed in receivership on December 20 on application by RBC, owed approximately $419.1 thousand. RBC also received judgment against the company’s guarantor, DGS Technical Services. RBC had granted the company certain credit facilities under a loan agreement. As security for this agreement, the company provided a general security agreement and two mortgages registered on title to commercial property it owned in Ottawa, Ontario. The company failed to fulfill its financial obligations to RBC under the loan agreement, and the guarantor did not make payment on account of its guarantee to RBC. Following service of the Application Record, counsel for the company advised RBC that refinancing would be available within a week. However, as of December 17, RBC has yet to receive a term sheet with proof of financing or any evidence of viable refinancing. Grant Thornton was appointed receiver. Counsel is Lerners for the applicant and Pelech, Otto, Powell & Ketsetzis for the company.
Einstein Exchange, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based cryptocurrency exchange with customer deposits equivalent to over $16.3 million, was placed in interim receivership on November 1 on application by the British Columbia Securities Commission. After receiving multiple complaints from members of the public claiming that they could not access their funds from Einstein, as well as complaints about improper use of funds and potential money laundering, the Commission issued an investigation order in May 2019. As part of the investigation, on October 31 the Commission demanded that Einstein, through its counsel, provide information about where its cryptocurrencies are stored. Two hours later, Einstein's counsel notified the Commission that it was no longer representing the company. The next day, the Commission visited Einstein's office and discovered that the elevator was locked for all floors. A phone call to the number listed on the company's website's stated that all its agents were unavailable. An interim receivership order was therefore immediately sought to preserve and protect the cryptocurrency and other assets of or held by the company. Grant Thornton was appointed interim receiver. Lawson Lundell is counsel for the applicant.
DionyMed Brands (CSE: DYME), a Vancouver, British Columbia-based cannabis company, was placed in receivership on October 29 on application by GLAS Americas, owed, together with certain other lenders, approximately $24.8 million. The company generated its revenue primarily in the United States, selling a portfolio of wholly-owned and third-party brands to over 800 retail dispensaries in California, Oregon and Nevada, as well as providing a direct-to-consumer cannabis delivery service. Despite strong growth, the company was unprofitable; in the first 6 months of the year it recorded a negative operating cash flow of $17.2 million on $34.4 million of revenue. Efforts in recent months to raise additional capital were unsuccessful and the company's secured lenders were unwilling to provide additional funds without a court-supervised process geared to obtaining a permanent solution to the company's capital structure and indebtedness. FTI was appointed receiver. Counsel is Dentons for the applicant, Bennett Jones for the receiver, Stikeman Elliott for SP1 Credit Fund and Blakes for an ad hoc group of bondholders.
Venturi Logging, a Merville, British Columbia-based logging company, was placed in receivership on September 25 on application by CWB, owed approximately $603.7 thousand. Grant Thornton is the receiver. Owen Bird is counsel for the applicant.