TGF Acquisition Parent Ltd., Sun Rich Fresh Foods Inc. and Tiffany Gate Foods Inc., British Columbia companies which are part of a larger group known as the Fresh Food Group (the "Group"), filed for protection under the CCAA on February 17, listing in excess of US$150,000,000 in liabilities, including US$119,000,000 to Cortland Capital Market Services LLC, as administrative agent to various lenders. The Group, which includes several US entities that filed for Chapter 11 protection on February 15, is a leading provider of branded and private-label offerings of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, ready-to-go meals and meal kits, behind-the-glass salads, and other products. In 2019, the Group faced significant liquidity and other economic pressures, forcing it to implement certain strategic measures, including entering into an exchange transaction to restructure its indebtedness with its then existing lenders. Despite the exchange transaction, the Group has continued to face significant financial challenges in the context of its business operations, most recently due to economic pressures caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic. More specifically, in 2020, the demand for the Group’s largest product segments, fruits and vegetable trays, significantly declined as consumer habits began to change, and as the various federal, provincial and state governments in both Canada and in the US began imposing various sanitary measures and restrictions to prevent or limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. These issues, combined with production and supply chain issues, have significantly affected the Group's liquidity position throughout 2020. EY was appointed monitor. Counsel is Stikeman Elliott for the companies and TGF for the Monitor.
Unique Restoration Ltd., which was engaged in the business of building maintenance and restoration services for multi-unit residential, commercial, and industrial projects primarily in British Columbia and Ontario, filed an NOI on January 4, listing approximately $10 million in liabilities, including a combined amount of approximately $5 million owing to RBC and VGNA Holdings Inc. The company's insolvency was caused in part by a prime contractor's failure to pay the company's invoices on a large renovation project, a stop work order issued by Worksafe BC on the project and litigation brought by the prime contractor against the company related to same. On January 28. the company filed materials in connection with a stay extension motion returnable February 3. However, on February 3, RBC sought and was granted an order appointing Fuller Landau as receiver. Counsel is Aird & Berlis for RBC and Minden Gross for the receiver. Counsel to the company in the NOI proceedings was Rory McGovern PC. Crowe Soberman was the proposal trustee.
EzTix Event Ticketing Inc., a Vancouver, British Columbia-based company that provides ticketing solutions to event organizers around the world, filed an NOI on November 30 and a proposal to its creditors on December 29. The company lists approximately $1.1 million in liabilities. McEown and Associates is the proposal trustee.
British Columbia Discovery Fund Inc. (the "Fund"), which was formed in 2002 as a vehicle to invest in eligible small businesses as part of the venture capital program started by the government of British Columbia, was placed in liquidation and ceased trading on December 1. The Bowra Group, which was appointed Liquidator, assumed control of the Fund and will settle its obligations, dispose of its remaining assets, and make final distributions to shareholders. In accordance with the steps for the voluntary liquidation as approved by shareholders in the Information Circular, the Liquidator will liquidate the portfolio assets of the Fund upon the occurrence of liquidity events or secondary trading opportunities in the underlying portfolio.
Dine Under the Stars, a North Vancouver, British Columbia-based event management company that organized unique pop-up dinner events hosted at outdoor venues, filed for bankruptcy on November 10, listing approximately $ 1.7 million in liabilities. The company was preparing for its spring event season in mid-March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic caused all but essential services to shut down across North America. Almost immediately after shutdown measures were announced in March, customers began demanding refunds. Although the company has approximately $325.0 thousand in cash, it does not have sufficient cash to refund all of its customers the entire amount of their tickets, given that a significant portion of the revenues had already been invested in venue deposits, catering deposits, and advertising which likely cannot be recouped. MNP is the bankruptcy trustee.
Centre City Real Estate Inc. (o/a Re/Max Centre City Realty Inc.) ("Centre City"), a Re/Max franchisee operating in Prince George, BC, and It'll Be Good Hold Co Inc., a holding company, were placed in receivership on October 30 on application by TD, owed approximately $1.2 million. TD, which has only received one payment against the companies' indebtedness since January 2020, entered into a forbearance agreement under which the companies agreed to repay their indebtedness before June. However, the companies failed to do so and consequently defaulted under the forbearance agreement. Furthermore, the companies could not secure any refinancing or investment during the forbearance period and have similarly been unable to do so since the expiry of its term. In October, Centre City's landlord issued a notice of termination of their lease and claimed for the arrears and the present value of all future rent payments over the unexpired portion of the term. MNP was appointed receiver. Owen Bird is counsel to the applicant.
Dubh Linn Gate Partners (Vancouver) Company, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based company that owns a popular pub, filed for bankruptcy on October 20, listing approximately $1.7 million in assets and $2.6 million in liabilities. EY is the bankruptcy trustee
Sunniva Inc. (CNE: SNN), a Vancouver, British Columbia-based development stage business that has been developing facilities for the cultivation, processing, and distribution of raw cannabis flower and cannabis-based products — along with its subsidiaries — obtained protection under the CCAA on October 9. The company's financial distress is caused primarily by cost overruns and construction delays regarding its primary business asset, a leasehold interest in an under-construction cannabis cultivation facility in California. In November 2018, the company announced its strategic decision to focus corporate resources on developing the company's business in California and began liquidating its Canadian assets. The company and its subsidiaries intend to liquidate what remains of their Canadian assets and advance the business in California. On June 22, the British Columbia Securities Commission and Ontario Securities Commission each issued a cease trade order in respect of the company's shares. The company, which has unsecured debts in excess of $58.0 million, is currently seeking an extension of the stay period so that the relief will continue until November 27. Alvarez & Marsal was appointed monitor. Counsel is BLG for the companies and Cassels Brock for the monitor.
Konnect Brookside Villas Limited Partnership and Konnect Brookside Holdings Ltd., developers involved in the development and construction of a three-phase 69 unit townhome project on leased property located within the self-governed lands of the Westbank First Nation, were placed in receivership on October 6 on application by Canadian Western Bank ("CWB"), owed approximately $9.3 million. CWB had provided the companies with a construction mortgage facility for financing Phase 1 of the project, consisting of 23 townhomes. However, the construction project — which began in 2018 — has been plagued by a host of problems, including being behind schedule, cost overruns, builders' liens being registered against the property, and a dispute between the developer and its general contractor. Although the companies are unable to meet the requirements and payments of the loan, CWB is still willing to fund the completion of Phase 1 of the project. Grant Thornton was appointed receiver. Counsel is Owen Bird Law for the applicant and Fasken for the receiver.
Creditloans Canada Financing Inc. (o/a "Progressa") and Creditloans Canada Capital Inc. (“Capital Inc.”) obtained protection under the CCAA on September 30, listing approximately $67.0 million in liabilities and $47.0 million in assets. Progressa is a Vancouver, British Columbia-based company primarily engaged in servicing consumer loans through an online medium to individuals unable to secure loans from traditional sources. Capital Inc. — which has no active business or operations — was incorporated for the sole purpose of issuing bonds, the proceeds of which are advanced to Progressa. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Progressa experienced a significant reduction in originations of new loans that severely impacted its cash flow. The companies have sought a stay of proceedings under the CCAA in order to obtain interim financing and continue lending operations while working with its stakeholders to formulate a restructuring plan that will maximize asset value. During these CCAA proceedings, the companies will be receiving up to $2.5 million in DIP financing. BDO was appointed monitor. Counsel is McMillan for the companies, Fasken for the monitor, and Blakes for the proposed DIP lender.