Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corporation, which owns a pulp mill in Abercrombie, Nova Scotia, along with its affiliates (collectively, the "Petitioners"), filed for protection under the CCAA on June 19 after the Petitioners were forced to cease business operations of their mill on January 31 and lay off over 300 employees. The mill closed following the Nova Scotia Premier's refusal to extend the life of the company's effluent treatment plant in Boat Harbour. As a consequence of the mill's closure and associated operational issues, the Petitioners face immediate and multiple challenges to their continued viability and project they will run out of cash in late July. Without CCAA protection, the Petitioners, which currently owe approximately $84.9 million to the Province of Nova Scotia, will be unable to transition the mill and their operations into a safe state of hibernation and preservation. EY was appointed monitor. Counsel is McCarthy Tétrault for the Petitioners and Stewart McKelvey for the Province of Nova Scotia.
VistaCare Communications, a Bedford, Nova Scotia-based telecommunication infrastructure service provider, filed an NOI on June 19. Employing approximately 350 full time employees, the company experienced exponential growth between 2015 and 2018, with revenue growing from $24.0MM to $50.6MM. In 2018, it was discovered that the company's financial results had not been properly recorded which resulted in an adjusted revenue value which was lower than expected, while the company's cost base remained high. The company responded by immediately replacing certain management positions and working to implement operational improvements, but the company's financial position has remained a challenge. The company's loan with BMO is currently $6.0MM out of margin and the company has made the decision that a formal restructuring is required. Grant Thornton is the proposal trustee. Counsel is Stewart McKelvey for the company and Cox & Palmer for BMO,
Gymboree Group, a San Francisco, California-based chain of specialty retail stores for children’s apparel with operations across the US, Canada and Australia filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 in the United States Bankruptcy Court on January 17. Concurrently, Gymboree ("Gymboree Canada" or the "Company") filed an NOI on January 17, listing $9.4M of liabilities, including $8.9M of liabilities that are owed to entities that are subsidiaries of the Gymboree Group. The Company operates 49 retail stores in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Ontario. A group of agents including Great American, Tiger, Gordon Brothers, and Hilco (the "Agents") will be leading liquidation efforts across the US and Canada. KPMG is the proposal trustee. Counsel is Norton Rose Fulbright for the Company, Osler for the proposal trustee and Cassels Brock for the Agents.
OpenHydro Technology Canada, a Dartmouth, Nova Scotia-based company and wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary of OpenHydro Group of Ireland, which is controlled by French-based Naval Energies, converted its BIA proposal proceedings to CCAA proceedings on November 7. The group of companies specializes in developing marine-based renewable energy solutions, including harnessing tidal energy to create electric power. OpenHydro was managing the Cape Sharp Tidal Venture (CSTV), a tidal energy project located off Nova Scotia in the Minas Basin, an inlet of the Bay of Fundy. The CSTV is a joint venture of which OpenHydro’s parent company is the majority shareholder. OpenHydro’s operating capital was cut off when its parent company, OpenHydro Group, filed for liquidation in Ireland. One of the company’s main assets is the Scotia Tide, a barge used in the installation, recovery and testing of CSTV’s tidal turbines. The barge, which was built in 2016 at an approximate cost of $30.0MM, is subject to numerous marine claims filed in the Federal Court. The company plans to initiate a sales process for the Scotia Tide barge as well as attempt to recover various financial assets in hopes of satisfying the claims of its creditors. OpenHydro owes approximately $6.0MM to a variety of Atlantic Canadian marine service contractors that helped in the installation of a turbine in July, but never received payment. The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia approved a $500.0M DIP facility and charging order; however, the CCAA Initial Order did not exempt the marine claims from being advanced in the Federal Court. OpenHydro is meeting with its counsel to prepare a motion to the Federal Court to have the CCAA stay of proceedings recognized by the Federal Court. Grant Thornton was appointed monitor. Cox & Palmer is counsel to the company.
3291735 Nova Scotia, a Halifax, Nova Scotia-based company whose principal asset is approximately 1.3 acres of real property located in Halifax, was placed in receivership on May 11 on application by First National Financial, a major secured creditor. The property was divided into six condominium lots, which have been listed for sale since June 2016 without success. The court appointed KSV Advisory as receiver and also approved a stalking horse sale process. Counsel is McInnes Cooper for the stalking horse purchaser, Cox & Palmer for the receiver and Burchells for First National Financial.
Wicker Emporium, a Halifax, Nova Scotia-based importer and retailer of solid wood furniture and home decor, filed for protection under the CCAA on April 18, listing over $5.0MM in liabilities, including $865.0M to Accord Financial. The founder, Madan Kapahi, opened the first Wicker Emporium in 1972 to so that he could share treasures from his home country of India with his new friends in Nova Scotia. The company now operates 23 "brick-and-mortar" stores in Atlantic Canada and Ontario, as well as an online store. Due to changes in sale patterns in different locations, however, the company has experienced a recent decrease in profits from sales, particularly at stores located in more rural areas. As a result, the company has experienced difficulty in paying its suppliers, many of which are furniture manufacturers based in Asia. MNP was appointed monitor. Burchells is counsel to the company.