193069 Canada Inc., a Montreal, Quebec-based company in the business of designing, importing and supplying unique fabrics printed on various materials to North American clothing manufacturers, filed an NOI on March 23, listing approximately $7.9 million in liabilities, including $3.6 million to Fabtrends International Holdings Inc. and $1.0 million to Fabtrends USA Corp. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, several large retailers of women's dresses had closed or downsized considerably, including Dress Barn and Sears. These retailers represented a significant portion of the company's business and it was unable to recover these lost sales. Moreover, the pandemic led to a sharp decrease in the demand for women's dresses and formalwear. For the year ended June 30, 2020, sales were 27% lower as compared to the prior year. Although the company implemented various cost reduction initiatives, the costs savings were insufficient to offset the impact of the lower sales volume. On March 26, the Court also authorized a sale and solicitation process for the company's business and related assets. PwC is the proposal trustee. Kugler Kandestin is counsel for the company.
Change of Scandinavia Canada Retail Inc., a Montreal, Quebec-based privately-held retailer which currently operates 26 stores across Canada under the name CHANGE Lingerie (the "Brand"), filed an NOI on March 2, listing approximately $4.1 million in liabilities, including $2.0 million to RBC. The Brand was founded in 2006 in Denmark and has over 200 stores worldwide. This NOI only pertains to the Canadian entity. Given the COVID-19 environment and impact on the retail sector, the company has suffered significant losses and a major reduction in sales. The company is currently looking to restructure its operations, which may include the closure of certain points of sale. Richter is the proposal trustee. Counsel is Kugler Kandestin for the company and Norton Rose Fulbright for the proposal trustee.
Atis Group, a group of window and door manufacturers whose products were sold under various brands including Laflamme, Vinylbilt, Solarcan, Vimat, Supervision, Melco, Allsco, and Altek, filed for protection under the CCAA on February 19. As of December 31, 2020, Atis Group operated seven manufacturing plants, had 26 stores located across Canada, and generated revenues of over $115.0 million. Between the time of its creation in 2004 and 2017, Atis Group achieved growth through more than 20 acquisitions. However, certain past acquisitions had resulted in a significant decrease in revenues. In particular, two of these companies — Solarcan Architectural and Allied Doors and Windows — were ultimately shut down, while another company was sold at a very low price. In 2018, costs began to increase significantly due to higher prices of glass and an increase in the rejection rate caused by aging manufacturing equipment. Moreover, the Ontario plant, which used to be very profitable, suffered a rapid decrease in sales starting in 2019 when several major clients were lost to a new competitor. Finally, once sites reopened after quarantine measures were lifted, Atis Group was unable to hire foreign workers as it had historically done. As a result of these factors, Atis Group suffered a loss of more than $24.0 million as of 2020. Without a capital injection, Atis Group currently does not have sufficient resources or the ability to generate sufficient funds to pay its suppliers and creditors. During these CCAA proceedings, Scotiabank — Atis Group's current first-ranking secured lender — will be providing up to $6.3 million in interim financing. Raymond Chabot was appointed monitor. Richter is advisor to Scotiabank. Counsel is Fasken for the monitor, McCarthy Tétrault for the debtors, BLG for Scotiabank and Gowling WLG for Investissement Quebec.
Services Clean d'Oeil Inc., a Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, Quebec-based cleaning services company for residential and commercial buildings, serving notably clients in the hotel industry, filed an assignment in bankruptcy on February 8, 2021. In 2019 and 2020, the company acquired material and equipment to develop an expertise in commercial laundry services to be offered to its clients in the hotel industry. The recent pandemic and downturn in the hotel industry forced the company to cease its operations at the beginning of 2021. PwC was appointed bankruptcy trustee. Counsel is McCarthy Tétrault for CIBC, the secured lender, and Langlois Avocats for the trustee.
Kanwal Inc., which is part of an international corporate group based in Magog, Quebec, whose commercial operations include the production of specialty rubber and plastic automotive sealing systems, filed for protection under the CCAA on January 29, 2021, listing approximately $21.6 million in liabilities, including $12.2 million to First West Capital Union and $4.3 million to BMO. In July 2020, the company filed an NOI under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (the "BIA"). Despite multiple extensions of time for filing a proposal, the company was unable to make a proposal to its creditors before the deadline to do so expired on January 30, 2021. As such, the company sought an order authorizing the BIA proceedings to continue under the CCAA. In the longer term, the company is confident that the CCAA proceedings will permit it to complete a proposed senior secured asset-based financing with Waygar Capital Inc. PwC was appointed monitor. Woods is counsel to the company.
Boutique Tristan & Iseut Inc., which operates the Montreal, Quebec-based Tristan fashion brand with 38 stores across Canada, filed for protection under the CCAA on January 20, listing approximately $32.9 million in liabilities, including $1.5 million to the National Bank of Canada. Various factors contributed to the company's financial difficulties. In recent years, Canadian clothing retailers, including Tristan, have faced increasing competition from online and foreign retailers. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the company's financial situation when the company experienced a further drop in traffic in its brick-and-mortar stores and it was forced to temporarily lay off more than 300 employees. In July 2020, the company filed an NOI under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (the "BIA"), with the time to file a proposal set to expire on January 21, 2021. Although the company's restructuring is largely complete, it is not yet ready to emerge from the restructuring process. As such, the company has sought an order authorizing the BIA proceedings to continue under the CCAA. Since the start of its restructuring, the company has operated in the normal course of business and has tried to stimulate demand by maintaining orders for new seasonal clothing collections. MNP was appointed monitor. Stikeman Elliott is counsel for the company.
Algold Resources Ltd. (TSX: ALG), a Montreal, Quebec-based junior mining company that focuses on the exploration and development of gold deposits in West Africa, filed an NOI on January 15, listing approximately $16.8 million in liabilities, including $9.8 million to Aya Gold & Silver Inc. ("AGS"). The pre-COVID-19 pandemic macro-economic background of gold, including increasing interest rates, stronger USD, and the downward trended price of gold, has led to a challenging financing environment for junior gold exploration projects. In addition, the jurisdiction in which the company operates, Mauritania, has been the object of certain negative perceptions in the industry and among investors that have made it more difficult to attract financing and support. Confronted with various liquidity issues and difficulties in raising debt or equity financing, the company ceased its operations on November 19. In June 2020, IIROC issued a cease trade order against the company. AGS, a Canadian mineral exploration and development company, has notified the company of its interest in providing interim financing during the court-supervised restructuring proceedings. Raymond Chabot is the proposal trustee. Counsel is Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melançon for the company and Dentons for AGS.
Studio Black Suede Inc., a Montreal, Quebec-based premium footwear brand, filed an NOI on December 24, 2020 owing approximately $434.0 thousand to CIBC. Litwin Boyadjian is the proposal trustee.
Academie Linguistique Internationale Inc., a Montreal, Quebec-based company that operated a language school for learning French and English, filed for bankruptcy on December 1, listing approximately $1.0 million in liabilities and $130.0 thousand in assets. Since the company's clientele was comprised of mainly students from abroad, the closure of borders in the spring of 2020 forced the company to cease operations. PwC is the Bankruptcy Trustee.
Le Château Inc. (TSX:CTU), a Montreal, Quebec-based fashion retailer with a 60-year history and 121 stores across Canada, obtained protection under the CCAA on October 23, listing approximately $125.0 million in liabilities, including $21.2 million in deferred rent owing to landlords, and $81.0 million in assets. In the three-month period up until July 25, the company made $14.7 million in sales across its network of stores and online, down from $50 million in the same period last year. Since 2015, the company's network had already been reduced by almost 50% to adapt to the changing retail landscape and consumer shopping habits. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic further impacted consumer demand for the company's holiday party and occasion wear, which represents the core of the company's business. Despite re-opening its stores, the company's brick-and-mortar operations continue to be negatively impacted by COVID-19 safety measures. While the company intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its stores, eventual closures will mean the termination of approximately 1,400 jobs. During these CCAA proceedings, the company will receive interim financing from Wells Fargo Capital Finance Corp. Canada. PwC was appointed monitor. Counsel is Stikeman Elliott for the company, Norton Rose Fulbright for Wells Fargo, Osler for the monitor, McCarthy Tétreault for Gordon Brothers Finance and Fasken for Gordon Brothers and Hilco.