Simard-Beaudry Construction Inc. ("SBC") and Louisbourg Constructions Ltd. ("LC"), two large Laval, Quebec-based construction companies controlled by Antonio Accurso, obtained protection under the CCAA on July 8, respectively listing approximately $182.6 million and $82.8 million in liabilities. In 2010, the companies plead guilty to tax evasion against the CRA and were prohibited from bidding on public contracts until 2015. As a result, the companies' turnover dropped significantly and certain of their monetary assets were used to satisfy the numerous lawsuits launched against them. In recent years, the companies have ceased operations and sold almost all of their assets. In January, the companies filed an NOI, giving them until July 9 at the latest to file a proposal. However, various delays which were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic eventually led the companies to file for protection under the CCAA. Raymond Chabot was appointed monitor. Ravinsky, Ryan, Lemoine is counsel to the companies.
Cirque du Soleil, a Montreal, Quebec-based international live entertainment media company, obtained protection under the CCAA on June 30, listing approximately $1.6 billion (USD) in liabilities. Founded in 1984, the company is known for its circus performances, which it performs in custom-built, partner-hosted resident venues and through touring in different cities around the world. Over the past few years, the company has been responsible for the majority of the top 10 live shows in Las Vegas, accounting for almost half of the total Las Vegas box office sales. The company has seen its business operations severely impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has left the company with no other option but to call for an unprecedented halt in activity until the pandemic is controlled. Following the closure of all its shows worldwide, the company's revenue income entirely vanished and the company had no choice but to make significant temporary employee reductions to its nearly 5,000-person staff, impacting 95% of its workforce. Even before the pandemic struck, however, the company was already heavily indebted to its creditors following a series of major acquisitions. While the company hopes to be able to restart its operations as soon as possible, it is currently unable to generate any revenues, thereby preventing it from meeting its obligations as they become due. After carefully considering its options, the company made the difficult decision to terminate the employment of a majority of its employees, including the already laid-off employees. A group of existing investors, with backing from Investissement Québec, the Quebec government's investment wing, has tabled a bid to take over the company, inject $300.0 million (USD), and provide financial support for 3,500 laid-off employees. EY was appointed monitor. Counsel is Stikeman Elliott for the company, Fasken for the monitor, Norton Rose Fulbright for Investissement Québec, McMillan for RBC, the administrative agent for the first lien lenders, Goodmans for an ad hoc group of first and second lien lenders and Langlois for the Ad Hoc Committee of Independent Second Lien Lenders.
Modasuite Inc. a Montreal, Quebec-based business doing business as Frank and Oak, filed an NOI on June 22, 2020, listing approximately $19.0 million in liabilities, including approximately 6.0 million to Desjardins. Founded in 2012, the company operates primarily as an online clothing retailer, though it also operates 22 retail locations across Canada. While under creditor protection, the company will run a sales and investment solicitation process, led by Stifel Nicolaus Canada Inc. KPMG is the proposal trustee. Counsel is Osler for the company, Norton Rose Fulbright for the proposal trustee and McCarthy Tétrault for Desjardins.
Coalision Inc., a Montreal, Quebec-based designer and developer of lifestyle and performance apparel, including activewear brand Lolë, filed an NOI on May 26, listing approximately $17.2 million in liabilities to CIBC and $15.3 million to Simon Coalision Investment Inc. Founded in 1989, the company recorded significant losses for the last several years, which have primarily been caused by a general downturn in the global retail clothing market; competition from other established and emerging clothing retailers; shifts in consumer habits; and excess inventory. The COVID-19 pandemic and closure of all the Lolë stores had a further detrimental impact on the company's business and revenues. Deloitte is the proposal trustee. Counsel is McCarthy Tétrault for the company and Fishman Flanz Meland Paquin for CIBC.
Sail Plein Air Inc./Sail Outdoors Inc., a Montreal, Quebec-based outdoor sports retailer, filed an NOI on June 2, listing approximately $133.9 million in liabilities, including $58.9 million to Wells Fargo, $4.9 million to Columbia Sportswear Canada, $1.0 million to Nike Canada, $1.1 million to Patagonia, and $1.8 million to The North Face. The company, which employs almost 1,800 people, cites recent upheavals in the retail industry and the COVID-19 pandemic for its financial difficulties. EY is the proposal trustee. Counsel is Dentons for the proposal trustee, Lavery for the company and Norton Rose Fulbright for Wells Fargo.
Reitmans (Canada) Limited (TSX:RET.A), Canada's largest women's apparel retailer and the main operating entity of the Reitmans Group, obtained protection under the CCAA on May 19. Founded in 1926 in Montreal, Quebec, the company now operates 576 stores across Canada, including Reitmans outlets, Penningtons, RW & CO. stores, Addition Elle stores and Thyme Maternity locations. For the past three years, the Reitmans Group has seen a significant decrease in sales and, in its last fiscal year, it incurred a net loss of $87 million. Although the company had started to reduce its number of brick-and-mortar stores prior to COVID-19, the pandemic further caused a sharp decrease in sales when the remaining stores were temporarily closed in March. Given that e-commerce sales represent less than 30% of total sales, the impact of COVID-19 has been significant and the company expects to run out of liquidity shortly. The company, which currently has $361.0 million worth of assets, owes its creditors approximately $109.0 million, including $24.0 million in pension plan obligations as well as unpaid rent owed to its landlords. In consultation with the court-appointed monitor, EY, the company intends to conduct a sale of retail inventory located in certain stores. Counsel is Davies for the company and Osler for EY.
Flighthub Group Inc., a Montreal, Quebec-based online travel agency powered by proprietary technology platforms, obtained protection under the CCAA on May 8. Since 2012, the Group has experienced significant growth and now has business relationships with more than 200 airline companies around the world. However, monthly revenues plummeted when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and brought the travel industry to a standstill. In response to the rapid decline in revenue resulting from travel restrictions, the company implemented several cost-saving measures, including downsizing its Canadian and American workforces. Despite these efforts, the Group recorded a $8.0 million loss in March. In addition to these financial difficulties, the Group is also currently involved in several lawsuits and investigations regarding certain of its business practices, such as customer complaints over cancellation policies and fare increases. MNP was appointed monitor. Counsel is Stikeman Elliott for the Group and Dentons for the monitor.
Aldo Group, a Montreal, Quebec-based Canadian retailer that owns and operates a worldwide chain of shoe and accessories stores under the names Aldo, Globo and Call it Spring, obtained protection under the CCAA on May 7, owing approximately $100.0 million to Southwest, an affiliated company, and $40.0 million to Investissement Quebec. Founded in 1972, the company has grown to become a global leader in footwear and fashion accessories. It has sold over 46 million pairs of shoes and has stores in over 100 countries. The last few years, however, have not been profitable. For the 12 months ended February 1, 2020, Aldo Canada posted a net loss from operations of approximately $74.8 million and Aldo US posted a net loss from operations of approximately $52.8 million. In an effort to improve its financial performance, the group initiated a large-scale transformation plan in late 2019 that included a plan to reduce its brick and mortar reliance and a switch to an asset based lending structure to increase its working capital. The COVID-19 crisis, however, has foiled the company's transformation. Sales have decreased dramatically due to the government-mandated store closures. The pandemic also affected the Group's normal procurement schedules, resulting in its spring merchandise being unsold and delaying the delivery of fall merchandise ordered from suppliers in Asia. Currently, the Group's credit facility is fully drawn and its current prospects do not allow for additional loans without substantial operational changes. While under creditor protection, the company intends to terminate various leases while considering various restructuring alternatives. EY was appointed monitor. Counsel is Davies for the Group, McCarthy Tétrault for EY, and Fasken for Investissement Quebec.
The Office de la protection du consommateur has appointed PwC as the administrator for claims filed with the Compensation Fund for Customers of Travel Agents ("CFCTA") in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Travellers who purchased tourism services such as accommodations, cruises, excursions, etc. from a travel agent licensed in Quebec are covered by the CFCTA's protection. The CFCTA may reimburse tourism services that have been paid for but not received. It may also be used to compensate customers who have had to extend their stay, in particular where their flight has been cancelled.
Spectra Premium Industries, a Boucherville, Quebec-based company that specializes in the design, manufacturing, and distribution of cooling systems and other automotive products, together with several of its subsidiaries (collectively, the "Spectra Group"), obtained protection under the CCAA on March 10, listing approximately $249.0 million in liabilities, including $102.9 million to Wells Fargo and $20.7 million to Laurentian Bank. Over the past few years, the Spectra Group has seen a progressive reduction of its profitability. For the year ended January 31, 2020, the Spectra Group suffered a loss of more than $13.0 million. The group attributes its financial difficulties primarily to a shift in customer demand towards aftermarket products that are cheaper; an oversupply of certain products in the US market and increased costs as a result of the tariffs imposed on goods imported from China. EY was appointed monitor. Counsel is Norton Rose Fulbright for the monitor, Lavery, de Billy for the Spectra Group, Bennett Jones and Fishman Flanz Meland Paquin for Wells Fargo, and McCarthy Tétrault for Laurentian Bank.