Morris Group of Companies, which consists of four Saskatchewan-based companies and an American branch in the business of manufacturing and distributing farm equipment, had its sale to 102114983 Saskatchewan Ltd. in the CCAA proceedings (the "MEL Transaction") approved and a receiver was appointed to carry out the final administrative duties and satisfy the conditions of the MEL Transaction. BMO also brought applications for bankruptcy for certain entities in the Morris Group of Companies (the "Dormant Companies"). Since the bankruptcy orders were granted, the CCAA proceedings will be terminated in regard to the Dormant Companies and a bankruptcy trustee will be appointed. Alvarez & Marsal was appointed receiver and bankruptcy trustee. Counsel is McDougall Gauley for the Group, Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer for BMO, and MLT Aikins for Alvarez & Marsal.
Tyler Smith, Pamela Smith, Smith Northern Ranching, and 101197829 Saskatchewan Ltd. (collectively, the "Debtors"), a Duck Lake, Saskatchewan-based business engaged in mixed cattle and grain farming, were placed in receivership on December 1 on application by BMO, owed approximately $1.8 million. The Debtors list $8.5 million in liabilities, including $1.6 million to CNH Industry Capital and $1.2 to Farm Credit Canada. Deloitte was appointed receiver. Counsel is Miller Thomson for the applicant, Stevenson Hood Thornton Beaubier for the Debtors, MLT Aikins for the receiver, and McKercher for Farm Credit Canada.
Family Fitness Inc., which operates four fitness centres in Regina, Saskatchewan under the business name "Evolution Fitness Gym", was placed in receivership on October 13 on application by BTA Real Estate Group Inc. ("BTA"), owed approximately $1.0 million in rent arrears. In August 2017, the company defaulted on its rent obligations owing to BTA, and has continued to be in arrears since that date. BTA alleges that the company has engaged in a systematic pattern of non-payment and non-performance of its obligations. Alvarez & Marsal was appointed receiver. Counsel is W Law Group for the applicant and Torys for the receiver.
D’Amani Stucco Solutions Inc., a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company that provides exterior stucco finishing for residential and commercial buildings, filed an NOI on August 13, listing approximately $1.9 million in liabilities, including $670.0 thousand to Adexmat Inc. The Bowra Group is the proposal trustee. W Law Group is counsel to the company.
Morris Group of Companies, which consists of four Saskatchewan-based companies and an American branch in the business of manufacturing and distributing farm equipment, filed for protection under the CCAA on January 8, listing approximately $4.4 million in liabilities, including $2.1 million to De Lage Landen and $1.9 million to Kubota Canada. Morris Industries is the primary operating company and manufactures air carts, drills, seeders, and bale carriers. In recent years, the Morris Group has incurred significant losses due to several factors: the introduction of a new product line that experienced warranty issues which required a significant capital investment beyond foreseeable estimates; the Group's increased costs were accompanied by decreasing sales; and, as a result of declining financial results, the Group lost access to a factoring facility that had previously provided for the early payment of a substantial portion of its accounts receivable. Currently, each of the companies is unable to meet its obligations as they become due and is facing an imminent liquidity crisis. On January 16, the court granted the Group a stay of proceedings until March 27. BMO will be providing interim financing to the Group during the CCAA proceedings. Alvarez Marsal was appointed monitor. Counsel is McDougall Gauley for the Group, Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer for BMO, MLT Aikins for Alvarez & Marsal, Cassels Brock for De Lage Landen, and Miller Thomson for Kubota Canada.
F1rst Auto Rentals +, a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based car rental company with a fleet of approximately 66 vehicles, was placed in receivership on December 19 on application by BMO, owed approximately $2.1 million. The application was made after it was uncovered that the debtor had ceased operations and had begun liquidating its assets without advising BMO. Grant Thornton was appointed receiver. Counsel is MLT Aikins for the applicant and Dentons for the receiver.
PrimeWest Mortgage Investment Corporation, a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based secondary lender, was placed in voluntary liquidation on October 31. Following the replacement of key personnel in 2016, the company conducted an in-depth review of, among other things, its mortgage portfolio, the results of which necessitated increases to its loan loss provisions and, ultimately, a restatement of its 2014 and 2015 financial statements. The company attempted to mitigate its mortgage portfolio losses in 2017 through a number of initiatives but was unable to return the company to profitability. Potential sales were also explored but no bona fide offers were received. The board and management therefore determined that a court-supervised liquidation was the best available option for winding up the corporation's affairs and returning any remaining capital to the shareholders. KPMG was appointed liquidator. McDougall Gauley is counsel for the company.
Swift Hotels Group, a company's whose primary asset is a Days Inn hotel in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, was placed in interim receivership on September 20 on application by Innovation Credit Union, owed approximately $10.4 million. Deloitte was appointed interim receiver. Counsel is Olive Waller Zinkhan & Waller for the applicant, MLT Aikins for the interim receiver and Burnet Duckworth & Palmer for the company.
MF Live Inc., a Saskatchewan-based company organizing the Roxodus Music Fest, filed for bankruptcy on July 12, listing $18.3MM in liabilities, including $11.2MM to Taurus Site Services and $5.0MM to Eventbrite. The company was organizing a four-day concert to be held from July 11 to 14 on a 420-acre space near Wasaga Beach, Ontario. Featured groups slated to perform at the event included Aerosmith, Kid Rock, Nickelback and Lynyrd Skynyrd, among others. Just days prior to the festival, however, the company announced that it was cancelling the event, citing tremendous rainy weather that impacted its ability to adequately prepare the venue for the event. It has also come to light that the company is under investigation from the local conservation authority for allegedly destroying protected forest and wetlands in preparation for the festival. Grant Thornton is the bankruptcy trustee. BT Legal is counsel for the company.
JTL Industries, a Neilburg, Saskatchewan-based manufacturer of grain bins, oil tanks, frac sand silos, liquid fertilizer tanks, grain bins, hoppers and floors, filed for bankruptcy on October 31. The company advised that rising steel prices, due in part to tariffs imposed by the US in March, were cutting into their profit margins, with their cost of steel up approximately 20%. The Bowra Group was appointed bankruptcy trustee.