Canada

Beleaguered B.C.-based luxury cruise company One Ocean Expeditions will be allowed to restructure its business to avoid bankruptcy, a judge ruled Wednesday, CBC reported. The company's proposal, which includes providing creditors — some who paid tens of thousands of dollars for voyages that never happened — the option of using that money toward a future trip is "fair and reasonable" and in the best interest of stakeholders, B.C. Supreme Court justice Sandra Wilkinson said.

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Canadians are experiencing the economic effects of COVID-19 very differently — and it largely depends on how vulnerable they were prior to the pandemic, a new poll suggests, Global News reported. The youngest people in the workforce — those in Generation Z  — appear to be struggling the most, according to the poll, which was commissioned by insolvency firm MNP. Nearly 70 per cent are $200 or less away from insolvency, which includes 39 per cent who are already insolvent, meaning their financial resources aren’t enough to cover their current obligations.

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It may be little surprise the pandemic has infected Canadians with more stress over debt, but a new survey offers the eye-openers that people fear the stigma of mental illness more than poverty and business failure, and young people are more afraid than their elders, the Financial Post reported. With Mental Illness Awareness Week being marked in Canada next week, almost three quarters of the 1,510 respondents polled Sept. 23-25 in the Angus Reid Forum by insolvency company Bromwich+Smith said mental illness carries the heaviest stigma.

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Fosun International Ltd. is poised to lose its 20% stake in Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, the latest in a series of failed overseas deals for the Shanghai-based insurance, health care and tourism conglomerate, Bloomberg News reported. A consortium of Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil creditors is set to take control of the struggling circus operator, people familiar with the matter said. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in June as the Covid-19 pandemic slammed its distinctive global chain of musical, acrobatic shows.

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Quebec’s pension fund said it spent $75 million in February to double its stake in Cirque du Soleil Entertainment, an investment it was forced to write off in June when the company filed for bankruptcy protection, Bloomberg News reported. Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec’s decision to buy an additional 10% of the live performance company from founder Guy Laliberte came after months of discussions with shareholders, Caisse Chief Executive Officer Charles Emond said Monday. The fund spent $71 million for its initial 10% stake in 2015, he told a panel of lawmakers in Quebec City.

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Even as provinces move forward with phased reopening plans, 14% of Canadian small businesses are at risk of permanently closing, according to a new report, Bloomberg News reported. About one in seven small- and medium-sized companies surveyed at the end of June by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business said they are at least somewhat considering bankruptcy or winding down operations as a result of Covid-19. That would represent about 158,000 businesses in addition to the ones that have already closed, CFIB said.

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A record number of Canada’s largest businesses are seeking protection from creditors, a testament to the strains companies are under because of the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg News reported. In the three months through June, 27 firms were granted protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, a federal law that gives insolvent corporations that have debt of more than C$5 million ($3.7 million) an opportunity to restructure and avoid liquidation.

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Mendocino Clothing Co., a Toronto-based retailer, has begun restructuring proceedings and plans to close stores to focus on online orders, Bloomberg News reported. The closely-held company filed a notice of intention to make a proposal under Canadian bankruptcy law on July 14, according to documents posted on the website of KSV Kofman Inc., the trustee. The documents listed Toronto-Dominion Bank as a secured creditor owed C$2.69 million ($1.99 million) and a further C$5.78 million owed to unsecured creditors including American Express and OPGI Mgmt.

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Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group said on Thursday it reached a new purchase agreement with its secured lenders, in a move that would help kick-start the bidding process for the financially strapped circus troupe, Reuters reported. The Cirque said in a statement that it entered into a new “stalking horse” purchase agreement with its first-lien and second-lien secured lenders, confirming earlier reports.

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Lenders to Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group are working on an offer to replace the bid made by TPG and other shareholders of the company, which is restructuring under bankruptcy protection, Bloomberg News reported. The lenders are set to present a binding “credit bid” to a committee of Cirque’s board by Tuesday, a court hearing was told Friday. Credit bidding involves canceling outstanding debt as part of an offer to acquire a debtor’s assets. Cirque’s creditors have said previously they would also be willing to inject as much as $375 million to help the company restart.

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