North America

Mexico’s government on Thursday ruled out a financial rescue of the country’s airlines, which have been hammered by a sharp drop in global demand for travel and restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported. Aeroméxico announced in late June the start of a restructuring process under Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in the United States, while rival Interjet has also been struggling under the burden of coronavirus-imposed restrictions.

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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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Cirque du Soleil and its secured creditors are close to reaching a agreement on a second stalking horse bid for the financially strapped entertainment group, after lenders opposed a deal with shareholders including TPG Capital and Fosun International, a Canadian court heard today, Reuters reported. Canada’s once high-flying Cirque has received protection from creditors as it restructures after the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to cancel shows and lay off artists. The Montreal-based entertainment company filed for bankruptcy in late June.

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Canadian employment rose by a record-setting 953,000 people in June as COVID-19 lockdown restrictions eased across the country, the Globe and Mail reported. Statistics Canada said today that combined with May’s gain of nearly 290,000 workers, the labour market has recovered about 40 percent of the three million jobs that were lost during the pandemic. The unemployment rate fell to 12.3 percent from May’s record of 13.7 percent. June’s employment gains were almost evenly split between full-time and part-time work.

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The Canadian government is predicting a historic CDN$343 billion (US$254 billion) deficit for 2020-21 resulting from its economic and stimulus plans to battle COVID-19, the Associated Press reported. The amount, included in a fiscal “snapshot” the Liberal government released Wednesday, is a huge jump from the CDN$28.1 billion (US$20.8 billion) deficit projected prior to the pandemic. The report says that since March, the federal government has spent more than CDN$231 billion (US$171 billion) on health and safety measures as well as direct aid to Canadians and businesses.

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Petroleos Mexicanos’s nearly $105 billion in debt already makes it the biggest borrower of any oil company in the world. And it’s accruing more, Bloomberg News reported. Pemex, as the Mexican state oil company is known, is asking some of its contractors if they can wait until next year to be paid money that is owed to them now. Three contractors that are being asked to defer payment are waiting on $115 million in payouts, but the amount owed to companies across Pemex’s supply chain could easily total billions of dollars.

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Canada will ramp up issuance of long-term debt this year to finance its record budget deficit, Bloomberg News reported. The federal government plans to sell C$106 billion ($78 billion) of 10-year and 30-year bonds in the fiscal year that ends March 31, according to budget documents released Wednesday. That’s more than six times the C$17 billion of such bonds it sold last year.

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DavidsTea is seeking court protection from creditors so it can continue operating while it restructures and plans to close a significant number of its stores, the Globe and Mail reported. The Montreal-based company said today that it will seek an order in Quebec Superior Court to allow it to restructure under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. It also plans to seek similar orders for its U.S. subsidiary under chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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Mexico’s Aeromexico yesterday scheduled meetings with investors to discuss debt restructuring after becoming the third large Latin American carrier to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week, Reuters reported. Management of the airline part-owned by Delta Air Lines Inc. proposed focusing on the modification of payment terms for stocks and other certificates in the meetings now planned for July 20, according to a statement sent to the Mexican stock exchange.

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