TD Financial institution’s very unhealthy yr within the Maritime seafood enterprise

A chapter and insolvency court docket in Halifax granted Chester Basin Seafoods extra time to restructure late final week so as to save its enterprise exporting silver hake, a relative of cod.

The order permitted a mortgage from the corporate founder to get two of its fishing boats out of a Meteghan shipyard the place they’re present process repairs.

Secured creditor Toronto-Dominion Financial institution reluctantly went together with reprieve. It was TD’s choice earlier this month to name in $5.5 million in loans that triggered the creditor safety proceedings.

Chester Basin is the third seafood firm to falter in 2023 with TD Financial institution as a secured creditor on loans totalling $39 million.

The financial institution didn’t immediately reply when CBC requested if it will pull again from the sector given this failure and others.

‘The place did all the cash go’  

“TD intends to proceed offering entry to monetary providers throughout our various buyer base in all the communities we serve,” spokesperson David Maher mentioned in an e mail.

In Halifax on Friday, TD lawyer Gavin MacDonald requested chapter and insolvency registrar Raffi Balmanoukian “the place did all [Chester Basin’s] cash go.”  

“There’s subsequent to nothing in working capital and two busted vessels.”

MacDonald additionally mentioned he was not “asserting anybody did something improper.”

Different corporations on the rocks

In March, one other Nova Scotia silver hake processor, Meridien Atlantic and Rocky Coast Seafoods of Comeauville, was pressured into receivership when TD known as $6.6 million in loans.

Rocky Coast Seafoods of Comeauville N.S., was put into receivership in March. TD was a secured creditor owed $6-million. (Google Maps)

In September, the financial institution pressured the sale of P.E.I. lobster processor South Shore Seafoods and affiliated corporations. TD was owed $27 million.

Regardless of these localized setbacks, the seafood trade is by far essentially the most profitable sector of the Atlantic financial system during the last decade, says fishery coverage advisor and creator Rick Williams.

an 8oz package of cooked frozen lobster meat sits on ice.
TD was owed $27 million by P.E.I. lobster processor South Shore Seafoods when it folded in September. (South Shore Seafood)

He predicts that’s not going to vary.

Worth of seafood on the rise

“I believe we’ll proceed to see plenty of investor curiosity within the fishery and we’ll proceed to see on the enterprise stage plenty of investor curiosity in accessing licenses and quotas,” Williams says.

Although fishery landings fell within the final decade, the general worth has elevated, he mentioned. 

“I’d not generalize from a really small distinctive fishery like silver hake. I would not generalize from that to the general fishering financial system,” he mentioned.

1 ship ran aground, 2 others failed

As for Chester Basin Seafoods and its silver hake enterprise, the corporate has till Jan. 21 to proper the ship.

Its monetary issues grew this yr when all three of its fishing boats have been abruptly put out of fee.

Seaman’s Toy 1 ran aground and the opposite two skilled whole engine failures. Fortune Satisfaction and Atlantic Sea Clipper stay on the AF Theriault Shipyard.

a man wearing a suit jacket and collared shirt walks outside a court room.
Jose Teixiera of Chester Basin Seafoods in court docket final Friday attempting to maintain the bancrupt Nova Scotia silver hake exporter afloat. It’s one in every of three seafood corporations that faltered owing TD Financial institution almost $40-million in 2023. (Paul Withers/CBC)

In October, Chester Basin founder Jose Teixeira personally superior $200,000 to make partial fee for repairs to Seaman’s Toy 1 so it will be launched from the boatyard and the corporate would have one vessel out fishing.

Teixeira bought the corporate final yr and is now a minority proprietor

He’s lending the corporate $1.1 million at 18 per cent curiosity in what’s often called debtor in place, or DIP, financing to attempt to save the enterprise. The financing was permitted Friday by insolvency registrar Balmanoukian.

Teixeira declined remark after the listening to on Friday, as did TD’s lawyer.

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