Alvarez & Marsal Canada has been appointed as the receiver for Skeena Sawmills and its affiliated entities by the B.C. Supreme Court.
The initial petition to the court was made by 1392752 B.C. Ltd., with the intent to force Skeena Sawmills, Skeena Bioenergy, and ROC Holdings into bankruptcy. The filing from Sept. 8, which The Terrace Standard had also exclusively obtained, indicated that the company aimed to appoint a receiver and manager to oversee the sale of all properties tied to the aforementioned companies and subsequently distribute the proceedings.
The numbered company was founded in late 2022 by Xiao Peng Cui and Shenwei Wu, who are also the proprietors of the other three firms and stands as the principal creditor for the Skeena ventures and is termed “the lender” in legal records.
Because of growing debt and consistent fiscal deficits, the lender put forth official payment requests to the associated companies on Jan. 26, 2023. Following discussions, additional loans were extended, and a forbearance agreement, essentially a repayment schedule, was crafted.
Nonetheless, monetary complications continued with the combined debt amounting to roughly $143 million.
As things stand, both Skeena Sawmills and Skeena Bioenergy have ceased operations, and their workforce has plummeted from 190 employees in 2021 to a mere 15 following recent layoffs. Financial turmoil continues to affect Skeena Sawmills, which had its bank balance dip into negative territory on Sept. 7, with meager forthcoming receivables.
Other businesses, such as Deuce Creek Contracting Ltd., Infinity West Enterprises Inc., and Antler Creek Contracting Ltd., have also chosen legal routes, notably contractor liens, to safeguard their stakes in the embattled companies.
Adding to this, the Crown has levied stumpage fees on Skeena Sawmill’s assets, which total about $1.1 million.
Several civil lawsuits are in motion against these companies, with entities such as Timber Baron Contracting and Canzus Consulting alleging unsettled invoices and claiming significant damages.
Additionally, ROC Holdings owes money to the City of Terrace, putting it under the cloud of a tax sale due to non-payment of property levies.
Viktor Elias joined the Terrace Standard in April 2023.