Pulse exporter ILTA Grain under creditor protection

Corrected, July 11 — MarketsFarm — B.C.- based pulse exporter ILTA Grain, which operates pulse handling and processing facilities in Saskatchewan, has been granted creditor protection by that province’s Supreme Court.

“The decision to file for (Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act protection) was made after careful consideration and in our view, is a necessary step for the company to address its financial structure, protect all stakeholders and secure additional financing to fund the continued development of our business,” ILTA CEO Dan Burneski said in a letter to grain suppliers dated Tuesday.

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An affidavit filed Sunday with the court noted “increasingly challenging international trade conditions” in recent years affecting ILTA’s business in export markets including India, China and Saudi Arabia.

Current management will continue to operate the business and will lead the restructuring process, the company said.

According to Pricewaterhouse Coopers Inc. (PwC), the court-appointed monitor, ILTA will seek court approval Friday for interim financing and authorization to start a sales process for its assets and operations.

Surrey-based ILTA, in business since 2011, remains in control of its property and operations in the meantime, but under PwC’s supervision.

All balances outstanding prior to Monday’s filing date are stayed and will not be paid by the company, according to Burneski’s letter.

Sunday’s affidavit lists HSBC Bank Canada, Export Development Canada and Farm Credit Canada as secured creditors.

Steps are underway to work with the Canadian Grain Commission “to protect producers’ rights, realize on their security and help our suppliers through the claims process to recover these amounts,” the company said, and questions on the claims process should be directed to the CGC.

As a result of the CCAA filing, all creditors are stayed from commencing or continuing any proceedings against the ILTA Group until Aug. 7, subject to any extensions of the initial stay the court might grant.

The company’s Saskatchewan facilities include sites at Saskatoon, Swift Current, Belle Plaine, Cut Knife and North Battleford, which is also the site of the company’s processing head office.

ILTA previously had an edible bean processing plant at Bloom, Man., near Portage la Prairie, and a satellite receiving operation at Miami, Man., but sold both in January to Ontario-based Hensall District Co-operative.

Sunday’s affidavit also noted “informal” moves had recently been made to put ILTA’s Belle Plaine plant up for sale. –– Includes files from Glacier FarmMedia Network staff

Correction, July 11, 2019 — A previous version of this article incorrectly stated ILTA still operated at Miami, Man.

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