PLAN OF ARRANGEMENT APPROVED BY CREDITORS AND SUPREME COURT OF BC
Supreme Court of BC approves the transfer of the first property in the Plan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 2, 2015
Victoria, BC – The Supreme Court of B.C. approved the Plan of Arrangement as agreed upon by The Land Conservancy of B.C. (TLC) and its creditors on April 2, 2015. The Court has also approved the sale of a portion of TLC’s undivided interest in Maltby Lake in Saanich.
To be accepted, a majority of the voting creditors representing in value two thirds of the total value of claims had to approve the Plan. The vote took place on March 30, 2015. The vote showed creditors’ overwhelming support of the Plan.
The Court-approved Plan of Arrangement will see secured creditors paid in full, have their secured debt assumed by a third party, or receive the mortgaged property in settlement of their secured debt, within six months. Unsecured creditors will receive 100% payout of their debts in three tranches within 18 months.
TLC’s Plan contains a multi-faceted approach to eliminating the debt. It includes innovative approaches such as density transfers, specified donations, heritage revitalization agreements, mortgage transfers, and partnership agreements with other Land Trusts and Societies.
The Court approved the sale of three properties last year; Keating Farm, Eagle Bluff, and a development property in Sechelt. The transfer of Maltby Lake will further TLC’s goal of seeing properties protected and creditors satisfied.
TLC received its 35% undivided interest in Maltby Lake as part of the estate of Catherine Holmes in 2009.
The Offer to Purchase 29% of TLC’s 35% interest was accepted from one of Catherine Holmes’ family members, Woody and Carmel Thomson. The Thomson’s Offer of $750,000 includes a protected area designation upon partition or subdivision of the property.
The Friends of Maltby Lake Watershed Society, a local conservation group supported by the community and various levels of government, have expressed interest in providing TLC with a contribution for the remaining 6% interest.
The transfers will see the original donor’s intentions upheld and the site protected.
TLC sought protection under the Court monitored Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) in October 2013 as a means to definitively resolve the organization’s debt to secured and unsecured creditors. The CCAA is federal legislation that grants an organization time to restructure while under the direction, supervision, and protection of the Court.
TLC’s intention from the start has been to pay all creditors to the fullest extent possible, to protect TLC properties to the greatest extent possible, and to ensure that TLC has long-term viability.
The existing stay of proceedings against TLC under the CCAA will continue until the filing of the certificate of completion by the monitor or until the Court otherwise orders.
Upon completion of the Plan of Arrangement TLC will continue to own Abkhazi Garden, among other properties, and hold more than 200 covenants throughout B.C.
“I am gratified that our recommendation to pay all our obligations in full was endorsed by such a strong vote of the creditors,” said John Shields, Director of Operations for TLC. “The plan recognizes TLC’s commitment to pay the creditors back, and to ensure that the properties are fully protected as well. I am grateful to the staff who have worked so hard for the past year and a half to put this plan together.”
“The patience, flexibility and generosity of the creditors was a critical part of the success of this Plan being accepted. Also, the Board is deeply grateful to the lenders who got the process off the ground for without their support, we would never have started,” said Briony Penn, Chair of TLC’s Board. “The Thompson’s generosity to purchase the Maltby lands and commit to protect it with community support, was another key factor in kick-starting the Plan.”
About The Land Conservancy of BC:
The Land Conservancy of BC (TLC) is a non-profit, charitable Land Trust working throughout British Columbia. TLC’s primary mandate is to benefit the community by protecting habitat for natural communities of plants and animals. Founded in 1997, TLC is a membership-based and governed by an elected, volunteer Board of Directors. TLC relies on a strong membership and volunteer base to help maintain its operations.
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Media contact: John Shields, TLC Director of Operations (250) 479-8053