Trent Ernst, Editor
Maple Leaf Loading, the company in charge of loading the trains at Walter Energy’s Canadian operations has been placed into receivership, putting more than 200 employees out of work.
The Prince George-based company, which has been around since 2005, was put into receivership on Friday of last week, with Ernst and Young acting on behalf of the secured lenders of Maple Leaf Loading.
The company specializes in hauling coal for mining businesses, and while the company has the contract for hauling, loading and road maintenance for Grande Cache Coal, and Hauling contract for the Yukon Zinc Wolverine Mine, from the Yukon to Port Stewart BC, the company’s biggest contract came from Walter Energy, hauling at Wolverine, Willow Creek, and Brule, as well as having the road maintenance jobs for the Falling Creek Connector Road.
In an interview with 250 News, company President and CEO Martin Carsky said one of the company’s biggest customers is Walter Energy. “The business of Maple Leaf is quite tied to the business of Walter Energy and other coal companies and so, with the prices of those commodities right now those companies are struggling and it has a knock-on effect obviously to businesses like Maple Leaf.”
The entire company has been placed into receivership. While the company was trying to make a go of it after Walter idled its operations, the banks stepped in, as the company was unable to pay back their loans.
As of last weekend, the last pay cheques to the employees had not been issued, but Carsky says that is something that Ernst and Young will have to deal with.
All equipment, including pick-ups used by staff, was or is in the process of being seized.
The company’s financial woes are not all of its own doing. In 2011, the company was acquired by Pro-Trans Ventures.
Last month, the entire board of Pr-Trans resigned, as the company had been able to pay a $5,000,000 secured loan, and received a notice of default from the lender.
According to a press release, “the Company has delivered to the Lender all of the outstanding shares of the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary Maple Leaf Loading Ltd. (“Maple Leaf”) in order to provide for an orderly transition of management and operations of Maple Leaf. The Lender has agreed that the acceleration of the enforcement of its security was in full satisfaction of the Lender’s debt and has agreed to assume the majority of the Company’s current liabilities.”
Maple Leaf represented the only operations of Pro-Trans, and with the shares being given to the Lender, Pro-Trans no longer has any operations. Trading on the company’s shares were suspended on June 13.
Earlier, the company had said there would probably be sufficient coal to remain hauling through the fourth quarter of this year.