Blue Wave Seafoods saga ends in bankruptcy
Port Mouton-based fish plant received millions of dollars from taxpayers
The creditors of a South Shore fish plant that filed for bankruptcy last year have formally rejected a proposal to restart the company.
The decision not to restart operations at Blue Wave Seafoods was made at a meeting Monday afternoon, leaving dozens of people out of work and several unsecured creditors out of luck. The Port Mouton company's assets will now be liquidated in court.
"There's not going to be enough to go around for us to get anything out of it anyways," said trucker and unsecured creditor Wayne Bolivar, who was owed more than $100,000.
Blue Wave Seafoods went under in the fall, owing its biggest creditor — Nova Scotia Business Inc. — $3 million. The fish plant filed for bankruptcy shortly after receiving a $500,000 loan delivered on the eve of the 2013 provincial election.
Shawn Hirtle, a spokesman for Nova Scotia Business Inc., said the Crown corporation is hoping another operator will come forward.
"However, we still have a balance and a responsibility to the taxpayers' investment and what is owed to us," he said.
"When we go into the public process to liquidate assets, of course we'd be very willing to talk with anyone who might be interested in operating it, but also looking at recouping what can be recouped from the public investment already."
A Halifax-based company — Bluenose Seafoods — had said it would keep the business and jobs going if the province accepted three cents on the dollar on the unpaid $3 million government loan, as well as 10 cents on the dollar for unsecured creditors.
Bluenose Seafoods has since withdrawn its offer to restart Blue Wave Seafoods.
The offer became moot on Friday when Blue Wave Seafoods' main asset — 25 per cent of Canada's silver hake quota — was sold to an undisclosed buyer for $2.65 million. The 3,750 metric tonnes fetched more than expected.
The proceeds will be divided up in court, though the province is unwilling to say whether it stands to recover more of its money that way.
"That particular question is one of the things that will be addressed in the court process," said Hirtle.
The bankruptcy is bad news for Blue Wave employees and unsecured creditors like Bee d'Entremont of Pubnico's Acadian Fish Processors Ltd., which is owed $426,608.
"It means 80-odd people out of work in Port Mouton," he said.
"I don't find the province did much to hold that."
Blue Wave will join a second, related company — D'Eon Fisheries — in bankruptcy.
With files from the CBC's Paul Withers