Hotel contractors still await financial fate

Financial uncertainty continues for P.E.I. companies that helped built the Holman Grand Hotel in Charlottetown.

Companies owed millions by Homburg Invest, owner of Charlottetown's Holman Grand Hotel

Financial uncertainty continues for P.E.I. companies that helped build the Holman Grand Hotel in Charlottetown.

The hotel's owner, Homburg Invest Inc., filed for creditor protection in September and it's unclear whether the companies will even get paid.

Aubrey MacLeod is waiting for about $400,000 for work his company, DBA Solar Electric, did on the Holman Grand Hotel. (CBC)

"There's lots of talk going on, there's lots of information, but we don't have anything guaranteed or anything in writing stating when the stuff is going to get paid or when," said electrical contractor Aubrey MacLeod.

He is still waiting to be paid about $400,000 for the work his company, DBA Solar Electric, performed on the new Holman Grand Hotel.

"It's very stressful," said MacLeod, who has had to take out loans and lines of credit to keep his company afloat.

He said it's hard to even look at the hotel.

"The place is open and it's doing its day-to-day business and there's a lot of people that haven't gotten paid their money."

Dyne Holdings, a company affiliated with Homburg Invest, paid MacLeod's company throughout the hotel project, on time and in full, until shortly after Homburg Invest filed for creditor protection.

Seven contractors who worked on the hotel filed more than $3 million worth of lien claims against Homburg Invest and Dyne Holdings.

Since MacLeod filed his lien last October, he's received a payment of $17,000.

Some other companies have also received small payments.

In a webcast posted by Homburg Invest, Pierre Laporte, who is with the company's court-appointed monitor Deloitte & Touche, said it's unclear to what extent the company will be able to pay its creditors.

"The debt and the claims will be dealt within the restructuring and restructuring plan," said Laporte.

Pierre Laporte, who is with Homburg Invest's court-appointed monitor Deloitte & Touche, says it's too early to know what lenders can expect. (CBC)

"Right now, it's too early to predict what the recovery will be for secured and unsecured lenders."

Three companies — Fitzgerald and Snow, Precision Mechanical and J&S Sheet Metal — are taking their legal battle against Homburg Invest and Dyne Holdings to the P.E.I. Supreme Court.

And they've named a fund administered by a provincial Crown corporation as a defendant.

In 2008, the province loaned Dyne Holdings $16.3 million to build the hotel through the P.E.I. Century 2000 Fund.

The three companies want their financial claims to be put ahead of the province's.

The Minister of Innovation Al Roach said he understands the companies are just trying to protect their interests.

Homburg Invest's court-appointed monitor is expected to give its next update in March.