Packer still working on refinancing

The lawyer representing Worldwide Pork says the Moose Jaw, Sask., packer is still working on a refinancing package that would reopen the plant and expand its markets.

Worldwide’s protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act expires Sept. 27 and lawyers will be back in court in Regina that afternoon.

Rick Van Beselaere said Ontario-based Mallot Creek Consulting is vetting a proposed business plan and conducting a feasibility review. Originally, that was supposed to be done by an unnamed third party interested in investing in the plant or taking it over.

“They’re still considering whether they’re going to be investing,” Van Beselaere said last week.

The company needs about $9 million to satisfy its creditors and to pay for an expansion that would double its production. The plant has been closed since mid-May when producers stopped deliveries because they weren’t being paid. About 270 employees are laid off.

The Saskatchewan government, through Agricultural Credit Corp. of Saskatchewan, is the largest secured lender. It is owed more than $2.26 million. Deputy premier Clay Serby has said the government would wait for the outcome of the creditors’ process before deciding how it could help Worldwide.

Van Beselaere said the company continues to try to line up committed investors.

“The company is making some pretty good progress in putting together its refinancing plan. We just haven’t got there yet.”

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