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BZAM Group Staves Off Bankruptcy As It Searches For Buyer

Embattled Canadian cannabis producer BZAM Group has successfully secured Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) protection, allowing it to stave off bankruptcy for the time being.

In a press release published this week, the company, which lost more than $101m last year, announced it has been granted the order from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

The Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) is a Canadian federal law designed to help financially distressed corporations avoid bankruptcy, allowing those with over $5 million in debt to restructure their operations and finances under court supervision.

According to its most recent financial filings (September 30, 2023), BZAM currently has over $85m in liabilities, and just under $5m in cash.

It blamed its dire financial position on ‘margin pressures caused by significant competition and the fragmentation of the cannabis industry, and financial underperformance and pressures resulting from obligations owing to creditors’.

Now that the company has received creditor protection and a ‘stay of proceedings’, BZAM says it will ‘consider potential restructuring transactions’, but said this ‘may include the sale of all or substantially all of the business or assets’.

The sales process is expected to begin on March 08, and BZAM says it intends to make a deal with a company that is already a creditor and a significant investor in their company.

This deal, known as a ‘stalking horse transaction’, involves the creditor making an initial bid to acquire most of the business and assets of the group, setting the baseline for other potential buyers.

As BZAM searches for a buyer, it says operations will ‘not be interrupted’, adding that it expects it ‘will emerge from creditor protection as a stronger company with a healthier balance sheet’.

Meanwhile, it warned that its shares may be halted from trading by the Canadian Securities Exchange.

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