Next week, PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. (PwC) will ask an Ontario court to extend the appointment of investor advisory committees that are consulting on issues arising from the receivership of troubled fund manager Bridging Finance Inc. (BFI), and to approve its proposed process for appointing legal counsel to represent investors.
On Aug. 23, Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz will hear a motion from PwC seeking approval for an extension of the two limited partner advisory committees (LPACs) that were appointed in June to represent the interests of BFI fund investors.
That appointment is set to expire on Aug. 22.
PwC will ask that their term be extended to allow it to continue receiving feedback as it goes through a process to potentially sell the assets of the firm and its funds.
In its latest report to the court, PwC said, “The committees have provided valuable feedback to the receiver and have been actively engaged in discussions related to creating and preserving value for unitholders.”
It also said its evaluation of any bids for BFI assets “will be aided by the ongoing ability to consult with the committees.”
PwC was appointed receiver of the fund manager and its funds in April amid an ongoing investigation by the Ontario Securities Commission into certain transactions involving the funds.
Additionally, PwC plans to ask the court to approve a proposed process for recommending the selection and appointment of legal counsel for investors to provide them with advice on bids for BFI; to assess any “interfund allocation issues” that arise, including possible conflicts between the funds; and to help analyze possible legal claims against BFI, its officers and directors, and others.
PwC said a number of law firms have expressed interest in the mandate. It proposes to invite interested firms to submit proposals within 10 days making their case for the appointment. These proposals will be reviewed with the LPACs, and firms will be selected 10 days after that, and court approval sought.
The latest report from PwC also noted that its review of the BFI funds’ portfolio is ongoing, and that it intends to complete the review during the first phase of the asset sales process.
It also provided an update on its attempts to recover assets from bankruptcy proceedings for the BFI funds’ largest borrower, Alaska-Alberta Railway Development Corp. (AARDC), several numbered companies, and AARDC’s founder, Sean McCoshen.
And it reported that PwC “obtained an updated medical report from McCoshen’s doctors stating that McCoshen is not medically able to participate in questioning from the receiver or its legal counsel at this time.”