Catalyst Paper Corporation has announced that the company has received the necessary creditor approval for its second amended plan of arrangement under the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act in Canada. Approval of more than 99 per cent of secured and unsecured creditors was received in votes cast in person and by proxy at meetings held yesterday in Richmond, BC.
The sanction hearing under the CCAA process is scheduled to occur on June 28, 2012 in the Supreme Court of British Columbia and pending the BC Court approval, the confirmation hearing under the Chapter 15 process of the US Court in Delaware is expected to take place in mid-July.
"We have received support from a majority of stakeholders since we began the reorganization process and today's vote of support by creditors for the second amended plan of arrangement sets out a clear path forward," said President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin J. Clarke. "With the cooperation of employees, vendors, customers, pensioners and investors, Catalyst has been able to make progress through a very complicated situation at an unprecedented swift pace."
"The plan which received creditor approval today puts Catalyst on a stronger financial base to compete and adapt as the marketplace for our products continues to change," Mr. Clarke said. "We're now turning our attention to securing our exit financing and satisfying the remaining conditions of the plan with a target timeline to emerge from creditor protection in the near term."
In a related proceeding, Catalyst received BC Court approval to extend the period of CCAA protection to September 30, 2012.
Catalyst also received confirmation of regulatory approval by provincial government Order in Council of its proposed modifications to its salaried pension plan to provide for a special portability election option and solvency funding relief. The amendments required provincial government approval. The company estimates that it will save some $7 million annually with implementation of these modifications following a successful plan of arrangement.