Top News

Business as usual at Ocean Choice: Martin Sullivan


Martin and Blaine Sullivan are appealing a recent Supreme Court decision that didn’t go their way.

The Ocean Choice International crab plant in Bonavista.

The pair is still seeking to have Ocean Choice International’s (OCI) Icelandic minority shareholders capitulate to their plans regarding some required company refinancing.

The appeal in the case was filed Friday in St. John’s.

In a decision issued on April 29, Justice Donald Burrage found Visir subsidiary Landvis is not required to subordinate loans to lenders who are poised to step in on refinancing, under the Sullivans’ plan.

RELATED STORIES:

Sullivans say they’re keeping Ocean Choice International

Sullivans win lawsuit over OCI control

According to the decision, Landvis is not required to agree to put itself lower in the payment pecking order.

With majority interest in OCI, the Sullivans argued the company would be unable to refinance as required without a subordination agreement, “with dire consequences for the company, its employees, fishers and the broader community in Newfoundland and Labrador,” according to the written decision.

While not speaking on the ongoing dispute, a statement issued this week by the company noted both Landvis and MBS Investments (owned by the Sullivans) have subordinated loans to senior lenders three time since 2007, challenging current positions.

Sullivans’ MBS Investments controls Ocean Choice Holdings which, in turn, controls Ocean Choice PEI and OCI 2005, two of the limited partners in the umbrella Ocean Choice Limited Partnership.

A numbered company, 55104, runs the day-to-day business of Ocean Choice.

The board of that company includes the Sullivans, Ches Penney (who is not currently involved due to health considerations), and Andrew Wissler and Gudjon Thorbjornsson, representing Landvis/Visir.

As reported in January, an earlier Supreme Court ruling dismissed a lawsuit being pressed by Landvis, claiming the Sullivans had made questionable business decisions, harming OCI and specifically Landvis, as a shareholder.

The Sullivans said the company was trying to wrestle control of OCI from the family.

In the statement this week, Martin Sullivan said the day-to-day business of OCI rolls on, even as the approach to debt refinancing remains unsettled.

“OCI is in a strong financial position and there are other options available to address the Landvis situation,” he said.

“It is business as usual at OCI.”

OCI currently employs about 1,700 people in Atlantic Canada, mostly in this province, with 1,400 fishermen, according to the court documents.

 

afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com

Recent Stories