COMPETITION WATCH: Bruce R. Smith files for creditor protection

SIMCOE, Ont. — Bruce R. Smith has filed for protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), has learned.


The company filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, which will give it time to restructure its business affairs. KPMG is the court-appointed monitor and Hamilton, Ont.-based law firm Scarfone Hawkins LLP will assist the carrier in its restructuring efforts.


Bruce R. Smith has been trucking since 1947 and celebrated its 60th anniversary two years ago. It operates about 250 tractors and 1,100 trailers out of six locations in Ontario and one in Montreal, Que.


The company currently employs about 325 people.


“As a result of the severe North American economic recession, and particularly its impact on the North American automotive/manufacturing sectors, Bruce R. Smith’s revenues have declined significantly, and the corporation now has more equipment and equipment carrying costs than can be supported by its decreased revenue base,” the company acknowledged in a statement.


“While its revenue base is showing early signs of recovery and Bruce R. Smith has taken every possible step to address the necessary restructuring issues outside of formal legal proceedings, it has determined that it is in the best interests of its shareholders, employees and creditors to seek protection pursuant to the CCAA in order to restructure to bring its short to mid-term cost structure in line with a lower revenue model.”


The company said its creditors are supportive of the application. Bruce R. Smith says it’s business as usual while it restructures, as far as its customers are concerned. It also said it will try to retain as many of its employees as possible.



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