Hot House Growers Acquires BC Business

BC-based Hot House Growers Income Fund, a producer of greenhouse tomatoes and sweet bell peppers completed a $70.7 million initial public offering of trust units through a syndicate of underwriters co-led by TD Securities Inc. and RBC Dominion Securities Inc., and included National Bank Financial, HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc., Canaccord Capital Corp. and Raymond James Ltd. The proceeds of the offering, together with debt facilities of $22 million, were used to acquire the greenhouse vegetable production businesses operated in BC by Canagro Produce Ltd. and Century Pacific Greenhouses Ltd. The transaction closed on December 23, 2003.

The fund was represented by Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy, with a team led by Cameron Belsher, and included Gordon Love, Brad Newby, Ron Murray, Ranjeev Sangra, Lisa Skakun and Jason Sutherland; and Wilson & Partners LLP provided special tax advice, with a team that included Rosemarie Wertschek, Q.C., and Elizabeth Johnson.

The underwriters were represented by McCarthy Tétrault LLP, with a team led by Richard Balfour, and included Michael Urbani and Salman Manki (corporate finance) and Chris Falk and Jerald Wortsman (tax). HSBC Bank Canada was represented by Doug Howard of Clark, Wilson.

Canagro Produce was represented by Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, with a team that included Jeffrey Merrick, Geoffrey Belsher and William Maclagan (tax). Century Pacific Greenhouses was represented by Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, with a team that included Phillip Marshall and Alan Rautenberg (tax).