Smurfit-Stone Makes CCAA Application as Part of Consolidated Cross-Border Proceeding

On January 26, 2009 Smurfit-Stone Container Canada Inc. and other Canadian affiliates of US-based Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation made an initial application for Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) protection before Justice Sarah Pepall of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The CCAA filing was part of a consolidated filing by the parent corporation under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code, which took place in the US Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. The consolidated group has secured debts of approximately US$1 billion and unsecured bonds of approximately US$2.8 billion. In connection with the filing, a DIP facility in the amount of US$750 million was established.

Smurfit-Stone was represented in-house by Craig Hunt, senior vice-president, general counsel and secretary, and Dean Jones, senior counsel, international, and in the US by Sidley Austin LLP. Smurfit-Stone was also represented in both the CCAA filings and the negotiation and approval of the DIP facility by a team from Stikeman Elliott LLP in Toronto that included Sean Dunphy and Alexander Rose (litigation/insolvency); Marvin Yontef, Elizabeth Breen, Justin Parappally, Alwin Kong and Chris MacIntyre (corporate/finance); Nancy Ramalho (employment and labour); Gary Nachshen and Angela Waite (pensions); Ron Durand and Susan Thomson (tax); and Brenda Hebert (real estate); and a team in Montréal that included Sterling Dietze, Howard Rosenoff and Anna Romano (corporate/finance); Guy Martel (litigation/insolvency); and Valérie Mac-Seing (real estate).

The DIP lenders, a syndicate arranged by J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., were represented by Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP with a team that included Susan Grundy, Linc Rogers and Marc Flynn (insolvency); Dawn Jetten, Marc-Antoine La Rochelle, Aimee Yee and Keri Clair-Bookalam (corporate/finance); Leslie Morgan (tax); Caroline Helbronner (pensions) and Iris Tam and Lauren Temple (real estate) and in the US by Bryan Cave LLP.

Deloitte & Touche Inc., the monitor, was represented by Robert Chadwick and Christopher Armstrong (insolvency) and Jay Feldman (banking) of Goodmans LLP.