Stern Partners acquires Comark’s retail business and assets

Pacific West Commercial Corporation (Pacific West), an affiliate of Vancouver-based Stern Partners Inc. (Stern Partners), completed the acquisition of the business and assets of Comark Inc. (Comark).

Financial terms were undisclosed.

Established in 1976, Comark is one of Canada’s leading specialty apparel retailers with approximately 300 stores operating under three divisions: Ricki’s, Bootlegger and cleo. Comark stores are located in shopping malls, big box power centres and strategic suburban plazas across Canada. As a result of the acquisition, Comark’s retail banners will carry on business as separate affiliates of Stern Partners.

Comark obtained an initial Order from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List) on March 26, 2015, granting it creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act and on April 2, 2015 commenced a sale and investor solicitation process that resulted in an asset purchase agreement with Pacific West.

Comark was represented by Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP with a team that included Marc Wasserman, Sandra Abitan, Michael De Lellis and Caitlin Fell (insolvency/restructuring), Kevin Morley (financial services), Stella Di Cresce and Daniel Michaels (real estate), Shuli Rodal (competition), Daniel Wong (employment), Alex Cobb and Sonja Pavic (litigation) and Mary Abbott (corporate/M&A).

Pacific West and Stern Partners were represented on the acquisition by Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP with a team led by John Grieve and Kareen Zimmer and that included Stuart Brotman and Dylan Chochla (insolvency/restructuring), Donald Dalik, Marcus Turner, Charlene Hiller and Martin Ferriera Pinho (corporate/M&A), David Martin and Chris Sharpe (real estate), Lorene Novakowski (employment), Frank Schober (tax) and Huy Do (competition); and by Lawson Lundell LLP with a team that included Michael Low, Chris Horte and Allison Reed (financing), Heather Ferris and Deborah Anderson (insolvency) and Greg Hollingsworth (corporate).

Alvarez & Marsal Canada Inc., Court appointed Monitor of Comark, was represented by Goodmans LLP with a team that included Rob Chadwick, Brian Empey and Ryan Baulke (insolvency/restructuring), Dan Dedic (finance) and Joe Conforti (employment).

Comark’s secured and DIP lender, Salus Capital Partners, was represented by Aird & Berlis LLP with a team that included Ken Rosenstein, Sam Babe and Alyssa Keon (insolvency/restructuring).

TD Bank was represented by Jeffrey Carhart (insolvency/restructuring) of Miller Thomson LLP.

Bridging Finance Inc. was represented by Wildeboer Dellelce LLP with a team that included Alfred Apps and James Padwick (finance).

Linda Galessiere and Wally Stevenson (insolvency/restructuring) of McLean & Kerr LLP represented various landlords, (20 VIC Management Inc., Morguard Investments Limited, Calloway Real Estate Investment Trust, Crombie Real Estate Investment, Triovest Realty Advisors Inc. and Riocan Real Estate Investment Trust).

David Bish (insolvency/restructuring) of Torys LLP represented The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited.