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Landlords of Nygard properties look to recoup more than $2M in unpaid rent
For sale signs can be seen in front of several Nygard stores in Winnipeg. (CTV News Photo Ken Gabel)
WINNIPEG -- Landlords of Nygard retail locations across Canada have made progress in the liquidation of the fashion mogul's company after the court approved a fee to help them recoup more than $2 million in unpaid rent amid the pandemic.
On Tuesday in the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench, Justice James Edmond approved what the court is calling 'The Landlords' Charge', a fee that will provide landlords with some payments on more than two months' worth of unpaid rent.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced Nygard retail locations to close their doors, delaying the liquidation process and costing the landlords millions in unpaid rent.
According to the court-appointed receiver Richter Advisory Group, which now controls nine Nygard companies, the Nygard group owes $2.7 million in unpaid rent to 60 landlords since the company went into receivership in March.
"The landlords are owed rent, and their cooperation is required and crucial in these circumstances," Edmond said while making his decision on Tuesday. "In my view, the Landlords' Charge provides a mechanism - while not perfect - to allow the liquidation process to proceed with the cooperation of the landlords."
The court order says the amount each landlord will receive is determined based on their applicable lease and the amount of their respective unpaid rent. It says the order will have full force and effect in all provinces and territories in Canada.
Edmond said the terms were negotiated and deemed acceptable by the landlords to "recoup what is appropriate and fair in the circumstances" and agreed with Richter that the terms are commercially reasonable and fair.
He said this charge will provide some protection for landlords of Nygard retail properties.
“I’m satisfied the receiver and the landlords have agreed in the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic to a form of security - the Landlords' Charge - to address post-filing rent," Edmond said.
He said this will allow the retail inventory sale to proceed as soon as it is reasonably possible, adding this will benefit all stakeholders, including the respondents.
According to the court order, the date the liquidation sales will begin will be determined on a 'per store' basis, depending on when a store is allowed to open amid the pandemic.
It said the sale will not be allowed to go longer than 16 weeks.
-with files from CTV's Touria Izri