TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 14, 2012) - Upper Lakes Group Inc. of Toronto, Ontario today expressed its concerns over unsubstantiated allegations regarding the sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary Chantier Davie Canada Inc. that have been made by an unsuccessful bidder.
In July 2011 Chantier Davie acquired the Davie shipyard, entered into a joint venture with SNC-Lavalin and submitted a bid under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy of the federal government. At that time, the shipyard was in insolvency proceedings and there were three partly-built vessels under construction for Cecon ASA.
Unfortunately, the NSPS bid was unsuccessful. After its joint venture partner withdrew, Upper Lakes concluded that it was necessary to attempt to sell the shipyard promptly, given the limited funds of Chantier Davie.
After several parties expressed an interest in purchasing Chantier Davie and to encourage bids from all interested parties, Upper Lakes developed a process with the assistance of PricewaterhouseCoopers for the sale to a purchaser with demonstrated technical capabilities and financial resources sufficient to promptly reopen the shipyard. Potential purchasers, including the parties who had already contacted Upper Lakes, were notified of the sale process and invited to submit expressions of interest to PwC by noon on July 30, 2012. All expressions of interest were considered in order to identify the best fit with the disclosed sale criteria. In accordance with the process disclosed to bidders, one bidder was selected for negotiation of a definitive agreement and was given access to additional, sensitive information for due diligence purposes. A share purchase agreement was then signed, subject to several closing conditions.
Ian MacGregor, Managing Director of Upper Lakes, commented that "We were responsible for the sale process and I am satisfied that the process, as described in writing to potential bidders, was followed. It was certainly in the interest of Upper Lakes to encourage all credible bidders to submit their best proposals in compliance with the process requirements."
Mr. MacGregor added that "We worked diligently to find a purchaser in a position to promptly reopen the Davie shipyard. In our view, recently published criticisms of the sale process are unfounded and could jeopardize successful completion of the sale and prompt reopening of the shipyard."
Upper Lakes Group Inc. is a private, family-owned company that operates shipbuilding and ship repair facilities, as well as grain businesses and real estate development.