One Ocean Expeditions’ (OOE) insolvency filing is moving along in Canada as a group of creditors and the court-appointed Trustee (PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc.) were looking into company finances but faced a number of challenges.
Following a review released on Friday, the Trustee had said the company’s proposal presented a better deal for unsecured creditors than a bankruptcy, according to a special report issued by the Trustee.
The proposal from OOE to the creditor group included offering pre-paid customers voyages at discounted rates as company founder Andrew Prossin is said to be trying to launch a new operation.
There is also ongoing arbitration against Russian shipowners to recover losses, as well as additional insurance claims, which could result in money to be split between secured and unsecured creditors.
The proposal was ultimately approved following a vote on Friday.
Creditors, meanwhile, had essentially asked for an account of what happened to the cruise operator’s money, including customer deposits, and have also asked for a greater insight into the company’s financial affairs.
While some financial records were looked at, the Trustee said that it was not able to carry out a look-back review of the company’s records due to challenges in obtaining accounting records from the company’s previous accountant, Wm. J. Trotter & Associates.
The Trustee also noted it had to send two demand letters to OOE’s accountant before receiving what it called “a box of documents.” Scanned documents later followed.
Additional information that was requested had also yet to be delivered.
The investigation, according to a court filing, has been limited by the “untimely receipt of financial information as well as the lack of available information.”
“During the course of its investigation the Trustee also selected a sample of transactions to compare back to supporting documentation, such as invoices, and sought additional information regarding why some transactions could not be traced to the General Ledger, where the General Ledger was available,” said the report from the Trustee.
”As at the date of this report, OOE was not able to provide the information requested due to time constraints, limited availability of information, and IT issues.”
It also said: “The Trustee lacks the funds and the company is unable to pay for the Trustee to carry out further investigations into the Company’s historical financial information. If further investigation is sought, the Trustee will need to be funded by the creditors to do so.”
Description of Key Costs (CAD$)
- Akademik Ioffee grounding and getting remobilized, Passenger Liabilities including costs associated with disembarkation and subsequently being flown home, extraordinary expenses. ($11,000,000)
- Launch of the Resolute to start offering additional voyages, requires equipment, supply, mobilization. ($7,000,000)
- Capital expenditure, upgrading/ replacing equipment and assets on all ships to facilitate passenger experience. Some routine upgrades. ($3,000,000)
- Unused supply stuck on ships repossessed, including food, fuel, liquor. ($4,000,000).
- Unwarranted costs associated with the withdrawal of the company’s chartered Russian search vessels, including costs associated with pursuing arbitration and refunds to passengers. ($13,000,000).
- General Overhead such as employee and contractors’ costs, rent, various service providers. ($4,000,0000)