Just over a year ago the North Shore Manor was declared bankrupt and a search began to find someone to take over the seniors home in Irishtown. After three rounds of tendering by bankruptcy trustees PricewaterhouseCoopers that someone, or someones, has been found.
Blair Lane and his brother Timothy Lane purchased the Level 1 and 2 personal care home for $1.85 million. The Lanes took over the operation of the home on May 30 and have renamed it Bayshore Estates.
Now living in Bay Roberts, Blair Lane said he and his brother have been involved in the personal care home business for about 13 years and took over the family company started in 1997 by their parents when they retired five years ago.
Lane said Bayshore Estates is the sixth home he and his brother operate in the province. They also have ventures in Port Saunders, Botwood, Carbonear and Victoria, which Lane said they built from the ground up.
“There was no residents, no staff, so we just put the buildings there and we advertised and operated it and it was successful,” Lane said.
All the homes have their own names, but Lane noted they are currently in the process of branding themselves.
“We’re looking at keeping our individual homes' names, but everything will be under the umbrella of Lane’s Retirement Living,” he said.
Lane said he and his brother both believe Bayshore Estates can be a successful venture.
“We came to view it last year for the first time and we thought the building was beautiful. There’s good work done here,” he said in reference to the physical structure.
He said the process of taking over the home from the trustees has been a smooth one. He also had high praise for the “excellent” staff at the facility.
Lane said they are currently interviewing for a manager and have a few other plans for the home.
The brothers also plan to do some landscaping work around the building right away with paving for the parking lot and curbs installed and sods laid.
PricewaterhouseCoopers took over operation of the home last April after it as declared bankrupt in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador in St. John’s. The home, which had been built by the Brake family of Meadows encountered financial trouble long before it opened in December 2011.
As trustees, PricewaterhouseCoopers sought a buyer for the facility and in the interim entrusted the day-to-day operation to Shaun Lane, no relation to the new owners.
Greg Gosse, vice-president and trustee with PricewaterhouseCoopers, said the Lanes were one of six bidders on the home in the latest round of tendering.
The $1.85-million purchase price was much lower than what the secured creditors had hoped to get for the sale.
“And the bid was less than 75 per cent of the appraised value, so we required court approval for the sale,” said Gosse.
The written bankruptcy judgment released on May 31, 2013 lists the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) as the first secured creditor and Island Furniture as the second creditor. At the time a notice of intention by the previous owners to try and save the business was filed with the court in October 2011, the BDC was owed $2,674,000 and Island Furniture $606,056.39. Twenty-five unsecured creditors were owed $606,056.39.
Those amounts continued to accrue interest throughout the process of declaring bankruptcy and securing a sale, and Gosse said at the time of the sale the two secured creditors were owed close to $3.5 million.
In a bankruptcy, Gosse said the assets of a company are assigned to the trustee. In this case the security covered the building, land and equipment.
“So there were no assets left in the trustee’s estate,” said Gosse.
“So the unsecured creditors will get nothing. The secured creditors will share in the proceeds from the sale, but it won’t be enough to pay them.”