League puts 22 properties up for sale

The League group of companies has started selling some of its properties.

Eleven of the 22 properties earmarked for sale across the country have now been listed by commercial real estate firms Colliers International, Cushman Wakefield and Avison Young with a mandate to sell by a court-imposed deadline of June 28.

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The high-profile Capital City Centre in Colwood is not among those listed. League said it wants to find new financing or a developer for the site.

League is in the midst of a restructuring process under the Company’s Creditors Arrangement Act.

Selling with a deadline is hardly ideal, said interim League CEO John Parkinson, who added they still hope to get maximum value from the assets.

“A big part of the responsibility is we need to make sure the process itself isn’t depressing the value,” Parkinson said. He added the company also tried to manage the process by holding back some property to ensure the market is not inundated with listings.

“A six-month process to have everything sold does have some challenge to it, but in my estimation the [court approved] monitor and all of us at League are making sure we are not in a situation where we are getting forced into a discounted sale with any of the properties,” Parkinson said.

The court imposed the June 28 deadline as part of a compromise deal between League and its secured creditors. There are 26 lenders owed $186 million.

While 11 of League’s 22 properties are now listed to be sold, three others have already been sold, two have been handed back to the lenders who held security on them, three are being held off the market for the time being in the hope their value will increase with time and three others — including Capital City Centre — are not being sold.

Parkinson said it’s difficult to say what price the properties will fetch, though eight of them are listed for a cumulative price of $74 million. There are three others listed without a price in order for the market to determine their value.

“I think we’re pleased with the progress we’re making. The process is underway to the satisfaction of our secured lender group,” he said.

It may be harder to satisfy League’s investors. On top of the money owed to secured lenders, League owes $84 million to unsecured creditors while there are more than 3,000 investors who have pumped about $360 million into various properties.

According to the monitor, because of League's debt, those investors stand to take heavy losses despite the sale of property assets.

Many of those investors hope League can find a partner to continue construction of the Capital City Centre project in order to recoup some of their money.

That project’s build-out at Sooke Road and Goldstream Avenue, known as Colwood Corners, was projected to be worth $1 billion by the company.

Parkinson said there are a “number of initiatives underway” to find either a financial or development partner for the project, but said there was nothing to report yet. “But we feel confident that we will have the opportunity to pull value out of the project,” he said, noting there is “significant value” left in the development that is considered a “long-term play.”

League is also searching for a new CEO to see it through the CCAA process and take the new company beyond creditor protection.

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