Rite Way's acquisition of Morris Industries set to close following court approval

A Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench judge has approved the sale of seeding equipment manufacturer Morris Industries to the parent company of Rite Way Manufacturing.

Morris has been in creditor protection since January 2020.

Financial terms of the deal are not included in publicly-available court documents, but Superior Farms Solutions Ltd — which operates Rite Way — and the court-appointed monitor for Morris say they anticipate closing the transaction on or before December 31, 2020 after receiving court approval on December 18.

Headquartered in Regina with manufacturing based in Imperial, Sask., Rite Way builds and sells a variety of equipment, including rock pickers, land rollers, heavy harrows, rotary harrows, and crimper rollers.

The deal would see Rite Way acquire Morris’ head office in Saskatoon, Sask. and the company’s manufacturing facility in Minnedosa, Man. It notably does not include Morris’ manufacturing plant in Yorkton, Sask., which the company has operated since 1949. The closure of the Yorkton plant is expected to result in the loss of approximately 70 jobs, 20 of which are currently active.

The transaction would still “preserve the core components of the 90-year old farm equipment manufacturing enterprise carried on by Morris Group (and its predecessors) continuously from the 1920’s until the present date,” says the latest report from Alvarez and Marsal, the court-appointed monitor for Morris.

Court documents say it’s proposed the restructured business will operate as “Morris Equipment.”

BMO is the Morris Group’s largest secured creditor, and is owed around $25 million, as well as additional court-approved interim financing of $6.5 million. BMO has indicated it plans to apply for a bankruptcy order against Morris Group after the deal is completed, likely in January 2021.

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