Canada: La Subrogation Dans Une Charge Prioritaire Ne Peut S'accomplir Sans L'autorisation Du Tribunal, Mais L'autorisation D'en Appeler Est Accordée

Le 30 juillet 2014, un financement intérimaire est autorisé à être déboursé par Alternative Capital Group («ACG») en contrepartie duquel une charge prioritaire lui est transmise sur les actifs des débitrices Gestion Rer inc., Rer Hydro Ltd. et Hydrolienne Très Saint-Laurent Inc. (les «Débitrices»).

Peu de temps après, suite à la vérification diligente, ACG a cessé d'avancer des fonds aux Débitrices.

Le 28 août 2014, le Contrôleur met fin au mandat de ACG après avoir constaté que cette dernière n'avait alors avancé que la somme initiale de 371 000 $.

Le 14 novembre 2014, ACG signe une subrogation de ses droits pour la somme de 330 842 $ en faveur de la requérante Structured Solutions inc. («SSI»).

Le 9 février 2015, SSI présente une demande en nomination d'un séquestre ainsi qu'une demande d'ordonnance de dévolution afin d'entériner la vente de certains actifs des Débitrices à une compagnie liée.

Ainsi, les créanciers garantis contestent la demande de la requérante SSI alléguant d'une part que celle-ci n'a pas la qualité de créancière garantie au sens de l'article 243 (1) de la Loi sur la faillite et l'insolvabilité («LFI») et d'autre part que le processus de négociation préalable à la convention de vente était irrégulier.

En premier temps, les créanciers estiment que la subrogation dans les droits d'un prêteur temporaire serait impossible sans autorisation judiciaire en vertu de la Loi sur les arrangements avec les créanciers des compagnies («LACC»). Ainsi, puisque la présente subrogation n'a jamais fait l'objet d'une autorisation de la Cour, les créanciers sont d'avis que SSI ne peut être considérée comme une créancière garantie.

La Cour évoque les dispositions de l'article 11.2 LACC, selon lesquelles un prêteur temporaire ne peut être remplacé par un nouveau prêteur que si ce dernier fait l'objet d'une nouvelle ordonnance approuvée par la Cour. Suivant les mêmes dispositions, le Tribunal peut préciser, dans l'ordonnance, que la charge ou la sûreté a priorité sur toute réclamation des créanciers garantis de la compagnie débitrice.

Ainsi, puisque la subrogation de la charge prioritaire ne pouvait avoir eu lieu sans l'autorisation du Tribunal, SSI ne peut être considérée comme une créancière garantie au sens de l'article 243 de la LFI.

En second temps, malgré que le Tribunal ait rejeté la requête de SSI sur la base de son irrecevabilité, le Tribunal se prononce également sur l'irrégularité des conditions dans lesquelles s'était déroulé le processus de négociation préalable à la convention de vente. Le Tribunal rejette la demande d'approbation de la requérante puisque cette-dernière a agi d'une manière qui mettait en péril l'impartialité du processus de vente faisant preuve de sa mauvaise foi.

Le 18 mars 2015, L'Honorable Yves-Marie Morissette accorde la permission d'appeler de la décision de la Cour supérieure d'avoir rejeté la requête en nomination d'un séquestre et pour ordonnance de dévolution puisque les quatre critères établis par le juge Hilton dans le dossier Statcoil Canada Ltd. (Arrangement relatif à) sont rencontrés.

Ainsi, de l'avis de la Cour d'appel, La question soulevée par le présent dossier à savoir si un tiers peut, sans autorisation du tribunal, être subrogé au détenteur d'une «charge ou sûreté» visée par l'article 11.2 de la LACC est (1) d'intérêt pour le milieu juridique et (2) ne constitue en rien un moyen frivole. Plus encore, puisque plus de 400 000 $ est en jeux pour la requérante et les créanciers garantis, il va de soi que (3) le dénouement de cette question est d'intérêt pour la présente instance. Puis finalement, puisque (4) la requérante ne cherche pas à retarder indûment la progression du dossier, l'appel est accordé parallèlement à une ordonnance de continuation des procédures en première instance.

Structured Solutions Inc. c. Gestion RER Inc., 2015 QCCS 1087 (9 février 2015);
Structured Solutions Inc. c. Gestion RER Inc., 2015 QCCA 494 (18 mars 2015);

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