Ministry of Labour still looking to collect from Peter Fabian's former laminate company
Two former executives of defunct ACE/Security Laminates have been hired as contractors by a new protective window film venture that has signed up new dealers from Venezuela and Kenya, company insiders said.
Peter Fabian, the founder of ACE/Security Laminates who declared bankruptcy in April with more than $5.7 million in debts, and David Hayes, the company's former vice-president of investor relations, are both doing business for World ACE, according to the owner of the new company.
In early June, Mr. Hayes met with Venezuela-based Mark Yablonsky, who came to the Ottawa area for a product demonstration showcasing the window film's resistance to handgun fire at the company's Gatineau facility, said Mr. Yablonsky.
He said there were also about a half-dozen men from Nairobi at the facility who had purchased World ACE distribution rights, and were receiving training.
Mr. Yablonsky said he subsequently purchased the Venezuela distribution rights and later contacted OBJ seeking additional information on the company, after reading about Mr. Fabian's personal bankruptcy.
World ACE was registered on May 23 as a sole proprietorship providing "general business advice" from an address halfway between Oshawa and Peterborough, according to provincial records.
The company was registered by Dan White, who describes himself on his website as a professional speaker, trainer and business consultant.
In an interview, Mr. White declined to talk about his own background and emphasized the lack of a connection betweenACE/Security Laminates and World ACE.
When asked if World ACE possessed any of ACE/Security Laminates assets, Mr. White said it was "not a fair question.
"Was there something of value somewhere, somehow?
Of course there was something of value somewhere, somehow, otherwise I wouldn't be looking at seeing what I can do with what I have now.
"I'm not accountable to anything ACE (/Security) Laminates did because it is none of my business. I see an opportunity in the security laminates business."
Even though ACE/Security Laminates is apparently no longer in operation, the provincial government is still trying to enforce nine orders against the company to pay unpaid wages, vacation pay and/or termination pay, said Ministry of Labour spokesperson Bruce Skeaff.
He said the ministry received 10 claims between December 2006 and June 2007, one of which was subsequently withdrawn. Between August and October 2007, the ministry issued nine orders to pay the wages, said Mr. Skeaff.
He declined to reveal the dollar amount of the orders to avoid identifying the claimants.
"We continue to try and see if there are assets we can collect against," he said when asked about the current status of the collections.
Mr. White said he is mostly interested in supplying the automotive market and has a financier who is interested in investing several million dollars in setting up a plant.
He said he is considering locating in Vancouver for closer proximity to the Asia-Pacific market, or the Toronto area where "people would be a lot less interested in Peter."
Mr. White acknowledged he is assisting Mr. Fabian in his personal bankruptcy proceedings.
"Peter came to me because I help people in trouble," he said.
Federal bankruptcy filings show Mr. Fabian owes more than $5.7 million to 53 creditors, including a handful of capital management and investment firms. Additionally, an automotive leasing company, Surgenor National Leasing, is listed as being owed $151,000. The firm also filed a lawsuit against Mr. Fabian, alleging he failed to make payments on several pricey cars, which included a Bentley Brooklands, Jaguar XK8 and a Range Rover HSE.
Mr. Fabian entered into the vehicle leases around the same time the company's stock rose from $0.50 in May 2004, when it went public on the TSX Venture Exchange and raised $3 million, to $1.35 a month later. As a shareholder, Mr. Fabian was reportedly made a millionaire on paper.
In November 2004, the company raised more than $7 million in private placement financing and direct investment, but reported an $884,000 loss in the final three months of that year.
Less than two months before filing for bankruptcy in April 2008, Mr. Fabian informed creditors of ACE/Security Laminates Corp. that the company was ceasing operations because of no new investment.
In a letter obtained by OBJ dated Feb. 29, Mr. Fabian said each time he came close to securing additional financing the new investors required security in order to complete the deal, which he said was between $10 million and $24 million.
However, all of the corporation's assets were already pledged to debenture holders, who refused to take a back seat to more recent financiers.
This left "a stranglehold" on the corporation to the point where all revenues for the past two years were taken up by creditors or liens against the corporation, which intended to cease operations on Feb. 29, the day the letter was issued.