Breaking News: Canadian School Book Exchange files for bankruptcy

A company that provides textbooks to schools across Canada has filed for bankruptcy.

Searchfast Systems Limited – a Mississaugua, Ont.-based company that operated the Canadian School Book Exchange and BookPower – filed for bankruptcy on Feb. 27. The company bought and sold books and learning resources for elementary and secondary schools throughout the country.

“Searchfast operated for over 50 years, however, due to various factors the Company was no longer able to meet its obligations as they became due, and as a result, filed an assignment in bankruptcy,” a statement from court-appointed bankruptcy trustee BDO Canada Limited explained.

The Canadian School Book Exchange used the consignment model to sell used books and textbooks. According to BDO Canada, the company had approximately 13,500 consignment creditors that are still owed over $3 million, including individuals, schools and organizations across Canada.

Anyone wishing to recoup money must file a proof of claim online by March 25. Instructions and updates are available on BDO Canada’s website. The first meeting of creditors will be held on March 28.

The chances of actually receiving a payment, however, may not be good – court documents show the company claimed $81,000 in assets and $3.1 million in liabilities as of Feb. 26.

“Please be advised that based on the Company’s records and anticipated limited realizations from the Company’s assets and the associated quantum and ranking of creditor claims, there is not expected to be any distribution of funds to the ordinary unsecured creditors (including the Consignment Creditors) of the Bankrupt Company,” the BDO Canada statement said.

Individual claims currently range from just a few dollars to more than $1.5 million.

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