Kenora Onlne — A deadline for the Kenora Forest Products sawmill has been extended. A proposal from bankruptcy trustees was expected last Friday, but the court says details are now due May 18.

Prendiville Industries filed for bankruptcy protection before Christmas, citing cash-flow issues related to border tariffs. A legal decision on those tariffs is set for August.

Joe Prendiville started the company with a sawmill in 1951, after he emigrated from Ireland. Prendiville Industries invested about $22 million to refurbish the sawmill before a restart in 2015, with another $4 million added, after a kiln fire in December 2017.

Despite high lumber prices at the time, the company wasn’t able to take full advantage, as the impact of American tariffs on softwood lumber could no longer be ignored. The company has about $9 million tied up in tariffs.

Bankruptcy proceedings started in early December, with Prendiville listing $28.7 million owing, including $13.7 million to CIBC. Another $8.8 million is owing to federal and provincial governments and agencies. They included: FedNor, BDC, NOHFC, Province of Ontario.

Documents filed with the court showed there has been some interest from potential buyers. However, no sale has been announced. The court has kept some information confidential, in order to protect commercial interests

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