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Judge approves MEC private equity deal, denying rival group’s request for more time

A MEC store in Toronto in October 2019. Shutterstock
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VANCOUVER — A B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled in favour of a deal for a U.S. private equity firm to take over MEC and see the outdoor retailer shed its co-op structure, just shy of its 50th birthday. 

The ruling on Friday, part of MEC’s creditor-protection proceedings, allows the retailer’s board to proceed with a deal with Kingswood Capital Management. Board members unanimously supported the move, arguing they had exhausted all other alternatives to keep the retailer going in the face of financial troubles exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Justice Shelley C. Fitzpatrick also denied requests for a two-week delay from several groups, including one called Save MEC, which was scrambling to cobble together an alternate proposal that would keep MEC a co-op.

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