Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Aboriginal investment entity keeps on shrinking

  • Print

It looks like it's death by a thousand cuts at Tribal Councils Investment Group.

Earlier this year, after months of bitter disputes and a handful of court actions, a new board of directors was installed representing the seven Manitoba tribal councils that own TCIG.

They quickly showed controversial CEO Allan McLeod and other members of the senior management the door.

The change in the boardroom and management offices was supposed to bring accountability, transparency and stability to the investment firm that had accumulated a stable of companies generating more than $100 million in revenue and substantial profits.

But two key members of the new board of directors resigned for unrelated reasons shortly after the new board was established and TCIG has been fraught with uncertainty ever since.

The restructuring probably started a little too late to allow a smooth transition. TCIG's lenders were already getting anxious before the transition to the new board occurred, as the financial performance of various units was slumping after years of staff turnover and high expenses.

Sources say TCIG's senior lender, RBC, made it clear it wanted out, and before new senior management could be recruited, new financing had to be secured. Six months later, that still has not happened.

Meanwhile, Lazer Grant, the accounting firm put in place to provide financial and corporate management support, has had to cast off underperforming units.

First to go was Korean Fast Food restaurants, called Wok Box, for which TCIG had a master franchise agreement and had opened at least two units.

At the end of last month, northern wholesaler Precambrian Wholesale was shut down, laying off its 20 employees.

This week, TCIG closed its northern trucking firm, First Canadian Transportation (FCT), at one time a promising, growing business servicing ever greater demand for groceries and consumer products in Northern Canada. The trucking firm had close to 40 employees, about half of whom were drivers.

FCT's sole customer used to be Arctic Beverages, TCIG's original operating entity. The northern Canadian distributor of Pepsi products has been the source of much of TCIG's profits over the years.

In addition to Arctic Beverages, TCIG continues to operate a Winnipeg franchise of Famous Dave's Restaurants and a northern gas retail business and some health-care back-office operations.

"It is unfortunate (that FCT had to be closed)," said Joel Lazer, managing partner at Lazer Grant. "Just as with Precambrian, we did try to sell FCT. But its closure aligns with the objective of the restructuring process. It was necessary to go forward and will assist in the stability of the rest of the group."

This week, TCIG's head office moved from its sprawling suite in the 360 Main office tower to more modest accommodations on Century Street.

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 18, 2013 B7

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Sanders gives other candidates a reality check

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press. Local- WINTER FILE. Snowboarder at Stony Mountain Ski Hill. November 14, 2006.
  • June 24, 2012 - 120624  -  Amusement riders on the last day of The Ex Sunday June 24, 2012.    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Are you worried Ebola might make its way to Canada?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google