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Aaron T. Collins

Partner Admitted to the Ontario Bar: 2008

When involved in a financing or restructuring transaction, Aaron’s experience and insight into the common issues faced by clients allows him to identify potential problems early and provide practical, common-sense solutions that help his clients achieve their objectives. His approach ensures that his clients can focus on running their business, instead of worrying about legal issues. A self-described deal junkie, Aaron thrives on getting deals done, and will make sure your transaction gets across the finish line.

As the Practice Group Leader of the firm's Financial Services Group, Aaron's practice focuses on corporate and commercial lending transactions with an emphasis on asset-based, syndicated, secured, mezzanine and subordinated debt, both domestic and cross-border. He also practises in the area of insolvency and restructuring law, including the commercial aspects of turnarounds, reorganizations, liquidations, security enforcement, receiverships, plans of arrangement under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, proposals and bankruptcies under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the purchase and sale of distressed assets and businesses.

Aaron regularly acts for a broad range of lenders, including domestic and foreign banks and asset based lenders, borrowers in many different industries and unsecured creditors, court-appointed officers and other stakeholders on domestic and cross-border insolvency and restructuring matters.

Professional Involvement

Memberships

  • Turnaround Management Association

Representative Matters

Represented Trevali Mining Corporation (TSX:TV) in connection with the acquisition of a portfolio of zinc assets, including an 80% interest in the Rosh Pinah mine in Namibia and a 90% interest in the Perkoa mine in Burkina Faso, for an aggregate purchase price of US$417.86 million. 

Represented GreenSpace Brands Inc. (TSXV: JTR) (“GreenSpace”), a developer, marketer and seller of premium natural food products, on the following transactions:

(a) a bought deal short form prospectus offering for gross proceeds of over $7 million.

(b) its acquisition of Central Roast Inc., a manufacturer and distributer of all-natural healthy snacks, for $10.75 million; and  

(c) its acquisition of Love Child (Brands) Inc. (“Love Child”), a producer of 100% organic food for infants and toddlers, for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $6 million.

Represented Transeastern Power Trust (TSXV: TEP.un and TEP.db) on its acquisition of two photovoltaic solar power production plants in Romania for a gross purchase price of over $40 million and concurrent debt and equity financings valued at over $18 million.

Retained by the debentureholders of Pinetree Capital, a TSX listed company, in connection with the restructuring of Pinetree's debentureholder debt.

Represented Feronia Inc. (TSX: FRN), a large-scale commercial farmland and plantation operator in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in connection with its recent US$9.18M private placement and previous US$7.15M private placement led by CDC Group plc, the UK Government’s Development Finance Institution.

Represents the Electrum Group in connection with its maintenance and its large and economically valuable positions in numerous Canadian public resource companies. We have:

(a) continued to maintain and monitor the portfolio and the various regulatory requirements;

(b) advised with respect to additional offerings, corporate governance issues, and potential sale and lock-up matters;

(c) considered board representation and ‘acting jointly or in concert’ related questions;

(d) been engaged to consider and advise on investment in entities in which the investor does not have a current investment; and

(e) have also considered various potential new investments and advised in connection therewith ranging from $10 million to over $400 million.

Represented the ad hoc committee of the unsecured noteholders (the "Noteholders") of Frontera Copper Corporation ("Frontera") in its recapitalization and plan of arrangement pursuant to the Canada Business Corporations Act (the "Arrangement"), in respect of $89 million of notes issued by Frontera, with a focus on negotiation on behalf of the Noteholders and the approval of the Arrangement at a special meeting of Noteholders and at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Represented Electrum Strategic Resources LLC in its US$60 million private placement acquisition of 46,153,847 units created and issued by NovaGold Resources Inc. The net proceeds of the financing were used to repay certain outstanding principal and interest owing under an existing bridge loan, to finance continuing exploration and development activities in Alaska and in British Columbia, and to further examine, develop and, if warranted, re-activate a mine near Nome, Alaska and for general corporate purposes.

Retained by the Noteholders of Blue Note Mining in connection with Blue Note’s filing under the CCAA.

Represented Tree Island Industries Ltd. and related entities in their completion of a $35 million senior secured revolving credit facility from Wells Fargo Capital Finance Corporation Canada. The facility was used to repay obligations to a previous lender and for ongoing working capital purposes.

Represented Nucap Industries Inc. in connection with the financing necessary to complete the acquisition of US-based Anstro Manufacturing, Inc. and Eyelet Tech Inc., Canadian-based Gunn Metal Stampings Inc. and China-based QVC. The acquisitions resulted in the combination of two of the most innovative companies in the brake pad components industry and further globalizing Nucap’s platform in order to better support its customers in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Selected Publications

"Keeping Fees to a Minimum in a Financing Transaction," Aird & Berlis LLP Collateral Matters Newsletter, December 2013.

“No Shortcut to an Injunction: Royal Bank of Canada v. Rastogi,” National Banking Law Review, October 2011, Vol. 30, No. 5.

"Changes to the Canadian Payments Association Rules for Pre-Authorized Debits," National Creditor Debtor Review, June 2010, Vol. 25, No. 2.

"Fraud in Lending Transactions," National Creditor Debtor Review, September 2009, Vol. 24, No. 3.

"The CDS Contagion," (with Sam Billard) National Banking Law Review, June 2009, Vol. 28, No. 3.

"Lending in Troubled Times," The Banking Law Journal, June 2009.

"Section 347 of the Criminal Code and Everyday Commercial Transactions," National Banking Law Review, February 2009, Vol. 28, No. 1 and Aird & Berlis LLP Collateral Matters Newsletter, December 2008.

"Leaving License Agreements Behind – A Caution About Insolvent Licensors," Aird & Berlis LLP Collateral Matters Newsletter, October 2008.

"License Agreements, Legislative Amendments and the Implication for Restructurings," Aird & Berlis LLP Collateral Matters Newsletter, October 2008.

"Canadian Privacy Legislation and the Cross-Border Transfer of Personal Information, (with Candice Teitlebaum) Telehealth Law, July 2008.

"Canadian Privacy Legislation and the Cross-Border Transfer of Personal Information Part One: Personal Health Information," (with Candice Teitlebaum) Aird & Berlis LLP Procurement, Privacy & Healthcare Technology Newsletter, May 2008.

Education

  • LLB, University of Windsor, 2007
  • BACS, Finance and Economics, University of Western Ontario, 2004