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Tour Tech East Lives On Thanks to New Ownership

Tour Teach East, the Dartmouth, NS-based sound, video, and lighting provider for concerts and events, was forced to the brink of bankruptcy back in August of this year following a series of financial woes that included one of its creditors, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), calling in a loan and then taking ownership of the company’s building. Now it has been announced that Tour Tech East has found a new owner in O’Regan’s Properties Ltd., but company founder Paul Hendrickson will remain company president.

The following news is from Halifax area newspaper The Chronicle Herald.

Tour Tech East, the company founded by Peter Hendrickson, is dead.

But Tour Tech East (2015) Ltd. is now in business, thanks to a little help from a friend.

“We’ve got the Canadian Tenors out on tour, and that’s been switched to the new company, and then everything moving after (the beginning of) October is part of the new business,” Hendrickson said following a meeting Wednesday with creditors at the Deloitte offices in Halifax.

The new company will not be owned by Hendrickson, who said he is in the process of filing for personal bankruptcy.

He’s not entirely certain of the structure of the new company but said O’Regan’s Properties Ltd.will be the “operating company.” Hendrickson is also listed as the company’s president.

Sean O’Regan was not available Wednesday for a full interview but confirmed in a brief phone call he is involved as an investor in Tour Tech East (2015).

“He helped me out, and for that I’m very grateful,” Hendrickson said.

It’s been a tough year for the 55-year-old who, as 90 per cent majority owner of Tour Tech East, struggled to keep the company afloat.

The music and film support company, founded in its original form in the early ’80s, filed for creditor protection in February.

It continued to operate under the guidance of PricewaterhouseCoopers to fulfil contractual obligations, including concerts by Bonnie Raitt in Dartmouth and AC/DC in Moncton.

“People were counting on us to do these events,” Hendrickson said.

“I’ve got to face these people. I’ve got to be able to tell them I’m going to make sure that this is looked after whatever way I can. With (PricewaterhouseCoopers’) help, I did it.”

At its peak, Tour Tech employed 52 people and brought in more than $6 million in revenue annually.

But times changed and the economic downtown hit the entertainment industry, including film and concert productions.

Hendrickson said he tried his best to keep his staff employed and the business going but admits he made some “bad decisions” and was hit by “bad luck” as well.

Even with the $1.69 million from the sale of the firm’s massive sound stage at 170 Thornhill Dr. in Dartmouth and interest from investors, including longtime friend O’Regan, it wasn’t enough to stave off bankruptcy. He didn’t want to put his friend’s businesses at risk and realized he had run out of options.

“If bankrupting this company allows us to do business going forward, that’s what we’ll do and that’s what we ended up doing,” Hendrickson said.

“That was a decision that was made by me. I was not forced by anyone. In order to regrow this business, the only logical way to do this was to bankrupt it, as much as it broke my heart.”

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