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Helical Pier Systems (HPS) Files for Bankruptcy
by Bill Bonekemper
HPS began operations in 1977 as Peace Land Power and Piling with headquarters in Fort St. John, British Columbia. The company operated as a service contractor to power transmission companies. With the onset of oil and gas exploration in Canada and the U.S., there was a huge increase in demand for anchored guy wires on rigs and flare stacks across the region. This led to a phenomenal increase in helical pile (screw anchor) installations, and Peach Land Power and Piling quickly became a leading supplier of these products and related installation services.
In 2008 HPS was formed amalgamating Peace Land Power and Piling with other entities, and HPS set up its headquarters in Sherwood Park, Alberta. In 2011 the company expanded again by forming an American subsidiary – Helical Pier Systems Inc. based in Houston, Texas.
In recent years the company experienced ownership and senior management turmoil with disputes, resignations and financial problems. The company’s debt load grew to a level that no longer could be supported, and a Notice of Intention to File a Proposal to its creditors was made public on Dec. 4, 2019. In a letter to suppliers dated Dec. 6, 2019, Alvin Pyke, CEO of Helical Pier Systems, stated that HPS filed for creditor protection “to provide the Company with the opportunity to restructure its business, complete a sale and provide a proposal to its creditors.” Neither a proposal nor an extension request was submitted by the deadline and bankruptcy was declared by the courts on January 4, 2020. PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada (PwC Canada) was selected as the Receiver.