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Investors chase Pigeon King

Pigeon King Arlan Galbraith told bankruptcy officials here recently that he will hire a lawyer to fight a move by James Wiersma to petition him into personal bankruptcy.

The next step is a hearing Dec. 9 and it’s likely that a bankruptcy court hearing will be scheduled then for sometime in January.

In the meantime, receivership specialists BDO Dunwoody of Waterloo are in charge of Galbraith’s assets. The same firm is handling Galbraith’s voluntary bankruptcy of his Pigeon King International Inc., which has listed only a few thousand dollars of assets and $23 million worth of liabilities.

Galbraith sold a home in Waterloo, but Revenue Canada has seized the sale money. He sold for $365,000 and built a home at Cochrane for about $330,000.

Galbraith says any money owed to Wiersma is from the bankrupt company and the debts are not his personal obligations.

In his application, Wiersma of Drayton, north of Kitchener-Waterloo, says he is owed about $500,000. The Hutterite Brethren of Bow City, Alta., is among applicants in Wiersma’s claim, saying it invested about $1 million to raise pigeons.

Wiersma says he is one of about 450 people who signed contracts with Galbraith before he incorporated Pigeon King International in February 2007.

By the time the company collapsed, about 1,000 investors from across Canada and the United States had entered into sales contracts for about $40 million worth of pigeons.

Hundreds of thousands of birds have been euthanized for burial or composting, about 183,000 of them from 13 holding barns in Ontario.

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