With future in doubt, Ottawa’s Annidis lays off majority of staff

A severe lack of sales has forced Ottawa-based Annidis to lay off most of its employees as it searches for a way to remain in operation.

Annidis (TSX-V:RHA), which develops and manufactures retinal scanning technology in the National Capital Region, said Monday that poor sales over the past year have put the company in dire straits. A lack of cash flow led the firm to default on millions in debt obligations, most of which were owed to its Hong Kong-based partner and majority shareholder Mingda.

In a release, the firm says its financial situation has become “quite tenuous,” and odds of remaining in operation are “increasingly improbable.”

In an effort to immediately reduce operating costs, the firm says it has laid off the majority of its employees. According to the 2017 Book of Lists, Annidis had 33 employees as of last summer.

Also leaving the firm are director Michael Crowley and chief financial officer Brian Baker, who resigned earlier this month.

Annidis says it will try to remain in business, including seeking a strategic partner to make better use of its intellectual property, as well as merger or acquisition.

Auditors first flagged Annidis’ floundering prospects in May of last year. Its deficit, which stood then at $40 million, caused auditors at Welch LLP to cast “significant doubt” on its ability to remain a going concern.

At that time, Annidis was increasing its production capacity to extend its reach into the Chinese market through its partner Mingda – the firm also accounted for many of Annidis’ few orders in recent quarters.

At its peaks in 2011 and 2012, shares of Annidis traded as high as $0.40 on the TSX Venture Exchange. On Monday afternoon, the stock was down to a penny.