The British Columbia Resources Investment Corporation (BCRIC) (eventually Westar Group Ltd.) was a holding company formed under the government of William R. Bennett. The company took over ownership of various sawmills and mines that had been bought and bailed out by the government.
The company distributed five free bearer shares, dated August 7, 1979, that were distributed to all British Columbians, to promote investment in the province and earn back a profit to the buyer. The company expanded and bought numerous mining and logging installations.
Unfortunately, because of significant investment in a North Sea oil play by subsidiary, Westar Petroleum, as well as bad timing in a mining investment by another subsidiary, Westar Mining, the company ran into financial trouble.
In 1995 the shares were consolidated at a ratio of 125 to 1. At that time, 5 bearer shares were worth 0.008 (0.8%) of one post-consolidation share. In June 1997, the consolidated shares were subject to a compulsory buy-out at $70 (i.e. 56 cents per bearer share) as part of a privatization transaction by the Jim Pattison Group. However, the buyout had a 10 year limit which expired on June 30, 2007, and, as a result, outstanding share certificates no longer have any value.