HOUSTON, TEXAS - March 17, 2014 - Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC (NKA) ("Niska" or "the Company") today announced the closing of its previously announced private placement of senior unsecured notes due 2019 (the
"Notes"). The Notes were issued by two wholly owned subsidiaries of the Company, Niska Gas Storage Canada ULC and Niska Gas Storage Canada Finance Corp. (together, the "Issuers"). Net proceeds from the offering of approximately $564 million, after deducting underwriters` discounts and fees, along with borrowings under the Company`s asset-based revolving credit facility, were used to redeem the $644 million outstanding principal amount of the Company`s existing 8.875% Senior Notes due 2018, including a call premium of approximately $29 million.
The Notes are fully and unconditionally guaranteed by the Company and its restricted subsidiaries (other than the Issuers), on a senior unsecured basis, subject to certain exceptions. Interest on the Notes will be payable semi-annually on October 1 and April 1, commencing on October 1, 2014, at a rate of 6.5% per year, and will mature on April 1, 2019.
"This refinancing is an important step for Niska." said Simon Dupéré, President and Chief Executive Officer, "The issuance of the new senior notes, coupled with the net reduction in overall long-term debt balances, will reduce our cash interest costs by approximately $15 million in fiscal 2015 compared to cash interest that we incurred in fiscal 2014. While we had projected some interest savings in our previous preliminary outlook, this further decrease in interest costs and corresponding increase in estimated Cash Available for Distribution reflects the benefits of the new senior notes.
In addition, our ratio of long-term debt to Adjusted EBITDA will be reduced from approximately 5.0 times to approximately 4.5 times, using the midpoint of our preliminary outlook for Adjusted EBITDA for fiscal 2015."
As a result of closing this financing, Niska also updated its previous preliminary outlook for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015. Niska currently estimates Adjusted EBITDA (as defined below) to be approximately $120 million to $140 million and Cash Available for Distribution to be approximately $70 million to $90 million. While the Company`s preliminary estimate of Adjusted EBITDA is unchanged, Cash Available for Distribution is increased from the previous estimated range of $60 million to $80 million as a result of additional cash interest savings associated with the refinancing.
Vance Powers, Chief Financial Officer, commented, "We believe that the reduction of our overall cost of capital as a result of the lower interest rate on the new senior notes, together with the improvement in credit metrics resulting from reduced long-term debt balances, provides additional flexibility to Niska as we work to grow our business and reward investors. We look forward to providing a further update to our fiscal 2015 guidance in early May of this year, at which time we expect to have added visibility, in conjunction with our year-end earnings call."
Niska is the largest independent owner and operator of natural gas storage in North America, with strategically located assets in key natural gas producing and consuming regions. Niska owns and operates three natural gas storage facilities, including the AECO HubTM in Alberta, Canada; Wild Goose in California; and Salt Plains in Oklahoma. Niska also contracts for natural gas storage capacity in the U.S. Mid-continent. In total, Niska owns or contracts approximately 250 Bcf of gas storage capacity, including 154 Bcf in Alberta, Canada, 75 Bcf in California and 13 Bcf in Oklahoma.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release includes "forward-looking statements" - that is, statements related to future, not past, events. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and include any statement that does not directly relate to a current or historical fact. In this context, forward-looking statements often address our expected future business and financial performance, and often contain words such as "anticipate," "believe," "intend," "expect," "plan," "will" or other similar words. Our estimates regarding future Adjusted EBITDA and Cash Available for Distribution are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that ultimately may not prove to be accurate. Among these risks and uncertainties are (1) changes in general economic conditions; (2) our level of exposure to the market value of natural gas storage services could adversely affect our revenues and cash available to make distributions; (3) competitive conditions in our industry; (4) actions taken by third-party operators, processors and transporters; (5) changes in the availability and cost of capital; (6) operating hazards, natural disasters, weather-related delays, casualty losses and other matters beyond our control; (7) the effects of existing and future laws and governmental regulations; (8) the effects of future litigation; and (9) other factors and uncertainties inherent in the development and operation of natural gas storage facilities. Other factors that are not described that are unknown or unpredictable could also have a material adverse effect on future results. For further discussion of risks and uncertainties, you should refer to Niska`s filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Niska undertakes no obligation, and does not intend, to update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after this press release. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Niska uses and discloses the financial measures "Adjusted EBITDA" and "Cash Available for Distribution" in this press release. Niska defines Adjusted EBITDA as net earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, unrealized risk management gains and losses, loss on extinguishment of debt, foreign exchange gains and losses, inventory impairment write-downs, gains and losses on asset dispositions, asset impairments (including goodwill) and other income. Niska defines Cash Available for Distribution as Adjusted EBITDA reduced by interest expense (excluding amortization of deferred financing costs), income taxes paid, maintenance capital expenditures and other income. Niska`s Adjusted EBITDA and Cash Available for Distribution are not presentations made in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the United States ("GAAP"). Niska`s management utilizes Adjusted EBITDA and Cash Available for Distribution as key performance measures in order to assess:
the financial performance of Niska`s assets, operations and return on capital without regard to financing methods, capital structure or historical cost basis;
the ability of Niska`s assets to generate cash sufficient to pay interest on its indebtedness and make distributions to its equity holders;
repeatable operating performance that is not distorted by non-recurring items or market volatility; and
the viability of acquisitions and capital expenditure projects.
The GAAP measure most directly comparable to Adjusted EBITDA and Cash Available for Distribution is net earnings. This press release contains forward-looking estimates of Adjusted EBITDA and Cash Available for Distribution for the fiscal years ending March 31, 2014 and March 31, 2015. Reconciliations to GAAP net earnings are not provided for these forward-looking estimates because GAAP net earnings for the fiscal years ending March 31, 2014 and March 31, 2015 are not accessible. Niska is able to estimate interest expense, income tax benefits and expenses, depreciation and amortization, inventory write-downs, impairments of assets (including goodwill), losses on extinguishment of debt, foreign exchange gains and losses and other income. However, the Company is unable to predict future unrealized risk management gains and losses and these amounts could be material, such that the amount of net earnings would vary substantially from the amount of projected Adjusted EBITDA and Cash Available for Distribution.
Niska believes that investors benefit from having access to the same financial measures used by Niska`s management. Further, Niska believes that these measures are useful to investors because they are one of the bases for comparing Niska`s operating performance with that of other companies with similar operations, although Niska`s measures may not be directly comparable to similar measures used by other companies.
Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC
Brandon Tran, Investor Relations Associate
This announcement is distributed by NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions on behalf of NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions clients.
The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC via GlobeNewswire