All amounts shown in this press release are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise indicated.
WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Jan. 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — (TSX: NFI, OTC: NFYEF, TSX: NFI.DB) NFI Group Inc. (“NFI” or the “Company”), a leading independent bus and coach manufacturer and a leader in electric mass mobility solutions, today announced that it has finalized agreements for the previously announced financial support package of approximately $1871 million with the Manitoba Development Corporation, an entity that provides financial services and financial instruments on behalf of the Province of Manitoba, and Export Development Canada (“EDC”), Canada’s export credit agency.
The financial support package includes:
- a CAD$50 million (US$37 million) debt facility (the “Manitoba Facility”) from the Manitoba Development Corporation to support investments in working capital and general corporate purposes. The Manitoba Facility has a one-year term, with options to extend for up to an additional 24 months, subject to approval by NFI and the Government of Manitoba; and
- a $50 million debt facility (the “EDC Facility”) to support supply chain financing and an up to $100 million surety reinsurance support arrangement (the “Bonding Support”) for NFI’s surety and performance bonding requirements for new contracts, both provided by EDC. The EDC Facility has a one-year term with options to extend for up to an additional 24 months, subject to approval by NFI and EDC. The Bonding Support is for a one-year term for each new contract, subject to annual renewals.
Interest payments under the facilities are based on a base rate plus applicable margin structure. While the Manitoba Facility is in place, NFI must maintain its headquarters and senior management in Manitoba, and, while the EDC Facility and Manitoba Facility are in place, NFI cannot pay a dividend.
In addition to the agreements finalized today, NFI continues to advance discussions with its senior secured banking partners on developing a new longer-term credit agreements to replace its current $1.00 billion revolving credit facility and £40 million UK facility. NFI anticipates that these new agreements will be in place before June 30, 2023.
NFI previously announced the financial support package that was finalized today on December 23, 2022, and held an announcement event with the Government of Manitoba at NFI’s New Product Development facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba. A replay of the event can be viewed at http://news.gov.mb.ca or http://youtube.com/ManitobaGovernment.
NFI has over 105,000 buses and coaches in service and is a leader in zero-emission mobility, with electric vehicles operating (or on order) in more than 110 cities in six countries. NFI offers the widest range of zero-emission battery and fuel cell-electric buses and coaches, and its vehicles have completed over 85 million EV service miles. NFI employs over 7,500 people around the world.
Leveraging 450 years of combined experience, NFI is leading the electrification of mass mobility around the world. With zero-emission buses and coaches, infrastructure, and technology, NFI meets today’s urban demands for scalable smart mobility solutions. Together, NFI is enabling more livable cities through connected, clean, and sustainable transportation.
With 7,500 team members in nine countries, NFI is a leading global bus manufacturer of mass mobility solutions under the brands New Flyer® (heavy-duty transit buses), MCI® (motor coaches), Alexander Dennis Limited (single and double-deck buses), Plaxton (motor coaches), ARBOC® (low-floor cutaway and medium-duty buses), and NFI Parts™. NFI currently offers the widest range of sustainable drive systems available, including zero-emission electric (trolley, battery, and fuel cell), natural gas, electric hybrid, and clean diesel. In total, NFI supports its installed base of over 105,000 buses and coaches around the world. NFI’s common shares (the “Shares”) are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NFI and NFI’s convertible unsecured debentures (the “Debentures”) trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NFI.DB. News and information is available at www.nfigroup.com, www.newflyer.com, www.mcicoach.com, www.nfi.parts, www.alexander-dennis.com, www.arbocsv.com, and www.carfaircomposites.com.
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This press release contains “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws, which reflect the expectations of management regarding the Company’s future growth, financial performance, and liquidity and objectives and the Company’s strategic initiatives, plans, business prospects and opportunities, including the duration, impact of and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions and plans to address them, and the Company’s expectation of entering into new longer-term credit agreements. The words “believes”, “views”, “anticipates”, “plans”, “expects”, “intends”, “projects”, “forecasts”, “estimates”, “guidance”, “goals”, “objectives” and “targets” and similar expressions of future events or conditional verbs such as “may”, “will”, “should”, “could”, “would” are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements reflect management’s current expectations regarding future events (including the temporary nature of the supply chain disruptions and operational challenges, production improvement, the recovery of the Company’s markets and the expected benefits to be obtained through its “NFI Forward” initiative) the availability of financing and the Company’s financial and operating performance and speak only as of the date of this press release. By their very nature, forward-looking statements require management to make assumptions and involve significant risks and uncertainties, should not be read as guarantees of future events, performance or results, and give rise to the possibility that management’s predictions, forecasts, projections, expectations or conclusions will not prove to be accurate, that the assumptions may not be correct and that the Company’s future growth, financial performance and objectives and the Company’s strategic initiatives, plans, business prospects and opportunities, including the Company’s plans and expectations relating to the duration, impact of and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressures, will not occur or be achieved. There can be no assurance of entering into new longer-term credit agreements or that the Manitoba Facility, the EDC Facility or the Bonding Support will be renewed.
A number of factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements include: the Company’s business, operating results, financial condition and liquidity may be materially adversely impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related supply chain challenges, employee absenteeism and inflationary effects; the Company’s business, operating results, financial condition and liquidity may be materially adversely impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine due to factors including but not limited to further supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressures; funding may not continue to be available to the Company’s customers at current levels or at all, the Company’s business is affected by economic factors and adverse developments in economic conditions which could have an adverse effect on the demand for the Company’s products and the results of its operations; currency fluctuations could adversely affect the Company’s financial results or competitive position; interest rates could change substantially, materially impacting the Company’s revenue and profitability; an active, liquid trading market for the Shares and/or the Debentures may cease to exist, which may limit the ability of securityholders to trade Shares and/or Debentures; the market price for the Shares and/or the Debentures may be volatile; if securities or industry analysts do not publish research or reports about the Company and its business, if they adversely change their recommendations regarding the Shares or if the Company’s results of operations do not meet their expectations, the Share price and trading volume could decline, in addition, if securities or industry analysts publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about the Company or its business, the Share price and trading volume of the Shares could decline; competition in the industry and entrance of new competitors; current requirements under U.S. “Buy America” regulations may change and/or become more onerous or suppliers’ “Buy America” content may change; failure of the Company to comply with the U.S. Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (“DBE”) program requirements or the failure to have its DBE goals approved by the U.S. Federal Transit Administration; absence of fixed term customer contracts, exercise of options and customer suspension or termination for convenience; local content bidding preferences in the United States may create a competitive disadvantage; requirements under Canadian content policies may change and/or become more onerous; the Company’s business may be materially impacted by climate change matters, including risks related to the transition to a lower-carbon economy; operational risk resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes, people and/or systems or from external events, including fiduciary breaches, regulatory compliance failures, legal disputes, business disruption, pandemics, floods, technology failures, processing errors, business integration, damage to physical assets, employee safety and insurance coverage; international operations subject the Company to additional risks and costs and may cause profitability to decline; compliance with international trade regulations, tariffs and duties; dependence on unique or limited sources of supply (such as engines, components containing microprocessors or, in other cases, for example, the supply of transmissions, batteries for battery-electric buses, axles or structural steel tubing) resulting in the Company’s raw materials and components not being readily available from alternative sources of supply, being available only in limited supply, a particular component may be specified by a customer, the Company’s products have been engineered or designed with a component unique to one supplier or a supplier may have limited or no supply of such raw materials or components or sells such raw materials or components to the Company on less than favorable commercial terms; the Company’s vehicles and certain other products contain electronics, microprocessors control modules, and other computer chips, for which there has been a surge in demand, resulting in a worldwide supply shortage of such chips in the transportation industry, and a shortage or disruption of the supply of such microchips could materially disrupt the Company’s operations and its ability to deliver products to customers; dependence on supply of engines that comply with emission regulations; a disruption, termination or alteration of the supply of vehicle chassis or other critical components from third-party suppliers could materially adversely affect the sales of certain of the Company’s products; the Company’s profitability can be adversely affected by increases in raw material and component costs; the Company may incur material losses and costs as a result of product warranty costs, recalls and remediation of transit buses and motor coaches; production delays may result in liquidated damages under the Company’s contracts with its customers; catastrophic events, including those related to impacts of climate change, may lead to production curtailments or shutdowns; the Company may not be able to successfully renegotiate collective bargaining agreements when they expire and may be adversely affected by labor disruptions and shortages of labor; the Company’s operations are subject to risks and hazards that may result in monetary losses and liabilities not covered by insurance or which exceed its insurance coverage; the Company may be adversely affected by rising insurance costs; the Company may not be able to maintain performance bonds or letters of credit required by its contracts or obtain performance bonds and letters of credit required for new contracts; the Company is subject to litigation in the ordinary course of business and may incur material losses and costs as a result of product liability and other claims; the Company may have difficulty selling pre-owned coaches and realizing expected resale values; the Company may incur costs in connection with regulations relating to axle weight restrictions and vehicle lengths; the Company may be subject to claims and liabilities under environmental, health and safety laws; dependence on management information systems and cyber security risks; the Company’s ability to execute its strategy and conduct operations is dependent upon its ability to attract, train and retain qualified personnel, including its ability to retain and attract executives, senior management and key employees; the Company may be exposed to liabilities under applicable anti-corruption laws and any determination that it violated these laws could have a material adverse effect on its business; the Company’s risk management policies and procedures may not be fully effective in achieving their intended purposes; internal controls over financial reporting, no matter how well designed, have inherent limitations; there are inherent limitations to the effectiveness of any system of disclosure controls and procedures, including the possibility of human error and the circumvention or overriding of the controls and procedures; ability to successfully execute strategic plans and maintain profitability; development of competitive or disruptive products, services or technology; development and testing of new products or model variants; acquisition risk; reliance on third-party manufacturers; third-party distribution/dealer agreements; availability to the Company of future financing; the Company may not be able to generate the necessary amount of cash to service its existing debt, which may require the Company to refinance its debt; the Company’s substantial consolidated indebtedness could negatively impact the business; the restrictive covenants in the Company’s credit facilities could impact the Company’s business and affect its ability to pursue its business strategies; the Company is dependent on its subsidiaries for all cash available for distributions; the Company may not be able to make principal payments on the Debentures; redemption by the Company of the Debentures for Shares will result in dilution to holders of Shares; Debentures may be redeemed by the Company prior to maturity; the Company may not be able to repurchase the Debentures upon a change of control as required by the trust indenture under which the Debentures were issued (the “Indenture”); conversion of the Debentures following certain transactions could lessen or eliminate the value of the conversion privilege associated with the Debentures; future sales or the possibility of future sales of a substantial number of Shares or Debentures may impact the price of the Shares and/or the Debentures and could result in dilution; payments to holders of the Debentures are subordinated in right of payment to existing and future Senior Indebtedness (as described under the Indenture) and will depend on the financial health of the Company and its creditworthiness; if the Company is required to write down goodwill or other intangible assets, its financial condition and operating results would be negatively affected; and income and other tax risk resulting from the complexity of the Company’s businesses and operations and the income and other tax interpretations, legislation and regulations pertaining to the Company’s activities being subject to continual change.
Factors relating to the global COVID-19 pandemic include: the magnitude and duration of the global, national and regional economic and social disruption being caused as a result of the pandemic; the impact of national, regional and local governmental laws, regulations and “shelter in place” or similar orders relating to the pandemic which may materially adversely impact the Company’s ability to continue operations; partial or complete closures of one, more or all of the Company’s facilities and work locations or the reduction of production rates (including due to government mandates and to protect the health and safety of the Company’s employees or as a result of employees being unable to come to work due to COVID-19 infections with respect to them or their family members or having to isolate or quarantine as a result of coming into contact with infected individuals); production rates may be further decreased as a result of the pandemic; ongoing and future supply delays and shortages of parts and components, and shipping and freight delays, and disruption to labor supply as a result of the pandemic; the pandemic will likely adversely affect operations of suppliers and customers, and reduce and delay, for an unknown period, customers’ purchases of the Company’s products and the supply of parts and components by suppliers; the anticipated recovery of the Company’s markets in the future may be delayed or increase in demand may be lower than expected as a result of the continuing effects of the pandemic; the Company’s ability to obtain access to additional capital if required; and the Company’s financial performance and condition, obligations, cash flow and liquidity and its ability to maintain compliance with the covenants under its credit facilities. There can be no assurance that the Company will be able to maintain sufficient liquidity for an extended period, comply with the covenants under its credit facilities, or access additional capital or government financial support or as to when production operations will return to previous production rates. There is also no assurance that governments will provide continued or adequate stimulus funding during or after the pandemic for public transit agencies to purchase transit vehicles or that public or private demand for the Company’s vehicles will return to pre-pandemic levels in the anticipated period of time. The Company cautions that due to the dynamic, fluid and highly unpredictable nature of the pandemic and its impact on global and local economies, supply chains, businesses and individuals, it is impossible to predict the severity of the impact on the Company’s business, operating performance, financial condition and ability to generate sufficient cash flow and maintain adequate liquidity and any material adverse effects could very well be rapid, unexpected and may continue for an extended and unknown period of time.
Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that could cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended or to occur or be achieved at all. Specific reference is made to “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Information Form for a discussion of the factors that may affect forward-looking statements and information. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in forward-looking statements and information. The forward-looking statements and information contained herein are made as of the date of this press release (or as otherwise indicated) and, except as required by law, the Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement or information, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time by the Company or on its behalf. The Company provides no assurance that forward-looking statements and information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers and investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and information.
1 USD/CAD foreign exchange rate of 0.73 as of January 19, 2023.