WINNIPEG, April 16 /CNW/ - All in West! Capital Corporation (the "Corporation") (TSX-V: ALW) announced today that it plans to defer all monthly interest payments on its 5 year 8.00% Series A Convertible Redeemable Debentures and the 5 year 7.50% Series B Convertible Redeemable Debentures (the "Debentures") effective immediately. Scheduled interest payments will be deferred until such time that the Corporation has sufficient cash flows to resume payments or until the respective Debentures mature.
"2009 was a financially difficult year for the Corporation. While general economic conditions are improving in some sectors of the Canadian economy, it is not yet improving in Northwestern Alberta where the Corporation's portfolio of hotels is located" said Cornelius Martens, CEO of All in West! Capital Corporation. "The deferral of monthly interest payments on the Series A and Series B debentures of the Corporation is regrettable but absolutely necessary given the Corporation's current financial position".
Management of the Corporation assessed various strategies to improve operating results and cash flows and to adjust its capital structure. This included the implementation of marketing initiatives aimed toward maximizing revenues, various cost reduction measures, and the seeking out of alternative sources of debt or equity. As part of this program, the Corporation successfully raised $2,353,750 by offering Series C Debentures in a rights offering to existing shareholders of the Corporation during the fall of 2009. However, uncertain times continue and further cost reductions are necessary in order to operate during the short-term time horizon.
An action plan involving various stakeholders, including management, the board of directors, debentureholders, and lenders is currently being implemented. The action plan involves the following steps: (i) management and the directors of the Corporation are foregoing all asset management fees and director fees retroactive to January 2010; (ii) monthly interest payments on the Series A and Series B debentures will be deferred; and (iii) negotiations are ongoing with lenders to obtain mortgage payment relief for the Corporation.
The deferral of interest payments on the Series A and Series B debentures will constitute an event of default under the respective trust indentures, and will also constitute an event of default on the Corporation's Series C debentures. Such default may result in the debentures becoming due on demand and the Corporation does not have the resources to satisfy this obligation.
The deferral of payments on the Corporation's mortgage debt, if not approved by the lenders, may also cause these loans to be considered in default and the lenders may be able to accelerate repayment terms for these loans. An event of default on any of the Corporation's debt obligations will cause the obligation to be presented as a current liability on the Corporation's balance sheet.
As at the date hereof, the Corporation owns four hotel properties: Phase I of the Best Western Grande Mountain Getaway & Hotel located in Grande Cache, Alberta; Phase II of the Best Western Grande Mountain Getaway & Hotel located in Grande Cache, Alberta; the Black Bear Inn located in Hinton, Alberta and the Days Inn located in Hinton, Alberta.
The Corporation's hotels are located in regions of Alberta that are heavily involved with natural gas and oil exploration and drilling. The significant reduction in global and regional demand for commodities, in particular natural gas, has lead to dramatic decreases in the market prices of such commodities. While there have been rebounds in prices of certain commodities, natural gas has not yet experienced any meaningful recovery. As a result, there has been decreased exploration, production and general economic activity in the vicinity of the Corporation's hotels which negatively impacted the Corporation's occupancy levels and operating results in 2009 with such decrease continuing into 2010. In addition, the recession negatively impacted the summer tourism season in 2009, resulting in less than expected revenues from operations during those months. There are positive signs ahead, however. In Grande Cache, economic activity unrelated to natural gas is anticipated to improve dramatically. Grande Cache Coal Corporation announced in December 2009 that it received all regulatory approvals to proceed with the development of a new surface mine. It has stated that it will immediately commence development and mining activities at the new mining area known as No. 8 surface mine. Also, Milner Power Inc. has been granted the approval to operate a new mine known as the "No. 14 Mine Project". Milner Power has indicated that construction of this mine will commence in 2010 and have a peak-construction workforce of 200. It has also stated that it is expecting approvals for a $1.5 billion power plant expansion project that seeks to add 500MW of power to the NW Alberta grid. It anticipates receiving approvals late in 2010 for this power plant and start of construction in 2011. These developments are expected to bode well for the Grande Cache hotels that make up 50% of the Company's portfolio. In the medium and long term, the Corporation is poised to benefit from a future recovery in Natural Gas prices and resource prices.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements about management's action plan. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from what the results expressly stated or implied in such forward-looking statements. Some of these risks and uncertainties are described under "Risk Factors" in the Corporation's prospectus dated August 26, 2009 and its management discussion and analysis dated November 30, 2009, copies of which are available at www.sedar.com and include the risk that management's action plan will not be successful. All forward-looking statements contained herein are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed or approved the contents of this press release.
SOURCE ALL IN WEST! CAPITAL CORPORATION
For further information: For further information: Mr. Cornelius Martens, President and Chief Executive Officer, or Cornelius William Martens, Investor Relations, Tel: (204) 947-1200