A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund adds 32 new restaurants to Royalty Pool

VANCOUVER, Dec. 15, 2015 /CNW/ - A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund (the Fund) (TSX symbol AW.UN) and A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. (A&W Food Services) announced today that, effective January 5, 2016, the number of A&W restaurants for which royalties are paid to A&W Trade Marks Limited Partnership (the Partnership) will be increased by 32 new restaurants that were opened across Canada between September 4, 2014 and September 3, 2015, less eight restaurants that were permanently closed during this period.  The addition of these 24 net new restaurants brings the total number of A&W restaurants in the Royalty Pool to 838.  Since the inception of the Fund in 2002, the number of restaurants for which royalties are paid to the Fund (through the Partnership) has increased by 253 restaurants, from 585 to 838.  

"We are very pleased to be adding 24 net new A&W restaurants to the Royalty Pool" said Paul Hollands, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of A&W Food Services.  "A&W Food Services has opened over 100 new A&W restaurants across Canada in the last three years.  We are delighted with this pace of growth, particular in Ontario and Quebec which are our most important growth markets in the country." 

The estimated annualized sales of the 32 new A&W restaurants being added to the Royalty Pool on January 5, 2016 are $41,502,000 and annual sales for the eight permanently closed restaurants were $3,905,000.  The net sales of $37,597,000 from the 24 net new restaurants translate into estimated additional annual royalty payments to the Fund of $1,128,000 on the basis of the royalty of 3% of sales.  The initial consideration for the estimated additional royalty revenue is $16,079,000, calculated by discounting the estimated additional royalties by 7.5% and dividing the result by the yield on units of the Fund.  The yield is based on the weighted average trading price of the units of the Fund for the 20 trading days ending October 26, 2015, or $26.26.  The yield has been adjusted to reflect income tax payable by A&W Trade Marks Inc. (Trade Marks).  $12,863,000 or 80% of the consideration will be paid on January 5, 2016 by issuance of 489,847 limited partnership units of the Partnership (LP units) which will immediately be exchanged for 979,694 non-voting common shares of Trade Marks.  These additional shares of Trade Marks are exchangeable at the option of A&W Food Services for 489,847 limited voting units of the Fund, subject to the approval of the TSX.

The remaining 20% of the consideration or $3,216,000 will be paid by issuance of 122,462 LP units in December 2016.  The actual amount of the consideration paid in December 2016 may differ from this amount depending on the actual annual sales reported by the new restaurants.    

The Fund and A&W Food Services also announced today that the actual sales of the new restaurants added to the Royalty Pool on January 5, 2015 have now been determined.  The actual annual sales for the 32 new restaurants added on January 5, 2015 were $38,226,000 compared to the original estimate of $32,971,000.  As a result, the remaining 20% of the initial consideration or $2,281,000 has now been paid to A&W Food Services by issuance of 92,390 LP units.  Additional consideration of $2,190,000 has also been paid to A&W Food Services in the form of 88,711 LP units, as the actual sales exceeded the original estimate. The 92,390 LP units and additional 88,711 LP units have been exchanged for 362,202 non-voting common shares of Trade Marks.  These additional shares of Trade Marks are exchangeable at the option of A&W Food Services for 181,101 limited voting units of the Fund, subject to the approval of the TSX.

"A&W's strategy to differentiate itself with better ingredients, such as beef raised without the use of hormones or steroids and chicken raised without antibiotics, has been very successful in growing sales in restaurants in the Royalty Pool," said Susan Senecal, President and Chief Operating Officer of A&W Food Services.  "Our better ingredients also include eggs from hens fed an all-vegetarian diet without byproducts, and organic and Fair Trade coffee."    

After these amendments to the Royalty Pool which resulted in additional shares of Trade Marks being issued to A&W Food Services, A&W Food Services will receive a proportionate increase in monthly dividends from Trade Marks, and will own the equivalent of 21.0% of the voting securities of the Fund on a fully-diluted basis.    

The growth of the Royalty Pool reflects the continuing strength and success of the A&W brand.  The Fund's current annualized distribution rate is $1.50 per unit.

About the Fund
The Fund is a limited purpose trust established to invest in Trade Marks, which through its interest in the Partnership, owns the A&W trade-marks used in the A&W quick service restaurant business in Canada.  The A&W trade-marks comprise some of the best-known brand names in the Canadian foodservice industry.  In return for licensing A&W Food Services to use its trade-marks, Trade Marks (through the Partnership) receives royalties equal to 3% of the sales of A&W restaurants in the Royalty Pool.  The Royalty Pool is adjusted annually to add new restaurants, less any A&W restaurants that have permanently closed.  The Partnership pays A&W Food Services for the additional net new restaurants in the form of an increase in the limited partnership interest of A&W Food Services, based upon a formula set out in the licence agreement.  A&W Food Services' additional limited partnership interest may be exchanged for additional shares of Trade Marks which are exchangeable for limited voting units of the Fund.  These annual adjustments to the Royalty Pool are required under the licence agreement and are exempt from the prospectus and registration requirements pursuant to NI 45-106.

A&W Food Services is the second largest quick-service hamburger restaurant chain in Canada.  Operating coast-to-coast, A&W restaurants feature famous trade-marked menu items such as The Burger Family, Chubby Chicken and A&W Root Beer.

This release may contain certain forward-looking statements related to:  the Fund's current expectations in the quick service segment of the restaurant food industry in Canada; the amount and timing of the payment for the remaining consideration payable to A&W Food Services for the net new royalty revenue from the 24 net new A&W restaurants added to the Royalty Pool; the potential future exchange by A&W Food Services of the non-voting common shares of Trade Marks it holds for limited voting units of the Fund and the percentage of the Fund's voting securities A&W Food Services would hold upon the completion of such exchange; the proportionate increase A&W Food Services will receive in monthly dividends from Trade Marks; and A&W Food Services' strategy to differentiate itself with better ingredients.  Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, changes in market, competitive developments, and potential downturns in economic conditions generally. Additional information on these and other potential factors that could affect the Fund's financial results are detailed in documents filed from time to time with the provincial securities commissions in Canada.

SOURCE A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund

For further information: Don Leslie, Chief Financial Officer, 604-988-2141, Email: investorrelations@aw.ca, www.awincomefund.ca


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