VANCOUVER, Dec. 16, 2014 /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, 2015, 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 2013 and August 2014, 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 814. 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 229 restaurants, from 585 to 814.
"We are delighted with the growth of new A&W restaurants across Canada, particularly in Ontario and Quebec. Our new restaurants further strengthen our position as Canada's second largest burger chain" said Paul Hollands, President and Chief Executive Officer of A&W Food Services. "Our continued focus on our strategy of building the A&W brand through expanding to serve guests in new markets has been successful."
The estimated annualized sales of the 32 new A&W restaurants being added to the Royalty Pool on January 5, 2015 are $32,971,000 and annual sales for the eight permanently closed restaurants were $5,171,000. The net sales of $27,800,000 from the 24 net new restaurants translate into estimated additional annual royalty payments to the Fund of $834,000 on the basis of the royalty of 3% of sales. The initial consideration for the estimated additional royalty revenue is $11,405,000, 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 27, 2014, or $24.69. The yield has been adjusted to reflect income tax payable by A&W Trade Marks Inc. (Trade Marks). $9,124,000 or 80% of the consideration will be paid on January 5, 2015 by issuance of 369,558 limited partnership units of the Partnership (LP units) which will immediately be exchanged for 739,116 non-voting common shares of Trade Marks. These additional shares of Trade Marks are exchangeable at the option of A&W Food Services for 369,558 units of the Fund, subject to the approval of the TSX.
The remaining 20% of the consideration or $2,281,000 will be paid by issuance of 92,390 LP units in December 2015. The actual amount of the consideration paid in December 2015 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, 2014 have now been determined. The actual annual sales for the 38 new restaurants added on January 5, 2014 were $47,038,000 compared to the original estimate of $41,780,000. As a result, the remaining 20% of the initial consideration or $2,747,000 has now been paid to A&W Food Services by issuance of 124,335 LP units. Additional consideration of $1,903,000 has also been paid to A&W Food Services in the form of 86,155 LP units, as the actual sales exceeded the original estimate. The 124,335 LP units and additional 86,155 LP units have been exchanged for 420,980 non-voting common shares of Trade Marks. These additional shares of Trade Marks are exchangeable at the option of A&W Food Services for 210,490 units of the Fund, subject to the approval of the TSX.
"The strong sales of the restaurants added to the Royalty Pool in 2014 is a result of our ongoing journey to source simple, great tasting ingredients, farmed with care," said Hollands. "In 2013, we became the first national quick service restaurant in North America to serve beef raised without the use of hormones or steroids. In 2014 we introduced eggs from hens fed a fully vegetarian diet without animal by-products and followed that with chicken raised without antibiotics and fed a grain-based, vegetarian diet without animal by-products."
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 17.4% of the units 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 annual distribution rate is $1.404 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 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 reflecting A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund's current expectations in the quick service segment of the restaurant food industry in Canada; A&W Food Services' plans to continue to focus on its strategy of making A&W Canada's only authentic better burger restaurants for time-crunched adults, delighting them on every single visit; and A&W Food Services' plans to build the A&W brand through expanding to serve customers in new markets. 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: [email protected], www.awincomefund.ca