~ ISS Has Advised Shareholders to Vote FOR the Business Combination ~
VANCOUVER, March 14, 2016 /CNW/ - Westport Innovations Inc. (TSX:WPT / NASDAQ:WPRT) ("Westport"), engineering the world's most advanced natural gas engines and vehicles, is pleased to announce that Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. ("ISS"), a leading independent proxy advisory firm that provides voting recommendations to institutional investors, has recommended that shareholders approve the Amended Agreement and Plan of Merger (the "Amended Agreement"), announced publicly on March 7, 2016, in relation to the proposed business combination (the "Merger") between Westport and Fuel Systems Solutions, Inc. ("Fuel Systems").
The amendments to the original Agreement and Plan of Merger (the "Agreement"), dated September 1, 2015, were made to reflect current market conditions and provide greater certainty to Westport and Fuel Systems shareholders. The Amended Agreement has been approved, and is supported, by the Boards of Directors of both companies, and Westport's Board unanimously recommends that shareholders vote in favour of all items of business in connection with the Merger as set out in the Management Information Circular of Westport, dated February 12, 2016 (the "Circular"), as supplemented by the supplement to the Circular dated March 7, 2016 (the "Supplement").
Recommendation to Westport Shareholders
ISS has recommended that shareholders of Westport vote FOR Item #1 on the proxy, to Approve the Merger Agreement with Whitehorse Merger Sub Inc., a Wholly Owned Subsidiary of the Company, and Fuel Systems Solutions, Inc. after reviewing the Amended Agreement.
In the report, ISS stated "The proposed arrangement appears to make strategic sense as the combined company is expected to benefit from increased scale of products, consolidation of facilities, better global reach, and merger synergies in excess of $30 million per year starting in 2016 and fully realized by calendar year 2018, excluding one-time costs."
Westport Special Meeting
Westport has scheduled a special meeting of its shareholders (the "Meeting") at 1750 West 75th Avenue, Suite 101, Vancouver, British Columbia for March 18, 2016 at 2:00pm (Pacific time) to consider and vote on certain items of business in connection with the proposed Merger (as set out in the Circular, as supplemented by the Supplement). Westport shareholders of record, as of the close of business on February 1, 2016, are encouraged to vote in advance of or at the Meeting.
Proxy Submission Deadlines
- Westport Shareholders' deadline: 2:00pm (Pacific time) on Wednesday, March 16, 2016.
How to Vote and Shareholder Questions
Westport shareholders who have questions or require assistance with voting may contact Laurel Hill Advisory Group, Westport's proxy solicitation agent, toll-free at 1-877-452-7184 (416-304-0211 collect) or by email at [email protected]
| YOUR VOTE IS IMPORTANT - PLEASE VOTE TODAY
Westport's Board of Directors UNANIMOUSLY recommends
that shareholders vote IN FAVOUR of the Merger
Benefits of the Merger to Westport Shareholders and Westport Board Recommendation
The Westport Board of Directors believes that the Merger will provide Westport and its shareholders with a number of significant strategic and financial benefits, including but not limited to the following:
- Scale - The combined company provides the scale and expertise to compete effectively, grow, and deliver strong shareholder returns—especially when markets improve.
- Strength - The combined company is expected to benefit from a strengthened balance sheet and enhanced liquidity, and to be positioned for continued investment and long-term financial stability.
- Global reach - The combined company will have a broad global reach enabling it to best serve customers and distributors. It will offer state-of-the-art facilities on five continents and a distribution network serving 70 countries, including the world's largest and fastest-growing markets. It will also bring together strong product brands including: Emer, Prins, OMVL, BRC, IMPCO, Zavoli and more.
- Increased efficiencies - Consolidation is expected to produce cost-efficiencies. The Merger is expected to be accretive to the combined company's adjusted EBITDA and earnings in 2016, excluding one-time costs. Total annual savings and Merger synergies are expected to reach approximately $30 million by 2018, excluding one-time costs.
- Enhanced R&D and product development - The Merger will combine Westport's expertise in medium- and heavy-duty, and high horsepower applications with Fuel Systems' core focus and development efforts in automotive and industrial applications. The combined technological expertise and product development will span from passenger cars to heavy-duty trucks to locomotives, and from marine applications to stationary power.
- Deep OEM relationships - The combined company is expected to have strong original equipment manufacturer ("OEM") relationships. Both companies have built long-standing relationships with OEMs such as General Motors Company, Ford Motor Company, Nissan Motor Company, Kia Motors Corporation, Subaru of Fuji Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Group, Volvo Car Group, Volkswagen, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Tata Motors, GAZ Group, PACCAR Inc., Weichai and Cummins.
Westport engineers the world's most advanced natural gas engines and vehicles. More than that, we are fundamentally changing the way the world travels the roads, rails and seas. We work with original equipment manufacturers worldwide from design through to production, creating products to meet the growing demand for vehicle technology that will reduce both emissions and fuel costs. To learn more about our business, visit www.westport.com, subscribe to our RSS feed, or follow us on Twitter @WestportDotCom.
No Offer or Solicitation
This communication is not intended to and does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to subscribe for or buy or an invitation to purchase or subscribe for any securities or the solicitation of any vote in any jurisdiction pursuant to the proposed transactions or otherwise, nor shall there be any sale, issuance or transfer of securities in any jurisdiction in contravention of applicable law. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Subject to certain exceptions to be approved by the relevant regulators or certain facts to be ascertained, the public offer will not be made directly or indirectly, in or into any jurisdiction where to do so would constitute a violation of the laws of such jurisdiction, or by use of the mails or by any means or instrumentality (including without limitation, facsimile transmission, telephone and the internet) of interstate or foreign commerce, or any facility of a national securities exchange, of any such jurisdiction.
Additional Information and Where to Find It
Westport has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission "SEC" a registration statement on Form F-4, which includes the proxy statement of Fuel Systems that also constitutes a prospectus (the "Proxy Statement/Prospectus"). INVESTORS AND SHAREHOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS, AND OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC, IN THEIR ENTIRETY CAREFULLY BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT WESTPORT, FUEL SYSTEMS, THE PROPOSED TRANSACTIONS AND RELATED MATTERS. Investors and shareholders are able to obtain free copies of the Proxy Statement/Prospectus and other documents filed with the SEC by the parties through the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov. In addition, investors and shareholders are able to obtain free copies of the Proxy Statement/Prospectus and other documents filed with the SEC by the parties by contacting Westport Investor Relations at +1 604-718-2046 or [email protected] (for documents filed with the SEC by Westport).
Participants in Solicitation Westport, Fuel Systems and their respective directors and executive officers may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the shareholders of Fuel Systems in respect of the proposed transactions contemplated by the Proxy Statement/Prospectus. Information regarding the persons who are, under the rules of the SEC, participants in the solicitation of the shareholders of Fuel Systems in connection with the proposed transactions, including a description of their direct or indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, is set forth in the Proxy Statement/Prospectus filed with the SEC. Information regarding Westport's directors and executive officers is contained in Westport's Annual Report on Form 40-F for the year ended December 31, 2014, as amended, and its Management Information Circular, dated March 11, 2015, which is filed with, in the case of the Annual Report on Form 40-F, and furnished to, in the case of the Management Information Circular, the SEC and can be obtained free of charge from the sources indicated above. Information regarding Fuel System's directors and executive officers is contained in Fuel System's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 and its Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A, dated April 14, 2015, each of which are filed with the SEC and can be obtained free of charge from the sources indicated above.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the anticipated timing for the Meeting, financial metrics associated with Westport's and Fuel Systems' combined operating business units and consolidated business, the effect of the proposed reorganization and restructuring of our business, continued research and development investment, future of our development programs, Westport's and Fuel Systems' expected actions and results relating to the key components of its strategy in 2016 and to the integration of Westport's and Fuel Systems' businesses, future sales of assets and the benefits therefrom, and the expected benefits of the Merger. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and are based on both the views of management and assumptions that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements and ability to complete the proposed Merger to be materially different from any future results, levels of activities, performance or achievements expressed in or implied by these forward looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include risks and assumptions related to our revenue growth, operating results, industry and products, the general economy, conditions of and access to the capital and debt markets, governmental policies, regulation and approvals, technology innovations, fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, operating expenses, the availability and price of natural gas, global government stimulus packages, the acceptance of and shift to natural gas vehicles, the relaxation or waiver of fuel emission standards, the inability of fleets to access capital or government funding to purchase natural gas vehicles, the development of competing technologies, our ability to adequately develop and deploy our technology, the actions and determinations of our joint venture and development partners, as well as other risk factors and assumptions that may affect our actual results, performance or achievements or financial position discussed in Westport's Annual Report on Form 40-F for the year ended December 31, 2014, as amended and Fuel System's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014, and other filings made by the companies with securities regulators. Readers should not place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they were made. Westport disclaims any obligation to publicly update or revise such statements to reflect any change in our expectations or in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements may be based, or that may affect the likelihood that actual results will differ from those set forth in these forward looking statements except as required by National Instrument 51-102. The contents of any website, RSS feed or twitter account referenced in this press release are not incorporated by reference herein.
SOURCE Westport Innovations Inc.
For further information:
Vice President, Capital Markets & Communications
T: +1 604-718-2046
T: +1 604-718-2011