New $300 million senior secured revolving credit facility will reduce interest costs and increase flexibility
WHISTLER, BC, Nov. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. (TSX: WB) (the "Corporation") announces the closing of the refinancing of the long-term debt of Whistler Mountain Resort Limited Partnership and Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises Limited Partnership (together, the "Partnerships"). The Partnerships have entered into a $300 million five-year senior secured revolving credit facility with a syndicate of nine Canadian and US banks.
"The refinancing positions our organization strongly for the future and reflects the confidence of the lending community in our business", remarked Dave Brownlie, the Corporation's CEO. "We expect a significant reduction in our annual interest expense as a result of the refinancing and the new fully revolving feature will allow us to manage working capital more effectively and provide us with significantly increased flexibility to pursue growth initiatives."
The new credit facility will replace the Corporation's existing $261 million of senior secured term and second lien debt, together with its unused $15 million senior secured revolving credit facility. Refinancing proceeds of $135 million were used to repay the Partnerships' senior secured term facility, and proceeds of $126 million were used to repay the Partnerships' 8.75% second lien senior notes. At closing, the Partnerships had $39 million of availability under the new credit facility. The new credit facility is fully committed and includes additional availability, at the option of the Partnerships, of up to $75 million, provided certain conditions are satisfied.
The Partnerships intend to elect to pay interest on borrowings under the new credit facility by way of one-month bankers' acceptance ("BA") rates, which are subject to a margin of between 1.75% and 3.00% per annum, depending on the Partnerships' leverage ratio (the ratio of principal outstanding to rolling 12-month EBITDA). Based on current leverage, the Partnerships expect to pay a margin of 2.25% over the BA rate (presently 1.22%); however, the margin for the first six months will be a minimum of 2.50% over the BA rate, in accordance with the terms of the new facility. This compares to the Partnership's effective interest rate of 6.7% prior to the refinancing.
The Partnerships will incur a call premium of approximately $5.5 million in connection with the prepayment of the second lien notes, which was funded from the Partnerships' cash on hand, and will be recorded in finance expense in the Corporation's 2014 first quarter consolidated financial statements. The Partnerships will also record in finance expense an approximately $2.9 million write off of unamortized debt issuance costs in the first quarter of 2014.
ABOUT WHISTLER BLACKCOMB HOLDINGS INC.
Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. owns a 75% interest in each of Whistler Mountain Resort Limited Partnership and Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises Limited Partnership, which, together, carry on the four season mountain resort business located in the Resort Municipality of Whistler, British Columbia. Whistler Blackcomb, the official alpine skiing venue for the Olympic Winter Games, is situated in the Resort Municipality of Whistler located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia 125 kilometres (78 miles) from Vancouver, British Columbia. North America's premier four-season mountain resort, Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain are two side-by-side mountains, connected by the world record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, which combined offer over 200 marked runs, over 8,000 acres of terrain, 14 alpine bowls, three glaciers, receive on average over 1,174 centimetres (462 inches) of snow annually, and offer one of the longest ski seasons in North America. In the summer, Whistler Blackcomb offers a variety of activities, including hiking and biking trails, the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, and sightseeing on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WB". For more information, visit www.whistlerblackcombholdings.com. Additional information related to the Corporation is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws, including, but not limited to, statements with respect to the Partnership's expected principal outstanding under the new credit facility; the Partnerships' intention to elect to pay interest on borrowing under the new credit facility by way of one month BA rates; the expected margin over the BA rate to be payable; and expected interest cost savings, among others. The forward-looking statements and information contained in this press release are based on certain factors and assumptions made by management of the Corporation including, but not limited to: underlying interest rates, debt market dynamics and business conditions, among others.
The forward-looking statements and information contained in this press release are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated including, but not limited to, risks relating to unfavourable weather conditions, availability of capital and economic, business and market conditions. A more detailed description of these risks is available in the Corporation's annual information form dated December 12, 2012, which is available on the Corporation's website and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements or information prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein. Although the Corporation believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements and information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements or information because the Corporation can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct.
These forward-looking statements and information are made as of the date of this press release, and the Corporation has no intention and assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements or information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by applicable Canadian securities laws.
SOURCE: Whistler Blackcomb
For further information:
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc.
Email: [email protected]