TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 28, 2014) - Element Financial Corporation (TSX:EFN) ("Element" or the "Company"), one of North America's leading equipment finance companies, announced today that it has completed its second railcar portfolio acquisition with the purchase of a further US$396 million worth of leased railcars from Dallas-based Trinity Industries, the leading railcar manufacturer in North America.
"Element is in the business of re-equipping North American industry with the capital assets needed to support the US recovery and drive continued economic growth," said Steven K. Hudson, Element's Chairman and CEO. "Through the strategic relationships that we have developed with Trinity Industries and other leading equipment manufacturers serving the North American industrial heartland, together with the positive impact of US/Canadian exchange rates, we expect to originate more than $3.8 billion of new equipment loans and leases in 2014 including a total of $1.35 billion in railcar assets of which approximately US$1 billion is expected from our Trinity alliance," added Mr. Hudson.
Including the initial tranche of US$105 million worth of leased railcars acquired from Trinity last December, Element's current US$501 million railcar portfolio is comprised of 4,878 railcars representing a variety of different railcar types. The portfolio composition is consistent with the diversification criteria established by Element further to the strategic alliance agreement it entered into with Trinity last December. Element anticipates the completion of an additional railcar portfolio acquisition from Trinity in the first quarter of 2014.
"A diversified portfolio of railcar leases delivers yields that we believe will significantly accelerate our march toward a return on equity for Element's shareholders in the range of 15% to 17%," said Mr. Hudson. "The long-life nature of these assets, the very strong credit quality of the lessees together with the low operating expense base required to grow and manage the portfolio make railcar financing a perfect complement to our four other business verticals - commercial finance, vendor finance, aviation finance and fleet management. As we seek to leverage up our balance sheet, we are actively pursuing additional growth opportunities in each of these verticals," added Mr. Hudson.
About Element Financial Corporation
With total assets of approximately $3.3 billion, Element Financial Corporation is one of North America's leading equipment finance companies. Element operates across North America in five verticals of the equipment finance market - Commercial Finance, Vendor Finance, Aviation Finance, Railcar Finance and Fleet Management.
Forward Looking Statements
This release includes forward-looking statements regarding Element and its business. Such statements are based on the current expectations and views of future events of Element's management. In some cases the forward-looking statements can be identified by words or phrases such as "may", "will", "expect", "plan", "anticipate", "intend", "potential", "estimate", "believe" or the negative of these terms, or other similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this release include those related to expected returns to equity investors. The forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this release may not occur and could differ materially as a result of known and unknown risk factors and uncertainties affecting Element, including risks regarding the equipment finance industry, economic factors and many other factors beyond the control of Element. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Forward-looking statements and information by their nature are based on assumptions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statement or information. A discussion of the material risks and assumptions associated with this outlook can be found in the Company's prospectus supplements dated December 10, 2013, third quarter 2013 MD&A, and 2012 Annual Information Form, all of which have been filed on SEDAR and can be accessed at www.sedar.com. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements or information. Except as required by applicable securities laws, forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and Element undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.