TORONTO, CANADA--(Marketwired - April 1, 2014) - Element Financial Corporation (TSX:EFN) ("Element" or the "Company"), one of North America's leading equipment finance companies, announced today that it has entered into a multi-year Program Agreement (the "Program Agreement") with Indianapolis-based Celadon Group, Inc. ("Celadon"), one of the largest and most progressive transportation and logistics companies in North America, under which Element will provide financing for the renewal and expansion of the transportation assets operated by independent lessees under contract to Celadon.
As part of this transaction, Element has also entered into a Portfolio Purchase and Sale Agreement (the "Portfolio Agreement") under which Element has invested US$53 million to acquire a portfolio of equipment leases backed by transportation assets currently operated by independent lessees under contract to Celadon.
Founded in 1985, Celadon Group contracts with a network of select independent owner-operators to provide some of the world's leading manufacturers and retailers with transportation, logistics and material handling services across North America.
The existing portfolio of financial assets acquired from Celadon and its subsidiaries is backed by leases on approximately 600 tractor units currently in service with independent owner-operators under contract with Celadon and partner carriers. Celadon will continue to provide ongoing maintenance and repair services as well as other administrative services for Element on the financed tractor units as part of these agreements. Future origination volumes under the Program Agreement are expected to average between US$20 million and US$25 million annually.
"We are extremely pleased to have this opportunity to partner with one of North America's leading transportation and logistics companies in what we expect will be a durable and mutually beneficial alliance," said Bradley Nullmeyer, Element Financial Corporation's President. "This transaction provides Celadon with a more efficient means to finance the capital equipment it needs to operate and grow its business at the same time that it provides Element with access to a diversified and growing portfolio of leases that meet our asset quality and return objectives," added Mr. Nullmeyer.
"As we began working with Element to conceive this transaction we quickly realized that we were dealing with more than just a source of funding for Celadon's capital equipment," said Paul Will, Celadon's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We began to see the potential of partnering with a highly innovative team of transportation equipment finance specialists who understood how they could help us optimize the capital structure of our business model," added Mr. Will.
About Celadon Group, Inc.
Founded in May 1985 and headquartered in Indianapolis, IN, Celadon Group, Inc. (www.celadongroup.com), ranks as one of North America's largest truckload carriers with annual revenues nearing US$800 million. Through its subsidiaries, Celadon provides long-haul and regional full-truckload freight service across the United States, Canada and Mexico.
About Element Financial Corporation
With total assets in excess of $4 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 volumes to be originated from Element's future funding arrangements with Celadon Group, Inc. 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.