Risk Factors to Superior
The risks factors and uncertainties detailed below are a summary of Superior's assessment of its material risk factors as detailed in Superior's 2012 Annual Information Form under "Risk Factors" which is filed on the Canadian Securities Administrators' website, www.sedar.com, and on Superior's website, www.superiorplus.com.
Risks to Superior
Superior depends entirely on the operations and assets of Superior LP. Superior's ability to make dividend payments to its shareholders depends on the ability of Superior LP to make distributions on its outstanding limited partnership units, as well as on the operations and business of Superior LP.
There is no assurance regarding the amount of cash to be distributed by Superior LP or generated by Superior LP and, therefore, there is no assurance regarding funds available for dividends to shareholders. The amount distributed in respect of the limited partnership units will depend on a variety of factors including, without limitation, the performance of Superior LP's operating businesses, the effect of acquisitions or dispositions on Superior LP, and other factors that may be beyond the control of Superior LP or Superior. In the event significant sustaining capital expenditures are required by Superior LP or the profitability of Superior LP declines, there would be a decrease in the amount of cash available for dividends to shareholders and such decrease could be material.
Superior's dividend policy and the distribution policy of Superior LP are subject to change at the discretion of the Board of Directors of Superior or the Board of Directors of Superior General Partner Inc., the general partner of Superior LP, as applicable. Superior's dividend policy and the distribution policy of Superior LP are also limited by contractual agreements including agreements with lenders to Superior and its affiliates and by restrictions under corporate law.
The credit facilities and U.S. Notes of Superior LP contain covenants that require Superior LP to meet certain financial tests and that restrict, among other things, the ability of Superior LP to incur additional debt, dispose of assets or pay dividends/distributions in certain circumstances. These restrictions may preclude Superior LP from returning capital or making distributions on the limited partnership units.
The payout by Superior LP of substantially all of its available cash flow means that capital expenditures to fund growth opportunities can only be made in the event that other sources of financing are available. Lack of access to such additional financing could limit the future growth of the business of Superior LP and, over time, have a material adverse effect on the amount of cash available for dividends to shareholders.
To the extent that external sources of capital, including public and private markets, become limited or unavailable, Superior's and Superior LP's ability to make the necessary capital investments to maintain or expand the current business, and to make necessary principal payments and debenture redemptions under its term credit facilities may be impaired.
Superior maintains a substantial floating interest rate exposure through a combination of floating interest rate borrowing and the use of derivative instruments. Demand levels for approximately half of Energy Services' sales and substantially all of Specialty Chemicals' and Construction Products Distribution's sales are affected by general economic trends. Generally speaking, when the economy is strong, interest rates increase, as does demand from Superior's customers, thereby increasing Superior's sales and its ability to pay higher interest costs, and vice-versa. In this way, there is a common relationship between economic activity levels, interest rates and Superior's ability to pay higher or lower rates. Increased interest rates, however, will affect Superior's borrowing costs, which may have an adverse effect on Superior.
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