Laval, Quebec, April 6, 2016– Savaria Corporation (TSX: SIS), one of North America’s leaders in the accessibility industry, today announced that Silver Cross Automotive, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Savaria, has signed a definitive agreement to purchase the automotive division of Shoppers Home Health Care (a division of Shoppers Drug Mart) (“SHHC Automotive”).
SHHC Automotive has long held the Canadian leadership position as a retailer of wheelchair van conversions and mobility adaptation for vehicles, with a 16-year history in the business. As Canada’s largest manufacturer of wheelchair accessible minivans, Savaria believes that this strategic acquisition will offer new and exceptional retail distribution opportunities from coast to coast given SHHC Automotive’s established presence in the key markets of Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, London, Waterloo, Toronto and Moncton.
This acquired business is expected to yield sales of approximately $15 million annually for Savaria with an EBITDA of $1.5 million excluding synergies of lift products, Silver Cross products or existing van conversion sales. Savaria will use cash on hand to pay for the acquisition, which will cost approximately $10 million, net of adjustments.
“The depth of expertise, experience and vital customer relationships within SHHC Automotive is without peer in the industry. We will be able to reach new markets and new customers with this strategic transaction, allowing us to sell more Savaria-built products as well as complementary products,” said Marcel Bourassa, CEO & President of Savaria.
Savaria will brand these newly acquired automotive locations under the Silver Cross banner, with some locations offering the complete portfolio of accessibility products such as stair lifts, wheelchair lifts, scooters and daily mobility aids. Savaria acquired the business of Silver Cross in September 2014.
The transaction is expected to close in May 2016 and is subject to customary conditions, including the receipt of relevant third party approvals.
Laurentian Bank Securities acted as financial advisor and Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP acted as legal advisor to Savaria in connection with the transaction.
Savaria Corporation (savaria.com) is one of the North America’s leaders in the accessibility industry focused on meeting the needs of people with mobility challenges. Savaria designs, manufactures, distributes and installs primarily elevators for home and commercial use, as well as stairlifts and vertical and inclined platform lifts. With the acquisition of Silver Cross, the Corporation now operates a lead generation program to capture and distribute leads on potential customers to close to 100 affiliates in North America; also, it is a franchisor of stores through which new and recycled accessibility equipment is sold. In addition, Savaria converts and adapts minivans to be wheelchair accessible. The diversity of its product line, one of the world’s most comprehensive, enables the Corporation to stand out by proposing an integrated and customized solution for its customers’ mobility needs. Its operations in China have substantially grown and the collaboration with Savaria’s other Canadian facilities increases its competitive edge in the market place. The Corporation records more than 60% of its revenue outside Canada, primarily in the United States. It operates a sales network of some 400 active retailers and affiliates in North America and employs some 440 people at its head office and plant in Laval (Québec) and at its plants and sales offices in Brampton and London (Ontario), Calgary (Alberta) and Huizhou (China).
Cautionary Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains statements that constitute “forward-looking information” or “forward-looking statements” (collectively “forward-looking information”) within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation, including, but not limited to, forward-looking statements in respect of the transaction for the acquisition of SHHC Automotive (the “Transaction”). Forward-looking information is often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as “anticipate”, believe”, “expect”, “plan”, “intend”, “forecast”, “target”, “may”, “will”, “should”, “could ”, “estimate”, “predict” or similar words suggesting future outcomes or language suggesting an outlook.
Forward-looking information contained in this press release is based on Savaria’s current beliefs as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, Savaria. Although Savaria believes that such statements are reasonable, no assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to be correct. Savaria assumes no responsibility to update or revise forward-looking information to reflect new events or circumstances unless required by law.
There are risks inherent in the nature of the Transaction, including risks regarding the integration of SHHC Automotive, incorrect assessments of the value of SHHC Automotive, and the failure to obtain the required third party approvals and to satisfy the other conditions to the closing of the Transaction, which could result in the termination of the agreement to acquire SHHC Automotive. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of risk factors is not exhaustive.
For further information:
Hélène Bernier, CPA, CA
Vice President, Finance
1-800-931-5655, ext. 248
President and Chief Executive Officer