HALIFAX, June 21, 2012 /CNW/ - Chorus Aviation Inc. ('Chorus') (TSX: CHR.B CHR.A CHR.DB) today announced certain developments relating to Chorus' investment in Pluna Líneas Aéreas Uruguayas S.A. ('Pluna').
In April, 2010, Chorus (formerly the Jazz Air Income Fund) invested $15 million (USD) in Latin American Regional Aviation Holding Corp. ('LARAH') in return for a 33.3% non-voting equity interest in the company, which translated into a 25% indirect ownership in Pluna. At the time of the investment, LARAH held an indirect 75% equity interest in Pluna; the Government of Uruguay held an indirect equity interest of 25%.
The Uruguayan government has taken control of Pluna, allowing the airline to continue operating. Chorus is working directly and cooperatively with the national government to produce and assess potential recapitalization and business plans for Pluna. As part of the proceedings, all of the shares in Pluna held indirectly by LARAH have been delivered in trust with the Montevideo Stock Exchange in return for certain conditions and indemnities from the Uruguayan government. There can be no assurances as to the extent of Chorus' participation and involvement. Further, there can be no assurances that a successful recapitalization of Pluna will be accomplished, and if so, that Chorus will retain an equity stake or other investment therein.
Chorus is currently assessing the valuation of its original $15 million investment and how it will be accounted for in its second quarter financial disclosure planned for mid-August, 2012. The situation at Pluna has no effect on Jazz operations or current cash flows. Chorus will provide an update and share next steps upon the finalization of the review and will not speculate on the outcome or Pluna's future.
Caution regarding forward-looking information
This news release should be read in conjunction with Chorus' unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements for the three months ended March 31, 2012 and MD&A dated May 14, 2012, filed with Canadian Securities regulatory authorities (available at www.sedar.com).
Certain statements in this news release may contain statements which are forward-looking. These forward-looking statements are identified by the use of terms and phrases such as "anticipate", "believe", "could", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "may", "plan", "predict", "project", "will", "would", and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions. Such statements may involve but are not limited to comments with respect to strategies, expectations, planned operations or future actions.
Forward-looking statements relate to analyses and other information that are based on forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable and other uncertain events. Forward-looking statements, by their nature, are based on assumptions, including those described below, and are subject to important risks and uncertainties. Any forecasts or forward-looking predictions or statements cannot be relied upon due to, amongst other things, changing external events and general uncertainties of the business. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Results indicated in forward-looking statements may differ materially from actual results for a number of reasons, including without limitation, risks relating to Chorus' relationship with Air Canada, risks relating to the airline industry, energy prices, general industry, market, credit, and economic conditions, competition, insurance issues and costs, supply issues, war, terrorist attacks, epidemic diseases, acts of God, changes in demand due to the seasonal nature of the business, the ability to reduce operating costs and employee counts, secure financing, employee relations, labour negotiations or disputes, restructuring, pension issues, currency exchange and interest rates, leverage and restructure covenants in future indebtedness, dilution of Chorus shareholders, uncertainty of dividend payments, managing growth, changes in laws, adverse regulatory developments or proceedings, pending and future litigation and actions by third parties. The forward-looking statements contained in this discussion represent Chorus' expectations as of May 14, 2012, and are subject to change after such date. However, Chorus disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable securities regulations.
About Chorus Aviation Inc.
Chorus Aviation Inc. ("Chorus") was incorporated on September 27, 2010 and is a dividend-paying holding company which owns Jazz Aviation LP, Chorus Leasing I Inc., Chorus Leasing II Inc., and Chorus Leasing III Inc. (the leasing companies own the Q400 aircraft) and 7503695 Canada Inc. (which holds Chorus' investment in Latin American Regional Aviation Holdings Corp., which in turn holds a 75% indirect equity interest in South American regional carrier, Pluna).
Chorus is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbols of CHR.A, CHR.B and CHR.DB.
For more information, visit www.chorusaviation.ca
About Jazz Aviation LP
Jazz Aviation LP has a strong history in Canadian aviation with its roots going back to the 1930s. Jazz is wholly owned by Chorus Aviation Inc. and continues to generate some of the strongest operational and financial results in the North American aviation industry.
There are two airline divisions operated by Jazz Aviation LP: Air Canada Express and Jazz.
Air Canada Express: Under a capacity purchase agreement with Air Canada, Jazz provides service to and from lower-density markets as well as higher-density markets at off-peak times throughout Canada and to and from certain destinations in the United States. Jazz currently operates scheduled passenger service on behalf of Air Canada with over 790 departures per weekday to 83 destinations in Canada and in the United States with a fleet of Canadian-made Bombardier aircraft.
Jazz: Under the Jazz brand, the airline offers charters throughout North America with a dedicated fleet of five Bombardier aircraft for corporate clients, governments, special interest groups and individuals seeking more convenience. Jazz also has the ability to offer airline operators services such as ground handling, dispatching, flight load planning, training and consulting.
For more information, visit www.flyjazz.ca.