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 February 4, 2016 - 6:00 AM EST
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Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC Announces Third Quarter Results for Fiscal 2016

RADNOR, PENNSYLVANIA - February 4, 2016 - Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC (NYSE:NKA) ("Niska" or "the Company") reported today its financial results for the quarter and nine months ended December 31, 2015.

Financial Results

Niska's Adjusted EBITDA (as defined below) for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 was $7.0 million, compared to $9.4 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2014. Adjusted EBITDA was $10.5 million for the nine months ended December 31, 2015, compared to $48.0 million for the nine months ended December 31, 2014.

Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter and nine months ended December 31, 2015 include benefits from previous inventory write-downs of $7.7 million and $42.9 million, respectively, compared to $4.4 million and $8.8 million for the quarter and nine months ended December 31, 2014, respectively.

Niska's net loss for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 was $21.0 million ($0.54 per common unit), compared to a net loss of $259.6 million ($6.85 per common unit) for the quarter ended December 31, 2014. For the nine months ended December 31, 2015 net loss was $78.0 million ($2.02 per common unit) compared to a net loss of $307.4 million ($8.27 per common unit) for the nine months ended December 31, 2014. Results for the quarter and nine months ended December 31, 2014 include a non-cash write-down of the Company's recorded goodwill of $245.6 million.

Merger Transaction

In June 2015, the Company announced that it and its managing member, Niska Gas Storage Management LLC, had entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Brookfield Infrastructure and its institutional partners ("Brookfield").  Brookfield will acquire all of Niska's outstanding common units for $4.225 per common unit in cash and will acquire the managing member and the incentive distribution rights in Niska. The closing of the transaction is dependent on certain conditions related to regulatory requirements, including the approval of the California Public Utilities Commission ("CPUC"), being satisfied.  The Company expects the transaction to be consummated in calendar year 2016; however, the timing of the process is still ultimately within the purview of the CPUC and the transaction remains subject to other non-regulatory closing conditions.

On July 28, 2015, the Company entered into a definitive agreement whereby Brookfield committed to lend up to $50.0 million to Niska under a credit facility to be used for working capital purposes (the "Brookfield credit facility"). The Brookfield credit facility is guaranteed by a subsidiary of the Carlyle/Riverstone Funds and is subordinated to the Company's existing Senior Notes and its existing $400.0 million credit agreement. As of December 31, 2015, Niska had borrowed $20.6 million under this facility.

Liquidity

The Company's Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio, or FCCR, which is included in its debt agreements and measures Adjusted EBITDA compared to fixed charges, was 0.6 to 1.0 as of December 31, 2015. When the FCCR is below 1.1 to 1.0, the Company is unable to borrow the last 15% of availability under the revolving credit facility.  As a result, availability under the revolver was reduced by $36.1million as of December 31, 2015. As of February 1, 2016, the Company had available liquidity of $60.8 million, consisting of $31.4 million of availability under its $400.0 million credit agreement and $29.4 million of availability under the Brookfield credit facility. 

Distribution

The Company has agreed not to make earnings distributions until the earlier of the date of closing or termination of the merger transaction. Accordingly, no distribution will be paid with respect to the fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2015.

Form 10-Q

A copy of the Company's current Form 10-Q can be found on Niska's website, www.niskapartners.com under "Investor Center-SEC Filings." Niska unitholders may receive hard copies of these documents free of charge upon request by emailing ir@niskapartners.com or by calling 403-513-8650. 

About Niska

Niska is a midstream natural gas services provider with operations focused on owning, operating, developing and acquiring midstream energy assets in the United States and Canada. The Company is currently the largest independent owner and operator of natural gas storage in North America, with strategically located assets in key natural gas producing and consuming regions.  Niska owns and operates three natural gas storage facilities, including the AECO HubTM in Alberta, Canada; Wild Goose in California; and Salt Plains in Oklahoma. The Company also contracts for natural gas storage capacity in the U.S. Mid-continent.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release includes "forward-looking statements" - that is, statements related to future, not past, events. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and include any statement that does not directly relate to a current or historical fact. In this context, forward-looking statements often address our expected future business and financial performance, and often contain words such as "anticipate," "believe," "intend," "expect," "plan," "will" or other similar words. These forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that ultimately may not prove to be accurate. Among these risks and uncertainties are (1) changes in general economic conditions; (2) our level of exposure to the market value of natural gas storage services which could adversely affect our revenues and cash available to make distributions; (3) competitive conditions in our industry; (4) actions taken by third-party operators, processors and transporters; (5) changes in the availability and cost of capital; (6) operating hazards, natural disasters, weather-related delays, casualty losses and other matters beyond our control; (7) the effects of existing and future laws and governmental regulations; (8) the effects of future litigation; and (9) other factors and uncertainties that are unknown or unpredictable could also have a materially adverse effect on future results. For further discussion of risks and uncertainties, you should refer to Niska's filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Niska undertakes no obligation, and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after this press release. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release.  All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.

*****

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Niska uses and discloses the financial measure "Adjusted EBITDA" in this press release. Niska defines Adjusted EBITDA as net earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, unrealized risk management gains and losses, loss on extinguishment of debt, foreign exchange gains and losses, inventory impairment write-downs, gains and losses on asset dispositions, non-cash compensation, asset impairments and other income. Niska's Adjusted EBITDA is not presented in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the United States ("GAAP"). Niska's management utilizes Adjusted EBITDA as a key performance measure in order to assess:

  • the financial performance of Niska's assets, operations and return on capital without regard to financing methods, capital structure or historical cost basis; 
  • the ability of Niska's assets to generate cash sufficient to pay interest on its indebtedness and make distributions to its equity holders; 
  • repeatable operating performance that is not distorted by non-recurring items or market volatility; and
  • the viability of acquisitions and capital expenditure projects. 

The GAAP measure most directly comparable to Adjusted EBITDA is net earnings.  For a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net earnings, please see the schedule provided in the attached pages.

Niska believes that investors benefit from having access to the same financial measures used by Niska's management.  Further, Niska believes that these measures are useful to investors because they are one of the bases for comparing Niska's operating performance with that of other companies with similar operations, although Niska's measures may not be directly comparable to similar measures used by other companies.

Niska Gas Storage Investor Contact:
Sarah Steel -Director, Investor Relations - 403-513-8650
ir@niskapartners.com


NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS LLC
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS (LOSS) AND COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS) 
(in thousands of U.S. dollars, except for per unit amounts)
(unaudited)

    Three Months Ended   Nine Months Ended  
    December 31,   December 31,  
    2015   2014   2015   2014  
                   
REVENUES                  
Fee-based revenue   $ 13,227   $ 15,628   $ 40,141   $ 74,015  
Optimization, net   5,393   23,591   5,060   31,171  
    18,620   39,219   45,201   105,186  
                   
EXPENSES (INCOME)                  
Operating   7,709   9,434   24,292   32,451  
General and administrative   5,718   4,233   23,678   20,513  
Depreciation and amortization   17,392   41,752   42,931   107,730  
Interest   13,265   13,182   38,971   38,229  
Impairment of goodwill   -   245,604   -   245,604  
Losses (gains) on disposals of assets   28   (70 ) 268   (64 )
Foreign exchange losses   197   344   332   32  
Other expense (income)   7   (2 ) (4 ) (8 )
    44,316   314,477   130,468   444,487  
                   
EARNINGS (LOSS) BEFORE INCOME TAXES   (25,696 ) (275,258 ) (85,267 ) (339,301 )
                   
Income tax benefit   (4,704 ) (15,635 ) (7,259 ) (31,875 )
                   
NET EARNINGS (LOSS) AND COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS)   $ (20,992 ) $ (259,623 ) $ (78,008 ) $ (307,426 )
                   
Net earnings (loss) allocated to:                  
                   
Managing member   $ (378 ) $ (4,677 ) $ (1,405 ) $ (5,573 )
Common unitholders   $ (20,614 ) $ (254,946 ) $ (76,603 ) $ (301,853 )
                   
Earnings (loss) per unit allocated to common unitholders - basic and diluted   $ (0.54 ) $ (6.85 ) $ (2.02 ) $ (8.27 )



NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS LLC 
SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA AND NON-GAAP RECONCILIATIONS 
(in thousands of U.S. dollars, except capacity amounts) 
(unaudited) 

    Three Months Ended   Nine Months Ended  
    December 31,   December 31,  
    2015   2014   2015   2014  
                   
Reconciliation of Net Earnings (Loss) to Adjusted EBITDA:                  
                   
Net earnings (loss)   $ (20,992 ) $ (259,623 ) $ (78,008 ) $ (307,426 )
Add / (deduct):                  
Interest expense   13,265   13,182   38,971   38,229  
Income tax benefit   (4,704 ) (15,635 ) (7,259 ) (31,875 )
Depreciation and amortization   17,392   41,752   42,931   107,730  
Non-cash compensation   560   444   1,273   1,687  
Unrealized risk management losses (gains)   693   (48,278 ) 11,405   (48,127 )
Losses (gains) on disposals of assets   28   (70 ) 268   (64 )
Impairment of goodwill   -   245,604   -   245,604  
Foreign exchange losses   197   344   332   32  
Other expenses (income)   7   (2 ) (4 ) (8 )
Write-downs of inventory   600   31,700   600   42,200  
Adjusted EBITDA   $ 7,046   $ 9,418   $ 10,509   $ 47,982  
                   
Revenue:                  
Fee-based revenue:                  
Long-term contract revenue   $ 8,754   $ 13,373   $ 27,327   $ 67,956  
Short-term contract revenue   4,473   2,255   12,814   6,059  
Total   $ 13,227   $ 15,628   $ 40,141   $ 74,015  
                   
Proprietary optimization:                  
Realized optimization   $ 6,686   $ 7,013   $ 17,065   $ 25,244  
Unrealized risk management (losses) gains   (693 ) 48,278   (11,405 ) 48,127  
Write-downs of inventory   (600 ) (31,700 ) (600 ) (42,200 )
Total   $ 5,393   $ 23,591   $ 5,060   $ 31,171  
                   
Capital expenditures:                  
Maintenance   $ 1,134   $ 1,780   $ 1,944   $ 3,240  
Expansion   7   (123 ) 82   510  
Total   $ 1,141   $ 1,657   $ 2,026   $ 3,750  
                   
Operating data:                  
Effective working gas capacity (Bcf)   244.9   250.5   244.9   250.5  
                   
    December 31,   March 31,          
    2015   2015          
    (unaudited)          
Selected Balance Sheet data                  
Cash and cash equivalents   $ 6,049   $ 11,699          
Obligations under credit facilities   $ 161,251   $ 193,500          
Total debt excluding short-term credit facilities   $ 584,926   $ 585,926          
Members' equity   $ 105,582   $ 185,671        




This announcement is distributed by NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions on behalf of NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions clients.
The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC via Globenewswire

HUG#1983589

Source: Thomson Reuters ONE (February 4, 2016 - 6:00 AM EST)

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