As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 19, 2022
Registration No. 333-
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
(Primary Standard Industrial
100 River Bluff Drive
Little Rock, Arkansas 72202
Telephone: (501) 975-1514
(Address, Including Zip Code, and Telephone Number, Including Area Code, of Registrant’s Principal Executive Offices)
Robert P. McKinney
100 River Bluff Drive
Little Rock, Arkansas 72202
Telephone: (501) 320-4880
(Name, Address, Including Zip Code, and Telephone Number, Including Area Code, of Agent for Service)
Brandon C. Price, Esq.
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
51 West 52nd Street
New York, New York 10019
Telephone: (212) 403-1000
Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: From time to time after the effective date of this registration statement.
If any of the securities being registered on this form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, check the following box. ☒
If this form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ☐
If this form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ☐
If this form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.
The Registrant hereby amends this Registration Statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the Registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this Registration Statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 or until the Registration Statement shall become effective on such date as the Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.
The information in this preliminary prospectus is not complete and may be changed. Neither we nor the selling securityholders may sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.
SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED SEPTEMBER 19, 2022
WESTROCK COFFEE COMPANY
19,900,000 Shares of Common Stock Issuable Upon Exercise of Warrants
95,937,824 Shares of Common Stock
23,587,952 Shares of Series A Convertible Preferred Stock
This prospectus relates to the issuance by us of up to 19,900,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share (the “Common Shares”), of Westrock Coffee Company, a Delaware corporation (“Westrock”, “us”, “our”, “we”) that are issuable by us upon the exercise of the outstanding warrants (the “Warrants”), which were previously registered, including Warrants that are listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (such Warrants, the “Public Warrants”).
This prospectus also relates to the potential offer and sale from time to time by the securityholders named in this prospectus or certain transferees (as described in this prospectus) (the “Holders”) of (a) up to 95,937,824 Common Shares, consisting of (i) 20,240,000 Common Shares issued in the PIPE Financing (as defined herein), (ii) up to 7,400,000 Common Shares issuable upon exercise of the Warrants (the “Private Placement Warrants”) held by Riverview Sponsor Partners, LLC, (iii) 40,400,872 Common Shares held by our pre-Business Combination (as defined in this prospectus) equityholders, (iv) 4,309,000 Common Shares held by entities affiliated with R. Brad Martin (excluding Common Shares issued in the PIPE Financing) and (v) up to 23,587,952 Common Shares issuable upon the conversion of the outstanding shares of Series A convertible preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share, of Westrock (the “ Series A Preferred Shares”) and (b) up to 23,587,952 Series A Preferred Shares held by our pre-Business Combination equityholders.
The Holders may offer, sell or distribute all or a portion of the securities hereby registered publicly or through private transactions at prevailing market prices or at negotiated prices. We will not receive any of the proceeds from such sales of the Common Shares or the Series A Preferred Shares. We will receive proceeds from the exercise of the Warrants in cash. We will generally bear all costs, expenses and fees in connection with the registration of these securities, including with regard to compliance with state securities or “blue sky” laws. The Holders will bear all commissions and discounts, if any, attributable to their sale of Common Shares or Series A Preferred Shares. See “Use of Proceeds” and “Plan of Distribution.”
The Common Shares and Public Warrants are listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbols “WEST” and “WESTW,” respectively. On September 19, 2022, the last reported sale price of our Common Shares was $10.23 per share and the last reported sale price of our Public Warrants was $1.45 per warrant.
We are an “emerging growth company” under federal securities laws and are subject to reduced public company reporting requirements. Investing in our securities involves a high degree of risk. You should review carefully the risks and uncertainties described under the heading “Risk Factors” beginning on page 8 of this prospectus, and under similar headings in any amendment or supplements to this prospectus.
Neither the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
The date of this prospectus is , 2022.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
On August 26, 2022, we converted from a Delaware limited liability company called “Westrock Coffee Holdings, LLC” to a Delaware corporation called “Westrock Coffee Company” in connection with the closing of our de-SPAC merger transaction with Riverview Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition vehicle and a Delaware corporation. References to “Westrock,” “we,” “us,” “our,” and similar terms, prior to the effective time of the conversion, refer to the Company when it was a Delaware limited liability company called “Westrock Coffee Holdings, LLC” and such references, following the effective time of the conversion, refer to the Company in its current corporate form as a Delaware corporation called “Westrock Coffee Company.”
ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS
This prospectus is part of a registration statement on Form S-1 that we filed with the SEC using the “shelf” registration process. Under this shelf registration process, the Holders may, from time to time, sell the securities offered by them described in this prospectus. We will not receive any proceeds from the sale by such Holders of the securities offered by them described in this prospectus. This prospectus also relates to the issuance by us of the Common Shares issuable upon the exercise of any Warrants or conversion of the Series A Preferred Shares. We will receive proceeds from any exercise of the Warrants for cash. We will not receive any proceeds from the conversion of the Series A Preferred Shares.
Neither we nor the Holders have authorized anyone to provide you with any information other than that provided in this prospectus, as well as any information incorporated by reference into this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement. Neither we nor the Holders can provide any assurance as to the reliability of any other information that others may give you. Neither we nor the Holders are making an offer of these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer is not permitted. You should not assume that the information in this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement or any documents incorporated by reference is accurate as of any date other than the date of the applicable document. Since the respective dates of this prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed.
We may also provide a prospectus supplement or post-effective amendment to the registration statement to add information to, or update or change information contained in, this prospectus. You should read both this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement or post-effective amendment to the registration statement together with the additional information to which we refer you in the section of this prospectus entitled “Where You Can Find More Information.”
MARKET, INDUSTRY AND OTHER DATA
Certain industry data and market data included in this prospectus were obtained from independent third-party surveys, market research, publicly available information, reports of governmental agencies and industry publications and surveys. All of Westrock’s management’s estimates presented herein are based upon Westrock’s management’s review of independent third-party surveys and industry publications prepared by a number of sources and other publicly available information. Third-party industry publications and forecasts generally state that the information contained therein has been obtained from sources generally believed to be reliable. All the industry data, market data and related estimates used in this prospectus involve a number of assumptions and limitations, and you are cautioned not to give undue weight to such data and estimates. Although we have no reason to believe that the information from these industry publications and surveys included in this prospectus is not reliable, we have not independently verified this information and cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. In addition, we believe that industry data, market data and related estimates provide general guidance, but are inherently imprecise. The industry in which Westrock operates is subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described in the section titled “Risk Factors.” These and other factors could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in the estimates made by the independent parties and by us.
This document contains references to trademarks, trade names and service marks belonging to other entities. Solely for convenience, trademarks, trade names and service marks referred to in this prospectus may appear without the ®, TM or SM symbols, but such references are not intended to indicate, in any way, that the applicable licensor will not assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, its rights to these trademarks and trade names. Westrock does not intend that use or display of other companies’ trade names, trademarks, or service marks to imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of us, by any other companies.
FREQUENTLY USED TERMS
“BBH Investors” means BBH Capital Partners V, L.P., BBH Capital Partners V-A, L.P., BBH CPV WCC Co-Investment LLC, and any controlled affiliate of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. that becomes an owner of any Common Shares or the Series A Preferred Shares from another BBH Investor and becomes a party to the Investor Rights Agreement, so long as such person remains a controlled affiliate of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.
“Business Combination” means the business combination transaction between Riverview and Westrock pursuant to the Transaction Agreement, whereby, among other things, (i) Westrock converted from a Delaware limited liability company to a Delaware corporation, (ii) Merger Sub I merged with and into Riverview, with Riverview surviving the merger as a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of Westrock, (iii) immediately following such merger, Riverview merged with and into Merger Sub II, with Merger Sub II surviving as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Westrock and (iv) the other transactions contemplated by the Transaction Agreement.
“Credit Agreement” means that certain Credit Agreement, dated as of August 29, 2022, among Westrock Beverage Solutions, LLC, as the borrower, Westrock, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., as administrative agent, as collateral agent, and as swingline lender, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, as sustainability structuring agent, and each issuing bank and lender party thereto.
“Credit Facility” means the $350 million credit facility under the Credit Agreement, which includes a $175.0 million senior secured first lien term loan facility and a $175.0 million senior secured first lien revolving credit facility.
“Closing” means the closing of the Business Combination, which occurred on August 26, 2022.
“Common Shares” means shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, of Westrock.
“Conversion” means the conversion of Westrock from a Delaware limited liability company to a Delaware corporation.
“DGCL” means the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware.
“Escalation Event” means (i) any event of default for a failure to make payment when due under the principal credit facility of Westrock or (ii) the failure of Westrock to redeem all Series A Preferred Shares that the holders thereof have elected for redemption.
“Exchange Act” means the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.
“Fundamental Change” means the consummation of (i) a sale of all or substantially all of the consolidated assets of Westrock (including by way of any reorganization, merger, consolidation or other similar transaction); (ii) a direct or indirect acquisition of beneficial ownership of more than fifty percent of the voting securities of Westrock by another person or group (other than an equityholder of Westrock immediately prior to the closing of the Business Combination or its affiliates or any “group” arising out of the Investor Rights Agreement) by means of any transaction or series of transactions (including any reorganization, merger, consolidation, joint venture, share transfer or other similar transaction); (iii) a consolidation, merger, reorganization or other form of acquisition of or by Westrock or other transaction in which Westrock’s stockholders retain less than fifty percent of the voting securities of the entity resulting from such transaction (including, without limitation, an entity that, as a result of such transaction, owns Westrock either directly or indirectly through one or more subsidiaries) upon consummation of such transaction; or (iv) the obtaining by any person or group (other than an equityholder of Westrock immediately prior to the closing of the Business Combination or its affiliates or any “group” arising out of the Investor Rights Agreement) of the power to elect a majority of the members of Westrock’s board of directors.
“Investor Rights Agreement” means that certain Investor Rights Agreement, dated April 4, 2022, by and among Westrock, Westrock Group, The Stephens Group, LLC, Sowell Westrock, L.P., BBH Capital Partners V, L.P., BBH Capital Partners V-A, L.P., BBH CPV WCC Co-Investment LLC and Riverview Sponsor.
“IRS” means the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
“Merger Sub I” means Origin Merger Sub I, Inc., a Delaware corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary of Westrock. Merger Sub I was merged out of existence in the Business Combination and Merger Sub II is the successor entity to Merger Sub I.
“Merger Sub II” means Origin Merger Sub II, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Westrock.
“Nasdaq” means The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC.
“PIPE Financing” means the sale and issuance of Common Shares and/or shares of common stock of Riverview in the PIPE financing that was conducted in connection with the Business Combination, and which resulted in gross proceeds of $230,900,000 to Westrock.
“PIPE Investors” means the investors who entered into the Subscription Agreements in connection with the PIPE Financing.
“Private Placement Warrants” means the 7,400,000 Warrants that are currently not listed for trading on any stock exchange, automated quotation system or other market.
“Public Warrants” means the Warrants which are currently listed for trading on Nasdaq under the symbol “WESTW”.
“Registration Rights Agreement” means that certain Registration Rights Agreement, dated April 4, 2022, by and among the Company and the equityholders of the Company party thereto, which includes all pre-Business Combination equityholders of the Company and Riverview Sponsor.
“Riverview” means Riverview Acquisition Corp., a Delaware corporation. Riverview was merged out of existence in the Business Combination and Merger Sub II is the successor entity to Riverview.
“Riverview Sponsor” means Riverview Sponsor Partners, LLC, a limited liability company organized under the state of Delaware.
“S&D” means S&D Coffee, Inc. (d/b/a S&D Coffee & Tea).
“SEC” means the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
“Securities Act” means the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
“Series A Preferred Shares” means the shares of Series A convertible preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share, of Westrock.
“Subscription Agreements” means the subscription agreements entered into by Riverview, Westrock and the PIPE Investors, pursuant to which such the PIPE Investors subscribed for and purchased, and Riverview and Westrock, as applicable, issued and sold to such investors, Common Shares or shares of common stock of Riverview, as applicable.
“Transaction Agreement” means the Transaction Agreement, dated as of April 4, 2022, by and among Riverview, Westrock, Merger Sub I and Merger Sub II.
“Warrant Agreement” means the Amended and Restated Warrant Agreement, dated August 25, 2022, by and among Westrock, Computershare Inc. and Computershare Trust Company, N.A.
“Warrants” means the warrants to purchase Common Shares, governed by the terms of the Warrant Agreement.
“WCC Investors” means Westrock Group, LLC, The Stephens Group, LLC, Sowell Westrock, L.P. and any affiliate of Joe T. Ford, Scott T. Ford, Witt Stephens, Jim Sowell or their respective families that becomes an owner of any Common Shares from another WCC Investor and becomes a party to the Investor Rights Agreement, so long as such person remains an affiliate of Joe T. Ford, Scott T. Ford, Witt Stephens, Jim Sowell or their families.
“Westrock” means Westrock Coffee Company, a Delaware corporation, together with its consolidated subsidiaries, as context requires.
“Westrock Group” means Westrock Group, LLC, an Arkansas limited liability company.
“Wooster Capital” means Wooster Capital LLC, a Texas limited liability company.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This prospectus includes forward-looking statements as defined under U.S. federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements include all statements that are not historical statements of fact and statements regarding, but not limited to, our expectations, hopes, beliefs, intention or strategies regarding the future. In addition, any statements that refer to projections, forecasts, or other characterizations of future events or circumstances, including any underlying assumptions, are forward-looking statements. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “possible,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “would,” and similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements, but the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and we assume no obligation and do not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
There are or will be important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated in these forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the following:
|●||our limited operating history;|
|●||the fact that we have incurred net losses in the past, may incur net losses in the future, and may not achieve profitability;|
|●||risks associated with operating a coffee trading business and a coffee-exporting business;|
|●||a resurgence of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, and emergence of new variants of the virus could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations;|
|●||the volatility and increases in the cost of green coffee, tea and other ingredients and packaging, and our inability to pass these costs on to customers;|
|●||our inability to secure an adequate supply of key raw materials, including green coffee and tea, or disruption in our supply chain;|
|●||deterioration in general macroeconomic conditions;|
|●||disruption in operations at any of our production and distribution facilities;|
|●||climate change, which may increase commodity costs, damage our facilities and disrupt our production capabilities and supply chain;|
|●||failure to retain key personnel or recruit qualified personnel;|
|●||consolidation among our distributors and customers or the loss of any key customer;|
|●||complex and evolving U.S. and international laws and regulations, and noncompliance therewith subjecting us to criminal or civil liability;|
|●||future acquisitions of businesses, which may divert our management’s attention, prove difficult to effectively integrate and fail to achieve their projected benefits;|
|●||our inability to effectively manage the growth and increased complexity of our business;|
|●||our inability to maintain or grow market share through continued differentiation of our product and competitive pricing;|
|●||our inability to secure the additional capital needed to operate and grow our business;|
|●||future litigation or legal disputes, which could lead us to incur significant liabilities and costs or harm our reputation;|
|●||a material failure, inadequacy or interruption of our information technology systems;|
|●||the unauthorized access, theft, use or destruction of personal, financial or other confidential information relating to our customers, suppliers, employees or business;|
|●||our future level of indebtedness, which may reduce funds available for other business purposes and reduce our operational flexibility;|
|●||the financial covenants in our credit agreement restricting our ability to operate our business;|
|●||our inability to complete the construction of our new facility in Conway, Arkansas in time or incurring additional expenses in the process;|
|●||our corporate structure and organization;|
|●||the fact that our largest shareholders (and certain members of our management team) own a significant percentage of our stock and will be able to exert significant control over matters subject to shareholder approval;|
|●||the possibility that we may be adversely affected by other economic, business and/or competitive factors; and|
|●||other risks and uncertainties, including those described under the heading “Risk Factors.”|
The foregoing factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read together with the other cautionary statements included in this prospectus. If one or more events related to these or other risks or uncertainties materialize, or if our underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect, actual results may differ materially from what we anticipate. Many of the important factors that will determine these results are beyond our ability to control or predict. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made, and, except as otherwise required by law, we do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict which will arise. In addition, we cannot assess the impact of each factor on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements.
Our business involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks described below, together with the other information contained in this prospectus, including our financial statements and the related notes appearing elsewhere in this prospectus, as well as the risks, uncertainties and other information set forth in the reports and other materials filed or furnished by us with the SEC. We cannot assure you that any of the events discussed in the risk factors below will not occur. These risks could have a material and adverse impact on our business, prospects, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. If any such events were to happen, the value of our securities could decline, and you could lose all or part of your investment.
Risks Related to Westrock’s Business
We have incurred net losses in the past, may incur net losses in the future, and may not achieve or maintain profitability in the future.
In the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, we incurred net losses of $21.3 million and $128.9 million, respectively. In the six months ended June 30, 2022, we incurred net losses of $10.5 million. These losses could continue for the next several years as we expand our product offering and continue to scale our commercial operations. Even if we are able to increase sales of our products, there can be no assurance that we will ever be profitable.
We may incur significant net losses for the foreseeable future as we:
|●||continue to hire additional personnel to improve the operations of our business;|
|●||increase our sales and marketing functions, including expansion of our manufacturing and distribution capabilities;|
|●||hire additional personnel to support compliance requirements in connection with being a public company; and|
|●||expand operations and manufacturing.|
If our products do not achieve sufficient market acceptance, our revenue growth rate may be slower than we expect, we may not be able to increase revenue enough to offset the increase in operating expenses resulting from investments, and we will not become profitable. There can be no assurance that we will ever achieve or sustain profitability.
Any failure to retain key personnel or recruit qualified personnel could adversely impact our financial condition, results of operations and cash flow.
Our success depends on the contributions of key personnel and a consistent workforce, including production workers, support staff and executive team members. The competition for talent in the markets in which we compete is extremely high and candidates’ preferences and expectations are evolving. We must continue to recruit, retain, motivate and develop management and other employees sufficiently to maintain our current business and support our projected growth and strategic initiatives. This may require that we adapt to evolving labor conditions and make significant investments in our employees, including through coaching, training or other professional development activities. Activities related to identifying, recruiting, hiring and integrating qualified individuals require significant time and attention. We may also need to invest significant amounts of cash and equity to attract talented new employees, the returns on which we may never fully realize. In this competitive environment, our business could be adversely affected by increased labor costs, including wages and benefits, cost increases triggered by compensation-related regulatory actions concerning wages, worktime scheduling and benefits; increased healthcare and workers’ compensation insurance costs; increased wages and costs of other benefits necessary to attract and retain high quality employees with the appropriate skill sets and increased wages, benefits and costs related to any COVID-19 resurgence. In addition, our wages and benefits programs may be insufficient to attract and retain talented employees.
Our ability to achieve our key strategic objectives may be adversely affected if we are unable to successfully retain our talented employees, which may impact our financial condition and operating results. For example, our founder, Mr. Scott T. Ford, is an important leader for the business and any loss of service resulting from his absence would disrupt our business and likely adversely impact our operating performance. Further, any unplanned turnover or failure to develop or implement an adequate succession plan for our senior management and other key employees, could deplete our institutional knowledge, erode our competitive advantage, and
negatively affect our business, financial condition and operating results. We do not maintain key person life insurance policies on any of our executive officers.
We do not currently have written contracts with certain of our co-manufacturers. The loss of these co-manufacturers or the inability of these co-manufacturers to fulfill our orders would adversely affect our ability to make timely deliveries of our products and could have a material adverse effect on our business.
5.5% of our revenue for the six months ended June 30, 2022 and 7.8% of our revenue for the year ended December 31, 2021 was derived from products manufactured at manufacturing facilities owned and operated by our co-manufacturers. We do not currently have written manufacturing contracts with co-manufacturers who represented 4.1% of our revenue for the six months ended June 30, 2022 and 4.3% of our revenue for the year ended December 31, 2021. In the absence of a written contract, any of such co-manufacturers could seek to alter or terminate its relationship with us at any time, leaving us with periods during which we have limited or no ability to manufacture our products. If we need to replace a co-manufacturer, there can be no assurance that additional capacity will be available when required on acceptable terms, or at all.
An interruption in, or the loss of operations at, one or more of our co-manufacturing facilities, which may be caused by work stoppages, disease outbreaks or pandemics, acts of war, terrorism, fire, earthquakes, flooding or other natural disasters at one or more of these facilities, could delay, postpone or reduce production of some of our products, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition until such time as such interruption is resolved or an alternate source of production is secured.
We believe there are a limited number of competent, high-quality co-manufacturers in the industry that meet our strict quality and control standards, and as we seek to obtain additional or alternative co-manufacturing arrangements in the future, there can be no assurance that we would be able to do so on satisfactory terms, in a timely manner, or at all. Therefore, the loss of one or more co-manufacturers, any disruption or delay at a co-manufacturer or any failure to identify and engage co-manufacturers for new products and product extensions could delay, postpone or reduce production of our products, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Further consolidation among our customers or the loss of any key customer could negatively affect our sales, profitability and future growth.
We have a number of large national account customers and the loss of or reduction in sales to one or more of them would likely have a material adverse effect on our operating results. For the six months ended June 30, 2022 and for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021, our top five customers accounted for approximately 36% and 35% respectively, of our net sales. To the extent that we do not have written contracts with customers, they can stop purchasing our products at any time without penalty and are free to purchase products from our competitors. There can be no assurance that our customers will continue to purchase our products in the same mix or quantities or on the same terms as they have in the past. Our customers may also take actions that we cannot control or anticipate, such as changing their business strategy or introducing products that may compete with ours.
Additionally, industry consolidation has generally led to our customers becoming larger and more sophisticated buyers of our products, leveraging their buying power and negotiating strength to improve their profitability through more favorable contractual terms. To the extent we provide contractual concessions such as lower prices or more favorable trade terms, our margins would be reduced. Over time, our inability to extend such concessions may negatively impact our sales revenue. Our customers may also face financial difficulties, bankruptcy or other business disruptions that may affect their ability to pay for our products, which could adversely affect our sales and profitability.
If we are unable to anticipate customer preferences and successfully develop new products, or if we fail to effectively manage the introduction of new products, our business will suffer.
Our business depends on our ability to satisfy our customers with our beverage products. In order for us to maintain or improve Westrock’s operating results and grow its revenue, it is important that our customers continue purchasing our products. Our customers generally have no obligation to continue or otherwise extend their purchasing, and there can be no assurance that our customers will continue or otherwise extend their purchasing for similar periods or for the same amount of our products.
The rate at which we retain our customers may decline or fluctuate as a result of a number of factors, including our end-use customers’ changing preferences, the shift among millennial coffee drinkers from hot brew towards cold brew and extracts (or any
reversion thereof), satisfaction with our products and their prices, the prices of competing products, mergers and acquisitions affecting our direct customers, the effects of global economic conditions, and reductions in customers’ spending levels. If our customers do not continue purchasing our products, our revenues would decline, and we may not realize improved operating results from our customer base.
Our accounts receivable represents a significant portion of our current assets and a substantial portion of our trade accounts receivables relate principally to a limited number of customers, increasing our exposure to bad debts and counterparty risk, which could potentially have a material adverse result on our results of operations.
A significant portion of our trade accounts receivable are from five customers, which represented approximately 35% of our trade accounts receivable for the year ended December 31, 2021 and 30% of our trade accounts receivable for the six months ended June 30, 2022. The concentration of our accounts receivable across a limited number of parties subjects us to individual counterparty and credit risk as these parties may breach our agreement, claim that we have breached the agreement, become insolvent and/or declare bankruptcy, thereby delaying or reducing our collection of receivables or rendering collection impossible altogether. Some of these parties use third-party distributors or do business through a network of affiliate entities which can make collection efforts more challenging and, at times collections may be economically unfeasible. Adverse changes in general economic conditions and/or contraction in global credit markets could lead to liquidity problems among our debtors. This could increase our exposure to losses from bad debts and have a materially adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our estimated addressable market is subject to inherent challenges and uncertainties. If we have overestimated the size of our addressable market, our future growth opportunities may be limited.
Our total addressable market in the United States is calculated based on an estimated percentage of households that purchase coffee products at least once per year, which we generally estimate based on internal and third-party market research, historical surveys and interviews with market participants. As a result, our addressable market is subject to significant uncertainty and is based on assumptions that may not prove to be accurate. Our estimates are based, in part, on third-party reports and are subject to significant assumptions and estimates. These estimates, as well as the estimates relating to the size and expected growth of the markets in which we operate, and our penetration of those markets, may change or prove to be inaccurate. While we believe that the information on which we base our addressable market estimates is generally reliable, such information is inherently imprecise. In addition, our expectations, assumptions and estimates of future opportunities are necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described herein. If third-party or internally generated data prove to be inaccurate or we make errors in our assumptions based on that data, our future growth opportunities may be affected. If our addressable market, or the size of any of the various ancillary markets in which we operate, proves to be inaccurate, our future growth opportunities may be limited, and there could be a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our growth depends, in part, on our continued penetration and expansion into additional markets, and we may not be successful in doing so.
We believe that our future growth depends not only on serving existing customers, but also on continuing to get new customers and expanding our distribution base in the United States and internationally. In new geographic markets, we may face challenges that are different from those we currently encounter, including competitive, merchandising, distribution, hiring, legal and regulatory, and other difficulties. Although we continue to evaluate sales and marketing efforts and other strategies to expand our supplier, customer and distribution bases, there is no assurance that we will be successful. If we are not successful, this could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are subject to U.S. and international laws and regulations that could adversely affect our business, including anti-corruption laws and trade controls laws, and noncompliance with such laws could subject us to criminal or civil liability.
We are subject to various federal, state, local and foreign laws that affect how we conduct our business, including the manufacturing, safety, sourcing, labeling, storing, transportation, marketing, advertising, distribution and sale of our products, our relations with distributors and retailers, and our employment, environmental, privacy, health and trade practices. These laws and regulations and interpretations thereof are subject to change as a result of political, economic or social events. Any new laws and regulations or changes in existing laws or their interpretations could result in increased compliance costs, capital expenditures, incremental investments and other financial obligations for us and our business partners, which could affect our profitability.
Additionally, our expanding international business will also expose us to additional regulatory regimes, which may be very different from the ones we are used to complying with domestically, and these foreign laws may occasionally conflict with domestic laws. Aside from the regulatory risks of doing business in foreign countries, our business in these countries is also subject to certain U.S. laws, regulations and policies, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or “FCPA,” as well as trade control laws such as economic sanctions, customs and import laws, and export control laws and regulations. The FCPA generally prohibits companies from making direct or indirect improper payments to non-U.S. government officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business or obtaining an improper business advantage. Both the SEC and U.S. Department of Justice have aggressively enforced the FCPA in recent years. Our operations in foreign countries may place us in contact with persons who may be considered “foreign officials” under the FCPA, resulting in greater risk of potential violations of the FCPA (or other applicable public corruption regimes). We also have activities in jurisdictions that are perceived to present heightened risks of public corruption. The FCPA also requires that we keep accurate books and records and maintain a system of adequate internal controls. In addition to the FCPA’s prohibitions on public corruption, the UK Bribery Act 2010, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, and other anti-corruption laws that could apply to our international activities also prohibit commercial bribery and requesting or accepting bribes. U.S. trade control laws prohibit certain transactions and dealings involving sanctioned countries, governments, persons, without a license or other appropriate authorization. As we increase our international sales and business, our risks of non-compliance with the FCPA and U.S. trade control laws may increase. Although we have implemented policies and procedures designed to ensure that we, our employees and our intermediaries comply with the FCPA, other applicable anti-corruption or anti-bribery laws, and applicable trade control laws, there is no assurance that such policies or procedures will prevent illegal acts by our employees or intermediaries, or protect us against liability under the FCPA, other anti-corruption regimes, or trade sanctions laws.
Our business must also be conducted in compliance with applicable economic and trade sanctions laws and regulations, such as those administered and enforced by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the United Nations Security Council and other relevant sanctions authorities. Our global operations expose us to the risk of violating, or being accused of violating, economic and trade sanctions laws and regulations. Despite our compliance efforts and activities, we cannot assure compliance by our employees or representatives for which we may be held responsible, and any such violation could materially adversely affect our reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations.
Changes in international tax treaties or international trade policy, or the imposition of increased or new tariffs, quotas or trade barriers on key commodities, could also adversely affect our business.
Violations of these laws or regulations could have a material adverse effect on us, by imposing substantial financial penalties or significant operational limitations, diverting management’s attention and resources and incurring significant defense costs and other professional fees. Investigations of potential violations of these laws by local, state, federal or foreign authorities could also harm our reputation and have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We have in the past and may in the future acquire companies, which can divert our management’s attention and we may also be unable to integrate such businesses or identify and achieve their projected benefits.
Our future success will depend, in part, on our ability to grow in the face of changing customer demands and competition. A core part of our strategy is to grow through acquisitions. We successfully completed the acquisition of S&D in February 2020 and our de-SPAC merger transaction with Riverview in August 2022, and we expect to pursue additional acquisitions. However, we may be unable to identify and consummate additional acquisitions, and we may incur significant transaction costs for acquisitions that we do not complete. Furthermore, the identification of suitable acquisition candidates can be difficult, time-consuming and costly, and we may not complete acquisitions on favorable terms, if at all. Such acquisitions may disrupt our ongoing business operations, divert management from their primary responsibilities, increase our expenses and subject us to increased regulatory requirements. Risks we face in connection with acquisitions include:
|●||incurrence of charges or assumption of debt or other liabilities that could result in adverse tax consequences that negatively affect our operating results;|
|●||difficulties or unforeseen expenditures while integrating the business, products, and personnel of the acquired company;|
|●||failure to realize anticipated synergies;|
|●||disruption to our ongoing business through the diversion of resources or increased expenses;|
|●||reduced cash liquidity in the business; and|
|●||the dilution of then-existing stockholder and reduced earnings per share as a result of any issuance of equity securities.|
In addition to the above risks, we may not successfully integrate and manage businesses that we acquire or fully achieve anticipated cost savings and synergies from acquisitions in the timeframe we anticipate or at all and projections of the anticipated benefits of any acquisition can be negatively affected by intervening events beyond our control. Projected growth opportunities could also require a greater-than-anticipated amount of trade and promotional spending. There can be no assurance that we will successfully or efficiently integrate any businesses that we may acquire in the future, and the failure to do so could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.
If we continue to grow rapidly, we may not be able to effectively manage the growth and increased complexity of our business and, as a result, our business, financial condition and operating results could suffer.
Our rapid growth has placed, and may continue to place, significant demands on our organizational, administrative and operational infrastructure, including manufacturing operations, supply chain, quality control, regulatory support, customer service, sales force management and general and financial administration. Further, we have a limited history of operating our legacy business and the acquired S&D business as a combined company. As we continue to grow and potentially acquire other businesses, we will need to continue building our operational, financial and management controls as well as our reporting systems and procedures. Managing our planned growth effectively may require us to:
|●||enhance our facilities and purchase additional equipment at our facilities;|
|●||upgrade or enhance our information technology systems;|
|●||expand our inventory and packaging throughput; and|
|●||successfully hire, train and motivate additional employees.|
If our operations continue to grow rapidly, we may experience challenges in obtaining sufficient raw materials and manufacturing capacity to produce the products we sell, along with delays in production and shipments. We could also be required to continue to expand our sales and marketing, product development, and distribution capabilities or further expand our workforce. Any such expansion could strain our resources, expose us to new legal risks in new jurisdictions, and cause operating difficulties. If we are unable to manage our growth and increased complexity effectively, we may be unable to execute our business plan, which could lead to a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.
Fluctuations in our operating results adversely affect our financial condition and cash flow, and may make it difficult to project future results and meet the earnings expectations of securities analysts or investors.
Our rapid growth makes it difficult for us to forecast our future operating results, which have fluctuated in the past and are expected to fluctuate in the future due to a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control. In addition to the other risks described herein, such factors include changes in accounting principles, fluctuations in the selling prices of our products, research reports and changes in financial estimates by analysts about us, our competitors or our industry, strategic decisions by us or our competitors, such as acquisitions, capital investments or changes in business strategy, the depth and liquidity of the market for Common Shares, activism by any large stockholder or group of stockholders, speculation by the investment community regarding our business, actual or anticipated growth rates relative to our competitors, terrorist acts, natural disasters, pandemics (including COVID-19), perceptions of the investment opportunity associated with Common Shares relative to other investment alternatives, competition, changes in consumer preferences and market trends (including, for example, an acceleration in any shift from hot coffee to cold brews and extracts), seasonality, our ability to retain and attract customers, our ability to manage inventory and fulfillment operations and maintain gross margin. The effects of any of these and other factors could, either individually or in the aggregate, negatively impact our operating results and cause the market price of Common Shares to decline.
In addition, the stock markets are prone to price and volume volatility that affect the market price of equity securities. Accordingly, we believe that period-to-period comparisons of our operating results are not necessarily meaningful, and such comparisons should not be relied upon as indicators of future performance.
Disruption in operations at any of our production and distribution facilities could affect our ability to manufacture or distribute products and could adversely affect our business and sales.
Our sales and distribution network requires a large investment to maintain and operate, and we rely on a limited number of production and distribution facilities. Our production capacity is currently concentrated in our Concord, North Carolina and North Little Rock, Arkansas facilities, and will soon be supplemented by our new production facility in Johor Bahru, Malaysia and our planned production expansion at our new Conway, Arkansas facility. If we were to experience a prolonged disruption in the operation of these facilities due to damage from fire, natural disaster, power loss, labor shortages, or a failure of production equipment or information technology systems supporting our production processes, we may not have sufficient capacity at our other facilities to meet our customers’ demands. If demand increases more than we forecast, we will need to either expand our capabilities internally or acquire additional capacity. Alternative facilities with sufficient capacity or capabilities may not be available, may cost substantially more than existing facilities or may take a significant time to start production, which would have an adverse impact on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We also rely on the timely and free flow of goods through open and operational ports from our suppliers and manufacturers. Labor disputes or disruptions at ports, our common carriers, or our suppliers or manufacturers could create significant risks for our business, particularly if these disputes result in work slowdowns, lockouts, strikes, or other disruptions during periods of significant importing or manufacturing, potentially resulting in delayed or canceled orders by customers, unanticipated inventory accumulation or shortages, and harm to our business, results of operations, and financial condition. In addition, we rely upon independent freight carriers for product shipments from our distribution centers to our customers. We may not be able to obtain sufficient freight capacity on a timely basis or at favorable shipping rates and, therefore, may not be able to receive products from suppliers or deliver products to customers in a timely and cost-effective manner.
In addition, we use a significant amount of electricity, gasoline, diesel and oil, natural gas and other energy sources to operate our production and distribution facilities. An increase in the price, disruption of supply or shortage of fuel and other energy sources that may be caused by increased demand or by events such as climate change, natural disasters, power outages, cyberattacks or the like, could lead to higher electricity, transportation and other commodity costs, which could negatively impact our profitability, financial condition or results of operations.
We may not complete the construction of our new production facility in Conway, Arkansas in time or at all and may incur additional expenses in the process, which could hamper our ability to satisfy demand and meet revenue targets.
In 2021, we purchased a 524,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Conway, Arkansas with the intent to build out the capacity and capabilities needed to meet our customer demand. The facility is currently in the engineering and design phase, and we are in active discussions with prospective customers related to price, terms, volume and commitments. If the completion of this facility is delayed or otherwise not completed, or if we incur additional expenses in the process of opening this facility, it might hamper our ability to satisfy customer demand and meet revenue targets, which could cause our profitability to suffer.
Future litigation or disputes could lead us to incur significant liabilities or harm our reputation.
We have in the past and/or may in the future become subject to legal proceedings, disputes, claims, investigations, regulatory proceedings, or similar actions that arise in the ordinary course of business, such as claims brought by our customers in connection with commercial matters, or employment claims brought by our employees. Further, state or federal regulators could make inquiries and/or conduct investigations with respect to one or more of our products.
We may become a defendant in class action litigation, including litigation regarding employment practices, product labeling, public statements and disclosures under securities laws, antitrust, advertising, consumer protection and wage and hour laws. Plaintiffs in class action litigation may seek to recover amounts that are large and may be indeterminable for some period of time. We evaluate litigation claims and legal proceedings to assess the likelihood of unfavorable outcomes and estimate, if possible, the amount of potential losses. We will establish a reserve as appropriate based upon assessments and estimates in accordance with our accounting policies. We will base our assessments, estimates and disclosures on the information available to us at the time and rely on legal and management judgment. Actual outcomes or losses may differ materially from assessments and estimates.
Even if any such litigation or claims lack merit, the process of defending against these claims may result in substantial costs to the business and divert management’s attention and resources, which can harm our business, operating results and financial
condition. Any adverse publicity resulting from allegations made in litigation claims or legal proceedings may also adversely affect our reputation, which in turn could adversely affect our operating results.
Our failure to comply with applicable transfer pricing and similar regulations may harm our business and financial results.
In many countries, including the United States, we are subject to transfer pricing and other tax regulations designed to ensure that appropriate levels of income are reported as earned and are taxed accordingly. Although we believe that we are in substantial compliance with all applicable regulations and restrictions, we are subject to the risk that governmental authorities could audit our transfer pricing and related practices and assert that additional taxes are owed. In the event that the audits or assessments are concluded adversely to our positions, we may be required to pay additional taxes, interest, and penalties and we may or may not be able to offset or mitigate the consolidated effect of foreign income tax assessments through the use of U.S. foreign tax credits. As a result, our operations may be negatively impacted, our effective tax rate may increase, and our cash flows may be materially adversely affected. Because the laws and regulations governing U.S. foreign tax credits are complex and subject to periodic legislative amendment, we cannot be sure that we will in fact be able to take advantage of any foreign tax credits in the future. We may not always be in compliance with all applicable tax laws, including transfer pricing laws, despite our efforts to be aware of and to comply with such laws. In such case, we may need to adjust our operating procedures and, as a result, our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows could be materially adversely affected.
We are increasingly dependent on information technology and our ability to process data in order to operate and sell our products, and if we are unable to protect against software and hardware vulnerabilities, service interruptions, data corruption, cyber-based attacks, ransomware or security breaches, or if we fail to comply with our commitments and assurances regarding the privacy and security of such data, our operations could be disrupted, our ability to provide our products could be interrupted, our reputation may be harmed and we may be exposed to liability and loss of customers and business.
We rely on information technology networks and systems and data processing (some of which are managed by third-party service providers) to market, sell and deliver our products, to collect, receive, store, process, generate, use, transfer, disclose, make accessible, protect, secure, dispose of and share personal information, confidential or proprietary information, financial information and other information, to manage a variety of business processes and activities, for financial reporting purposes, to operate our business, to process and fulfill orders, for legal and marketing purposes and to comply with regulatory, legal and tax requirements. These information technology networks and systems may be vulnerable to data security and privacy threats, cyber and otherwise. Moreover, the risk of unauthorized circumvention of our security measures or those of third parties on whom we rely has been heightened by advances in computer and software capabilities and the increasing sophistication of hackers who employ complex techniques, including, without limitation, “phishing” or social engineering incidents, ransomware, extortion, account takeover attacks, denial or degradation of service attacks and malware. Further, breaches experienced by other companies may also be leveraged against us. For example, credential stuffing attacks are becoming increasingly common and sophisticated actors can mask their attacks, making them increasingly difficult to identify and prevent. We have technology security initiatives and disaster recovery plans in place to mitigate our risk to these vulnerabilities, but these measures may not be adequately designed or implemented to ensure that our operations are not disrupted or that data security breaches do not occur. If our information technology networks and systems or data processing suffer damage, security breaches, vulnerabilities, disruption or shutdown, and we do not effectively resolve the issues in a timely manner, they could cause a material adverse impact to our business, reputation and financial condition.
Hackers and data thieves are increasingly sophisticated and operate large-scale and complex automated attacks, which may remain undetected until after they occur. Despite our efforts to protect our information technology networks, systems and information, we may not be able to anticipate or to implement effective preventive and remedial measures against all data security and privacy threats. Our security measures may not be adequate to prevent or detect service interruption, system failure data loss or theft, or other material adverse consequences. No security solution, strategy or measures can address all possible security threats. Our applications, systems, networks, software and physical facilities could have material vulnerabilities, be breached or personal or confidential information could be otherwise compromised due to employee error or malfeasance, if, for example, third parties attempt to fraudulently induce our personnel or our customers to disclose information or user names and/or passwords, or otherwise compromise the security of our applications, systems, networks, software and/or physical facilities. We cannot be certain that we will be able to address any such vulnerabilities, in whole or part, and there may be delays in developing and deploying patches and other remedial measures to adequately address vulnerabilities, and taking such remedial steps could adversely impact or disrupt our operations. We expect similar issues to arise in the future as our products are more widely adopted, we continue to expand the features of existing products and introduce new products and we process, store, and transmit increasingly large amounts of personal and/or sensitive data.
An actual or perceived breach of our security systems or those of our third-party service providers may require notification under applicable data privacy regulations or for customer relations or publicity purposes, which could result in reputational harm, costly litigation (including class action litigation), material contract breaches, liability, settlement costs, loss of sales, regulatory scrutiny, actions or investigations, loss of confidence in our business, diversion of management’s time and attention, and significant fines, penalties, assessments, fees and expenses.
The costs to respond to a security breach and/or to mitigate any security vulnerabilities that may be identified could be significant, and our efforts to address these problems may not be successful. These costs include, but are not limited to, retaining the services of cybersecurity providers; compliance costs arising out of existing and future cybersecurity, data protection and privacy laws and regulations; and costs related to maintaining redundant networks, data backups and other damage-mitigation measures. We could be required to fundamentally change our business activities and practices in response to a security breach or related regulatory actions or litigation, which could have an adverse effect on our business. Additionally, most jurisdictions have enacted laws requiring companies to notify individuals, regulatory authorities, and others of security breaches involving certain types of data. Such mandatory disclosures are costly, could lead to negative publicity, may cause our customers to lose confidence in the effectiveness of our security measures and require us to expend significant capital and other resources to respond to and/or alleviate problems caused by the actual or perceived security breach.
We may not have adequate insurance coverage for handling security incidents or breaches, including fines, judgments, settlements, penalties, costs, attorney’s fees and other impacts that arise out of incidents or breaches. The successful assertion of one or more large security incident or breach-related claims against us that exceeds our available insurance coverage, or results in changes to our insurance policies (including premium increases or the imposition of large deductible or co-insurance requirements), could harm our business. In addition, we cannot be sure that our existing insurance coverage will continue to be available on acceptable terms or that our insurers will not deny coverage as to all or part of any future claim or loss. Moreover, our privacy risks are likely to increase as we continue to expand, grow our customer base, and process, store, and transmit increasingly large amounts of personal and/or sensitive data. In addition, our cybersecurity risk could be increased as a result of the ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the related sanctions imposed against Russia. We utilize a third-party monitoring service that constantly surveils for developing threats as part of our normal security programs, including with respect to any new cybersecurity threats that may be presented by the unfolding conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
The unauthorized access, theft, use or destruction of personal, financial or other confidential information relating to our customers, suppliers, employees or business could expose us to reputational damage and operational risk, negatively affect our business and expose us to potential liability.
The protection of our customer, supplier, employee, and business data and confidential information is critical. We are subject to new and changing privacy and information security laws and standards that may require significant investments in technology and new operational processes. The use of electronic payment methods and collection of other personal information exposes us to increased risk of privacy and/or security breaches. We rely on commercially available systems, software, tools, and monitoring to provide security for processing, transmitting, and storing personal information from individuals, including our customers, suppliers and employees, and our security measures may not effectively prohibit others from obtaining improper access to such information. We also rely on third-party, cloud-based technologies, which results in third-party access and storage of business data and confidential information. Employees or third parties with whom we do business or to whom we outsource certain information technology or administrative services may attempt to circumvent security measures in order to misappropriate such information, and may purposefully or inadvertently cause a breach involving such information. If we experience a data security breach of any kind or fail to respond appropriately to such incidents, we may experience a loss of or damage to critical data, suffer financial or reputational damage or penalties, or face exposure to negative publicity, government investigations and proceedings, private consumer or securities litigation, liability or costly response measures. In addition, our reputation within the business community and with our customers and suppliers may be affected, which could result in our customers and suppliers ceasing to do business with us, which could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
We may become subject to intellectual property disputes or be forced to defend our intellectual property rights, which can be costly and may subject us to significant liability and increase our costs of doing business.
Third parties may be able to successfully challenge, oppose, invalidate, render unenforceable, dilute, misappropriate or circumvent our trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights and other intellectual property rights. Our success depends, in part, on our ability to develop and commercialize our products and services without infringing, misappropriating or otherwise violating the intellectual property rights of third parties. However, we may not be aware that our products or services are infringing, misappropriating or
otherwise violating third-party intellectual property rights, and such third parties may bring claims alleging such infringement, misappropriation or violation.
Actions we may take to enforce or defend our intellectual property rights may be expensive and divert management’s attention away from the ordinary operation of our business, and our inability to secure and protect our intellectual property rights could materially and adversely affect our brand and business, operating results, financial condition and prospects. Furthermore, such actions, even if successful, may not result in an adequate remedy or protection. In addition, many companies have the capability to dedicate greater resources to enforce their intellectual property rights and to defend claims that may be brought against them. If a third party is able to obtain an injunction preventing us from selling allegedly infringing products or services, or if we cannot license or develop alternative technology for any infringing aspect of our business, we would be forced to limit or stop sales of our products or services or cease business activities related to such intellectual property.
We cannot predict the outcome of lawsuits and cannot ensure that the results of any such actions will not have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. Such claims could subject us to significant liability for damages and could result in our having to stop selling a product or service found to be in violation of a third party’s rights. Further, we might be required to seek a license for third-party intellectual property, which may not be available on reasonable royalty or other terms. Alternatively, we could be required to develop an alternative non-infringing product or service, which could require significant effort and expense. If we cannot license or develop an acceptable alternative for any infringing aspect of our business, we would be forced to limit our products or services, which could affect our ability to compete effectively. Any of these results would harm our business, operating results, financial condition and prospects.
Our future levels of indebtedness could materially and adversely affect our financial position, including reducing funds available for other business purposes and reducing our operational flexibility.
As of August 31, 2022, we had outstanding total indebtedness, of $244.8 million, including $175.0 million of funded term loans under the Credit Facility.
Any subsequent additions to our indebtedness could impact our financial flexibility due to increased cash flows required to make required interest and principal payments. Greater demands on our funds may limit our ability to invest in our growth, including inhibiting our ability to meet working capital requirements, make capital expenditures or fund acquisitions. Increased indebtedness may also limit our ability to adjust to rapidly changing market conditions, making us more vulnerable to general adverse industry and economic conditions, which could create a competitive disadvantage relative to our competitors.
In addition, the Credit Facility bears interest at a variable rate, making us vulnerable to increases in the market rate of interest. If the market rate of interest increases substantially, we will have to pay additional interest on this indebtedness, which would reduce cash available for our other business needs.
Failure to make payments or comply with covenants under our applicable debt instruments could result in an event of default. If an event of default occurs and the lender accelerates the amounts due, we may need to seek additional financing, which may not be available on acceptable terms, in a timely manner or at all. In such event, we may not be able to make accelerated payments, and the lender could seek to enforce security interests in the collateral securing such indebtedness, which includes substantially all of our assets.
For additional information about the Credit Facility, see the section titled “Description of Certain Indebtedness”.
The Credit Facility contains covenants that may restrict our ability to operate our business.
The Credit Facility contains various affirmative and negative covenants that may, subject to specified significant exceptions, restrict our ability, including specified material subsidiaries, to incur debt and our ability, including specified material subsidiaries, to, among other things, have liens on our property, and/or merge or consolidate with any other person or sell or convey assets above a specified minimum threshold to any one person, and engage in sale-and-leaseback transactions depending on the characterization of the proceeds. Our ability, including specified material subsidiaries, to comply with these provisions may be affected by events beyond our control. Failure to comply with these covenants could result in an event of default, which, if not cured or waived, could accelerate our repayment obligations and could result in a default and acceleration under other agreements containing cross-default provisions. Under these circumstances, we might not have sufficient funds or other resources to satisfy all of our obligations.
For additional information about the Credit Facility, see the section titled “Description of Certain Indebtedness”.
If the financial institutions that are lenders under the Credit Facility fail to extend credit under the facility, our liquidity and results of operations may be adversely affected.
Each financial institution that is or becomes a lender under the Credit Facility will be responsible on a several but not joint basis for providing a portion of the loans to be made under the facility. If any participant or group of participants with a significant portion of the commitments under the Credit Facility fails to satisfy its or their respective obligations to extend credit under the facility and we are unable to find a replacement for such participant or participants on a timely basis (if at all), our liquidity may be adversely affected.
For additional information about the Credit Facility, see the section titled “Description of Certain Indebtedness”.
Operating and growing our business may require additional capital, and if capital is not available to us, our business, operating results, financial condition and prospects may suffer.
Operating and growing our business is expected to require further investments in our capabilities and operations. We may be presented with opportunities that we want to pursue, and unforeseen challenges may present themselves, any of which could cause us to require additional capital. If our cash needs exceed our expectations or we experience rapid growth, we could experience strain in our cash flow, which could adversely affect our operations in the event we are unable to obtain other sources of liquidity. If we seek to raise funds through equity or debt financing, those funds may prove to be unavailable, may only be available on terms that are not acceptable to us or may result in significant dilution to you or higher levels of leverage. If we are unable to obtain adequate financing or financing on terms satisfactory to us, when we require it, our ability to continue to pursue our business objectives, to grow both organically and through acquisitions, and to respond to business opportunities, challenges or unforeseen circumstances, could be significantly limited, and our business, operating results, financial condition and prospects could be materially and adversely affected.
A change in the assumptions used to value our goodwill or other intangible assets, or the impairment of our goodwill or intangible assets, could negatively impact our financial condition and operating results.
Goodwill represents the excess of cost over fair value of net assets acquired in a business combination. Impairment may result from significant changes in the manner of use of the acquired assets, negative industry, or economic trends, and/or any changes in key assumptions regarding our fair value. During 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic, and resulting measures instituted by governments and businesses to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, had an adverse impact on our business, which resulted in a goodwill impairment charge of $76.9 million. At June 30, 2022, we had $97.1 million of goodwill on our condensed consolidated balance sheet. Any further deterioration in our business related to the COVID-19 pandemic, or other market, industry, or operational trends, could result in further impairment of our goodwill, which would negatively impact our financial conditions and results of operations.
Our insurance and reserves may be insufficient to cover future claims and liabilities.
The premiums associated with our insurance continue to increase. General liability, fire, workers’ compensation, directors’ and officers’ liability, life, employee medical, dental and vision, and automobile risks present a large potential liability. While we accrue for this liability based on historical claims experience, future claims may exceed claims we have incurred in the past. Should a different number of claims occur compared to what was estimated or the cost of the claims increase beyond what was anticipated, reserves recorded may not be sufficient, and the accruals may need to be adjusted accordingly in future periods. A successful claim against us that is not covered by insurance or is in excess of our reserves or available insurance limits could negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We maintain finished goods product coverage in amounts we believe to be adequate. However, we cannot assure you that we will not incur claims or liabilities for which we are not insured or that exceed the amount of our insurance coverage. Moreover, claims or liabilities of this sort might not be covered by our insurance or by any rights of indemnity or contribution that we may have against others. A product liability judgment against us or a product recall or the damage to our reputation resulting therefrom could have a material adverse effect on our business, consolidated financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.
Exposure to additional income tax liabilities could negatively affect our future profitability.
We are subject to income taxes in the United States and in various jurisdictions outside the United States. Our effective tax rate and profitability could be subject to volatility or adversely affected by a number of factors, including:
|●||changes in applicable tax laws and regulations, or their interpretation and application, including the possibility of retroactive effect;|
|●||changes in accounting and tax standards or practice;|
|●||changes in the mix of earnings and losses in various jurisdictions with differing tax rates;|
|●||changes in the valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities; and|
|●||our operating results before taxes.|
In addition, we may be subject to audits of our income, sales and other taxes by U.S. federal, state and local and non-U.S. taxing authorities. Outcomes from these audits could have a material and adverse effect on our operating results, financial condition and prospects.
Changes in tax laws may adversely affect us, and the IRS, other tax authorities, or a court may disagree with our tax positions, which may result in adverse effects on our financial condition or the value of our Common Shares or Series A Preferred Shares.
Our tax position could be impacted by changes in U.S. federal, state and local and non-U.S. tax laws and changes in taxing jurisdictions’ administrative interpretations, decisions, policies, and positions. Any of the foregoing changes may have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, cash flows, and financial condition.
For example, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”), enacted on December 22, 2017, significantly affected U.S. tax law, including by changing how the U.S. imposes tax on certain types of income of corporations and by reducing the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate to 21%. It also imposed new limitations on a number of tax benefits, including deductions for business interest, use of net operating loss carryforwards, taxation of foreign income, and the foreign tax credit, among others. The CARES Act, enacted on March 27, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, further amended the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), including in respect of certain changes that were made by the TCJA, generally on a temporary basis. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, enacted on August 16, 2022, further modified the Code, including by imposing a new alternative minimum tax determined by reference to certain financial statements of a corporation.
There can be no assurance that future tax law changes will not increase the rate of the corporate income tax significantly, impose new limitations on deductions, credits or other tax benefits, or make other changes that may adversely affect our business, cash flows or financial performance. The likelihood of such changes being enacted or implemented is unclear. Any of these developments or changes in federal, state and local and non-U.S. tax laws could adversely affect our effective tax rate and our operating results. In addition, the administrative interpretations, decisions, policies and positions of the IRS and various other taxing authorities may be subject to significant change. For example, regulatory guidance under the TCJA, the CARES Act and the Inflation Reduction Act is and continues to be forthcoming, and such guidance could ultimately increase or lessen impact of these laws on our business and financial condition. In the absence of such guidance, we will take positions with respect to a number of unsettled issues. There is no assurance that the IRS, any other tax authorities, or a court will agree with the positions taken by us, in which case tax penalties and interest may be imposed that could adversely affect our business, cash flows or financial performance.
As a holding company, we depend on distributions from our operating subsidiaries to meet our obligations.
We are a holding company with no material assets other than our ownership of equity interests in our operating subsidiaries. Our ability to pay dividends and to pay taxes and cover other expenses will depend on the financial results and cash flows of the operating subsidiaries. We intend to cause our operating subsidiaries to make distributions to us in amounts sufficient to meet our obligations. Certain laws and regulations, however, may result in restrictions on our operating subsidiaries’ ability to make distributions to us. To the extent that we need funds and the operating subsidiaries are restricted from making such distributions under
applicable law or regulation or under the terms of any of its financing arrangements, we may not be able to obtain such funds on terms acceptable to us or at all and as a result could suffer an adverse effect on our liquidity and financial condition.
Westrock has identified material weaknesses in its internal control over financial reporting, which may result in material misstatements of Westrock’s consolidated financial statements or cause Westrock to fail to meet its periodic reporting obligations.
Westrock has identified material weaknesses in its internal control over financial reporting. A material weakness is a deficiency, or combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim consolidated financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis.
Westrock did not design and maintain effective controls in response to the risks of material misstatement as changes to existing controls or the implementation of new controls were not sufficient to respond to changes to the risks of material misstatement to financial reporting. This material weakness in risk assessment contributed to the following material weaknesses:
|●||Westrock did not design and maintain effective controls to address the identification of and accounting for certain non-routine, unusual or complex transactions, including the proper application of U.S. GAAP to such transactions. Specifically, Westrock did not design and maintain effective controls to timely identify and account for issuances of redeemable common equivalent preferred units, the S&D acquisition transaction, a disposal transaction, and arrangements with forward repurchase obligations which resulted in material audit adjustments to shareholders’ deficit; intangible assets, net; goodwill; acquisition, restructuring and integration expense; and impairment charges; within the consolidated financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2020 and in immaterial misstatements to revenue; costs of sales; interest expense; inventory; accrued expenses and other current liabilities; and the cash flow presentation between operating and financing activities within the consolidated financial statements as of and for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020.|
|●||Westrock did not design and maintain effective controls over the period-end financial reporting process to achieve complete and accurate financial accounting, reporting and disclosures, including the presentation and classification of various accounts in the financial statements, which resulted in immaterial adjustments to product revenues; product costs of sales; selling, general and administrative expense; loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment; other (income) expense, net; accounts receivable, net, inventories; derivative assets, net; prepaid expenses and other current assets; property, plant, and equipment, net; goodwill; intangible assets, net; other long-term assets; accounts payable; accrued expenses and other current liabilities and the cash flow presentation of debt payments and proceeds within financing activities within the consolidated financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2020.|
|●||Westrock did not design and maintain effective controls related to ensuring appropriate segregation of duties as it relates to the preparation and review of journal entries and account reconciliations, which did not result in adjustments to the consolidated financial statements.|
|●||Westrock did not design and maintain effective controls over certain information technology (“IT”) or general computer controls for information systems that are relevant to the preparation of the consolidated financial statements. Specifically, Westrock did not design and maintain: (i) program change management controls to ensure that IT program and data changes affecting financial IT applications and underlying accounting records are identified, tested, authorized and implemented appropriately; (ii) user access controls to ensure appropriate segregation of duties and adequate restricted user and privileged access to financial applications, data and programs to the appropriate personnel; (iii) computer operations controls to ensure that data backups are authorized and monitored; and (iv) testing and approval controls for program development to ensure that new software development is aligned with business and IT requirements. These IT deficiencies did not result in adjustments to the consolidated financial statements. However, the deficiencies, when aggregated, could impact Westrock’s ability to maintain effective segregation of duties, as well as the effectiveness of IT-dependent controls (such as automated controls that address the risk of material misstatement to one or more assertions, along with the IT controls and underlying data that support the effectiveness of system-generated data and reports) that could result in misstatements potentially impacting all financial statement accounts and disclosures that would result in a material misstatement to the annual or interim financial statements that would not be prevented or detected. Accordingly, it was determined these deficiencies in the aggregate constitute a material weakness.|
Additionally, each of these material weaknesses could result in a misstatement of substantially all of Westrock’s accounts or disclosures that would result in a material misstatement to the annual or interim consolidated financial statements that would not be prevented or detected.
Westrock has taken and is taking certain measures to remediate the material weaknesses described above, including the following:
|●||Hiring additional accounting and IT personnel, including a new chief accounting officer hired in May 2021 and a new technical accounting resource hired in April 2022, with the appropriate level of knowledge, training, and experience to improve our internal control over financial reporting and IT capabilities.|
|●||Developing and formalizing a risk assessment process across the organization to identify risks and design new controls or enhance existing controls responsive to such risks to ensure timely and accurate financial reporting.|
|●||Formally assessing non-routine, unusual and complex accounting transactions, as well as other technical accounting and financial reporting matters including controls over the preparation and review of accounting memoranda addressing these matters. During the quarter ended June 30, 2022, we implemented controls to identify non-routine, unusual and complex accounting transactions and require that the accounting implications of such transactions are formally assessed, documented and reviewed by a relevant senior member of our accounting team in a timely manner. In addition, we have engaged third party subject matter experts to advise us with respect to certain complex non-routine transactions in addition to management’s review of such transactions, where appropriate.|
|●||Engaging a third party to assist in designing and implementing controls related to period-end financial reporting, segregation of duties and IT general controls.|
|●||Designing and implementing controls to formalize roles and review responsibilities to align with Westrock’s team’s skills and experience and designing and implementing controls over segregation of duties.|
|●||Designing and implementing formal accounting procedures and controls supporting Westrock’s period-end financial reporting process, including controls over the preparation and review of account reconciliations and journal entries.|
|●||Enhancing policies and procedures related to the management and approval of (i) changes in our IT environment, including procedures to review changes in IT data and the configuration of systems, (ii) system implementations and projects to ensure adequate governance, development, change management, and implementation controls, (iii) security access, including policies and procedures to set up or remove users to our IT systems, (iv) periodic security access reviews of our key financial systems’ users to ensure the appropriateness of their roles and security access levels, and (v) review of service organization reports and related end-user control considerations.|
|●||Designing and implementing IT general controls, including controls over change management, the review and update of user access rights and privileges, controls over batch jobs and data backups, and program development approvals and testing.|
Notwithstanding these measures or efforts, there is no assurance that any remediation efforts will ultimately have the intended effects. Additionally, these remediation measures will be time consuming, will result in Westrock incurring significant costs, and will place significant demands on our financial and operational resources.
Westrock may identify additional material weaknesses in the future or fail to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, which may result in material misstatements of Westrock’s consolidated financial statements. As a result, investors may lose confidence in the accuracy of our financial reports, which would harm our business and the trading price of our common stock.
To comply with the requirements of being a public company, Westrock has undertaken various actions, and will take additional actions, such as remediating the material weaknesses described above, implementing additional internal controls and procedures and hiring internal audit staff or consultants. Testing and maintaining internal controls can divert our management’s
attention from other matters that are important to the operation of our business. Additionally, when evaluating internal controls over financial reporting, Westrock may identify additional material weaknesses that it may not be able to remediate in time to meet the applicable deadline imposed upon us for compliance with the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. If Westrock identifies any additional material weaknesses in its internal control over financial reporting or is unable to remediate the material weakness described above or comply with the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in a timely manner or if Westrock’s independent registered public accounting firm is unable to express an unqualified opinion as to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting once it is no longer an emerging growth company, or if Westrock is unable to conclude in our quarterly and annual reports that our disclosure controls and procedures are effective, investors may lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of Westrock’s financial reports and the market price of our common stock could be negatively affected, and Westrock could become subject to investigations by the stock exchange on which our securities are listed, the SEC or other regulatory authorities, which could require additional financial and management resources. In addition, if Westrock fails to remediate any material weakness, including the material weakness described above, our financial statements could be inaccurate and Westrock could face restricted access to capital markets.
Changes in laws or regulations, or a failure to comply with any laws and regulations, may adversely affect Westrock’s business, investments and results of operations.
Westrock is subject to laws and regulations enacted by national, regional and local governments. In particular, it is required to comply with SEC and other legal requirements. Compliance with, and monitoring of, applicable laws and regulations may be difficult, time consuming and costly. Those laws and regulations and their interpretation and application may also change from time to time and those changes could have a material adverse effect on Westrock’s business, investments and results of operations. In addition, a failure to comply with applicable laws or regulations, as interpreted and applied, could have a material adverse effect on Westrock’s business and results of operations.
The accuracy of Westrock’s financial statements and related disclosures could be adversely affected if the judgments, assumptions or estimates used in Westrock’s critical accounting policies are inaccurate.
The preparation of financial statements and related disclosure in conformity with GAAP requires us to make judgments, assumptions and estimates that affect the amounts reported in Westrock’s consolidated financial statements and related notes. Westrock’s critical accounting policies, which are included in the section captioned “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in this prospectus, describe those significant accounting policies and methods used in the preparation of Westrock’s consolidated financial statements that Westrock considers “critical” because they require judgments, assumptions and estimates that materially affect Westrock’s consolidated financial statements and related disclosures. As a result, if future events differ significantly from the judgments, assumptions and estimates in Westrock’s critical accounting policies, those events or assumptions could have a material impact on Westrock’s consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.
In addition, changes in accounting interpretations or assumptions could impact Westrock’s financial statements and Westrock’s ability to timely prepare Westrock’s financial statements. Westrock’s inability to timely prepare Westrock’s financial statements in the future could materially and adversely affect Westrock’s share price.
Westrock is an “emerging growth company,” and the reduced disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies may make the Common Shares and the Series A Preferred Shares less attractive to investors.
Westrock is an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the JOBS Act. Westrock could continue to be considered an emerging growth company for up to five years, although Westrock would lose that status sooner if Westrock’s gross revenues exceed $1.07 billion, if it issues more than $1 billion in nonconvertible debt in a three-year period, or if the fair value of Common Shares held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter (and Westrock has been a public company for at least 12 months and has filed one annual report on Form 10-K). For as long as Westrock continues to be an emerging growth company, Westrock may take advantage of exemptions from various reporting requirements that apply to other public companies that are not emerging growth companies, including reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in Westrock’s periodic reports and proxy statements and exemptions from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved. It is unclear whether investors will find Common Shares and the Series A Preferred Shares less attractive because Westrock may rely on these exemptions. If some investors find Common Shares less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for Common Shares, and Westrock’s stock price may be more volatile.
In addition, the JOBS Act provides that an emerging growth company can take advantage of an extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards. This allows an emerging growth company to delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. Westrock has elected to avail itself of this exemption from new or revised accounting standards and, therefore, while Westrock is an emerging growth company, Westrock will not be subject to new or revised accounting standards at the same time that they become applicable to other public companies that are not emerging growth companies. As a result, Westrock’s financial statements may not be comparable to companies that comply with new or revised accounting pronouncements as of public company effective dates, and Westrock will incur additional costs in connection with complying with the accounting standards applicable to public companies at such time or times as they become applicable to Westrock.
Risks Related to Westrock’s Industry
Increases in the cost of green coffee may not be able to be passed-through to customers, which could adversely impact our gross margins and profitability.
Our primary raw material green coffee is an exchange-traded agricultural commodity that is subject to price fluctuations, depending on a variety of factors, including outside speculative influences such as indexed and algorithmic commodity funds, climate patterns in coffee-producing countries, economic and political conditions affecting coffee-producing countries such as unrest and armed conflict, foreign currency fluctuations, real or perceived supply shortages, crop disease (such as coffee rust) and pests, general increase in farm inputs and costs of production, an increase in green coffee purchased and sold on a negotiated basis rather than directly on commodity markets in response to higher production costs relative to “C” market prices, acts of terrorism, pandemics or other disease outbreaks (including the COVID-19 pandemic), government actions and trade barriers or tariffs, and the actions of producer organizations that have historically attempted to influence green coffee prices through agreements establishing export quotas or by otherwise limiting coffee supplies. Additionally, specialty green coffees tend to trade on a negotiated basis at a premium above the “C” market price. Such premium, depending on the supply and demand at the time of purchase, may be significant.
Depending on contractual limitations, we may be unable to pass these costs on to our customers by increasing the price of products. If we are unable to increase prices sufficiently to offset increased input costs, or if our sales volume decreases as a result of price increases, our operating results and financial condition may be adversely affected. Additionally, if we are unable to purchase sufficient quantities of green coffee due to any of the factors described herein or a worldwide or regional shortage, we may not be able to fulfill the demand for our products, which could have an adverse impact on our business and financial results.
We have historically utilized, and expect to continue to utilize, various types of derivative instruments, including forward contracts, futures contracts, and option contracts to hedge our exposure to the commodities price variability of green coffee. Our hedging strategy is an important part of our business model as it allows us to fix raw materials costs for inventory needed to grow our business, while minimizing the margin volatility associated with fluctuations in the prices of green coffee. As part of that strategy, we track the spread between sales price and material costs as a means of determining the efficiency of our pricing strategy. While our derivatives strategy may mitigate the impacts of volatile green coffee prices, no strategy can eliminate all pricing risks, and we generally remain exposed to supply risk in the event of nonperformance by the counterparties in any one of our physical contracts. Failure to properly execute an effective hedging strategy with respect to the price of green coffee may materially adversely affect our business and operating results.
Recently, there has been heightened volatility in the “C” market price that has driven prices, at times, to five-year highs. This volatility has been driven by uncertainty over several factors, including the impact of weather patterns in coffee producing regions, global supply chain constraints and shipping shortages, and speculative trading. Specifically, severe frosts and drought in Brazil threaten to negatively impact crop yields for multiple harvests, which could reduce supply and increase costs. As noted above, while these derivative instruments allow us to hedge the “C” market price volatility for a portion of our green coffee supply, our hedging strategy cannot completely mitigate our exposure to the “C” market price risk.
Fluctuations in other commodity prices and in the availability of certain of our ingredients and packaging materials could negatively affect our margins and profitability.
In addition to green coffee, our other commodity inputs are also exposed to the risk of cost fluctuations. These inputs include tea, spices, and the materials used in our packaging, such as carton board and plastic. Although these commodities are available from a number of sources, we have very little control over the factors that can influence the prices we pay, including economic and political conditions, foreign currency fluctuations, transportation and storage costs, export restrictions, weather conditions and global climate
patterns, and natural disasters (including floods, droughts, frosts, earthquakes and hurricanes). Changes in the prices we pay may take place on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis depending on the product and supplier. We do not purchase any derivative instruments to hedge cost fluctuations in these other commodities like we do with respect to green coffee. As a result, to the extent we are unable to pass along such costs through price increases, our margins and profitability will decrease. High and volatile commodity prices can also place more pressures on short-term working capital funding. Additionally, if as a result of these factors, we are unable to obtain these commodities, we may not be able to fulfill the demand for our products, which could have an adverse impact on our business and financial results.
We are subject to risks associated with operating a coffee trading business and a coffee exporting business, including those associated with the availability and prices of green coffee.
We own a coffee trading business headquartered in the United Kingdom, Falcon Coffees Limited, or Falcon, which operates as a separate subsidiary, and we maintain a coffee exporting business in Peru. We also own a coffee exporting business headquartered in Rwanda, Rwanda Trading Company SA, or “RTC,” which is operated as a separate subsidiary. As a purchaser and reseller of coffee, Falcon engages in commodity hedging and is reliant on third-party logistics suppliers to fulfill its commitments. Disruptions in Falcon’s supply chain could result in the failure to deliver on commitments, which could adversely impact Falcon’s business, cash flows and financial performance. Both RTC and Falcon rely on third party financing sources to purchase coffee for resale, and in each case, the failure to maintain an adequate source of working capital would have a material adverse impact on their respective businesses, cash flows and financial performance. The availability and prices of green coffee are subject to wide fluctuations, including impacts from factors outside of our control such as changes in weather conditions, climate change, rising sea levels, crop disease, plantings, government programs and policies, competition, and changes in global demand. These price fluctuations can adversely affect the business of each of Falcon and RTC.
We are exposed to risks associated with the interruption of supply and increased costs as a result of our reliance on third-party transportation carriers for shipment of our products.
Our ability to maintain our high-quality coffee product offering depends in part on our ability to acquire ingredients that meet our specifications from reliable suppliers. To date, notwithstanding the current supply chain disruptions which we believe have contributed to increased costs, deliveries have been consistent and not a source of material disruption to our business. However, shortages or interruptions in the supply of ingredients caused by unanticipated demand, problems in production or distribution, coffee bean contamination, inclement weather or other conditions could adversely affect the availability and quality of our ingredients in the future, which could harm our business, financial condition or results of operations. If any of our distributors or suppliers performs inadequately, or our distribution or supply relationships are materially disrupted for any reason, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be adversely affected. If we cannot replace or engage distributors or suppliers who meet our specifications in a short period of time, that could increase our expenses and cause coffee shortages, which could cause a customer to purchase less of our coffee products. If that were to happen, affected customers could experience significant reductions in sales during the shortage or thereafter, if coffee drinkers change their habits as a result. This reduction in sales could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.
In addition, our approach to competing in the beverage industry depends in large part on our continued ability to provide coffee products that are sustainably sourced. As we increase our use of these ingredients, the ability of our suppliers to expand output or otherwise increase their supplies to meet our needs may be constrained. We could face difficulties to obtain a sufficient and consistent supply of these ingredients on a cost-effective basis.
The industry for coffee and liquid extract consumables is highly competitive, resulting in a high degree of competitive pressure on our products. Our inability to maintain or grow market share through continued differentiation of our products and competitive pricing could adversely affect our financial condition, operating results and cash flow.
Our industry is highly competitive, including with respect to price, product quality and sourcing techniques, and competition could become increasingly intense due to the relatively low barriers to entry and industry consolidation. We face competition from many sources that vary in size and sophistication, including institutional foodservice divisions of multinational manufacturers of retail products, wholesale foodservice distributors, regional and national coffee roasters, specialty coffee suppliers, and retail brand beverage manufacturers, many of which have greater financial and other resources than we do and may have lower fixed costs and/or are substantially less leveraged than our company.
Competitive pressures can, among other things, restrict our ability to increase prices and maintain price increases in response to commodity and other cost increases. Our inability to effectively assess, timely adapt and properly set pricing may negatively affect our ability to achieve the objectives of such price increases.
We consider our roasting and blending methods essential to the flavor and richness of our coffees. Because our roasting methods cannot be patented, we would be unable to prevent competitors from copying these methods if such methods became known. In addition, competitors may be able to develop roasting or blending methods that are more advanced than our production methods, which may also harm our competitive position.
Increased competition in coffee or other beverage channels may adversely affect sales of our products. If we do not succeed in differentiating ourselves through our product offerings or if we are not effective in setting proper pricing, then our competitive position may be weakened, we could fail to retain our existing customer base, and our sales and profitability may decline. Our inability to secure an adequate supply of key raw materials, including green coffee and tea, or disruption in our supply chain, could result in increased costs and adversely affect our business.
Our business depends on our relations with key suppliers to maintain a steady supply of green coffee and tea. If any of these supply relationships deteriorate or we are unable to renegotiate contracts with suppliers (with similar or more favorable terms) or find alternative sources for supply, we may be unable to procure a sufficient quantity of high-quality coffee beans, tea and other raw materials at prices acceptable to us or at all which could negatively affect our results of operations. Further, nonperformance by suppliers could expose us to supply risk under coffee purchase commitments for delivery in the future. Additionally, supply is affected by many factors in the coffee-growing countries including weather, pest damage, economic conditions, acts of terrorism, as well as efforts by coffee growers to expand or form cartels or associations. Our operations are also exposed to the political and social environment of the emerging and less developed markets from which we source coffee beans, including Africa, Indonesia, and Central and South America. These regions have the potential for civil and political unrest, and such instability could affect our ability to purchase coffee from those regions. If green coffee beans from a region become unavailable or prohibitively expensive, we could be forced to use alternative coffee beans or discontinue certain blends, which could adversely impact our sales. Any material interruption in our supply chain, such as material interruption of roasted coffee supply due to the casualty loss at any of our roasting plants or suppliers, interruptions in service by our third-party logistic service providers or common carriers that ship goods within our distribution channels, trade restrictions, such as increased tariffs or quotas, embargoes or customs restrictions, pandemics, social or labor unrest, natural disasters or political disputes and military conflicts that cause a material disruption in our supply chain could have a negative impact on our business and our profitability. Product shortages could result in disruptions in our ability to deliver products to our customers, a deterioration of our relationship with our customers, decreased revenues or an inability to expand our business.
Quality control problems or food safety issues could adversely affect our sales and brand reputation, lead to product recalls or result in product liability claims.
Selling products for human consumption involves inherent legal risks. Our success depends on our ability to provide customers with high-quality products and service. Although we take measures to ensure that we sell only fresh products, we have no control over our products once they are purchased by our customers. Additionally, clean water is critical to the preparation of coffee, tea and other beverages, and we have no ability to ensure that our customers use a clean water supply to prepare these beverages. Instances or reports of food safety issues involving our products, whether or not accurate, such as unclean water supply, food or beverage-borne illnesses, tampering, contamination, mislabeling, or other food or beverage safety issues, including due to the failure of our third-party co-packers to maintain the quality of our products and to comply with our product specifications, could damage the value of our brands, negatively impact sales of our products, and potentially lead to product recalls, production interruptions, product liability claims, litigation or damages. A significant product liability claim against us, whether or not successful, or a widespread product recall, may reduce our sales and harm our business.
Climate change, severe weather patterns, and water scarcity could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
Increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will continue to have an adverse effect on global temperatures, weather patterns, and the frequency and severity of extreme weather events and natural disasters. Coffee growing countries have been dramatically affected by these climate changes. The rainy and dry seasons are becoming unpredictable in their start and length, which is affecting the development of coffee cherries. These weather pattern changes, by reducing agricultural productivity in certain regions, may reduce the supply and quality of important agricultural ingredients for our products and drive up their costs, and this could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, or results of operations. Water is used
throughout the production of coffee from growing at the farm, cooling the beans after roasting, and brewing products for consumption. Scarcity of water sources in our supply chain could also constrain our supply and increase costs. In addition to these impacts, more frequently occurring or longer-duration extreme weather events or increased severity of such conditions could disrupt our supply chain, damage our production capabilities and reduce demand for our products. As a result, the changing global climate could adversely affect our long-term performance.
Our business may fluctuate as a result of seasonality.
The coffee and tea market is subject to some seasonal variations. Sales of hot coffee products are typically higher during the winter months compared to the summer months. Most of our customers define “coffee season” as mid-September through April. Our quarterly operating results may fluctuate as a result of these seasonal trends. If we are unable to adjust our production to these seasonal variations, we may not be able to fulfill demand for our products or we may overproduce our products, either of which could adversely affect our performance.
Risks Related to General Economic Conditions
A resurgence of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, and emergence of new variants of the virus could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
In fiscal years 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic had a material impact on our financial condition and results of operations. The measures taken around the country to contain the spread of the virus adversely affected our business and those of our customers. The outbreak led to the implementation of restrictive measures by federal, state and local government authorities in an effort to contain COVID-19. These measures included travel bans and restrictions, quarantines, shelter-in-place orders, and shutdowns and constrained our workforce and operations, the operations of our customers, and those of our respective vendors and suppliers. A substantial portion of the restrictions have eased in many places; however, emergence of new variants or sub-variants of COVID-19 (some of which may be more transmissible, such as the Omicron sub-variants) may result in the reinstitution of certain of the restrictions and increased economic uncertainty, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that we have experienced and may experience in case of further increases of COVID-19 infections, including the emergence of additional variants, include but are not limited to:
|●||disruption to our green coffee supplier partners and vendors, including through facility closures, reduced operating hours, labor shortages, and modified operating procedures;|
|●||transportation and supply chain disruptions, including ocean freight and trucking shortages, which may result in delays of raw materials and adversely affect our ability to timely deliver coffee to our customers;|
|●||disruption to our own distribution and general office facilities and operations, including through facility closures, reduced operating hours, labor shortages, and modified operating procedures;|
|●||closure or reduced operations of restaurants, convenience stores, and reductions in consumer traffic, which may adversely affect demand for our coffee through retail channels;|
|●||low economic performance by customers, which may result in reduction or cancellation of future orders; and|
|●||reductions in consumer spending due to macroeconomic conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, including decreased disposable income and increased unemployment, which may result in decreased sales across all of our channels.|
Our success in navigating these challenges will depend on our ability and effectiveness in identifying and addressing our customers’ future needs in light of the development of COVID-19, its variants and responsive measures.
The degree to which the COVID-19 outbreak or the appearance of new and more contagious and/or lethal variants, may impact our results will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with confidence, including,
but not limited to, the duration and spread of any outbreak, the actions to contain or treat the effects of the virus, the degree to which normal economic and operating conditions are able to resume and our effectiveness in serving our customer base and acquiring new customers.
While we have developed and continue to develop plans to help mitigate the potential negative impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, these efforts may not be effective, and any protracted economic downturn will likely limit the effectiveness of our efforts. Accordingly, it is not possible for us to predict the duration and extent to which this will affect our business at this time.
Our revenue and profits depend on the level of customer spending for discretionary items, which is sensitive to general economic conditions and other factors.
Our products are discretionary items for end-use customers. Therefore, the success of our business depends significantly on economic factors and trends in consumer spending. There are a number of factors that influence consumer spending, including actual and perceived economic conditions, consumer confidence, disposable consumer income, consumer credit availability, unemployment, and tax rates in the markets where our products are sold to end-use customers. Consumers also have discretion as to where to spend their disposable income and may choose to purchase other items. As global economic conditions continue to be volatile, and economic uncertainty remains, trends in consumer discretionary spending also remain unpredictable and subject to declines. Any of these factors could harm discretionary consumer spending, resulting in a reduction in demand for our products, decreased prices, increased costs to make sales, and harm to our business and results of operations.
Our business and the businesses of our suppliers are subject to macroeconomic conditions that, in the event of deterioration, could adversely affect our financial condition, operating results and cash flow.
Global economic forces and conditions beyond our control affect our business both directly and indirectly through the business of our suppliers. We depend on developing and maintaining close relationships with our suppliers to sell us quality products on favorable terms. These relationships can be harmed by macro-economic factors beyond our control, including a general decline in the economy and economic conditions, the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, and inflation in the costs for goods and services. These events could negatively influence our suppliers, making it more difficult for them to meet their delivery and product-quality obligations to us.
The Westrock board of directors is responsible for overseeing the risks to Westrock related to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The Westrock board of directors has been routinely evaluating with Westrock’s management and its financial advisor the possible impact of such conflict on Westrock, including increased risk of cybersecurity attacks, supply chain disruptions and commodity price increases. As Westrock does not have direct operations or material direct customers in Russia or Ukraine, the direct impact of the ongoing conflict on Westrock is likely to be limited. Nonetheless, global macro-economic effects of the conflict, such as reduced fertilizer availability and higher coffee commodity prices may increase our costs, which we may not be able to pass on to our customers.
These financial and operational difficulties faced by both us and our suppliers could also increase the cost of the products we purchase, the timing of settlement for our obligations to the suppliers, or our ability to source products from them. We might not be able to pass on our increased costs to our customers and, to the extent these difficulties impact the timing of settlement for our obligation to the supplier, we may have a decrease in our cash flow from operations and may have to use our various financing arrangements for short-term liquidity needs.
Supply chain disruptions and cost increases related to inflation are having, and could continue to have, an adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition.
In 2021, we experienced inflationary cost increases in our underlying expenses, including commodity prices, transportation costs and labor. We have also been impacted by global supply chain disruption, which has increased lead times and freight costs. While we have taken steps to minimize the impact of these increased costs by working closely with our suppliers and customers, global supply chain disruption may deteriorate and inflationary pressures may increase further in 2022, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
In 2021, the global supply chain disruptions increased lead times for obtaining raw materials coming from outside of the U.S. for use in our Beverage Solutions segment. Overall, we saw ocean freight voyage time increase by upwards of 15 days, with unexpected transshipment stops related to container delays. In addition, these disruptions led to an increase in ocean freight costs as
well as over-the-road haulage domestically, that impacted both our Beverage Solutions and Sustainable Sourcing & Traceability segments. To mitigate these disruptions, we worked with vendors to increase the amount of on-hand inventory in U.S. warehouses from 3 weeks to 10 weeks of stock levels. In addition, we continued to purchase on a forward basis, sufficient volumes needed to compensate for ocean freight delays. At the beginning of 2021, we signed a 3-year agreement with our largest U.S. warehouse and over the road haulage vendor that allowed for a fuel surcharge in exchange for a dedicated fleet. While our inbound over-the-road freight rates increased in the first half of 2022 compared to the first half of 2021, due to fuel price increases, we have not experienced any lack of available trucking assets. We may not be able to pass all of the impact onto our customers, which will negatively impact our results.
To date, Westrock has been able to mitigate the impacts of inflation and supply chain disruptions and has not experienced a material impact to our results of operations, capital resources or liquidity. Our mitigation strategies, such as working with our warehouse and over the road haulage vendors, have provided us the necessary flexibility to respond to the risks, and have ensured that we have adequate access to raw materials to reliably provide our customers with the high-quality products they expect. At this time, it is too early to determine what impact these inflationary pressures and supply chain disruptions will have on our long-term growth strategies, as there is uncertainty in how long these risks may persist, and to what level we will be successful in passing increased costs along to our customers.
While we do not have any supply chains that are directly impacted by the Russia/Ukraine conflict, it is impacting fertilizer imports in Brazil, the largest coffee producing country in the world, as approximately one-fifth of its needed fertilizer supply comes from Russia. If the Russia/Ukraine conflict is prolonged, fertilizer availability could threaten supply volumes for coffee for future years, putting upward pressure on coffee commodity price, which we may not be able to pass on to our customers and may thus reduce our profits.
Risks Related to Our Securities
The listing of our securities on Nasdaq did not benefit from the process undertaken in connection with an underwritten initial public offering.
Our Common Shares and our Warrants are listed on the Nasdaq under the symbols “WEST” and “WESTW,” respectively. Unlike an underwritten initial public offering of our securities, the initial listing of our securities as a result of the Business Combination did not benefit from the following:
|●||the book-building process undertaken by underwriters that helps to inform efficient price discovery with respect to opening trades of newly listed securities;|
|●||underwriter support to help stabilize, maintain or affect the public price of the new issue immediately after listing; and|
|●||potential underwriter liability for material misstatements or omissions of fact in a prospectus used in connection with the securities being offered or for statements made by the underwriters’ securities analysts or other personnel.|
The lack of such a process in connection with the listing of our securities could result in diminished investor demand, inefficiencies in pricing and a more volatile public price for our securities in the near future than in connection with an underwritten initial public offering.
Westrock’s operating results and other operating metrics may fluctuate significantly from period to period, which could lead to a decline in the trading price of Common Shares.
Westrock’s operating results and other operating metrics have fluctuated in the past and may fluctuate in the future as a result of a number of factors, including variations in Westrock’s operating performance or the performance of Westrock’s competitors, changes in accounting principles, fluctuations in the price and supply of green coffee, fluctuations in the selling prices of Westrock’s products, the success of Westrock’s hedging strategy, research analyst reports about Westrock, Westrock’s competitors or Westrock’s industry, Westrock’s inability to meet analysts’ projections or guidance, strategic decisions by Westrock or Westrock’s competitors, such as acquisitions, capital investments or changes in business strategy, adverse outcomes of litigation, changes in or uncertainty about economic conditions, industry trends, geographies, or customers, activism by any large stockholder or group of stockholders, speculation by the investment community regarding Westrock’s business, actual or anticipated growth rates relative to Westrock’s competitors, acts of terrorism, natural disasters, changes in consumer preferences and market trends, seasonality, Westrock’s ability to
retain and attract customers, Westrock’s ability to manage inventory and fulfillment operations, and other factors described elsewhere in this risk factors section. Fluctuations in Westrock’s operating results due to these factors or for any other reason could cause the market price of Common Shares to decline. In addition, the stock markets have experienced price and volume fluctuations that have affected and continue to affect the market price of equity securities issued by many companies. In the past, some companies that have had volatile market prices for their securities have been subject to class action or derivative lawsuits. The filing of a lawsuit against Westrock, regardless of the outcome, could have a negative effect on Westrock’s business, financial condition and results of operations, as it could result in substantial legal costs and a diversion of management’s attention and resources, and require Westrock to make substantial payments to satisfy judgments or to settle litigation.
Certain provisions in Westrock’s certificate of incorporation and bylaws, the Investor Rights Agreement and of Delaware law may prevent or delay attempts to acquire a controlling interest in Westrock, which could decrease the trading price of Common Shares.
Westrock’s certificate of incorporation and bylaws contain, and Delaware law contains, provisions that are intended to deter coercive takeover practices and inadequate takeover bids by making such practices or bids unacceptably expensive to the bidder and to encourage prospective acquirers to negotiate with our board of directors rather than to attempt a hostile takeover. These provisions include, among others, those establishing:
|●||the division of our board of directors until the 2028 meeting of our stockholders into three classes of directors, with each class serving a staggered three-year term, and this classified board provision could have the effect of making the replacement of incumbent directors more time-consuming and difficult;|
|●||the inability of our stockholders to call a special meeting;|
|●||rules regarding how stockholders may present proposals or nominate directors for election at stockholder meetings;|
|●||the right of our board of directors to issue preferred stock without stockholder approval;|
|●||the inability of stockholders to remove directors without cause until the class to which such directors belong is declassified;|
|●||the ability of our directors, not our stockholders, to fill vacancies on the board of directors; and|
|●||certain terms of the Series A Preferred Shares, including the (i) rights of the holders of the Series A Preferred Shares to vote as a separate class with respect to certain matters, including amendments to the certificate of incorporation and bylaws of Westrock that would adversely affect the rights, preferences, privileges, voting power or special rights of the Series A Preferred Shares and, for so long as the BBH Investors own at least sixty percent (60%) of the Series A Preferred Shares that they owned as of August 26, 2022, any Fundamental Change in which the holders of Series A Preferred Shares would receive less than $18.50 per share (subject to customary adjustments), and (ii) the rights of the Preferred Shares in a Fundamental Change to receive at least a specified amount. See the section titled “Description of Securities — Preferred Stock” for more information.|
The Investor Rights Agreement also contains certain provisions that may prevent or delay attempts to acquire a controlling interest in Westrock. These include the following provisions:
|●||The board of directors is required to consist of ten directors and each of the WCC Investors, the BBH Investors and Riverview Sponsor are entitled to nominate for inclusion in Westrock’s slate of individuals for election to the board of directors two directors if they (or, in the case of Riverview Sponsor, a specified reference group) own at least 10% of the outstanding stock of Westrock and one director if they (or, in the case of Riverview Sponsor, a specified reference group) own at least 5% but less 10% of the outstanding stock of Westrock.|
|●||Any increase or decrease of the size of the Westrock board of directors above or below ten directors requires the consent of each of the WCC Investors, the BBH Investors and Riverview Sponsor, so long as they have the right to designate at least one director.|
|●||If an Escalation Event is ongoing during the period during which the BBH Investors have the right to designate at least one director pursuant to the Investor Rights Agreement, Westrock may not take specified actions, that would require lender consent under the Credit Facility, without the consent of the BBH Investors.|
See the section titled “Investor Rights Agreement” for more information.
In addition, because Westrock does not elect to be exempt from Section 203 of the DGCL, this provision could also delay or prevent a change of control that you may favor. Section 203 of the DGCL provides that, subject to limited exceptions, a person that acquires, or is affiliated with a person that acquires, more than 15% of the outstanding voting stock of a Delaware corporation (an “interested stockholder”) must not engage in any business combination with that corporation, including by merger, consolidation or acquisitions of additional shares, for a three-year period following the date on which the person became an interested stockholder, unless (i) prior to such time, the board of directors of such corporation approved either the business combination or the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder; (ii) upon consummation of the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder, the interested stockholder owned at least 85% of the voting stock of such corporation at the time the transaction commenced (excluding for purposes of determining the voting stock outstanding (but not the outstanding voting stock owned by the interested stockholder) the voting stock owned by directors who are also officers or held in employee benefit plans in which the employees do not have a confidential right to tender or vote stock held by the plan); or (iii) on or subsequent to such time the business combination is approved by the board of directors of such corporation and authorized at a meeting of stockholders by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the outstanding voting stock of such corporation not owned by the interested stockholder.
Westrock’s board of directors and management have significant control over Westrock’s business.
As of September 12, 2022, Westrock’s directors and executive officers beneficially own, directly or indirectly, in the aggregate, approximately 41,547,343 shares of Common Shares and no shares of Series A Preferred Shares, representing an aggregate of approximately 42.8% of the combined voting power of Westrock’s outstanding capital stock (excluding any Warrants, options or other securities exercisable for Common Shares). As a result, in addition to their day-to-day management roles, Westrock’s executive officers and directors are able to exercise significant influence on Westrock’s business as stockholders, including influence over election of members of the board of directors and the authorization of other corporate actions requiring stockholder approval.
Each of the WCC Investors and the BBH Investors will continue to have significant influence over the Company after this offering, including control over decisions that require the approval of stockholders, which could limit your ability to influence the outcome of matters submitted to stockholders for a vote.
As of September 12, 2022, the WCC Investors own approximately 39.8% of the outstanding Common Shares (including Series A Preferred Shares on an as-converted basis and excluding any Warrants, options or other securities exercisable for Common Shares) and the BBH Investors own approximately 19.9% of the outstanding Common Shares (including Series A Preferred Shares on an as-converted basis and excluding any Warrants, options or other securities exercisable for Common Shares). As long as these groups own or control a significant portion of outstanding voting power, they will have the ability to exercise substantial control over all corporate actions requiring stockholder approval, including:
|●||the election and removal of directors and the size of Westrock’s board of directors;|
|●||any amendment of Westrock’s certificate of incorporation or bylaws; or|
|●||the approval of mergers and other significant corporate transactions, including a sale of substantially all of our assets.|
Moreover, ownership of Westrock’s shares by such investor group may also adversely affect the trading price for Common Shares to the extent investors perceive disadvantages in owning shares of a company with large stockholder groups. For example, the concentration of ownership held by these two investor groups could delay, defer, or prevent a change in control of Westrock or impede a merger, takeover, or other business combination that may otherwise be favorable for us.
Additionally, the Investor Rights Agreement provides additional governance rights to these investor groups. The Westrock board of directors is required to consist of ten directors and each of the WCC Investors and the BBH Investors are entitled to nominate for inclusion in Westrock’s slate of individuals for election to the board of directors two directors if they own at least 10% of the outstanding stock of Westrock and one director if they own at least 5% but less 10% of the outstanding stock of Westrock. Any
increase or decrease of the size of the Westrock board of directors above or below ten directors will require the consent of each of the WCC Investors and the BBH Investors, so long as they have the right to designate at least one director. The Investor Rights Agreement also provides that if an Escalation Event is ongoing during the period during which the BBH Investors have the right to designate at least one director pursuant to the Investor Rights Agreement, Westrock may not take specified actions, that would require lender consent under the Credit Facility, without the consent of the BBH Investors. See the section titled “Investor Rights Agreement” for more information.
As of September 12, 2022, the WCC Investors own approximately 12.5% of the outstanding Series A Preferred Shares and the BBH Investors own approximately 81.9% of the outstanding Series A Preferred Shares. So long as any Series A Preferred Shares are outstanding, Westrock may not, without the affirmative vote or consent of the holders of record of at least a majority in voting power of the Series A Preferred Shares, voting together as a single, separate class: (a) amend, alter or repeal any provision of the certificate of incorporation, the by-laws or any other such organizational document of Westrock that would adversely affect the rights, preferences, privileges, voting power or special rights of the Series A Preferred Shares, (b) amend, alter, or supplement the certificate of incorporation, the by-laws or any other such organizational document of Westrock or any provision thereof, or take any other action to authorize or create, or increase the number of authorized or issued shares of, or any securities convertible into shares of, or reclassify any security into, or issue, any class or series of Senior Stock or Parity Stock, (c) increase or decrease the authorized number of Series A Preferred Shares or issue Series A Preferred Shares or Senior Stock or Parity Stock, and (d) for so long as the BBH Investors and their controlled affiliates own at least sixty percent (60%) of the Series A Preferred Shares that the BBH Investors owned at the Closing, consummate any Fundamental Change in which the holders of the Series A Preferred Shares would receive less than $18.50 per share (subject to customary adjustments).
If securities analysts do not publish research or reports about our business or if they publish negative evaluations of our shares, the price of our shares could decline.
The trading market for Westrock’s securities is influenced by the research and reports that industry or securities analysts may publish about Westrock, its business, market or competitors. Securities and industry analysts do not currently, and may never, publish research on Westrock. If no securities or industry analysts commence coverage of Westrock, Westrock’s share price and trading volume would likely be negatively impacted. If any of the analysts who may cover Westrock change their recommendation regarding Common Shares adversely, or provide more favorable relative recommendations about its competitors, the price of Common Shares would likely decline. If any analyst who may cover Westrock were to cease coverage or fail to regularly publish reports, Westrock could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause its share price or trading volume to decline.
Westrock’s existing equityholders and Riverview Sponsor are subject to lock-ups and as a result, there may be limited liquidity for Common Shares.
Westrock’s pre-Business Combination equityholders and Riverview Sponsor who are subject to lock-ups hold approximately 60.6% of Common Shares as of September 12, 2022 (excluding any Warrants, options or other securities exercisable for Common Shares). Such stockholders are subject to the lock-ups described elsewhere in this prospectus, and as a result there may initially be limited liquidity in the trading market for Common Shares. In addition, even once the applicable lock-up periods expire, the liquidity for Common Shares may remain limited given the substantial holdings of such stockholders, which could make the price of Common Shares more volatile and may make it more difficult for investors to buy or sell large amounts of Common Shares.
Because there are no current plans to pay cash dividends on Common Shares for the foreseeable future, you may not receive any return on investment unless you sell Common Shares for a price greater than that which you paid for it.
Westrock may retain future earnings, if any, for future operations, expansion and debt repayment and has no current plans to pay any cash dividends for the foreseeable future. Any decision to declare and pay dividends as a public company in the future will be made at the discretion of Westrock’s board of directors and will depend on, among other things, Westrock’s results of operations, financial condition, cash requirements, contractual restrictions, applicable law and other factors that Westrock’s board of directors may deem relevant. In addition, Westrock’s ability to pay dividends may be limited by covenants of any existing and future outstanding indebtedness it or its subsidiaries incur. As a result, you may not receive any return on an investment in Common Shares unless you sell your shares for a price greater than that which you paid for it.
Future resales of the Common Shares may cause the market price of Common Shares to drop significantly, even if Westrock’s business is doing well.
Westrock’s pre-Business Combination equityholders and Riverview Sponsor, who are subject to lock-ups, hold approximately 60.6% of Common Shares as of September 12, 2022 (excluding Warrants, options or other securities exercisable for Common Shares). Upon expiration of the applicable lock-up period for these stockholders and upon the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part, in a registered offering of securities pursuant to the Securities Act or otherwise in accordance with Rule 144 under the Securities Act, such Westrock stockholders may sell Common Shares in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions, which could have the effect of increasing the volatility in the trading price of the Common Shares or putting significant downward pressure on the price of the Common Shares. Further, sales of Common Shares upon expiration of the applicable lock-up period could encourage short sales by market participants. Generally, short selling means selling a security, contract or commodity not owned by the seller. The seller is committed to eventually purchase the financial instrument previously sold. Short sales are used to capitalize on an expected decline in the security’s price. As such, short sales of Common Shares could have a tendency to depress the price of the Common Shares, which could further increase the potential for short sales.
Westrock cannot predict the size of future issuances or sales of Common Shares or the effect, if any, that future issuances and sales of Common Shares will have on the market price of the Common Shares. Sales of substantial amounts of Common Shares, or the perception that such sales could occur, may materially and adversely affect prevailing market prices of Common Shares.
The market price for Common Shares may be subject to substantial fluctuations, which may make it difficult for you to sell your shares at the volumes, prices and times desired.
The market price of Common Shares may be highly volatile, which may make it difficult for you to sell your shares at the volumes, prices and times desired. Some factors that may have a significant effect on the market price of Common Shares include:
|●||actual or anticipated fluctuations in our operating results or those of our competitors;|
|●||changes in economic or business conditions;|
|●||changes in governmental regulation; and|
|●||publication of research reports about us, our competitors, or our industry, or changes in, or failure to meet, estimates made by securities analysts or ratings agencies of our financial and operating performance, or lack of research reports by industry analysts or ceasing of analyst coverage.|
Westrock’s issuance of additional capital stock in connection with financings, acquisitions, investments, our equity incentive plans or otherwise would dilute all other stockholders.
Westrock may issue additional capital stock in the future. Any such issuance would result in dilution to all other stockholders. In the future, Westrock may issue additional stock, including as a grant of equity awards to employees, directors and consultants under our equity incentive plans, to raise capital through equity financings or to acquire or make investments in companies, products or technologies for which we may issue equity securities to pay for such acquisition or investment. Any such issuances of additional capital stock may cause stockholders to experience significant dilution of their ownership interests and the per share value of Common Shares to decline.
Westrock’s certificate of incorporation contains an exclusive forum provision that may discourage lawsuits against Westrock and its directors and officers.
Westrock’s certificate of incorporation provides that, unless the Westrock board of directors consents in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Delaware Court of Chancery or, if the Delaware Court of Chancery declines to accept jurisdiction, any state or federal court within the District of Delaware, will be the sole and exclusive forum for any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, any action asserting a claim for or based on a breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our current or former directors or officers or other employee to us or our stockholders, including a claim alleging the aiding and abetting of such a breach of fiduciary duty, any action asserting a claim against us or any of our current or former directors or officers or other employees arising pursuant to any provision of the DGCL or our certificate of incorporation or bylaws, or any action asserting a claim
related to or involving us that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine under Delaware law and any action asserting an “internal corporate claim” as that term is defined in Section 115 of the DGCL (collectively, the “covered actions”). Section 27 of the Exchange Act provides that the district courts of the United States shall have exclusive jurisdiction of violations of the Exchange Act or the rules and regulations thereunder, and of all suits in equity and actions at law brought to enforce any liability or duty created by the Exchange Act or the rules and regulations thereunder. As a result, this forum selection provision does not apply to actions arising under the Exchange Act or the rules and regulations thereunder. This forum selection provision also does not apply to any other claim for which the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction. In addition, Westrock’s certificate of incorporation provides that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the federal district courts of the United States of America shall, to the fullest extent permitted by law, be the exclusive forum for the resolution of any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act, or the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder. There is uncertainty as to whether a court would enforce this provision with respect to claims under the Securities Act, and our stockholders cannot waive compliance with the federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder.
This exclusive forum provision may limit the ability of our stockholders to bring a claim in a judicial forum that such stockholders find favorable for disputes with us or our directors or officers, which may discourage such lawsuits against us and our directors and officers. As such, stockholders of Westrock seeking to bring a claim regarding the specified types of actions or proceedings described above may be subject to increased costs associated with litigating in Delaware as opposed to their home state or other forum, precluded from bringing such a claim in a forum they otherwise consider to be more favorable, and discouraged from bringing such claims as a result of the foregoing or other factors related to forum selection. Alternatively, if a court were to find this exclusive forum provision inapplicable to, or unenforceable in respect of, one or more of the specified types of actions or proceedings described above, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such matters in other jurisdictions or forums, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Westrock’s board of directors has the ability to issue blank check preferred stock, which may discourage or impede acquisition efforts or other transactions.
Westrock’s board of directors has the power, subject to applicable law, to issue series of preferred stock that could, depending on the terms of the series, impede the completion of a merger, tender offer or other takeover attempt, including the Preferred Shares. For instance, subject to applicable law, a series of preferred stock may impede a business combination by including class voting rights, which would enable the holder or holders of such series to block a proposed transaction. Westrock’s board of directors will make any determination to issue shares of preferred stock based on its judgment as to our and our stockholders’ best interests. Westrock’s board of directors, in so acting, could issue shares of preferred stock having terms which could discourage an acquisition attempt or other transaction that some, or a majority, of the stockholders may believe to be in their best interests or in which stockholders would have received a premium for their stock over the then-prevailing market price of the stock.
The Series A Preferred Shares give the holders thereof liquidation preferences, voting rights, certain consent rights, and the ability to convert such shares into Common Shares, potentially causing dilution to existing holders of Common Shares.
We have approximately 23.6 million Series A Preferred Shares issued and outstanding. In the event of our liquidation, winding-up or dissolution, the holders of the Series A Preferred Shares would have the right to receive proceeds from any such transaction before the holders of the Common Shares. The payment of the liquidation preference could result in holders of Common Shares not receiving any consideration if we were to liquidate, dissolve or wind up, either voluntarily or involuntarily. Additionally, the existence of the liquidation preference may reduce the value of the Common Shares, make it harder for us to sell Common Shares in offerings in the future, or prevent or delay a change of control.
Our certificate of incorporation provides holders of the Series A Preferred Shares with the right to vote on an as-converted basis with holders of Common Shares on matters submitted to a stockholder vote. Additionally, so long as any Series A Preferred Shares are outstanding, Westrock may not, without the affirmative vote or consent of the holders of record of at least a majority in voting power of the Series A Preferred Shares, voting together as a single, separate class: (a) amend, alter or repeal any provision of the certificate of incorporation, the by-laws or any other such organizational document of Westrock that would adversely affect the rights, preferences, privileges, voting power or special rights of the Series A Preferred Shares, (b) amend, alter, or supplement the certificate of incorporation, the by-laws or any other such organizational document of Westrock or any provision thereof, or take any other action to authorize or create, or increase the number of authorized or issued shares of, or any securities convertible into shares of, or reclassify any security into, or issue, any class or series of Senior Stock or Parity Stock, (c) increase or decrease the authorized number of the Series A Preferred Shares or issue Series A Preferred Shares or Senior Stock or Parity Stock, and (d) for so long as the BBH Investors and their controlled affiliates own at least sixty percent (60%) of the Series A Preferred Shares that the BBH Investors
owned at the Closing, consummate any Fundamental Change in which the holders of the Series A Preferred Shares would receive less than $18.50 per share (subject to customary adjustments).
These restrictions may adversely affect our ability to engage in business activities.
The Series A Preferred Shares are convertible into Common Shares at any time at the option of the holder. Such conversion may cause substantial dilution to holders of Common Shares. See the section titled “Description of Securities — Preferred Stock” for more information. Additionally, because our board of directors is entitled to designate the powers and preferences of preferred stock without a vote of our stockholders, subject to Nasdaq rules and regulations, our stockholders will have no control over what designations and preferences our future preferred stock, if any, will have.
The Series A Preferred Shares are only paid dividends in limited circumstances and Westrock currently does not expect to pay dividends on the Series A Preferred Shares.
While holders of Series A Preferred Shares are entitled to receive ratably any dividends that our board of directors declares and pays on the Common Shares, on an as-converted basis, when paid to holders of Common Shares, Westrock is not required to declare or pay any dividends solely on the Series A Preferred Shares. We currently do not intend to pay any dividends on the Common Shares or the Series A Preferred shares.
We must adhere to prescribed legal requirements and we must also have sufficient cash in order to be able to pay dividends on the Series A Preferred Shares.
In accordance with Section 170 of the DGCL, we may only declare and pay cash dividends on the Series A Preferred Shares if we have either net profits during the fiscal year in which the dividend is declared and/or the preceding fiscal year, or a “surplus”, meaning the excess, if any, of our net assets (total assets less total liabilities) over our capital. If the capital of the Company, computed in accordance with Sections 154 and 244 of the DGCL, shall have been diminished by depreciation in the value of its property, or by losses, or otherwise, to an amount less than the aggregate amount of the capital represented by the issued and outstanding stock of all classes having a preference upon the distribution of assets, the directors of the Company cannot declare and pay out of such net profits any dividends upon any shares of any classes of its capital stock until the deficiency in the amount of capital represented by the issued and outstanding stock of all classes having a preference upon the distribution of assets shall have been repaired. We can provide no assurance that we will satisfy such requirements in any given year. Further, even if we have the legal ability to declare a dividend, we may not have sufficient cash to pay dividends on the Series A Preferred Shares. Our ability to pay dividends may be impaired if any of the risks described in this prospectus actually occur. Also, payment of our dividends depends upon our financial condition and other factors as our board of directors may deem relevant from time to time. We cannot assure you that our businesses will generate sufficient cash flow from operations or that future borrowings will be available to us in an amount sufficient to enable us to pay dividends on the Series A Preferred Shares.
Our ability to pay dividends on the Series A Preferred Shares may be limited by the terms of our indebtedness.
Our ability to declare and pay cash dividends on our capital stock, including the Series A Preferred Shares, may be limited by the terms of our existing indebtedness, any indentures or other financing arrangements that we enter into in the future. In the event that any of our existing indebtedness, any indentures or other financing agreements in the future restrict our ability to pay dividends in cash on the Series A Preferred Shares, we may be unable to pay dividends in cash on the Series A Preferred Shares unless we can refinance amounts outstanding under those agreements. The Credit Facility includes a negative covenant that restricts the ability of Westrock Beverage Solutions, LLC, our subsidiary, to declare or pay any dividend or make any other distribution with respect to any of its equity interests except in specified circumstances.
If we are not paying full dividends on any Parity Stock, we will not be able to pay full dividends on the Series A Preferred Shares.
When dividends are not paid in full on outstanding shares of any class or series of Parity Stock for a dividend period, all dividends declared with respect to the Series A Preferred Shares and all shares of outstanding Parity Stock for such dividend period will be declared on a proportional basis so that the amount of dividends declared per share will bear to each other the same ratio that all unpaid dividends as of the end of the most recent dividend payment period per share on the Series A Preferred Shares and all unpaid dividends as of the end of the most recent dividend period per share of any Parity Stock bear to each other. Therefore, if we are not paying full dividends on any outstanding shares of Parity Stock, we will not be able to pay full dividends on the Series A Preferred Shares.
The Series A Preferred Shares rank junior to all of our indebtedness and other liabilities.
In the event of our bankruptcy, liquidation, dissolution or winding-up of our affairs, our assets will be available to pay obligations on the Series A Preferred Shares only after all of our indebtedness and other liabilities have been paid. The rights of holders of the Series A Preferred Shares to participate in the distribution of our assets will rank junior to the prior claims of our current and future creditors and any future series or class Senior Stock. Also, the Series A Preferred Shares effectively rank junior to all existing and future indebtedness and to the indebtedness and other liabilities of any future subsidiaries. Our existing subsidiaries are, and future subsidiaries would be, separate legal entities and have no legal obligation to pay any amounts to us in respect of dividends due on the Series A Preferred Shares. We have incurred and may in the future incur substantial amounts of debt and other obligations that will rank senior to the Series A Preferred Shares. If we are forced to liquidate our assets to pay our creditors, we may not have sufficient assets to pay amounts due on any or all of the Series A Preferred Shares then outstanding.
Subject to certain redemption rights, the Series A Preferred Shares represent perpetual equity interests in us, and investors should not expect us to redeem the Series A Preferred Shares on any such date that the Series A Preferred Shares become redeemable by us or on any particular date afterwards.
Subject to certain redemption rights (described below), the Series A Preferred Shares represents perpetual equity interests in us and have no maturity. As a result, unlike our indebtedness, the Series A Preferred Shares will not give rise to a claim for payment of a principal amount at a particular date. A holder of Series A Preferred Shares may only require the Company to redeem all or any whole number of such holder’s Series A Preferred Shares after February 26, 2028 (i.e. the five and a half year anniversary of the Closing). As a result, holders of the Westrock Series A Preferred may be required to bear the financial risks of an investment in the Series A Preferred Shares for a significant period of time. Additionally, the ability of holders to require us to redeem their Series A Preferred Shares may be limited by applicable law and the terms of any credit agreement or similar arrangement pursuant to which a third-party lender provides debt financing to Westrock or its subsidiaries.
After February 26, 2028, we may redeem the Series A Preferred Shares on a date or dates determined in our sole discretion and the investor may not find a comparable or more favorable new investment.
Subject to certain rights that are personal to the BBH Investors, at any time after February 26, 2028 (i.e. the five and a half year anniversary of the Closing), we may redeem, ratably, in whole or, from time to time in part, the Series A Preferred Shares of any holder then outstanding at a redemption price in cash, equal to the greater of (i) the liquidation preference and (ii) the product of (x) the number of Common Shares that would have been obtained from converting one Series A Preferred Share on the date of the exercise of such call is notified by Westrock (including fractional shares for this purpose) and (y) the simple average of the daily volume weighted average price per Common Share for the ten (10) trading days ending on and including the trading day immediately preceding the date of the exercise of such call by Westrock. If we redeem the Series A Preferred Shares, then from and after the redemption date, such redeemed shares shall cease to be outstanding and all rights with respect to such redeemed shares shall cease and terminate. If we choose to redeem the Series A Preferred Shares, you may not be able to reinvest the redemption proceeds in a comparable or more favorable new security.
The rights of holders to require us to redeem their Series A Preferred Shares may be limited by applicable law and the terms of our indebtedness.
Even though holders of the Series A Preferred Shares have the right to require Westrock to redeem (after February 26, 2028 (i.e. the five and a half year anniversary of the Closing)) all or any whole number of such holders’ Series A Preferred Shares, we may be prohibited from doing so by applicable law or the terms of any credit agreement or similar arrangement pursuant to which a third-party lender provides debt financing to Westrock or its subsidiaries. To the extent any redemption is prohibited to be in cash, the liquidation preference on each unredeemed Series A Preferred Share will start accreting daily at the PIK Rate. In such case, any holder of Series A Preferred Shares may thereafter put any of its outstanding Series A Preferred Shares to Westrock only on August 26 of each year (i.e. the anniversary date of the Closing), with the PIK Rate increasing by two percent with respect to unredeemed Series A Preferred Shares on each occasion that Westrock cannot satisfy the redemption entirely in cash. The PIK Rate may be insufficient to compensate the holder of the opportunity cost of retaining its investment in the Series A Preferred Shares and, once the PIK Rate is in effect, holders would no longer have the ability to time their redemptions as holder initiated redemptions would be limited to occur on August 26 of each year.
Upon the occurrence of a Fundamental Change, holders of the Series A Preferred Shares may be redeemed by the Company for cash and thus would not have any continuing interests in Westrock or the entity resulting from such Fundamental Change.
Upon the occurrence of a Fundamental Change, Westrock is required to redeem the Series A Preferred Shares at a price per share equal to the greater of (i) the liquidation preference of the Series A Preferred Shares and (ii) the amount the Series A Preferred Shares would have received if they were converted into Common Shares immediately prior to such Fundamental Change. Westrock may, but is not required to, pay a portion of the redemption price in qualifying securities of Westrock or the acquiring, surviving or resulting entity in such Fundamental Change. Thus, following a Fundamental Change, holders of the Series A Preferred Shares may not have any continuing interest in Westrock or the acquiring, surviving or resulting entity in such Fundamental Change, even if the holders of Common Shares were able to maintain a continuing interest in Westrock or receive an interest in such acquiring, surviving or resulting entity. In such a situation, holders of the redeemed Series A Preferred Shares may not be able to find an investment opportunity comparable to the Series A Preferred Shares. Additionally, holders of Series A Preferred Shares only have consent rights with respect to a Fundamental Change if (x) the BBH Investors and their controlled affiliates own at least sixty percent (60%) of the Series A Preferred Shares that the BBH Investors owned on August 26, 2022 (i.e. at the Closing) and (y) the Series A Preferred Shares would receive less than $18.50 per share (subject to customary adjustments) in such Fundamental Change.
Future issuances of preferred stock may reduce the value of the Series A Preferred Shares.
Subject to receiving the consent of holders of a majority of the Series A Preferred Shares, we may sell additional shares of Senior Stock or Parity Stock. The creation and subsequent issuance of additional classes of Parity Stock, could dilute the interests of the holders of the Series A Preferred Shares. Any issuance of Senior Stock would not only dilute the interests of the holders of Series A Preferred Shares offered hereby, but also could affect our ability to pay distributions on, redeem or pay the liquidation preference on the Series A Preferred Shares.
The market price of the Common Shares, which may fluctuate significantly, may adversely affect the value of the Series A Preferred Shares.
Each holder may convert its Series A Preferred Shares into a number of Common Shares equal to the quotient of (a) the liquidation preference as of the applicable conversion date, divided by (b) the conversion price as of the applicable conversion date, which is currently $11.50 per Series A Preferred Share, plus cash in lieu of fractional shares. Westrock is not required to, declare or pay any dividends on the Series A Preferred Shares other than the Participating Dividend. Thus, we expect that the market price of the Common Shares will affect the value of the Series A Preferred Shares more than any other single factor. This may result in greater volatility in the value of the Series A Preferred Shares than would be expected for nonconvertible preferred stock. The market price of the Common Shares (and as a result, the value of the Series A Preferred Shares) will likely fluctuate in response to a number of factors, including, among other things, the following, most of which are beyond our control:
|●||actual or anticipated fluctuations in our operating results or financial condition;|
|●||new laws or regulations or new interpretations of existing laws or regulations applicable to our business;|
|●||sales of the Common Shares by our stockholders;|
|●||broad market fluctuations and general economic conditions, including volatility in the market prices of stocks generally and, in turn, the Common Shares; and|
|●||the research and reports that securities analysts publish about our company and our industry.|
Anti-takeover provisions in our organizational documents could discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company and may also adversely affect the trading prices of the Common Shares and, in turn, adversely affect the value of the Series A Preferred Shares.
Future sales or issuances of Common Shares or securities convertible into Common Shares may dilute the ownership interests of holders of our Common Shares, which may adversely affect the market price of the Common Shares. In addition, future sales or issuances of substantial amounts of Common Shares may be at prices below the current market price of the Common Shares and may adversely affect the market price of the Common Shares. Similarly, future sales or issuances of substantial amounts of
securities convertible into Common Shares may have conversion prices below the current market price of the Common Shares and may adversely affect the market price of the Common Shares. Any adverse effect on the market price of the Common Shares will adversely affect the value of the Series A Preferred Shares.
Market interest rates may materially and adversely affect the value of the Series A Preferred Shares.
One of the factors that will influence the price of the Series A Preferred Shares is the dividend yield on the Series A Preferred Shares relative to market interest rates. Westrock is not required pay any dividends on the Series A Preferred Shares other than the Participating Dividend. Continued increase in market interest rates may lead prospective purchasers of the Series A Preferred Shares to expect a higher dividend yield (and higher interest rates would likely increase our borrowing costs and potentially decrease funds available for dividend payments). Thus, higher market interest rates could cause the value of the Series A Preferred Shares to materially decrease.
The conversion price of the Series A Preferred Shares may not be adjusted for all dilutive events that may adversely affect the value of the Series A Preferred Shares or the Common Shares issuable upon conversion of the Series A Preferred Shares.
The number of Common Shares that you are entitled to receive upon conversion of the Series A Preferred Shares is subject to adjustment only for a limited set of circumstances, including the issuance of Common Shares as a dividend or distribution to the holders of Common Shares, a subdivision or combination of the Common Shares, reclassification of the Common Shares into a greater or lesser number of Common Shares, certain tender or exchange offers for the Common Shares, and issuances of Common Shares below a specified price. However, other events, such as certain issuance of Common Shares or options or rights to purchase such shares or other form of equity-based or equity-related awards to employees, directors or consultants, issuances of Common Shares above a specified price or in connection with certain business combination or acquisition transactions, and issuance of Common Shares pursuant to any option, warrant, right, or exercisable, exchangeable or convertible security, which may materially and adversely affect the market price of the Common Shares, may not result in any adjustment. Further, if any of these other events materially and adversely affects the market price of the Common Shares, it may also adversely affect the value of the Series A Preferred Shares. In addition, the terms of our Series A Preferred Shares do not expressly restrict our ability to offer Common Shares or securities convertible into Common Shares or restrict the price at which we may offer such securities in the future or to engage in other transactions that could dilute the Common Shares. We have no obligation to consider the interests of the holders of our Series A Preferred Shares in engaging in any such offering or transaction.
An active trading market for the Series A Preferred Shares does not exist and may not develop.
The Series A Preferred Shares are a new issue of securities with no established trading market. We do not currently intend to list the Series A Preferred Shares on any stock exchange, automated quotation system or other market. We cannot guarantee that a trading market for the Series A Preferred Shares will develop or, if a trading market for the Series A Preferred Shares does develop, the depth or liquidity of that market or the ability of the holders to sell the Series A Preferred Shares.
There will be limited, if any, liquidity for the Series A Preferred Shares until the expiration of the lock-up period.
All holders of the Series A Preferred Shares are subject to lock-up agreements which prohibits such holders from selling or transferring their Series A Preferred Share, subject to customary exceptions, until the earliest to occur of (i) February 22, 2023, (ii) the date that the last sale price of Common Shares equals or exceeds $12.00 per share (as adjusted for stock splits, stock dividends, reorganizations, recapitalizations and the like) for any twenty (20) trading days within any thirty (30)-day trading day period commencing January 23, 2023, and (iii) the date on which Westrock completes a subsequent transaction involving a consolidation, merger or similar transaction that results in (x) a change in the majority of the Westrock board of directors or (y) holders of voting securities of Westrock immediately prior to the consummation of such transaction retaining less than fifty percent (50%) of the voting securities of the entity resulting from such transaction. Until the expiration of this lock-up period, there will be very limited, if any, liquidity for the Series A Preferred Shares.
Holders of Series A Preferred Shares have limited consent rights.
Holders of our Series A Preferred Shares only have class specific consent rights with respect to the following matters: (a) amending, altering or repealing any provision of the certificate of incorporation, the by-laws or any other such organizational document of Westrock that would adversely affect the rights, preferences, privileges, voting power or special rights of the Series A Preferred Shares, (b) amending, altering, or supplementing the certificate of incorporation, the by-laws or any other such
organizational document of Westrock or any provision thereof, or taking any other action to authorize or create, or increase the number of authorized or issued shares of, or any securities convertible into shares of, or reclassifying any security into, or issuing, any class or series of Senior Stock or Parity Stock, (c) increasing or decreasing the authorized number of Series A Preferred Shares or issuing Series A Preferred Shares or any class or series of Senior Stock or Parity Stock and (d) for so long as the BBH Investors and their controlled affiliates own at least sixty percent (60%) of the Series A Preferred Shares that the BBH Investors owned at the closing of the Business Combination, consummating any Fundamental Change in which the holders of Series A Preferred Shares would receive less than $18.50 per share (subject to customary adjustments).
While holders of the Series A Preferred Shares are entitled to vote, on an as-converted basis, as a single class with the holders of the Common Shares, the holders of Common Shares hold 75.7% of the voting power of our capital stock (as of September 12, 2022) and thus may be able to approve actions detrimental to the interest of the Series A Preferred Shares and which are not subject to the above described consent rights without the consent of the holders of the Series A Preferred Shares.
USE OF PROCEEDS
Any sales of Common Shares or Series A Preferred Shares by the Holders pursuant to this prospectus will be solely for the Holders’ respective accounts. The Company will not receive any proceeds from any such sales.
The Company will receive up to an aggregate of approximately $228.9 million from the exercise of the Warrants, assuming the exercise in full of all of the Warrants for cash. The Company expects to use any such net proceeds from the exercise of the Warrants for general corporate purposes. The Company will have broad discretion over the use of proceeds from the exercise of the Warrants. There is no assurance that the holders of the Warrants will elect to exercise any or all of such Warrants for cash.
The Holders will pay any underwriting discounts, selling commissions and stock transfer taxes and fees incurred by such Holders in connection with any sale of their Common Shares or the Series A Preferred Shares. The Company will generally bear all other costs, fees and expenses incurred in effecting the registration of the Common Shares and Series A Preferred Shares covered by this prospectus, including, without limitation, all registration and filing fees, Nasdaq listing fees and fees and expenses of Company counsel and independent registered public accountants.
DETERMINATION OF OFFERING PRICE
The offering price of the Common Shares underlying the Warrants offered hereby is determined by reference to the exercise price of the Warrants of $11.50 per share. The Public Warrants are listed on The Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “WESTW.”
We cannot currently determine the price or prices at which Common Shares or Series A Preferred Shares may be sold by the Holders under this prospectus.
MARKET INFORMATION FOR COMMON STOCK AND DIVIDEND POLICY
The Common Shares and Public Warrants are currently listed on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbols “WEST” and “WESTW,” respectively. The Series A Preferred Shares are not currently listed on any stock exchange, automated quotation system or other market and we do not currently intend to list the Series A Preferred Shares on any stock exchange, automated quotation system or other market. As of September 12, 2022, there were 74 holders of record of our Common Shares, 12 holders of record of our Series A Preferred Shares and one holder of record of our Public Warrants.
We have not declared or paid any dividends on our Common Shares or the Series A Preferred Shares to date. We anticipate that we will retain all of our future earnings, if any, for use in the operation and expansion of our business and do not anticipate paying cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Any decision to declare and pay dividends in the future will be made at the sole discretion of our board of directors and will depend on, among other things, our results of operations, cash requirements, financial condition, contractual restrictions and other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant.
UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED COMBINED FINANCIAL INFORMATION
On August 26, 2022, Westrock completed its previously announced Business Combination pursuant to the terms of the Transaction Agreement.
Prior to the Closing, holders of shares of class A common stock of Riverview (the “Riverview Class A Shares”) had the right to redeem all or a portion of their Riverview Class A Shares for a per share price calculated in accordance with Riverview’s governing documents. The following unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information is based on the historical financial statements of Westrock and Riverview after giving effect to the Business Combination and reflects the actual redemption of 18,381,849 Riverview Class A Shares.
Furthermore, unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information includes the following:
|●||issuance of 6,618,151 Common Shares to shareholders of Riverview Class A Shares that did not exercise their redemption rights with respect their Riverview Class A Shares;|
|●||issuance of 6,250,000 Common Shares to shareholders of shares of Class B common stock of Riverview (the “Riverview Class B Shares”, and together with the Riverview Class A Shares, the “Riverview Shares”), which were automatically converted into Riverview Class A Shares and then into Common Shares at Closing;|
|●||issuance of 23,090,000 Common Shares pursuant to the PIPE Financing, which includes 2,500,000 Common Shares that were issued in exchange for the retirement of $25.0 million of subordinated debt that was outstanding immediately prior to the Closing; and|
|●||entry into a $350.0 million Credit Agreement with Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., which includes a $175.0 million Term Loan Facility and a $175.0 million Revolving Credit Facility.|
The unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information has been prepared in accordance with Article 11 of Regulation S-X as amended by the final rule, Release No. 33-10786 “Amendments to Financial Disclosures about Acquired and Disposed Businesses.” The unaudited pro forma condensed combined balance sheet as of June 30, 2022 gives effect to the Business Combination as if it had been consummated on June 30, 2022. The unaudited pro forma condensed combined statements of operations for the six months ended June 30, 2022 and for the year ended December 31, 2021, give effect to the Business Combination as if it had occurred on January 1, 2021.
The unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information has been derived from and should be read in conjunction with:
|●||the related notes to the unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial statements;|
|●||the historical unaudited financial statements of Westrock as of and for the six months ended June 30, 2022 and the related notes, included elsewhere in this prospectus;|
|●||the historical audited financial statements of Westrock as of and for the year ended December 31, 2021 and the related notes, included elsewhere in this prospectus;|
|●||the historical unaudited financial statements of Riverview as of and for the six months ended June 30, 2022 and the related notes, included elsewhere in this prospectus;|
|●||the historical audited financial statements of Riverview as of and for the year ended December 31, 2021 and the related notes, included elsewhere in this prospectus; and|
|●||the section titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and other financial information relating to Westrock and Riverview included in this prospectus.|
The Business Combination is a capital transaction in substance and not a business combination under ASC 805. As a result, Westrock is treated as the accounting acquirer and Riverview is treated as the acquired company for financial reporting purposes per ASC 805. Accordingly, for accounting purposes, the Business Combination is treated similar to an equity contribution in exchange for the issuance of Common Shares. The net assets of Riverview, which are primarily comprised of cash and cash equivalents, are stated at historical cost with no goodwill or other intangible assets recorded. This determination was primarily based on the following:
|●||Westrock’s pre-Business Combination equityholders considered in the aggregate have a majority interest of voting power in the combined entity;|
|●||Westrock’s senior management continues to comprise the senior management of the combined company;|
|●||The relative size and valuation of Westrock compared to Riverview; and|
|●||Westrock’s business comprises the ongoing operations of the combined company immediately following the consummation of the Business Combination.|
Accordingly, for accounting purposes, the financial statements of the combined entity represent a continuation of the financial statements of Westrock, and the net assets of Riverview will be stated at historical cost, with no goodwill or other intangible assets recorded.
On April 4, 2022, Riverview entered into the Transaction Agreement with Westrock, Merger Sub I and Merger Sub II, pursuant to which, among other things, on August 26, 2022: (i) Westrock converted from a Delaware limited liability company to a Delaware corporation, (ii) Merger Sub I merged with and into Riverview, with Riverview surviving the merger as a direct wholly owned subsidiary of Westrock (such merger, the “SPAC Merger”) and (iii) immediately following the consummation of the SPAC Merger, Riverview merged with and into Merger Sub II, with Merger Sub II surviving the merger as a direct wholly owned subsidiary of Westrock (together with the SPAC Merger, the “Mergers”). In this section, we refer to Westrock prior to the Conversion, when it was a limited liability company, as the “Converting Company”.
Pursuant to the Transaction Agreement, (a) each issued and outstanding common unit of the Converting Company (the “Common Unit”) was automatically converted into 0.1049203474320 Common Shares, (b) each issued and outstanding common equivalent preferred unit of the Converting Company (the “Preferred Unit”) for which the holder had not elected to convert such unit into shares of Series A Preferred Shares, automatically converted into 0.1086138208640 Common Shares if such Preferred Unit was designated a Series A common equivalent preferred unit of the Converting Company (the “Series A Preferred Units”) or 0.1049203474320 Common Shares if such Preferred Unit was designated a Series B common equivalent preferred unit of the Converting Company (the “Series B Preferred Units”) and (c) each outstanding Preferred Unit, for which the holder thereof had made an election to convert such unit into Series A Preferred Shares, converted into 0.1086138208740 Series A Preferred Shares if such Preferred Unit was a Series A Preferred Unit or 0.0919280171940 Series A Preferred Shares if such Preferred Unit was a Series B Preferred Unit.
In addition, at Closing, (i) each outstanding Riverview Class B Share (other than the Riverview Class B Shares held as treasury stock, which were automatically cancelled and extinguished at the Closing), automatically converted into one Riverview Class A Share, (ii) each outstanding Riverview Class A Share (including the Riverview Class A Shares resulting from the conversion of Riverview Class B Shares at Closing but excluding any Riverview Class A Shares held as treasury stock, which were automatically cancelled and extinguished at Closing) were exchanged for one Common Share, (iii) each outstanding warrant to purchase Riverview Class A Shares (the “Riverview Warrants”) was, by its terms, automatically converted into a comparable Warrant to purchase Common Shares on the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the warrant agreement for the Riverview Warrants and the Warrant Agreement, (iv) each Riverview Share held immediately prior to Closing by Riverview as treasury stock was automatically canceled and extinguished and (v) each share of capital stock of Merger Sub I issued and outstanding immediately prior to Closing was automatically canceled and extinguished and converted into one share of common stock, par value $0.01, of the surviving corporation in the SPAC Merger, and in connection with obtaining the approval of the Mergers by Riverview’s stockholders, Riverview provided an opportunity for its stockholders to redeem all or a portion of their outstanding Riverview Class A Shares as set forth therein.
Concurrently with the execution of the Transaction Agreement, Westrock and Riverview each entered into Subscription Agreements with 35 PIPE Investors, pursuant to which, the PIPE Investors agreed to subscribe for and purchase, an aggregate of 2,850,000 shares of Common Shares and 22,150,000 Riverview Class A Shares for a purchase price of $10.00 per share, for aggregate
gross proceeds of $250.0 million, on the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Subscription Agreements. The Subscription Agreements with Riverview provided, subject to customary conditions, that if the subscriber held any Riverview Class A Shares acquired after the date of the subscriber’s Subscription Agreement and did not exercise any redemption rights with respect thereto (such shares, the “offset shares”), then such subscriber could elect to reduce the number of Riverview Class A Shares it was required to purchase in the PIPE Financing by the number of such offset shares. At Closing, there were 1,910,000 offset shares, which reduced the proceeds of the PIPE Financing by $19.1 million.
The following summarizes the pro forma Common Shares outstanding as presented in the unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial statements, excluding the potentially dilutive impact of Warrants, options to purchase Common Shares, restricted stock unit awards, and 23,587,952 Series A Preferred Shares, on an as-converted basis to Common Shares:
Equityholders of Westrock prior to the Business Combination
Riverview public stockholders
Riverview Sponsor and holders of other Riverview Class B Shares
The unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information is for illustrative purposes only and does not necessarily reflect what Westrock’s financial condition or results of operations would have been had the Business Combination, PIPE Financing and Credit Agreement occurred on the dates indicated. The actual financial position and results of operations may differ significantly from the pro forma amounts reflected herein due to a variety of factors. The unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information does not give effect to any anticipated synergies, operating efficiencies, tax savings, or cost savings that may be associated with the Business Combination. You should not rely on the unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information as being indicative of the historical results that would have been achieved had the companies always been combined or the future results that the combined entity will experience. See also the section titled “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward -Looking Statements”.
UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED
COMBINED BALANCE SHEET
AS OF JUNE 30, 2022
(in thousands, except unit and share data)
Cash and cash equivalents
Accounts receivable, net
Prepaid expenses and other current assets
Total Current Assets