Posts Tagged ‘#COVID19News’

Innova Medical Group Forms Strategic Partnership with Attomarker to Accelerate COVID Immunity Testing

PASADENA, Calif., May 5, 2022 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Innova Medical Group, Inc., a global health screening and diagnostic innovator and a world leader in the manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 rapid tests, along with Attomarker, a nanophotonic biochemical testing company spun from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, announced today that the two companies have formed a strategic partnership to expedite immunity testing for COVID and other diseases globally.

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Attomarker’s CE marked and UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) accredited rapid COVID Antibody Immunity Test assesses an individual’s antibody levels and estimates when they will likely be on the edge of immunity; providing vital insight for patients and public health officials to better inform the timing of vaccine shots and other protective measures.

The device is the first of its kind to measure an individual’s immune response to a COVID-19 vaccination, booster, infection – or a combination of the immune triggers and is currently available in clinics in the UK and the Caribbean.

As part of the partnership, Innova Medical Group made a minority investment in Attomarker and will become an official distributor of its products. Innova’s commercial capability in the rapid test space will help stimulate the development of Attomarker’s unique, multiplexed platform technology to achieve advances in rapid point-of-care diagnostics and personalized medicine.

“We are excited about working with the Attomarker team to help them accelerate growth,” said Daniel Elliott, CEO of Innova Medical Group. “Adding a much-needed immunity test into Innova’s COVID rapid test portfolio strengthens the pandemic management solution we offer to our global customers.”

Attomarker’s immunity testing technology measures multiple biomarkers in blood and saliva to provide a personal profile for up to 20 tests in seven minutes. Forthcoming tests include biomarkers for liver health, food allergies and fertility.

“Attomarker’s technology has the potential to change healthcare diagnosis and treatment with a portfolio of near-patient rapid diagnostics that would lead to more effective clinical intervention,” added Todd Malan, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Innova. “Most immediately, as protection from previous COVID infections and vaccinations decline and boosters continue to roll out, Attomarker’s science-based COVID-19 Antibody Immunity Test will be a valuable tool for individuals to make science based personalized healthcare decisions.”

Professor Andrew Shaw, CEO and founder of Attomarker said, ”This strategic alliance with Innova delivers a big boost to the Attomarker vision to a truly global perspective. We look forward to bringing more rapid solutions to help clinicians optimize interventions and enable people to take greater control over their own health.”

About Innova Medical Group
Innova Medical Group is a global health screening and diagnostic innovator driven to dramatically improve health outcomes worldwide with equitable, high-value testing solutions. Our strategic and iterative approach enables us to create, build and deploy myriad accessible tests customized to meet and empower the user at their point of need.

About Attomarker Ltd
Attomarker Ltd is a MedTech company which was formed as a result of ground-breaking work conducted by Professor Andrew Shaw and his research group at the University of Exeter. The Attomarker vision is to personalise diagnostics and medicine by creating the world’s best, most efficient, affordable and sustainable diagnostics platforms for near patient, home testing and mail away use. Attomarker offers a complete rapid near-patient diagnostics system and has an exciting product pipeline.

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Royal Caribbean Group provides update on COVID-19, Omicron variant impact

MIAMI, Dec. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Today, Royal Caribbean Group provided an update on the status of its business and the impact of the Omicron variant.

Knowledge about COVID-19 and how to deal with it have been in a constant state of flux for the last two years. Omicron has significantly altered the COVID-19 landscape for everyone, and the Royal Caribbean Group is no exception.

As widely reported, the Omicron variant is significantly more infectious than its predecessors and has already become the dominant form of COVID-19 in the U.S. and elsewhere. Fortunately, Omicron also appears to cause significantly less severe symptoms than earlier variants, especially for people who are vaccinated. Cruising remains one of the few places one can vacation knowing that almost everyone you meet is fully vaccinated.

The recent experience on Royal Caribbean Group ships is consistent with these observations. The numbers indicate an increase in people testing positive without a corresponding increase in people becoming ill. Since cruising restarted in the U.S. in June 2021, the Royal Caribbean Group has carried 1.1 million guests with 1,745 people testing positive – a positivity rate of 0.162%.  Furthermore, the vast majority of those cases had no symptoms or only mild symptoms, with only 41 people needing hospitalization. None of the Omicron cases have been severe or needed to be taken to a hospital. These figures are a result of almost everyone onboard having been vaccinated and having a negative test before boarding.

“Omicron is having a big short-term impact on everyone, but many observers see this as a major step towards COVID-19 becoming endemic rather than epidemic,” said Richard Fain, Chairman & CEO. “We don’t like to see even one case, but our experience is a fraction of the comparable statistics of virtually any other comparable location or industry. Few businesses are subject to such intense scrutiny, regulation, and disclosure requirements by so many authorities, and we welcome that scrutiny because of our commitment to safety. We intend to maintain our goal of delivering the safest vacation on land or sea and will constantly adjust our procedures to accomplish this even in the face of Omicron’s amazing transmissibility.”

Royal Caribbean Group’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Calvin Johnson emphasizes: “The company is navigating through the ever-evolving information on the Omicron variant.  Our case count has spiked, but the level of severity is significantly milder. We will remain nimble and in constant contact with health authorities. For example, even before Omicron, we have been giving all our crewmembers booster shots as they became eligible.”

Following a very strong Cyber weekend, the company experienced a decline in bookings and increased cancellations for near-term sailings but to a lesser degree than that experienced with the Delta variant. Load factors for sailings in the first half of 2022 remain below historical levels, as expected. However, sailings for the second half of 2022 continue to be booked within historical ranges, at higher prices with and without Future Cruise Credits (FCCs), with strong demand from the critical U.S. market.

The travel industry is experiencing significant disruptions by air transport and other service providers due to the spread of Omicron.  Such disruptions are particularly impactful during the holiday season as the need increases and the labor supply is impacted by the current spike in cases.  Similar issues are impacting the company’s onboard service capabilities.  In addition, the company is experiencing service disruptions at selected destinations and to date has cancelled or significantly modified 16 destination calls out of 331. The company expects these disruptions to continue in the near term and then decline as the world adjusts to the current trends.

Fain concluded, “We are constantly learning and adjusting as Omicron appears to be ushering in a new phase in the fight against COVID-19. We expect these factors to have a negative impact in the short term but are optimistic they will lead us to a more pervasive but less severe health environment. Taken together, this should enable us to produce a strong transitional year in 2022 and a very strong 2023.”


About Royal Caribbean Group

Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) is one of the leading cruise companies in the world with a global fleet of 60 ships traveling to more than 800 destinations around the world. Royal Caribbean Group is the owner and operator of three award-winning cruise brands: Royal Caribbean InternationalCelebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises, and it is also a 50% owner of a joint venture that operates TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. Together, the brands have an additional 13 ships on order as of September 30, 2021. Learn more at or

Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release relating to, among other things, our future performance estimates, forecasts and projections constitute forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding revenues, costs and financial results for 2021 and beyond. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “driving,” “estimate,” “expect,” “goal,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “seek,” “should,” “will,” “would,” “considering,” and similar expressions are intended to help identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s current expectations, are based on judgments, are inherently uncertain and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from the future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied in those forward-looking statements. Examples of these risks, uncertainties and other factors include, but are not limited to, the impact of COVID-19 and other contagious illnesses on economic conditions, industries and societies generally, the travel industry and the financial position and operating results of our Company; required or voluntary travel restrictions, including current and potential suspensions of cruises; guest cancellations; the pace and effectiveness of our return to service; our ability to satisfy the Framework for the Conditional Sailing Order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the impact of state regulation and litigation regarding proof of passenger vaccination; our ability to obtain sufficient financing, capital or revenues to satisfy liquidity needs, capital expenditures, debt repayments and other financing needs; the effectiveness of the actions we have taken to improve and address our liquidity needs; the impact of the economic and geopolitical environment on key aspects of our business, such as the demand for cruises, passenger spending and operating costs; supply chain disruptions; incidents or adverse publicity concerning our ships, port facilities, land destinations and/or passengers or the cruise vacation industry in general; concerns over safety, health and security of guests and crew; the cost and effectiveness of our safety protocols relating to COVID-19; impairments of our goodwill, long-lived assets, equity investments and notes receivable; difficulties sourcing crew, provisions and supplies; the occurrence of COVID-19 and other contagious diseases on our ships and concerns about the risk of illness when traveling to, on or from our ships; unavailability of ports of call; growing anti-tourism sentiments and environmental concerns; changes in U.S. foreign travel policy; uncertainties relating to conducting business internationally and expanding into new markets and new ventures; our ability to recruit, develop and retain high quality personnel; changes in operating and financing costs; the impact of our current and future indebtedness; the impact of foreign currency exchange rates, inflation and interest rate and fuel price fluctuations; labor shortages; the impact of conversions of our convertible notes, if any, in shares of our common stock or a combination of cash and shares of our common stock; our expectation that we will not declare or pay dividends on our common stock for the foreseeable future; vacation industry competition and changes in industry capacity and overcapacity; the risks and costs related to cyber security attacks, data breaches, protecting our systems and maintaining data security and integrity, as well as personal data of our guests, employees and others; the impact of new or changing legislation and regulations or governmental orders on our business; pending or threatened litigation, investigations and enforcement actions; the effects of weather, natural disasters and seasonality on our business; emergency ship repairs, including the related lost revenue; the impact of issues at shipyards, including ship delivery delays, ship cancellations or ship construction cost increases; shipyard unavailability; the unavailability or cost of air service; and uncertainties of a foreign legal system as we are not incorporated in the United States.

In addition, many of these risks and uncertainties are heightened and will continue to be heightened, or in the future may be heightened, by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not possible to predict or identify all such risks.

More information about factors that could affect our operating results is included under the caption “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly report on Form 10-Q, as well as our other filings with the SEC, copies of which may be obtained by visiting our Investor Relations website at or the SEC’s website at Undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Leclanché announces strategic company reorganization along with an Industrial Partnership Agreement with Eneris Group aiming at creating a leading European battery partnership

Eneris Group to make direct investments totaling up to CHF 95 million in two manufacturing JVs and a Technology License Agreement

  • Eneris to provide up to CHF 42 million in working capital loans and make investments in excess of CHF 53 million in a major capacity expansion programme in newly established Joint Ventures with majority ownership;
  • Leclanché grants a license to Eneris for further development and access to larger scale industrialization;
  • Material reduction for Leclanché in cash intensity of the business: reduced Operating and Capital expenses;
  • Worldwide business wins with combined order book exceeding CHF 90 million for delivery over years 2020 to 2021- excluding the St. Kitts project;
  • Establishing a Build-Own-Operate (BOO) projects business line for selected stationary projects with a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and/or Offtake Agreement with local customers;
  • Leclanché shall retain all customer contracts unchanged;
  • New Leclanché pivots to a green tech software and systems integration company using the competitive products manufactured at giga-scale in partnership with Eneris group

YVERDON-LES-BAINS, Switzerland, June 2, 2020 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Leclanché SA (SIX: LECN), one of the world’s leading energy storage companies, today announced a strategic reorganization which will convert the company into a market oriented, research-driven, software and systems integration company with expanded production and R&D capabilities based on a partnership agreement with Eneris Group, a leading European cleantech player operating out of Poland, “the factory of Europe” and a key participant in the EU “Important Project for Common European Interest on batteries” programme.

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Stefan Mueller , Chairman of the Board, said: “We are pleased with the comprehensive Strategic partnership agreements signed with Eneris Group. This can be a truly transformational partnership to create a market leader. We thank all our shareholders for their significant and patient investments since late 2006 in developing our Energy Storage Business based on in-house Lithium Cells and Systems. Our time has now come.

We are embarking on a strategic reorganization while recognizing the challenging current economic conditions due to COVID-19. The Board of Directors of the Company has decided to reorganize Leclanché’s operating model as the current Business Units have reached a critical size in terms of personnel, revenue and customer contracts. The Board is of the firm view that the Company has solid fundamentals to deliver profitable growth based on a strong global order book, advances in proprietary high capacity cells and the adoption of a highly profitable build-own-operate model for our Stationary Business Unit.

The Board believes that the partnership with Eneris Group enables the Company to secure the funding and resources that will help the Company achieve its goal of becoming one of the full value chain energy storage market leaders.

On behalf of the Board, I would like to sincerely thank Mr. Artur Dela, Founder and CEO of Eneris Group, for his trust in Leclanché. We are looking forward to his entrepreneurial leadership and drive to support the success of both Companies.

I would also like to thank and congratulate Anil Srivastava, CEO of Leclanché, for securing the industrial investment partnership with Eneris Group. We are confident that he and his management team will expeditiously implement the strategic reorganization.

Artur Dela, Chairman of Eneris Group, said: “The mission of Eneris is ‘clean air, soil and water, innovation protecting the environment.’ The challenge of this century is to protect the planet. To protect the environment, we need to change our energy paradigm. The European “Green Deal” confirms this clear direction to our industries, scientists and financiers. Energy transition is our focus and energy storage is key to it, as demonstrated by our participation in EUs ICPEI program and now partnership with Leclanché.

The market needs adequate batteries for stationary energy storage to be associated with renewable energy sources and, in association with fuel cells, for eTransportation: buses, trucks, vessels, locomotives, heavy-duty machines, etc.

Leclanché has them. A 111-year old start-up, Leclanché is a pioneer in new generation batteries and a visionary focus on cleaner and more performant systems with no harmful liquids, higher energy density and more charging cycles. It has an important growth potential. The market demand for its products far exceeds its current manufacturing capacity, while its current advanced know-how needs to be further financed.

I am persuaded that various cooperation models and integration are key to succeeding in any new industry, and in particular, in sectors like energy storage which is highly competitive and capital intensive for R&D, large scale industrialisation and commercialization. Eneris’s industrial base and its participation in the IPCEI consortium, together with Leclanché’s know-how, will accelerate and reinforce our common development.

I am pleased Leclanch é has accepted our proposal to join forces and I would like to personally thank the Board for its confidence and the management team led by Anil Srivastava for the hard work in completing a complex and far-reaching transaction in record time during this turbulent period.”

A Shareholder Letter, dated 2nd of June, 2020, provides additional information from the company and is available here.

Strategic Reorganization: New Capital-Light Operating Model for Production

Anil Srivastava, CEO of Leclanché, said: “The transformational partnership agreement with Eneris will lift a tremendous capital burden off Leclanché’s shoulders while guaranteeing production capacity. The JVs to be created will produce Leclanché technologies and Leclanché-branded products. They will be m ajority owned by Eneris with a minority stake held by Leclanché with key reserve matters and approval rights. The Joint Ventures with Eneris shall manufacture products based on Leclanché technologies with capacity reservation for Leclanché based on mutually agreed-upon business plans with Eneris.”

Industrial Partnership Agreement with Eneris Group

The Company’s Board has negotiated and accepted an investment offer from Eneris. Eneris is a company of the Eneris Group, a leading European Cleantech player. On this basis, the Company and Eneris have signed three interrelated agreements (”Agreements”): a Loan Agreement and a Technology License Agreement – both in force since 28th of May 2020, and an Industrial Cooperation Agreement to be effective as soon as the JVs will be formed. Through the agreements, the Company shall secure funding and resources to ensure long-term profitable growth.

Key features of this agreement include:

  1. Eneris will provide Leclanché with working capital financing of up to CHF 42 million to fully fund the business plan through June 2021;
  2. Licensing of Leclanché’s technology to Eneris against payment of a royalty fee of up to CHF 32 million, according to an agreed-upon payment schedule. This licensing is non-exclusive on a right to use basis, with the freedom to carry out future developments. The licensing is applicable worldwide excluding the Republic of India;
  3. Creation of two manufacturing Joint Ventures (”JV“) in which Eneris will hold the majority of the share capital thanks to an investment in excess of CHF 53 million for a major capacity expansion programme: one in Germany for the production of cells and the other in Switzerland and Poland for the assembly of modules. A third is being considered for France. We expect these JVs to be formed over a period of time, in consultation with the relevant workers council and in accordance with applicable laws. About 135 production employees will be transferred to the JVs;
  4. Leclanché will sign a production offtake agreement with Eneris in which Eneris will reserve the required production capacity for Leclanché in the coming years;
  5. Leclanché will retain full ownership of its technology and will continue to invest in Research & Development (R&D) activities for cells, modules and Battery Management Systems (BMS).

Anil Srivastava, CEO of Leclanché, said: This transaction provides a number of critical benefits for Leclanché including avoiding Capex investments of up to CHF 53 million in 2020, and a further CHF 60 million in 2022 for increased cell production. The Company will realize a reduction of approximately 20% in Operating Expenses. Additionally, the transfer of production activities to the JVs will result in substantial reduction of working capital needs related to production. The agreement enables the Company to maintain access to the large production capacity, nearly 1 GWh by Q1 2022 and up to 2.4 GWh by end 2024, needed to deliver contractual commitments for large eTransport customers with multi-year Master Supply Agreements such as Kongsberg Maritime and Bombardier. This shall super-charge our ability to win new customers who require access to large-volume deliveries.
Lastly, and most importantly, the strategic partnership with Eneris is materially non-dilutive to current shareholders.”

Phased implementation and funding plan by Eneris Group

Prior to the signing of the agreements with Eneris, the full Board made a determination to ensure that the agreement was in the best interest of the Company and all its shareholders. A Valuation Analysis of the new Leclanché resulting from the transaction with Eneris Group was conducted by an Independent Director of the Board. The full Board reviewed this analysis and arrived at a very clear and unanimous view that the agreement with Eneris is highly value accretive for the Company and is in the best interest of all its shareholders. On this basis, the Board of Directors approved all three agreements underpinning the overall transaction with Eneris Group.

The Board has sought and secured reasonable proof-of-funds from Eneris Group that underpins its confidence that the Group has the means to make the investments delineated under the agreements between the Companies. A phased implementation plan in line with Eneris’ funding schedule gives the Company the ability to manage the risk prudently.

Build-Own-Operate Model Impacts Company’s Revenue in 2019-2020 and EBITDA Positive Timeline

To launch the highly profitable and selective Build-Own-Operate (BOO) business line, the St. Kitts project has been moved from a traditional turnkey EPC contract to a BOO contract. While Leclanché will still build the project as an EPC contractor, IFRS accounting rules prevent any revenue recognition as an EPC contractor under the BOO model. This accounting requirement shall lead to a reduction of more than CHF 40 million revenue in 2019- although not lost revenue. This technical shift shall be more than offset with a revenue recognition of circa CHF 9 million average revenue per year and a positive EBITDA of more than CHF 5 million per year for a period of 20 years under the signed Power Purchase Agreement with SKELEC, the St. Kitts Electrical Utility. In addition, future projects will add their own recurring EBITDA.

The Company has already secured a Construction Loan of CHF 46 million for the St. Kitts project from a large Infrastructure Fund in New York and aims to start the Construction of this project at the earliest possible point after COVID-19 related travel restrictions are eased.

The Company plans to create a separate holding company, the “BOO HoldCo,” where Leclanché S.A. shall retain a controlling majority stake. The shift to the BOO model underpins long-term profitability for the Company, the shift of the revenue due to technical accounting rules mentioned above shall also move EBITDA positive results to the year 2022. It is important to reiterate that the addition of the BOO model will add profitable growth for 20 years and further strengthen the assets in the balance sheet of the Company and make it less dependent on annual fluctuations of project revenues.

Path to Becoming a Global Market Leader

Anil Srivastava, CEO of Leclanché, said:We are excited about the comprehensive Industrial Cooperation Agreement signed with Eneris Group. Though the agreements shall be implemented progressively, upon meeting certain conditions, the Company remains confident to successfully implement all the agreements. Nevertheless, the Company has put in place reasonable safeguards to mitigate the risks resulting from any unlikely event of major variations to the agreement. This can truly be a transformational partnership to create a global market leader. We reiterate that the strategic reorganization underway shall:

  • Set the Company on course to deliver sustainable and profitable growth for years to come;
  • The new Leclanché shall pivot increasingly towards more software and systems integration using the competitive products manufactured-at-scale in partnership with Eneris Group;
  • We have secured substantial fresh capital and access to large production capacity with minimal dilution for all shareholders of Leclanché S.A.;
  • With all of the above, we have increased our ability to serve all our customers better; and win new ones at an accelerated pace to become a market leader.”

About Eneris Group
Eneris Group is a private company dedicated to Innovation protecting the  environment: “clean air, soil and water” promoting circular economy, a holistic approach and a vertical integration in the field of waste, water, energy and energy storage.  It is primarily operating and developing utilities in Poland and participating in the energy transition, while its cleantech scope is pan-European. Together with its affiliates (Eneris Polbatt, Eneris Batteries & Recycling, etc.), Eneris is implementing a series of ventures and projects focusing on  batteries.  Its batteries portfolio is supported by European authorities and the Polish government in the framework of the European Battery Alliance and “Important Project for Common European Interest on Batteries” (IPCEI) programs, including strategic projects in terms of R&D and industrialization of the whole value chain inclusive of advanced materials, cells with improved performance and new types of cells, battery pack and module configuration, repurposing and recycling, etc. Eneris’ strategy includes R&D and manufacturing plants in Poland, Germany and France.

About Leclanché
Headquartered in Switzerland, Leclanché SA is a leading provider of high-quality energy storage solutions designed to accelerate our progress towards a clean energy future. Leclanché’s history and heritage is rooted in over 100 years of battery and energy storage innovation and the Company is a trusted provider of energy storage solutions globally. This coupled with the Company’s culture of German engineering and Swiss precision and quality, continues to make Leclanché the partner of choice for both disruptors, established companies and governments who are pioneering positive changes in how energy is produced, distributed and consumed around the world. The energy transition is being driven primarily by changes in the management of our electricity networks and the electrification of transport, and these two end markets form the backbone of our strategy and business model. Leclanché is at the heart of the convergence of the electrification of transport and the changes in the distribution network. Leclanché is the only listed pure play energy storage company in the world, organised along three business units: stationary storage solutions, e-Transport solutions and specialty batteries systems. Leclanché is listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX: LECN).

SIX Swiss Exchange: ticker symbol LECN | ISIN CH 011 030 311 9


This press release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to Leclanché’s business, which can be identified by terminology such as “strategic”, “proposes”, “to introduce”, “will”, “planned”, “expected”, “commitment”, “expects”, “set”, “preparing”, “plans”, “estimates”, “aims”, “would”, “potential”, “awaiting”, “estimated”, “proposal”, or similar expressions, or by expressed or implied discussions regarding the ramp up of Leclanché’s production capacity, potential applications for existing products, or regarding potential future revenues from any such products, or potential future sales or earnings of Leclanché or any of its business units. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of Leclanché regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. There can be no guarantee that Leclanché’s products will achieve any particular revenue levels. Nor can there be any guarantee that Leclanché, or any of the business units, will achieve any particular financial results.

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Baptist Health Unveils New Safety Measures as Elective Surgeries and Procedures Resume

New Steps Geared Towards Protecting Patients and Employees

MIAMI, May 20, 2020 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Baptist Health South Florida has announced new comprehensive safety guidelines as it welcomes back more patients and ramps up operations to fully restore in-person health services system wide. As Baptist Health resumes elective surgeries and procedures, enhanced safety precautions have been introduced to prevent the spread of infection and to ensure every facility including emergency rooms, urgent care centers and physician offices can safely care for patients who need healthcare.

In an effort to promote safety, cleanliness and social distancing, here are some of the changes patients, employees and visitors can now expect at Baptist Health facilities:

  • Enhanced Cleaning of High-touch Areas
  • Universal Mask Use
  • Contactless Registration
  • Point-Of-Entry Screening
  • Wait Where You Feel Comfortable, including in some cases, in your car
  • Hand-sanitizing Stations
  • Touch-free sliding doors
  • COVID-19 Patients Treated in Separate Area
  • Front Desk Plexiglass partitions
  • Social Distance Floor Markings
  • Chairs Spaced Out
  • Magazines Removed from Tables
  • Coffee and Snack Service Suspended

“As one of the leading healthcare providers in the region, our patients and employees have come to expect the highest standards in health and safety from us,” said Bo Boulenger, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Baptist Health South Florida. “Now more than ever, our patients rely on our care and we are ready to care for them, especially those who may have delayed treatment during the pandemic. Through these steps, we are confident we can protect our patients and employees as we safely care for our community.”

These safety measures are based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, the American Hospital Association, the Florida Governor’s Office and the White House’s Opening Up America Again guidelines.

For more information on Baptist Health’s safety plan, visit our Patient and Visitor Safety page at

About Baptist Health South Florida

Baptist Health South Florida is the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 11 hospitals, more than 23,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 100 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Baptist Health has internationally renowned centers of excellence in cancer, cardiovascular care, orthopedics and sports medicine, and neurosciences. In addition, it includes Baptist Health Medical Group; Baptist Health Quality Network; and Baptist Health Care On Demand, a virtual health platform. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to its faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. For more information, visit and connect with us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and LinkedIn.

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Parkland provides business update related to COVID-19

CaribPR Wire, CALGARY, Alberta, March 30, 2020: Parkland Fuel Corporation (”Parkland”, “we”, the “Company”, or “our”) (TSX:PKI) announced today in response to the uncertain economic impact of novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”): a reduction in its 2020 Capital Expenditure program, the withdrawal of its 2020 Adjusted EBITDA guidance, reiteration of the Company’s financial strength and other corporate updates.

“We are responding quickly and prudently to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” commented Bob Espey, President and Chief Executive Officer. “During this unprecedented period of uncertainty, our priority is to protect the health and safety of our employees as they continue to provide an essential service to the communities we serve. We are proud to remain operational through this period and I would like to thank our team for their ongoing commitment to safely meeting our customer’s energy and convenience needs.”

“The agility of our business model is evident by being able to quickly taper our 2020 capital expenditure program and reduce costs to reflect the current business environment. We will maintain the operational flexibility to resume our growth initiatives when conditions improve. Underpinned by our integrated and resilient business model, diverse geographic platform, and extensive product offering, we have a strong track record of growth and expect that to continue once conditions improve.”

2020 Capital Expenditure Program revision

On March 5, 2020, Parkland issued guidance for 2020 Total Capital expenditures of $575 million +/- 5%. Consistent with our priority to maintain financial flexibility and balance sheet strength, we are reducing our 2020 Capital Program by $300 million to $275 million +/- 5%. The capital expenditures included in the reduction can be deferred until an improvement in the current economic environment. Details of our updated 2020 plans are below:

Capital Expenditures ($ millions)
Growth 85
2020 Refinery Turnaround Maintenance 60
Other Maintenance 130
Total Capital Expenditures (1) 275 +/- 5%

(1) the “2020 Capital Program”

We expect to have invested approximately $130 million of total capital expenditures by the end of Q1 2020. Our revised 2020 growth capital still enables Parkland to maintain leadership in low-carbon fuel refining by increasing bio-feed capacity by 250 percent, enhance our supply capability through infrastructure investments and build additional digital capability such as the JOURNIE™ Rewards program.

2020 Adjusted EBITDA Guidance withdrawn

The current COVID-19 situation and associated impact on economic activity is expected to reduce demand for fuel globally. Parkland remains focused on providing essential fuel and convenience services to our customers, however, the extent and duration of the impact is uncertain. As a result, we are withdrawing our 2020 Adjusted EBITDA Guidance Range.

Snapshot of Parkland’s financial strength

Coupled with our actions outlined above, we have a strong financial position with significant liquidity to manage through challenging market environments. As of December 31, 2019, we had liquidity of nearly $1 billion, made up of approximately $750 million of committed credit facility capacity and $250 million of cash. Our existing credit facility has a maturity date of January 8, 2023. Furthermore, our Total Funded Debt to Credit Facility EBITDA ratio was 2.8 times as of December 31, 2019, which has a covenant limit of 5.0 times.

Other corporate updates

  • There is no change to our 2020 Refinery Turnaround Maintenance projections. We are on track to begin startup of the Burnaby refinery in early April and will provide notification when we achieve full operational capability. After startup, optimal utilization rates will be determined based on the demand outlook at the time.
  • Demonstrating the flexibility of our operational platform, we will reduce variable and fixed costs while retaining our core capabilities to ensure we can continue our growth programs when current market conditions change. These measures are designed to preserve cash flow during this period of reduced demand and are also consistent with our long-term goals of building a scalable platform for growth.
  • In support of our cost initiatives, effective April 1, 2020 and for the remainder of 2020, Parkland’s President and CEO will take a 35 percent salary reduction while other members of the leadership team will take a 25 percent reduction. Similarly, Parkland’s Board of Directors will take a 25 percent reduction in cash retainer fees.
  • Parkland’s balance sheet should also benefit from reduced working capital requirements as a result of lower global energy prices.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this news release constitute forward-looking information and statements (collectively, “forward-looking statements”). When used in this news release the words “expect”, “will”, “could”, “would”, “believe”, “continue”, “pursue” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. In particular, this news release contains forward-looking statements with respect to, among other things: the revised 2020 Capital Program, including expected maintenance and growth capital expenditure estimates and projects; expected Q1 2020 capital expenditures; the expected timing of startup of the Burnaby refinery and the expected utilization rates at the Burnaby refinery upon startup; expected working capital benefits to Parkland due to lower energy prices; and our ability to accelerate growth activity when current market conditions change.

These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. No assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements included in this news release should not be unduly relied upon. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this news release. Parkland does not undertake any obligations to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements except as required by securities law. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of numerous risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, general economic, market and business conditions and the extent and duration COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on such economic, market and business conditions; the effect on demand for Parkland’s products as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; the ability of suppliers and other counterparties to meet commitments; actions by governmental authorities and other regulators including but not limited to increases in taxes or restricted access to markets; changes and developments in environmental and other regulations; and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of Parkland. See also the risks and uncertainties described in “Forward-Looking Information” and “Risk Factors” included in Parkland’s Annual Information Form dated March 30, 2020 and in “Forward-Looking Information” and “Risk Factors” in the 2019 annual management’s discussion and analysis dated March 5, 2020 (the “Q4 2019 MD&A”), which are filed on SEDAR and available on the Parkland website at The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

This news release refers to certain non-GAAP financial measures that are not determined in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (”IFRS”). Adjusted EBITDA is a measures of segment profit. See Section 13 of the Q4 2019 MD&A and Note 27 of the 2019 annual consolidated financial statements for a reconciliation of this measure of segment profit to the nearest IFRS measure. Management considers this to be an important supplemental measure of Parkland’s performance and believes this measure is used frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties in the evaluation of companies in our industry. However, Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers, as other issuers may calculate these metrics differently. Investors are cautioned that these measures should not be construed as an alternative to net earnings determined in accordance with IFRS as an indication of Parkland’s performance. Investors are encouraged to evaluate the measure and the reasons Parkland considers it appropriate for supplemental analysis.

About Parkland

Parkland is an independent supplier and marketer of fuel and petroleum products and a leading convenience store operator. Parkland services customers across Canada, the United States, the Caribbean region and the Americas through three channels: Retail, Commercial and Wholesale. Parkland optimizes its fuel supply across these three channels by operating and leveraging a growing portfolio of supply relationships and storage infrastructure. Parkland provides trusted and locally relevant fuel brands and convenience store offerings in the communities it serves.

Parkland creates value for shareholders by focusing on its proven strategy of growing organically, realizing a supply advantage and acquiring prudently and integrating successfully. At the core of our strategy are our people, as well as our values of safety, integrity, community and respect, which are embraced across our organization.

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