Forest River Inc., Canada-based CanaDream Corp. and Australia-based Apollo Motorhomes announced Monday (Nov. 30) the emergence of AmeriDream — an RV rental venture positioned to capture significant market share and further promote the growth of RV tourism in the U.S.
“The venture provides an enormous benefit to our dealers and travelers here and abroad,” said Peter Liegl, Forest River president and CEO, in a news release. “Dealers within our network will be able to better manage their domestic booking and gain exposure to the lucrative international market virtually overnight. AmeriDream dealers will be able to seamlessly integrate the advanced systems and access the extensive international wholesale network behind the continual growth of CanaDream.”
Brian Gronberg, president and CEO of CanaDream Corp., said, “Being able to take advantage of the rapid growth of international RV travelers coming to America is the only way to maximize both utilization and nightly rates. Our systems, networks and Internet strategy will make AmeriDream the preferred RV vendor for the international audience.”
According to a study by Ypartnership titled “National Travel MONITOR,” 66% of U.S. leisure travelers now use the Internet to plan some aspect of their travel (versus 35% in 2000).
Industry forecasts indicate Forest River’s entrance into the RV rental market is opportune. In what is considered to be a down market, the Recreational Vehicle Rental Association (RVRA), reports rental activity will be up 12% this year.
AmeriDream enters a market dominated by Cruise America and El Monte RV.
Forest River is a leading manufacturer of leisure vehicles in the United States, based in Elkhart, Ind. Founded in 1996 by Liegl, it has grown into a company of 5,500 employees and 71 facilities throughout the nation. In 2005, the company was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Berkshire Hathaway is headquartered in Omaha, Neb.
CanaDream is one of the largest RV rental companies in Canada. The company operates a fleet of approximately 700 units from nine gateway cities across the nation. CanaDream’s leadership position has been achieved through a combination of substantial investments in proprietary technology related to its operations, its extensive international wholesale network and the upgrading and maintenance of its rental fleet. CanaDream is publicly traded (symbol: CDN) on the Canadian Venture Exchange.
Apollo is the largest privately owned leisure vehicle operator in the Southern Hemisphere with a fleet of over 3,000 vehicles and 300 employees. It has 10 branches in Australia, two in New Zealand and three in the U.S.
CanaDream Corp. today (Sept. 11) reported financial results for the three months ended July 31.
The Calgary, Alberta-based RV rental chain reported income before income tax of $2.8 million for the three months was 7% lower than last year. Revenues for the three months of $10.2 million is 6% lower than last year, while cash flow from operations of $7.8 million is in line with last year.
Income before income taxes of $2.8 million decreased $224,000 or 7% from the prior year first quarter.
Decreased revenues of $645,000 is due in part from a 16% decline in fleet and available rental nights resulting in an 11% reduction in booked rental nights.
Direct expenses for the three months decreased by $78,000 or 2% compared to last year’s $5.2 million. As the decrease in revenues exceeded the decrease in direct expenses the gross margin decreased $566,000 or 10%.
Investment in rental fleet was $26.8 million at July 31, a decrease $1.9 million from July 31, 2008 and an increase of $2.0 million from April 30, 2009, year-end levels. The investment in fleet inventory available for sale was $1.3 million at July 31, a decrease of $3.6 million from July 31, 2008 and $1.4 million from April 30, 2009 year-end levels.
Fleet capital asset and other financing decreased $6.0 million or 21% to $23.3 million from the prior year’s first quarter of $29.4 million.
The company’s core business, rental of recreational vehicles, is seasonal in nature with the majority of its revenue being earned during the May to October period, its first and second quarters. The majority of the company’s direct expenses are incurred in that same period.
The company sold a minority share in its business earlier this month to Apollo Motorhomes, an Australian RV rental firm which also conducts business in New Zealand and the U.S.
CanaDream Corp., a Calgary, Alberta-based tourism and RV rental firm, announced today (Aug. 25) that it has entered into a binding agreement with Apollo Motorhome Ultimate Holdings Pty Ltd. in connection with an equity investment commitment of $1,971,669.
Apollo is the largest privately owned leisure vehicle operator in the Southern Hemisphere with a fleet of over 3,000 vehicles and 300 employees. It has 10 branches in Australia, two in New Zealand and three in the U.S., in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco.
The investment shall consist of the issuance by CanaDream of 3,286,115 common shares of the corporation and warrants to purchase up to 1,975,816 common shares of the corporation for $1,971,699. The warrants are exercisable at an exercise price of 60 cents per share, according to a news release.
CanaDream has received verbal confirmations of support from a sufficient number of shareholders to obtain this requisite level of approval and expects to obtain approval in writing from such parties via written confirmations of consent. If, however, sufficient consent is not obtained via written confirmations, the corporation will seek approval of the investment by way of ordinary resolution at the next annual general and special meeting of shareholders of the corporation in October.
The investment is subject to TSX Venture Exchange approval and is expected to close on or about Sept. 1.
In announcing the investment Brian Gronberg, CanaDream president and CEO, said, “This is an exciting development for CanaDream. By aligning ourselves with Apollo we are joining forces with a company that is a global RV solution. Both companies share a philosophy of exceptional customer service, quality vehicles and competitive rates.”
Luke Trouchet, Apollo CEO, said, “We feel very privileged and honored to have been able to invest in and align ourselves with such a well respected business as CanaDream. Our expansion to Canada answers the call of many travel industry partners who are looking for global RV rental partners.”
CanaDream is a Canadian tourism company that is utilizing its proprietary business-to-business web-enabled system, www.canadasbest.com, and its business-to-consumer online Internet reservation system, www.canadream.com, to operate and expand its network of RV rental locations in Canada.
CanaDream maintains company-operated locations in Calgary, Vancouver, British Columbia, Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Toronto, Ontario, Montreal, Quebec, and Halifax, Nova Scotia. The company is also leveraging its proprietary technology to build a franchised network of associate dealers that are fully interconnected to CanaDream’s e-commerce systems. CanaDream currently has one associate dealer franchisee in Kelowna.
Apollo’s first international expansion was in 2003 when it opened in New Zealand. In 2008 Apollo opened in the U.S. after acquiring Los Angeles based Happy Travel Campers. Demand was so great that the company opened in Las Vegas and San Francisco.
The Edmonton Sun noted that Apollo could become the largest single shareholder in Calgary-based CanaDream Corp. If Apollo decides to exercise the warrants, it would hold 27.1% of CanaDream’s shares, thereby becoming its single largest shareholder.