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Table of Contents

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 16, 2016

Registration No. 333-         

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM S-1

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

 

Smart Sand, Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

Delaware   1400   45-2809926

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(Primary Standard Industrial

Classification Code Number)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification Number)

24 Waterway Avenue, Suite 350

The Woodlands, Texas 77380

(281) 231-2660

(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices)

 

 

Charles E. Young

Chief Executive Officer

24 Waterway Avenue, Suite 350

The Woodlands, Texas 77380

(281) 231-2660

(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)

 

 

Copies to:

 

Ryan J. Maierson

Latham & Watkins LLP

811 Main Street, Suite 3700

Houston, Texas 77002

(713) 546-5400

 

Alan Beck

Julian J. Seiguer

Vinson & Elkins L.L.P.

1001 Fannin Street, Suite 2500

Houston, Texas 77002

(713) 758-2222

 

 

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: As soon as practicable after this Registration Statement becomes effective.

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, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer   ¨    Accelerated filer   ¨
Non-accelerated filer   x    (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)    Smaller reporting company   ¨

 

 

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

 

 

Title of Each Class of

Securities to be Registered

 

Proposed

Maximum

Aggregate

Offering Price(1)(2)

  Amount of
Registration Fee

Common Stock, par value $0.001 per share

  $100,000,000   $10,070

 

 

(1) Includes shares that the underwriters have the option to purchase.
(2) Estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the registration fee pursuant to Rule 457(o).

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 Securities and Exchange Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.

 

 

 


Table of Contents

The information in this preliminary prospectus is not complete and may be changed. These securities may not be sold until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell nor does it seek an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

 

SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED SEPTEMBER 16, 2016

PROSPECTUS

                     Shares

 

 

LOGO

Smart Sand, Inc.

Common Stock

 

 

This is our initial public offering. We are offering              shares of common stock and the selling stockholders are offering              shares of common stock.

Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for our common stock. It is currently estimated that the initial public offering price will be between $        and $        per share. We intend to apply to list our common stock on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol “SND.” We are an “emerging growth company” as that term is used in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or JOBS Act.

You should consider the risks we have described in “Risk Factors” beginning on page 15.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

      

          Per Share         

    

                 Total          

Initial public offering price

     $                          $                    

Underwriting discounts and commissions(1)

     $                          $                    

Proceeds, before expenses, to Smart Sand, Inc.

     $                          $                    

Proceeds, before expenses, to the selling stockholders

     $                          $                    

 

(1) We refer you to “Underwriting” beginning on page 120 of this prospectus for additional information regarding underwriting compensation.

The selling stockholders have granted the underwriters the option to purchase up to an additional              shares of common stock on the same terms and conditions if the underwriters sell more than              shares of common stock in this offering. We will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares held by the selling stockholders.

The underwriters expect to deliver the common stock on or about                 ,          .

 

Credit Suisse

   Goldman, Sachs & Co.

The date of this prospectus is                 ,          .


Table of Contents

LOGO


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

SUMMARY

     1   

Smart Sand, Inc.

     1   

Overview

     1   

Competitive Strengths

     2   

Business Strategies

     4   

Our Assets and Operations

     5   

Industry Trends Impacting Our Business

     8   

Our Relationship with Our Sponsor

     10   

Risk Factors

     10   

Principal Executive Offices and Internet Address

     10   

Our Emerging Growth Company Status

     11   

The Offering

     12   

Summary Historical Consolidated Financial Data

     13   

RISK FACTORS

     15   

Risks Inherent in Our Business

     15   

Risks Related to Environmental, Mining and Other Regulation

     26   

Risks Related to This Offering and Ownership of Our Common Stock

     29   

USE OF PROCEEDS

     35   

STOCK SPLIT

     36   

DIVIDEND POLICY

     36   

CAPITALIZATION

     37   

DILUTION

     39   

SELECTED HISTORICAL CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

     40   

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

     42   

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

     44   

Overview

     44   

Our Assets and Operations

     44   

Overall Trends and Outlook

     45   

How We Generate Revenue

     48   

Costs of Conducting Our Business

     49   

How We Evaluate Our Operations

     49   

Factors Impacting Comparability of Our Financial Results

     51   

Results of Operations

     51   

Six Months Ended June 30, 2016 Compared to Six Months Ended June  30, 2015

     52   

Year Ended December 31, 2015 Compared to the Year Ended December  31, 2014

     54   

Liquidity and Capital Resources

     56   

Operating Activities

     57   

Investing Activities

     58   

Financing Activities

     58   

Off Balance Sheet Arrangements

     58   

Capital Requirements

     59   

Credit Facilities

     59   

Customer Concentration

     61   

Contractual Obligations

     62   

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosure of Market Risks

     62   

Internal Controls and Procedures

     63   

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

     64   

New and Revised Financial Accounting Standards

     65   

 

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Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

     65   

Environmental Matters

     68   

PROPPANT INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

     69   

Overview

     69   

Types of Proppant

     69   

Pricing Trends

     70   

Frac Sand Extraction, Processing and Distribution

     71   

Demand Trends

     72   

Supply Trends

     74   

Pricing and Contract Considerations

     74   

BUSINESS

     75   

Overview

     75   

Competitive Strengths

     77   

Business Strategies

     79   

Our Assets and Operations

     80   

Transportation Logistics and Infrastructure

     84   

Permits

     85   

Our Customers and Contracts

     85   

Our Relationship with Our Sponsor

     86   

Competition

     87   

Seasonality

     87   

Insurance

     87   

Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations

     88   

Employees

     92   

Legal Proceedings

     92   

MANAGEMENT

     93   

Directors and Executive Officers of Smart Sand, Inc.

     93   

Committees of the Board of Directors

     96   

Board Composition

     96   

Board Role in Risk Oversight

     96   

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

     97   

Equity Compensation Plans

     100   

Director Compensation

     104   

PRINCIPAL AND SELLING STOCKHOLDERS

     105   

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

     107   

Procedures for Review, Approval and Ratification of Related Person Transactions

     107   

Our Relationship with Our Sponsor

     107   

Reimbursement of Expenses

     107   

DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

     108   

Common Stock

     108   

Preferred Stock

     108   

Outstanding Warrants

     108   

Anti-Takeover Effects of Provisions of Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, our Amended and Restated Bylaws and Delaware Law

     110   

Corporate Opportunity

     111   

Forum Selection

     112   

Limitation of Liability and Indemnification Matters

     112   

Transfer Agent and Registrar

     113   

Listing

     113   

SHARES ELIGIBLE FOR FUTURE SALE

     114   

Sales of Restricted Shares

     114   

Lock-up Agreements

     114   

 

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Rule 144

     114   

Rule 701

     115   

Stock Issued Under Employee Plans

     115   

Warrants

     115   

MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES TO NON-U.S. HOLDERS

     116   

Definition of a Non-U.S. Holder

     117   

Distributions

     117   

Sale or Other Taxable Disposition

     118   

Information Reporting and Backup Withholding

     119   

Additional Withholding Tax on Payments Made to Foreign Accounts

     119   

UNDERWRITING

     120   

LEGAL MATTERS

     126   

EXPERTS

     126   

WHERE YOU CAN FIND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

     126   

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     127   

INDEX TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     F-1   

APPENDIX A : GLOSSARY OF TERMS

     A-1   

You should rely only on the information contained in this prospectus or in any free writing prospectus prepared by us or on behalf of us or to which we have referred you. Neither we, the selling stockholders, nor the underwriters have authorized any other person to provide you with information different from that contained in this prospectus and any free writing prospectus. If anyone provides you with different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it. Neither we, the selling stockholders, nor the underwriters are making an offer to sell these securities in any jurisdiction where an offer or sale is not permitted. The information in this prospectus is accurate only as of the date of this prospectus, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus or any sale of our common stock. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since that date.

This prospectus contains forward-looking statements that are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control. Please read “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Statements.”

Industry and Market Data

The data included in this prospectus regarding the industry in which we operate, including descriptions of trends in the market and our position and the position of our competitors within our industries, is based on a variety of sources, including independent publications, government publications, information obtained from customers, distributors, suppliers and trade and business organizations and publicly available information, as well as our good faith estimates, which have been derived from management’s knowledge and experience in the industry in which we operate. The industry data sourced from The Freedonia Group is from its Industry Study #3302, “Proppants in North America,” published in September 2015. The industry data sourced from Spears & Associates is from its “Hydraulic Fracturing Market 2005-2017” published in the second quarter 2016 and its “Drilling and Production Outlook” published in June 2016. The industry data sourced from PropTester, Inc. and Kelrik, LLC is from its “2015 Proppant Market Report” published in March 2016. The industry data sourced from Baker Hughes is from its “North America Rotary Rig Count” published in July 2016. We believe that the third-party sources are reliable and that the third-party information included in this prospectus or in our estimates is accurate and complete.

 

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SUMMARY

This summary provides a brief overview of information contained elsewhere in this prospectus. This summary does not contain all of the information that you should consider before investing in our common stock. You should read the entire prospectus carefully, including the financial statements and the notes to those financial statements included in this prospectus. Unless indicated otherwise, the information presented in this prospectus assumes an initial public offering price of $            per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus) and that the underwriters do not exercise their option to purchase additional shares. You should read “Risk Factors” for more information about important risks that you should consider carefully before buying our common stock.

Unless the context otherwise requires, references in this prospectus to “Smart Sand, Inc.,” “our company,” “we,” “our” and “us,” or like terms, refer to Smart Sand, Inc. and its subsidiaries. References to the “selling stockholders” refer to the selling stockholders that are offering shares of common stock in this offering and have granted the underwriters an option to purchase additional shares to cover any over-allotments. We have provided definitions for some of the terms we use to describe our business and industry and other terms used in this prospectus in the “Glossary of Terms” beginning on page A-1 of this prospectus.

Smart Sand, Inc.

Overview

We are a pure-play, low-cost producer of high-quality Northern White raw frac sand, which is a preferred proppant used to enhance hydrocarbon recovery rates in the hydraulic fracturing of oil and natural gas wells. We sell our products primarily to oil and natural gas exploration and production companies, such as EOG Resources, and oilfield service companies, such as Weatherford, under a combination of long-term take-or-pay contracts and spot sales in the open market. We believe that the size and favorable geologic characteristics of our sand reserves, the strategic location and logistical advantages of our facilities and the industry experience of our senior management team have positioned us as a highly attractive source of raw frac sand to the oil and natural gas industry.

We own and operate a raw frac sand mine and related processing facility near Oakdale, Wisconsin, at which we have approximately 244 million tons of proven recoverable sand reserves and approximately 92 million tons of probable recoverable sand reserves as of December 31, 2015, respectively. Our integrated Oakdale facility, with on-site rail infrastructure and wet and dry sand processing facilities, is served by two Class I rail lines and enables us to process and cost-effectively deliver up to approximately 3.3 million tons of raw frac sand per year. We believe that with further development and permitting the Oakdale facility could ultimately be expanded to allow production of up to 9 million tons of raw frac sand per year.

In addition to the Oakdale facility, we own a second property in Jackson County, Wisconsin, which we call the Hixton site. The Hixton site is also located adjacent to a Class I rail line and is fully permitted to initiate operations and is available for future development. As of August 2014, our Hixton site had approximately 100 million tons of proven recoverable sand reserves.

For the year ended December 31, 2015 and six months ended June 30, 2016, we generated net income (loss) of approximately $4.5 million and $(2.2) million, respectively, and Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $23.9 million and $6.4 million, respectively. For the definition of Adjusted EBITDA and a reconciliation to its most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”), please read “Selected Historical Consolidated Financial Data—Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”

Over the past decade, exploration and production companies have increasingly focused on exploiting the vast hydrocarbon reserves contained in North America’s unconventional oil and natural gas reservoirs by

 

 

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utilizing advanced techniques, such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. In recent years, this focus has resulted in exploration and production companies drilling more and longer horizontal wells, completing more hydraulic fracturing stages per well and utilizing more proppant per stage in an attempt to maximize the volume of hydrocarbon recoveries per wellbore. From 2010 to 2015 proppant demand experienced strong growth, growing at an average annual rate of 25%. In addition, raw frac sand’s share of the total proppant market continues to increase, growing from approximately 78% in 2010 to approximately 92% in 2015 as exploration and production companies continue to look closely at overall well cost, completion efficiency and design optimization, which has led to a greater use of raw frac sand in comparison to resin-coated sand and manufactured ceramic proppants.

Northern White raw frac sand, which is found predominantly in Wisconsin and limited portions of Minnesota and Illinois, is highly valued by oil and natural gas producers as a preferred proppant due to its favorable physical characteristics. We believe that the market for high-quality raw frac sand, like the Northern White raw frac sand we produce, particularly finer mesh sizes, will grow based on the potential recovery in the development of North America’s unconventional oil and natural gas reservoirs as well as the increased proppant volume usage per well. According to Kelrik, a notable driver impacting demand for fine mesh sand is increased proppant loadings, specifically, larger volumes of proppant placed per frac stage. Kelrik expects the trend of using larger volumes of finer mesh materials, such as 100 mesh sand and 40/70 sand, to continue.

Competitive Strengths

We believe that we will be able to successfully execute our business strategies because of the following competitive strengths:

 

    Long-lived, strategically located, high-quality reserve base. We believe our Oakdale facility is one of the few raw frac sand mine and production facilities that has the unique combination of a large high-quality reserve base of primarily fine mesh sand that is contiguous to its production and primary rail loading facilities. Our Oakdale facility is situated on 1,196 acres in a rural area of Monroe County, Wisconsin, on a Class I rail line, and contains approximately 244 million tons of proven recoverable reserves and approximately 92 million tons of probable recoverable reserves as of December 31, 2015. We have an implied current proven reserve life of approximately 73 years based on our current annual processing capacity of 3.3 million tons per year. As of July 31, 2016, we have utilized 135 acres for facilities and mining operations, or only 11.3% of this location’s acreage. We believe that with further development and permitting, the Oakdale facility ultimately could be expanded to allow production of up to 9 million tons of raw frac sand per year.

We believe our reserve base positions us well to take advantage of current market trends of increasing demand for finer mesh raw frac sand. Approximately 81% of our reserve mix today is 40/70 mesh substrate and 100 mesh substrate, considered to be the finer mesh substrates of raw frac sand. We believe that if oil and natural gas exploration and production companies continue recent trends in drilling and completion techniques to increase lateral lengths per well, the number of frac stages per well, the amount of proppant used per stage and the utilization of slickwater completions, that the demand for the finer grades of raw frac sand will continue to increase, which we can take advantage of due to the high percentage of high-quality, fine mesh sand in our reserve base.

We also believe that having our mine, processing facilities and primary rail loading facilities at our Oakdale facility provides us with an overall low-cost structure, which enables us to compete effectively for sales of raw frac sand and to achieve attractive operating margins. The proximity of our mine, processing plants and primary rail loading facilities at one location eliminates the need for us to truck sand on public roads between the mine and the production facility or between wet and drying processing facilities, eliminating additional costs to produce and ship our sand.

 

 

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In addition to the Oakdale facility, we own the Hixton site in Jackson County, Wisconsin. The Hixton site is a second fully permitted location adjacent to a Class I rail line that is fully permitted to initiate operations and is available for future development. As of August 2014, our Hixton site had approximately 100 million tons of proven recoverable sand reserves.

 

    Intrinsic logistics advantage. We believe that we are one of the few raw frac sand producers with a facility custom-designed for the specific purpose of delivering raw frac sand to all of the major U.S. oil and natural gas producing basins by an on-site rail facility that can simultaneously accommodate multiple unit trains. Our on-site transportation assets at Oakdale include approximately seven miles of rail track in a double-loop configuration and three rail car loading facilities that are connected to a Class I rail line owned by Canadian Pacific. We believe our customized on-site logistical configuration typically yields lower operating and transportation costs compared to manifest train or single-unit train facilities as a result of our higher rail car utilization, more efficient use of locomotive power and more predictable movement of product between mine and destination. In addition, we have recently constructed a transload facility on a Class I rail line owned by Union Pacific in Byron Township, Wisconsin, approximately 3.5 miles from the Oakdale facility. This transload facility allows us to ship sand directly to our customers on more than one Class I rail carrier. This facility commenced operations in June 2016 and provides increased delivery options for our customers, greater competition among our rail carriers and potentially lower freight costs. With the addition of this transload facility, we believe we are the only mine in Wisconsin with dual served railroad shipment capabilities on the Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific rail networks. Our Hixton site is also located adjacent to a Class I rail line.

 

    Significant organic growth potentialWe believe that we have a significant pipeline of attractive opportunities to expand our sales volumes and our production capacity at our Oakdale facility, which commenced commercial operations in July 2012 and was expanded to 3.3 million tons of annual processing capacity in September 2015. We currently have one wet plant and one dryer in storage at Oakdale that would allow us to increase our annual processing capacity to approximately 4.4 million tons should market demand increase sufficiently to warrant capacity expansion. We believe these units could be installed and operational in approximately six to nine months from commencement of construction. We believe, under current regulations and permitting requirements, that we can ultimately expand our annual production capacity at Oakdale to as much as 9 million tons. Other growth opportunities include the ability to expand our Byron Township transload facility to handle multiple unit trains simultaneously and to invest in transload facilities located in the shale operating basins. Investments in additional rail loading facilities should enable us to provide more competitive transportation costs and allow us to offer additional pricing and delivery options to our customers. We also have opportunities to expand our sales into the industrial sand market which would provide us the opportunity to diversify our customer base and sales product mix.

Additionally, as of July 31, 2016, we have approximately 2.4 million tons of washed raw frac sand inventory at our Oakdale facility available to be processed through our dryers and sold in the market. This inventory of available washed raw frac sand provides us with the ability to quickly meet changing market demand and strategically sell sand on a spot basis to expand our market share of raw frac sand sales if market conditions are favorable.

 

   

Strong balance sheet and financial flexibility. We believe that at the closing of this offering we will have a strong balance sheet, which will provide us ample liquidity to pursue our growth initiatives. With a portion of the proceeds of this offering, we plan to repay the outstanding balance under our existing revolving credit facility. At the closing of this offering, we expect to have $     million in liquidity from cash on hand and $     million of available borrowing capacity under our amended revolving credit facility to provide liquidity and support for our operations and growth objectives. Additionally, unlike some of our peers, we have minimal exposure to unutilized rail cars. We currently have 850 rail cars under long-term leases, of which 710 are currently rented to our customers, which minimizes our exposure to storage

 

 

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and leasing expense for rail cars that are currently not being utilized for sand shipment and provides us greater flexibility in managing our transportation costs prospectively.

 

    Focus on safety and environmental stewardship. We are committed to maintaining a culture that prioritizes safety, the environment and our relationship with the communities in which we operate. In August 2014, we were accepted as a “Tier 1” participant in Wisconsin’s voluntary “Green Tier” program, which encourages, recognizes and rewards companies for voluntarily exceeding environmental, health and safety legal requirements. In addition, we committed to certification under ISO standards and, in April 2016, we received ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 registrations for our quality management system and environmental management system programs, respectively. We believe that our commitment to safety, the environment and the communities in which we operate is critical to the success of our business. We are one of a select group of companies who are members of the Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association, which promotes safe and environmentally responsible sand mining standards.

 

    Experienced management team. The members of our senior management team bring significant experience to the market environment in which we operate. Their expertise covers a range of disciplines, including industry-specific operating and technical knowledge as well as experience managing high-growth businesses.

Business Strategies

Our principal business objective is to be a pure-play, low-cost producer of high-quality raw frac sand and to increase stockholder value. We expect to achieve this objective through the following business strategies:

 

    Focusing on organic growth by increasing our capacity utilization and processing capacity. We intend to continue to position ourselves as a pure-play producer of high-quality Northern White raw frac sand, as we believe the proppant market offers attractive long-term growth fundamentals. While demand for proppant has declined since late 2014 in connection with the downturn in commodity prices and the corresponding decline in oil and natural gas drilling and production activity, we believe that the demand for proppant will increase over the medium and long term as commodity prices rise from their recent lows, which will lead producers to resume completion of their inventory of drilled but uncompleted wells and undertake new drilling activities. We expect this demand growth for raw frac sand will be driven by increased horizontal drilling, increased proppant loadings per well (as operators increase lateral length and increase proppant per lateral foot above current levels), increased wells drilled per rig and the cost advantages of raw frac sand over resin-coated sand and manufactured ceramics. As market dynamics improve, we will continue to evaluate economically attractive facility enhancement opportunities to increase our capacity utilization and processing capacity. For example, our current annual processing capacity is approximately 3.3 million tons per year, and we believe that with further development and permitting the Oakdale facility could ultimately be expanded to allow production to as much as 9 million tons of raw frac sand per year.

 

   

Optimizing our logistics infrastructure and developing additional origination and destination points. We intend to further optimize our logistics infrastructure and develop additional origination and destination points. We expect to capitalize on our Oakdale facility’s ability to simultaneously accommodate multiple unit trains to maximize our product shipment rates, increase rail car utilization and lower transportation costs. With our recently developed transloading facility located on the Union Pacific rail network approximately 3.5 miles from our Oakdale facility, we have the ability to ship our raw frac sand directly to our customers on more than one Class I rail carrier. This facility provides increased delivery options for our customers, greater competition among our rail carriers and potentially lower freight costs. In addition, we intend to continue evaluating ways to reduce the landed cost of our products at the basin for our customers, such as investing in transload and storage facilities and assets in our target

 

 

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shale basins to increase our customized service offerings and provide our customers with additional delivery and pricing alternatives, including selling product on an “as-delivered” basis at our target shale basins.

 

    Focusing on being a low-cost producer and continuing to make process improvements. We will focus on being a low-cost producer, which we believe will permit us to compete effectively for sales of raw frac sand and to achieve attractive operating margins. Our low-cost structure results from a number of key attributes, including, among others, our (i) relatively low royalty rates compared to other industry participants, (ii) balance of coarse and fine mineral reserve deposits and corresponding contractual demand that minimizes yield loss and (iii) Oakdale facility’s proximity to two Class I rail lines and other sand logistics infrastructure, which helps reduce transportation costs, fuel costs and headcount needs. We have strategically designed our operations to provide low per-ton production costs. For example, we completed the construction of a natural gas connection to our Oakdale facility in October 2015 that provides us the optionality to source lower cost natural gas (as compared to propane under current commodity pricing) as a fuel source for our drying operations. In addition, we seek to maximize our mining yields on an ongoing basis by targeting sales volumes that more closely match our reserve gradation in order to minimize mining and processing of superfluous tonnage and continue to evaluate the potential of mining by dredge to reduce the overall cost of our mining operations.

 

    Pursuing accretive acquisitions and greenfield opportunities. At the closing of this offering, we expect to have $         million of liquidity in the form of cash on hand and undrawn borrowing capacity under our $         million amended revolving credit facility, which will position us to pursue strategic acquisitions to increase our scale of operations and our logistical capabilities as well as to potentially diversify our mining and production operations into locations other than our current Oakdale and Hixton locations. We may also grow by developing low-cost greenfield projects, where we can capitalize on our technical knowledge of geology, mining and processing.

 

    Maintaining financial strength and flexibility. We plan to pursue a disciplined financial policy to maintain financial strength and flexibility. At the closing of this offering, we expect to have $         million of liquidity in the form of cash on hand and undrawn borrowing capacity under our $         million amended revolving credit facility. We believe that our borrowing capacity and ability to access debt and equity capital markets after this offering will provide us with the financial flexibility necessary to achieve our organic expansion and acquisition strategy.

Our Assets and Operations

Our Oakdale facility is purpose-built to exploit the reserve profile in place and produce high-quality raw frac sand. Unlike some of our competitors, our mine, processing plants and primary rail loading facilities are in one location, which eliminates the need for us to truck sand on public roads between the mine and the production facility or between wet and dry processing facilities. Our on-site transportation assets include approximately seven miles of rail track in a double-loop configuration and three rail car loading facilities that are connected to a Class I rail line owned by Canadian Pacific, which enables us to simultaneously accommodate multiple unit trains and significantly increases our efficiency in meeting our customers’ raw frac sand transportation needs. We ship a substantial portion of our sand volumes (approximately 56% from April 1, 2016 to July 31, 2016) in unit train shipments through rail cars that our customers own or lease and deliver to our facility. We believe that we are one of the few raw frac sand producers with a facility custom-designed for the specific purpose of delivering raw frac sand to all of the major U.S. oil and natural gas producing basins by an on-site rail facility that can simultaneously accommodate multiple unit trains. Our ability to handle multiple rail car sets allows for the efficient transition of locomotives from empty inbound trains to fully loaded outbound trains at our facility.

We believe our customized on-site logistical configuration yields lower overall operating and transportation costs compared to manifest train or single-unit train facilities as a result of our higher rail car utilization, more

 

 

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efficient use of locomotive power and more predictable movement of product between mine and destination. Unit train operations such as ours can double or triple the average number of loads that a rail car carries per year, reducing the number of rail cars needed to support our operations and thus limiting our exposure to unutilized rail cars and the corresponding storage and lease expense. We believe that our Oakdale facility’s connection to the Canadian Pacific rail network, combined with our unit train logistics capabilities, will provide us enhanced flexibility to serve customers located in shale plays throughout North America. In addition, we have invested in a transloading facility on the Union Pacific rail network in Byron Township, Wisconsin, approximately 3.5 miles from our Oakdale facility. This facility is operational and provides us with the ability to ship directly on the Union Pacific network to locations in the major operating basins in the Western and Southwestern United States, which should facilitate more competitive pricing among our rail carriers. With the addition of this transload facility, we believe we are the only raw frac sand mine in Wisconsin with dual served railroad shipment capabilities on the Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific, which should provide us more competitive logistics options to the market relative to other Wisconsin based sand mining and production facilities.

In addition to the Oakdale facility, our Hixton site consists of approximately 959 acres in Jackson County, Wisconsin. The Hixton site is fully permitted to initiate operations and is available for future development. As of August 2014, our Hixton site had approximately 100 million tons of proven recoverable sand reserves. This location is located on a Class I rail line, the Canadian National.

The following tables provide key characteristics of our Oakdale facility and Hixton site (as of June 30, 2016, unless otherwise stated):

Our Oakdale Facility

 

Facility Characteristic

  

Description

Site geography

   Situated on 1,196 contiguous acres, with on-site processing and rail loading facilities.

Proven recoverable reserves

   244 million tons.

Probable recoverable reserves

   92 million tons.

Deposits

   Sand reserves of up to 140 feet; grade mesh sizes 20/40, 30/50, 40/70 and 100 mesh.

Proven reserve mix

   Approximately 19% of 20/40 and coarser substrate, 41% of 40/70 mesh substrate and approximately 40% of 100 mesh substrate. Our 30/50 gradation is a derivative of the 20/40 and 40/70 blends.

Excavation technique

   Shallow overburden allowing for surface excavation.

Annual processing capacity

   3.3 million tons with the ability to increase to 4.4 million tons within approximately six to nine months.

Logistics capabilities

   Dual served rail line logistics capabilities. On-site transportation infrastructure capable of simultaneously accommodating multiple unit trains and connected to the Canadian Pacific rail network. Additional transload facility located approximately 3.5 miles from the Oakdale facility in Byron Township that provides access to the Union Pacific network.

Royalties

   $0.50 per ton sold of 70 mesh or coarser substrate.

Expansion Capabilities

   We believe that with further development and permitting the Oakdale facility could ultimately be expanded to allow production of up to 9 million tons of raw frac sand per year.

 

 

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Our Hixton Site

Facility Characteristic

  

Description

Site geography

   Situated on 959 contiguous acres with access to a Canadian National Class I rail line.

Proven recoverable reserves

   100 million tons.

Deposits

   Sand reserves of up to 150 feet; grade mesh sizes 20/40, 30/50, 40/70 and 100 mesh.

Proven reserve mix

   Approximately 72% of 70 mesh and coarser substrate and approximately 28% of 100 mesh substrate.

Logistics capabilities

   Planned on-site transportation infrastructure capable of simultaneously accommodating multiple unit trains and connected to the Canadian National rail network.

Royalties

   $0.50 per ton sold of 70 mesh or coarser substrate.

Our Customers and Contracts

We sell raw frac sand under long-term take-or-pay contracts as well as in the spot market if we have excess production and the spot market conditions are favorable. Beginning January 1, 2017, we will have approximately              million tons of average annual production (or approximately             % of our current annual production capacity) contracted under long-term take-or-pay contracts, with a volume-weighted average remaining term of approximately              years. For the year ended December 31, 2015 and the six months ended June 30, 2016, we generated approximately 96.4% and 99.6%, respectively, of our revenues from raw frac sand delivered under long-term take-or-pay contracts.

Demand for proppants in 2015 and through the first half of 2016 has dropped due to the downturn in commodity prices since late 2014 and the corresponding reduction in oil and natural gas drilling, completion and production activity. This change in demand has impacted contract discussions and negotiated terms with our customers as existing contracts have been adjusted resulting in a combination of reduced average selling prices per ton, adjustments to take-or-pay volumes and length of contract. We believe we have mitigated the short-term negative impact on revenues of some of these adjustments through contractual shortfall and reservation payments. In the current market environment, customers have begun to purchase more volumes on a spot basis as compared to committing to term contracts, and we expect this trend to continue in the near term until oil and natural gas drilling and completion activity begins to increase. However, should drilling and completion activity return to higher levels, we believe customers would more actively consider contracting proppant volumes under term contracts rather than continuing to rely on buying proppant on a spot basis in the market.

 

 

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Industry Trends Impacting Our Business

Unless otherwise indicated, the information set forth under “—Industry Trends Impacting Our Business,” including all statistical data and related forecasts, is derived from The Freedonia Group’s Industry Study #3302, “Proppants in North America,” published in September 2015, Spears & Associates’ “Hydraulic Fracturing Market 2005-2017” published in the second quarter 2016, PropTester, Inc. and Kelrik, LLC’s “2015 Proppant Market Report” published in March 2016 and Baker Hughes’ “North America Rotary Rig Count” published in July 2016. While we are not aware of any misstatements regarding the proppant industry data presented herein, estimates involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various factors, including those discussed under the heading “Risk Factors.”

Demand Trends

According to Kelrik, the U.S. proppant market, including raw frac sand, ceramic and resin-coated proppant, was approximately 54.9 million tons in 2015. Kelrik estimates that the total raw frac sand market in 2015 represented approximately 50.7 million tons, or 92.3% of the total proppant market by weight. Market demand in 2015 dropped by approximately 20% from 2014 record demand levels due to the downturn in commodity prices since late 2014, which led to a corresponding decline in oil and natural gas drilling and production activity. According to the Freedonia Group, during the period from 2009 to 2014, proppant demand by weight increased by 42% annually. Spears estimates from 2016 through 2020 proppant demand is projected to grow by 23.2% per year, from 30 million tons per year to 85 million tons per year, representing an increase of approximately 55 million tons in annual proppant demand over that time period.

 

LOGO

Demand growth for raw frac sand and other proppants is primarily driven by advancements in oil and natural gas drilling and well completion technology and techniques, such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. These advancements have made the extraction of oil and natural gas increasingly cost-effective in formations that historically would have been uneconomic to develop. While current horizontal rig counts have fallen significantly from their peak of approximately 1,370 in 2014, rig count grew at an annual rate of 18.7% from 2009 to 2014. Additionally, the percentage of active drilling rigs used to drill horizontal wells, which require greater volumes of proppant than vertical wells, has increased from 42.2% in 2009 to 68.4% in 2014, and as of July 2016 the percentage of rigs drilling horizontal wells is 77% according to the Baker Hughes Rig Count. Moreover, the increase of pad drilling has led to a more efficient use of rigs, allowing more wells to be drilled per rig. As a result of these factors, well count, and hence proppant demand, has grown at a greater rate than

 

 

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overall rig count. Spears estimates that in 2019, proppant demand will exceed the 2014 peak (of approximately 72.5 million tons) and reach 77.5 millions tons even though the projection assumes approximately 10,000 fewer wells will be drilled. Spears estimates that average proppant usage per well will be approximately 5,000 tons per well by 2020. Kelrik notes that current sand-based slickwater completions use in excess of 7,500 tons per well of proppant.

 

While demand for proppant has declined since late 2014 in connection with the downturn in commodity prices and the corresponding decline in oil and natural gas drilling and production activity, we believe that the demand for proppant will increase over the medium and long term as commodity prices rise from their recent lows, which will lead producers to resume completion of their inventory of drilled but uncompleted wells and undertake new drilling activities. Further, we believe that demand for proppant will be amplified by the following factors:

 

    improved drilling rig productivity, resulting in more wells drilled per rig per year;

 

    completion of exploration and production companies’ inventory of drilled but uncompleted wells;

 

    increases in the percentage of rigs that are drilling horizontal wells;

 

    increases in the length of the typical horizontal wellbore;

 

    increases in the number of fracture stages per foot in the typical completed horizontal wellbore;

 

    increases in the volume of proppant used per fracturing stage;

 

    renewed focus of exploration and production companies to maximize ultimate recovery in active reservoirs through downspacing; and

 

    increasing secondary hydraulic fracturing of existing wells as early shale wells age.

Recent growth in demand for raw frac sand has outpaced growth in demand for other proppants, and industry analysts predict that this trend will continue. As well completion costs have increased as a proportion of total well costs, operators have increasingly looked for ways to improve per well economics by lowering costs without sacrificing production performance. To this end, the oil and natural gas industry is shifting away from the use of higher-cost proppants towards more cost-effective proppants, such as raw frac sand. Evolution of completion techniques and the substantial increase in activity in U.S. oil and liquids-rich resource plays has further accelerated the demand growth for raw frac sand.

In general, oil and liquids-rich wells use a higher proportion of coarser proppant while dry gas wells typically use finer grades of sand. In the past, with the majority of U.S. exploration and production spending focused on oil and liquids-rich plays, demand for coarser grades of sand exceeded demand for finer grades; however, due to innovations in completion techniques, demand for finer grade sands has also shown a considerable resurgence. According to Kelrik, a notable driver impacting demand for fine mesh sand is increased proppant loadings, specifically, larger volumes of proppant placed per frac stage. Kelrik expects the trend of using larger volumes of finer mesh materials such as 100 mesh sand and 40/70 sand, to continue.

Supply Trends

In recent years, through the fall of 2014, customer demand for high-quality raw frac sand outpaced supply. Several factors contributed to this supply shortage, including:

 

    the difficulty of finding raw frac sand reserves that meet API specifications and satisfy the demands of customers who increasingly favor high-quality Northern White raw frac sand;

 

    the difficulty of securing contiguous raw frac sand reserves large enough to justify the capital investment required to develop a processing facility;

 

    the challenges of identifying reserves with the above characteristics that have rail access needed for low-cost transportation to major shale basins;

 

 

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    the hurdles to securing mining, production, water, air, refuse and other federal, state and local operating permits from the proper authorities;

 

    local opposition to development of certain facilities, especially those that require the use of on-road transportation, including moratoria on raw frac sand facilities in multiple counties in Wisconsin and Minnesota that hold potential sand reserves; and

 

    the long lead time required to design and construct sand processing facilities that can efficiently process large quantities of high-quality raw frac sand.

Supplies of high-quality Northern White raw frac sand are limited to select areas, predominantly in western Wisconsin and limited areas of Minnesota and Illinois. The ability to obtain large contiguous reserves in these areas is a key constraint and can be an important supply consideration when assessing the economic viability of a potential raw frac sand facility. Further constraining the supply and throughput of Northern White raw frac sand, is that not all of the large reserve mines have onsite excavation and processing capability. Additionally, much of the recent capital investment in Northern White raw frac sand mines was used to develop coarser deposits in western Wisconsin. With the shift to finer sands in the liquid and oil plays, many mines may not be economically viable as their ability to produce finer grades of sand may be limited.

Our Relationship with Our Sponsor

Our sponsor is a fund managed by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., which, together with its affiliates and related persons, we refer to as Clearlake. Clearlake is a private investment firm with a sector-focused approach. The firm seeks to partner with world-class management teams by providing patient, long-term capital to dynamic businesses that can benefit from Clearlake’s operational and strategic expertise. The firm’s core target sectors include technology, communications and business services; industrials, energy and power; and consumer products and services. Clearlake currently has approximately $3.5 billion of assets under management. We believe our relationship with Clearlake provides us with a unique resource to effectively compete for acquisitions within the industry by being able to take advantage of their experience in acquiring businesses to assist us in seeking out, evaluating and closing attractive acquisition opportunities over time.

Risk Factors

An investment in our common stock involves risks that include the demand for sand-based proppants and other risks. You should carefully consider the risks described under “Risk Factors” and the other information in this prospectus before investing in our common stock.

Principal Executive Offices and Internet Address

Our principal executive offices are located at 24 Waterway Avenue, Suite 350, The Woodlands, Texas 77380, and our telephone number is (281) 231-2660. Following the closing of this offering, our website will be located at www.                      .com. We expect to make our periodic reports and other information filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, available, free of charge, through our website, as soon as reasonably practicable after those reports and other information are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. Information on our website or any other website is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus and does not constitute a part of this prospectus.

 

 

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Our Emerging Growth Company Status

As a company with less than $1.0 billion in revenue during our last fiscal year, we qualify as an “emerging growth company” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act. As an emerging growth company, we may, for up to five years, take advantage of specified exemptions from reporting and other regulatory requirements that are otherwise applicable generally to public companies. These exemptions include:

 

    the presentation of only two years of audited financial statements and only two years of related Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in this prospectus;

 

    deferral of the auditor attestation requirement on the effectiveness of our system of internal control over financial reporting;

 

    exemption from the adoption of new or revised financial accounting standards until they would apply to private companies;

 

    exemption from compliance with any new requirements adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board requiring mandatory audit firm rotation or a supplement to the auditor’s report in which the auditor would be required to provide additional information about the audit and the financial statements of the issuer; and

 

    reduced disclosure about executive compensation arrangements.

We may take advantage of these provisions until we are no longer an emerging growth company, which will occur on the earliest of (i) the last day of the fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of this offering, (ii) the last day of the fiscal year in which we have more than $1.0 billion in annual revenue, (iii) the date on which we issue more than $1.0 billion of non-convertible debt over a three-year period and (iv) the date on which we are deemed to be a “large accelerated filer,” as defined in Rule 12b-2 promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act.

We have elected to take advantage of all of the applicable JOBS Act provisions, except that we will elect to opt out of the exemption that allows emerging growth companies to extend the transition period for complying with new or revised financial accounting standards (this election is irrevocable).

Accordingly, the information that we provide you may be different than what you may receive from other public companies in which you hold equity interests.

 

 

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THE OFFERING

 

Issuer

Smart Sand, Inc.

 

Common stock offered by us

             shares.

 

Common stock offered by the selling stockholders

             shares.

 

Common stock outstanding after this offering

             shares.

 

Option to purchase additional shares

The selling stockholders have granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an aggregate of              additional shares of our common stock held by the selling stockholders to cover over-allotments.

 

Shares held by our selling stockholders after this offering

             shares (or              shares, if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares).

 

Use of proceeds

We expect to receive approximately $         million of net proceeds, based upon the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus), after deducting underwriting discounts and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

 

  We intend to use a portion of the net proceeds from this offering to redeem all of the outstanding shares of our Redeemable Series A Preferred Stock (“Preferred Stock”), to repay the outstanding indebtedness under our existing revolving credit facility and the remaining net proceeds for general corporate purposes. Please read “Use of Proceeds.”

 

  We will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of shares of our common stock by the selling stockholders in this offering, including pursuant to any exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional shares of our common stock from the selling stockholders.

 

Dividend policy

We do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our common stock. In addition, we expect our amended revolving credit facility will place certain restrictions on our ability to pay cash dividends. Please read “Dividend Policy.”

Listing and trading symbol

We intend to apply to list our common stock on the NASDAQ Global Market (the “NASDAQ”) under the symbol “SND.”

 

Risk factors

You should carefully read and consider the information set forth under the heading “Risk Factors” and all other information set forth in this prospectus before deciding to invest in our common stock.

The information above does not include shares of common stock reserved for issuance pursuant to the 2016 Plan (as defined in “Executive Compensation—Equity Compensation Plans—2016 Incentive Award Plan”).

 

 

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SUMMARY HISTORICAL CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

The following table presents summary historical consolidated financial data of Smart Sand, Inc. as of the dates and for the periods indicated. The summary historical consolidated financial data as of and for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014 are derived from the audited financial statements appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. The summary historical consolidated interim financial data as of June 30, 2016 and for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015 are derived from the unaudited interim financial statements appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. The unaudited condensed financial statements have been prepared on the same basis as our unaudited financial statements and, in our opinion, include all adjustments, consisting of normal recurring adjustments, that are considered necessary for a fair presentation of the financial position, results of operations and cash flows for such periods. Historical results are not necessarily indicative of future results.

The summary historical consolidated data presented below should be read in conjunction with “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and the related notes and other financial data included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

    Year Ended
December 31,
    Six Months
Ended June 30,
 
    2015     2014     2016     2015  
                (unaudited)     (unaudited)  
    (in thousands, except per share data)  

Statement of Operations Data:

       

Revenues

  $ 47,698      $ 68,170      $ 18,853      $ 23,525   

Cost of goods sold

    21,003        29,934        11,869        12,288   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Gross profit

    26,695        38,236        6,984        11,237   

Operating expenses

       

Salaries, benefits and payroll taxes

    5,055        5,088        2,295        2,828   

Depreciation and amortization

    388        160        181        169   

Selling, general and administrative

    4,669        7,222        1,926        2,547   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

    10,112        12,470        4,402        5,544   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Operating income

    16,583        25,766        2,582        5,693   

Other (expenses) income:

       

Preferred stock interest expense

    (5,570     (5,970     (3,369     (2,680

Other interest expense

    (2,748     (2,231     (1,671     (1,048

Other income

    362        370        189        351   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total other (expense) income

    (7,956     (7,831     (4,851     (3,377

Loss on extinguishment of debt

    —          (1,230     —          —     
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income (loss) before income tax expense (benefit)

    8,627        16,705        (2,269     2,316   

Income tax expense (benefit)

    4,129        9,518        (56     1,633   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net and comprehensive income (loss)

  $ 4,498      $ 7,187      ($ 2,213   $ 683   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Per share information:

       

Net income (loss) per common share:

       

Basic(1)

  $ 447.51      $ 717.36      $ (219.62   $ 67.98   

Diluted(1)

  $ 374.86      $ 602.47      $ (219.62   $ 56.87   

Weighted-average number of common shares:

       

Basic

    10,052        10,018        10,077        10,042   

Diluted

    12,000        11,929        12,016        12,004   

 

 

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    Year Ended
December 31,
    Six Months
Ended June 30,
 
    2015     2014     2016     2015  
                (unaudited)     (unaudited)  
    (in thousands)  

Balance Sheet Data (at period end):

       

Property, plant and equipment, net

  $ 108,928      $ 85,815      $ 106,451      $ 107,398   

Total assets

    133,050        109,629        123,963        125,948   

Total stockholders’ equity (deficit)

    2,868        (2,326     996        (1,309

Cash Flow Statement Data:

       

Net cash provided by operating activities

  $ 30,703      $ 22,137      $ 6,070      $ 11,446   

Net cash used in investing activities

    (29,375     (30,888     (690     (21,806

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities

    1,766        7,434        (7,408     9,983   

Other Data:

       

Capital expenditures(2)

  $ 28,102      $ 34,719      $ (1,365   $ 22,624   

Adjusted EBITDA(3)

    23,881        33,330        6,391        9,418   

Production costs(3)

    10,114        20,690        5,654        6,040   

 

(1) Pro forma basic and diluted net income (loss) per share of common stock, after giving effect to a              for 1 stock split on             ,              would have been              and              for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014 and              and              for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015.
(2) Negative capital expenditures for the six months ended June 30, 2016 resulted from various deposits received for projects included in construction-in-progress.
(3) For our definitions of the non-GAAP financial measures of Adjusted EBITDA and production costs and reconciliations of Adjusted EBITDA and production costs to our most directly comparable financial measures calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP, please read “Selected Historical Consolidated Financial Data—Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”

 

 

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RISK FACTORS

Investing in shares of our common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks described below with all of the other information included in this prospectus before deciding to invest in shares of our common stock. If any of the following risks were to occur, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows could be materially adversely affected. In that case, the trading price of our common stock could decline and you could lose all or part of your investment.

Risks Inherent in Our Business

Our business and financial performance depend on the level of activity in the oil and natural gas industry.

Substantially all of our revenues are derived from sales to companies in the oil and natural gas industry. As a result, our operations are dependent on the levels of activity in oil and natural gas exploration, development and production. More specifically, the demand for the proppants we produce is closely related to the number of oil and natural gas wells completed in geological formations where sand-based proppants are used in fracturing activities. These activity levels are affected by both short- and long-term trends in oil and natural gas prices, among other factors.

In recent years, oil and natural gas prices and, therefore, the level of exploration, development and production activity, have experienced a sustained decline from the highs in the latter half of 2014. Beginning in September 2014 and continuing through early 2016, increasing global supply of oil, including a decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (“OPEC”) to sustain its production levels in spite of the decline in oil prices, in conjunction with weakened demand from slowing economic growth in the Eurozone and China, has created downward pressure on crude oil prices resulting in reduced demand for our products and pressure to reduce our product prices. If these conditions persist, this will adversely impact our operations. Furthermore, the availability of key resources that impact drilling activity has experienced significant fluctuations and could impact product demand.

A prolonged reduction in oil and natural gas prices would generally depress the level of oil and natural gas exploration, development, production and well completion activity and would result in a corresponding decline in the demand for the proppants we produce. Such a decline would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operation and financial condition. The commercial development of economically-viable alternative energy sources (such as wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, fuel cells and biofuels) could have a similar effect. In addition, certain U.S. federal income tax deductions currently available with respect to oil and natural gas exploration and development, including the repeal of the percentage depletion allowance for oil and natural gas properties, may be eliminated as a result of proposed legislation. Any future decreases in the rate at which oil and natural gas reserves are discovered or developed, whether due to the passage of legislation, increased governmental regulation leading to limitations, or prohibitions on exploration and drilling activity, including hydraulic fracturing, or other factors, could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition, even in a stronger oil and natural gas price environment.

We may have difficulty maintaining compliance with the covenants and ratios required under our existing and amended revolving credit facilities. Failure to maintain compliance with these financial covenants or ratios could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

We have historically relied on our existing revolving credit facility and, following the closing of this offering, will rely on our amended revolving credit facility to provide liquidity and support for our operations and growth objectives, as necessary. Our existing revolving credit facility requires, and we expect that our amended revolving credit facility will require, us to comply with certain financial covenants and ratios. Our ability to comply with these restrictions and covenants in the future is uncertain and will be affected by the levels of cash flow from our operations and events or circumstances beyond our control, including events and circumstances that may stem from the condition of financial markets and commodity price levels. For example, as of

 

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September 30, 2015, our total leverage ratio exceeded the threshold of 3.00 to 1.00 under our existing revolving credit facility. We were in compliance with all other covenants at that time. On December 18, 2015, we entered into the fourth amendment to our existing revolving credit facility which, among other things, waived the event of default related to the September 30, 2015 leverage ratio. At June 30, 2016, we were in compliance with the covenants contained in our existing revolving credit facility.

Our failure to comply with any of the covenants of our existing or amended revolving credit facilities could result in a default, which could cause all of our existing indebtedness to become immediately due and payable. In the event that we are unable to access sufficient capital to fund our business and planned capital expenditures, we may be required to curtail potential acquisitions, strategic growth projects, portions of our current operations and other activities. A lack of capital could result in a decrease in our operations, subject us to claims of breach under customer and supplier contracts and may force us to sell some of our assets or issue additional equity on an untimely or unfavorable basis, each of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

A substantial majority of our revenues have been generated under contracts with a limited number of customers, and the loss of, material nonpayment or nonperformance by or significant reduction in purchases by any of them could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

As of July 31, 2016, we were contracted to sell raw frac sand produced from our Oakdale facility under four long-term take-or-pay contracts with a weighted average remaining life of approximately 2.1 years. Beginning January 1, 2017, the volume-weighted average remaining term pursuant to these take-or-pay contracts is              years. Because we have a small number of customers contracted under long-term take-or-pay contracts, these contracts subject us to counterparty risk. The ability or willingness of each of our customers to perform its obligations under a contract with us will depend on a number of factors that are beyond our control and may include, among other things, the overall financial condition of the counterparty, the condition of the U.S. oil and natural gas exploration and production industry, continuing use of raw frac sand in hydraulic fracturing operations and general economic conditions. In addition, in depressed market conditions, our customers may no longer need the amount of raw frac sand for which they have contracted or may be able to obtain comparable products at a lower price. If our customers experience a significant downturn in their business or financial condition, they may attempt to renegotiate or declare force majeure under our contracts. For example, a number of our existing contracts have recently been adjusted resulting in a combination of reduced average selling prices per ton, adjustments to take-or-pay volumes and length of contract. In the current market environment, customers have begun to purchase more volumes on a spot basis as compared to committing to term contracts, and we expect this trend to continue in the near term until oil and natural gas drilling and completion activity begins to increase. If any of our major customers substantially reduces or altogether ceases purchasing our raw frac sand and we are not able to generate replacement sales of raw frac sand into the market, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected until such time as we generate replacement sales in the market. In addition, as contracts expire, depending on market conditions at the time, our customers may choose not to extend these contracts which could lead to a significant reduction of sales volumes and corresponding revenues cash flows and financial condition if we are not able to replace these contracts with new sales volumes. Additionally, even if we were to replace any lost contract volumes, under current market conditions, lower prices for our product could materially reduce our revenues, cash flow and financial condition. Currently we have one contract of 1.1 million tons per year that matures in November 2016, and we have no assurances that this contract will be renewed beyond its current term.

We are exposed to the credit risk of our customers, and any material nonpayment or nonperformance by our customers could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We are subject to the risk of loss resulting from nonpayment or nonperformance by our customers. Our credit procedures and policies may not be adequate to fully eliminate customer credit risk. If we fail to adequately assess the creditworthiness of existing or future customers or unanticipated deterioration in their

 

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creditworthiness, any resulting increase in nonpayment or nonperformance by them and our inability to re-market or otherwise use the production could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. The decline and volatility in natural gas and crude oil prices over the last two years has negatively impacted the financial condition of our customers and further declines, sustained lower prices, or continued volatility could impact their ability to meet their financial obligations to us. Further, our contract counterparties may not perform or adhere to our existing or future contractual arrangements. To the extent one or more of our contract counterparties is in financial distress or commences bankruptcy proceedings, contracts with these counterparties may be subject to renegotiation or rejection under applicable provisions of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Any material nonpayment or nonperformance by our contract counterparties due to inability or unwillingness to perform or adhere to contractual arrangements could adversely affect our business and results of operations. For example, in July 2016, one of our contracted customers, C&J Energy Services, filed for bankruptcy and rejected our contract, which had 2.3 years and 0.7 million tons contracted remaining under its term. We are pursuing a claim for damages through the bankruptcy courts at this time, but it is uncertain as to what, if any, recoveries we will be granted by the courts. There is no guarantee that we will be able to find new customers for these contracted volumes, if needed, and even if we are able to find new customers for such volumes, we may be forced to sell at a price lower than what was agreed to with C&J Energy Services. C&J Energy Services has also demanded a refund of the remaining balance of prepayments it claimed to have made pursuant to its contract with us. As of June 30, 2016, the balance of this prepayment was approximately $5 million and was presented as deferred revenue in the consolidated balance sheet. If resolved unfavorably, this threatened claim may have a material impact to the Company’s financial position.

Our proppant sales are subject to fluctuations in market pricing.

A majority of our supply agreements involving the sale of raw frac sand have market-based pricing mechanisms. Accordingly, in periods with decreasing prices, our results of operations may be lower than if our agreements had fixed prices. During these periods our customers may also elect to reduce their purchases from us and seek to find alternative, cheaper sources of supply. In periods with increasing prices, these agreements permit us to increase prices; however these increases are generally calculated on a quarterly basis and do not increase on a dollar-for-dollar basis with increases in spot market pricing. Furthermore, certain volume-based supply agreements may influence the ability to fully capture current market pricing. These pricing provisions may result in significant variability in our results of operations and cash flows from period to period.

Changes in supply and demand dynamics could also impact market pricing for proppants. A number of existing proppant providers and new market entrants have recently announced reserve acquisitions, processing capacity expansions and greenfield projects. In periods where sources of supply of raw frac sand exceed market demand, market prices for raw frac sand may decline and our results of operations and cash flows may continue to decline, be volatile, or otherwise be adversely affected. For example, beginning in September 2014 and continuing through 2016, increasing global supply of oil, in conjunction with weakened demand from slowing economic growth in the Eurozone and China, created downward pressure on crude oil prices resulting in reduced demand for hydraulic fracturing services leading to a corresponding reduced demand for our products and pressure to reduce our product prices. From September 2014 through June 2016, raw frac sand prices have decreased by approximately 27% per the Frac Sand Index compiled by the Department of Labor Statistics.

We face significant competition that may cause us to lose market share.

The proppant industry is highly competitive. The proppant market is characterized by a small number of large, national producers and a larger number of small, regional or local producers. Competition in this industry is based on price, consistency and quality of product, site location, distribution capability, customer service, reliability of supply, breadth of product offering and technical support.

Some of our competitors have greater financial and other resources than we do. In addition, our larger competitors may develop technology superior to ours or may have production facilities that offer lower-cost transportation to certain customer locations than we do. When the demand for hydraulic fracturing services decreases or the supply of proppant available in the market increases, prices in the raw frac sand market can

 

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materially decrease. Furthermore, oil and natural gas exploration and production companies and other providers of hydraulic fracturing services have acquired and in the future may acquire their own raw frac sand reserves to fulfill their proppant requirements, and these other market participants may expand their existing raw frac sand production capacity, all of which would negatively impact demand for our raw frac sand. In addition, increased competition in the proppant industry could have an adverse impact on our ability to enter into long-term contracts or to enter into contracts on favorable terms.

We may be required to make substantial capital expenditures to maintain, develop and increase our asset base. The inability to obtain needed capital or financing on satisfactory terms, or at all, could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Although we currently use a significant amount of our cash generated from our operations to fund the maintenance and development of our asset base, we may depend on the availability of credit to fund future capital expenditures. Our ability to obtain bank financing or to access the capital markets for future equity or debt offerings may be limited by our financial condition at the time of any such financing or offering, the covenants we expect to be contained in our amended revolving credit facility or other future debt agreements, adverse market conditions or other contingencies and uncertainties that are beyond our control. Our failure to obtain the funds necessary to maintain, develop and increase our asset base could adversely impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Even if we are able to obtain financing or access the capital markets, incurring additional debt may significantly increase our interest expense and financial leverage, and our level of indebtedness could restrict our ability to fund future development and acquisition activities. In addition, the issuance of additional equity interests may result in significant dilution to our existing common stockholders.

Inaccuracies in estimates of volumes and qualities of our sand reserves could result in lower than expected sales and higher than expected production costs.

John T. Boyd, our independent reserve engineers, prepared estimates of our reserves based on engineering, economic and geological data assembled and analyzed by our engineers and geologists. However, raw frac sand reserve estimates are by nature imprecise and depend to some extent on statistical inferences drawn from available data, which may prove unreliable. There are numerous uncertainties inherent in estimating quantities and qualities of reserves and non-reserve raw frac sand deposits and costs to mine recoverable reserves, including many factors beyond our control. Estimates of economically recoverable raw frac sand reserves necessarily depend on a number of factors and assumptions, all of which may vary considerably from actual results, such as:

 

    geological and mining conditions and/or effects from prior mining that may not be fully identified by available data or that may differ from experience;

 

    assumptions concerning future prices of raw frac sand, operating costs, mining technology improvements, development costs and reclamation costs; and

 

    assumptions concerning future effects of regulation, including the issuance of required permits and the assessment of taxes by governmental agencies.

Any inaccuracy in John T. Boyd’s estimates related to our raw frac sand reserves or non-reserve raw frac sand deposits could result in lower than expected sales or higher than expected costs. For example, John T. Boyd’s estimates of our proven recoverable sand reserves assume that our revenue and cost structure will remain relatively constant over the life of our reserves. If these assumptions prove to be inaccurate, some or all of our reserves may not be economically mineable, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash flows. In addition, our current customer contracts require us to deliver raw frac sand that meets certain API and ISO specifications. If John T. Boyd’s estimates of the quality of our reserves, including the volumes of the various specifications of those reserves, prove to be inaccurate, we may incur significantly higher excavation costs without corresponding increases in revenues, we may not be able to meet our contractual obligations, or our facilities may have a shorter than expected reserve life, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash flows.

 

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All of our sales are generated at one facility, and that facility is primarily served by one rail line. Any adverse developments at that facility or on the rail line could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

All of our sales are currently derived from our Oakdale facility located in Oakdale, Wisconsin, which is served primarily by a single Class I rail line owned by Canadian Pacific. Any adverse development at this facility or on the rail line due to catastrophic events or weather, or any other event that would cause us to curtail, suspend or terminate operations at our Oakdale facility, could result in us being unable to meet our contracted sand deliveries. Although we maintain insurance coverage to cover a portion of these types of risks, there are potential risks associated with our operations not covered by insurance. There also may be certain risks covered by insurance where the policy does not reimburse us for all of the costs related to a loss. Downtime or other delays or interruptions to our operations that are not covered by insurance could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, under our long-term take-or-pay contracts, if we are unable to deliver contracted volumes and a customer arranges for delivery from a third party at a higher price, we may be required to pay that customer the difference between our contract price and the price of the third-party product.

If we are unable to make acquisitions on economically acceptable terms, our future growth would be limited.

A portion of our strategy to grow our business is dependent on our ability to make acquisitions. If we are unable to make acquisitions from third parties because we are unable to identify attractive acquisition candidates or negotiate acceptable purchase contracts, we are unable to obtain financing for these acquisitions on economically acceptable terms or we are outbid by competitors, our future growth may be limited. Any acquisition involves potential risks, some of which are beyond our control, including, among other things:

 

    mistaken assumptions about revenues and costs, including synergies;

 

    inability to integrate successfully the businesses we acquire;

 

    inability to hire, train or retain qualified personnel to manage and operate our business and newly acquired assets;

 

    the assumption of unknown liabilities;

 

    limitations on rights to indemnity from the seller;

 

    mistaken assumptions about the overall costs of equity or debt;

 

    diversion of management’s attention from other business concerns;

 

    unforeseen difficulties operating in new product areas or new geographic areas; and

 

    customer or key employee losses at the acquired businesses.

If we consummate any future acquisitions, our capitalization and results of operations may change significantly, and common stockholders will not have the opportunity to evaluate the economic, financial and other relevant information that we will consider in determining the application of these funds and other resources.

We may not be able to complete greenfield development or expansion projects or, if we do, we may not realize the expected benefits.

Any greenfield development or expansion project requires us to raise substantial capital and obtain numerous state and local permits. A decision by any governmental agency not to issue a required permit or substantial delays in the permitting process could prevent us from pursuing the development or expansion project. In addition, if the demand for our products declines during a period in which we experience delays in raising capital or completing the permitting process, we may not realize the expected benefits from our greenfield facility or expansion project. Furthermore, our new or modified facilities may not operate at designed capacity or may cost more to operate than we expect. The inability to complete greenfield development or expansion projects

 

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or to complete them on a timely basis and in turn grow our business could adversely affect our business and results of operations.

Restrictions in our amended revolving credit facility may limit our ability to capitalize on potential acquisition and other business opportunities.

The operating and financial restrictions and covenants in our amended revolving credit facility and any future financing agreements could restrict our ability to finance future operations or capital needs or to expand or pursue our business activities. For example, we expect our amended revolving credit facility to restrict or limit our ability to:

 

    grant liens;

 

    incur additional indebtedness;

 

    engage in a merger, consolidation or dissolution;

 

    enter into transactions with affiliates;

 

    sell or otherwise dispose of assets, businesses and operations;

 

    materially alter the character of our business as conducted at the closing of this offering; and

 

    make acquisitions, investments and capital expenditures.

Furthermore, we expect our amended revolving credit facility to contain certain operating and financial covenants. Our ability to comply with such covenants and restrictions contained in the amended revolving credit facility may be affected by events beyond our control, including prevailing economic, financial and industry conditions. If market or other economic conditions deteriorate, our ability to comply with these covenants may be impaired. If we violate any of the restrictions, covenants, ratios or tests in our revolving credit facility, a significant portion of our indebtedness may become immediately due and payable, and our lenders’ commitment to make further loans to us may terminate. We might not have, or be able to obtain, sufficient funds to make these accelerated payments. Any subsequent replacement of our amended revolving credit facility or any new indebtedness could have similar or greater restrictions. Please read “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Credit Facilities—Our Credit Facility and Other Arrangements.”

We face distribution and logistical challenges in our business.

Transportation and logistical operating expenses comprise a significant portion of the costs incurred by our customers to deliver raw frac sand to the wellhead, which could favor suppliers located in close proximity to the customer. As oil and natural gas prices fluctuate, our customers may shift their focus to different resource plays, some of which may be located in geographic areas that do not have well-developed transportation and distribution infrastructure systems, or seek contracts with additional delivery and pricing alternatives including contracts that sell product on an “as-delivered” basis at the target shale basin. Serving our customers in these less-developed areas presents distribution and other operational challenges that may affect our sales and negatively impact our operating costs and any delays we experience in optimizing our logistics infrastructure or developing additional origination and destination points may adversely affect our ability to renew existing contracts with customers seeking additional delivery and pricing alternatives. Disruptions in transportation services, including shortages of rail cars, lack of developed infrastructure, weather-related problems, flooding, drought, accidents, mechanical difficulties, strikes, lockouts, bottlenecks or other events could affect our ability to timely and cost effectively deliver to our customers and could temporarily impair the ability of our customers to take delivery and, in certain circumstances, constitute a force majeure event under our customer contracts, permitting our customers to suspend taking delivery of and paying for our raw frac sand. Additionally, increases in the price of transportation costs, including freight charges, fuel surcharges, transloading fees, terminal switch fees and demurrage costs, could negatively impact operating costs if we are unable to pass those increased costs along to our customers. Accordingly, because we are so dependent on rail infrastructure, if there are disruptions

 

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of the rail transportation services utilized by us or our customers, and we or our customers are unable to find alternative transportation providers to transport our products, our business and results of operations could be adversely affected. Further, declining volumes could result in additional rail car over-capacity, which would lead to rail car storage fees while, at the same time, we would continue to incur lease costs for those rail cars in storage. Failure to find long-term solutions to these logistical challenges could adversely affect our ability to respond quickly to the needs of our customers or result in additional increased costs, and thus could negatively impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We may be adversely affected by decreased demand for raw frac sand due to the development of effective alternative proppants or new processes to replace hydraulic fracturing.

Raw frac sand is a proppant used in the completion and re-completion of oil and natural gas wells to stimulate and maintain oil and natural gas production through the process of hydraulic fracturing. Raw frac sand is the most commonly used proppant and is less expensive than other proppants, such as resin-coated sand and manufactured ceramics. A significant shift in demand from raw frac sand to other proppants, or the development of new processes to make hydraulic fracturing more efficient could replace it altogether, could cause a decline in the demand for the raw frac sand we produce and result in a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

An increase in the supply of raw frac sand having similar characteristics as the raw frac sand we produce could make it more difficult for us to renew or replace our existing contracts on favorable terms, or at all.

If significant new reserves of raw frac sand are discovered and developed, and those raw frac sands have similar characteristics to the raw frac sand we produce, we may be unable to renew or replace our existing contracts on favorable terms, or at all. Specifically, if high-quality raw frac sand becomes more readily available, our customers may not be willing to enter into long-term take-or-pay contracts, may demand lower prices or both, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Federal, state and local legislative and regulatory initiatives relating to hydraulic fracturing and the potential for related litigation could result in increased costs, additional operating restrictions or delays for our customers, which could cause a decline in the demand for our raw frac sand and negatively impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We supply raw frac sand to hydraulic fracturing operators in the oil and natural gas industry. Hydraulic fracturing is an important practice that is used to stimulate production of natural gas and oil from low permeability hydrocarbon bearing subsurface rock formations. The hydraulic fracturing process involves the injection of water, proppants, and chemicals under pressure into the formation to fracture the surrounding rock, increase permeability and stimulate production.

Although we do not directly engage in hydraulic fracturing activities, our customers purchase our raw frac sand for use in their hydraulic fracturing activities. Hydraulic fracturing is typically regulated by state oil and natural gas commissions and similar agencies. Some states have adopted, and other states are considering adopting, regulations that could impose new or more stringent permitting, disclosure or well construction requirements on hydraulic fracturing operations. Aside from state laws, local land use restrictions may restrict drilling in general or hydraulic fracturing in particular. Municipalities may adopt local ordinances attempting to prohibit hydraulic fracturing altogether or, at a minimum, allow such fracturing processes within their jurisdictions to proceed but regulating the time, place and manner of those processes. In addition, federal agencies have started to assert regulatory authority over the process and various studies have been conducted or are currently underway by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), and other federal agencies concerning the potential environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing activities. At the same time, certain environmental groups have suggested that additional laws may be needed and, in some instances, have pursued voter ballot initiatives to more closely and uniformly limit or otherwise regulate the hydraulic fracturing process, and legislation has been proposed by some members of Congress to provide for such regulation.

 

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The adoption of new laws or regulations at the federal, state or local levels imposing reporting obligations on, or otherwise limiting or delaying, the hydraulic fracturing process could make it more difficult to complete natural gas wells, increase our customers’ costs of compliance and doing business, and otherwise adversely affect the hydraulic fracturing services they perform, which could negatively impact demand for our raw frac sand. In addition, heightened political, regulatory, and public scrutiny of hydraulic fracturing practices could expose us or our customers to increased legal and regulatory proceedings, which could be time-consuming, costly, or result in substantial legal liability or significant reputational harm. We could be directly affected by adverse litigation involving us, or indirectly affected if the cost of compliance limits the ability of our customers to operate. Such costs and scrutiny could directly or indirectly, through reduced demand for our raw frac sand, have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our long-term take-or-pay contracts may preclude us from taking advantage of increasing prices for raw frac sand or mitigating the effect of increased operational costs during the term of those contracts.

The long-term take-or-pay contracts we have may negatively impact our results of operations. Our long-term take-or-pay contracts require our customers to pay a specified price for a specified volume of raw frac sand each month. Although most of our long-term take-or-pay contracts provide for price increases based on crude oil prices, such increases are generally calculated on a quarterly basis and do not increase dollar-for-dollar with increases in spot market prices. As a result, in periods with increasing prices our sales will not keep pace with market prices.

Additionally, if our operational costs increase during the terms of our long-term take-or-pay contracts, we will not be able to pass some of those increased costs to our customers. If we are unable to otherwise mitigate these increased operational costs, our net income could decline.

Our operations are subject to operational hazards and unforeseen interruptions for which we may not be adequately insured.

Our operations are exposed to potential natural disasters, including blizzards, tornadoes, storms, floods, other adverse weather conditions and earthquakes. If any of these events were to occur, we could incur substantial losses because of personal injury or loss of life, severe damage to and destruction of property and equipment, and pollution or other environmental damage resulting in curtailment or suspension of our operations.

We are not fully insured against all risks incident to our business, including the risk of our operations being interrupted due to severe weather and natural disasters. Furthermore, we may be unable to maintain or obtain insurance of the type and amount we desire at reasonable rates. As a result of market conditions, premiums and deductibles for certain of our insurance policies have increased and could escalate further. In addition sub-limits have been imposed for certain risks. In some instances, certain insurance could become unavailable or available only for reduced amounts of coverage. If we were to incur a significant liability for which we are not fully insured, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our production process consumes large amounts of natural gas and electricity. An increase in the price or a significant interruption in the supply of these or any other energy sources could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Energy costs, primarily natural gas and electricity, represented approximately 7.8% of our total cost of goods sold for the six months ended June 30, 2016. Natural gas is currently the primary fuel source used for drying in our raw frac sand production process. As a result, our profitability will be impacted by the price and availability of natural gas we purchase from third parties. Because we have not contracted for the provision of natural gas on a fixed-price basis, our costs and profitability will be impacted by fluctuations in prices for natural gas. The price and supply of natural gas is unpredictable and can fluctuate significantly based on international, political and economic circumstances, as well as other events outside our control, such as changes in supply and demand due to weather conditions, actions by OPEC and other oil and natural gas producers, regional production

 

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patterns, security threats and environmental concerns. In addition, potential climate change regulations or carbon or emissions taxes could result in higher production costs for energy, which may be passed on to us in whole or in part. The price of natural gas has been extremely volatile over the last two years, from a high of $4.12 per million British Thermal Units (“BTUs”) in November 2014 to a low of $1.73 per million BTUs in March 2016, and this volatility may continue. In order to manage this risk, we may hedge natural gas prices through the use of derivative financial instruments, such as forwards, swaps and futures. However, these measures carry risk (including nonperformance by counterparties) and do not in any event entirely eliminate the risk of decreased margins as a result of propane or natural gas price increases. We further attempt to mitigate these risks by including in our sales contracts fuel surcharges based on natural gas prices exceeding certain benchmarks. A significant increase in the price of energy that is not recovered through an increase in the price of our products or covered through our hedging arrangements or an extended interruption in the supply of natural gas or electricity to our production facilities could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Increases in the price of diesel fuel may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Diesel fuel costs generally fluctuate with increasing and decreasing world crude oil prices and, accordingly, are subject to political, economic and market factors that are outside of our control. Our operations are dependent on earthmoving equipment, locomotives and tractor trailers, and diesel fuel costs are a significant component of the operating expense of these vehicles. Accordingly, increased diesel fuel costs could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

A facility closure entails substantial costs, and if we close our facility sooner than anticipated, our results of operations may be adversely affected.

We base our assumptions regarding the life of our Oakdale facility on detailed studies that we perform from time to time, but our studies and assumptions may not prove to be accurate. If we close our Oakdale facility sooner than expected, sales will decline unless we are able to acquire and develop additional facilities, which may not be possible. The closure of our Oakdale facility would involve significant fixed closure costs, including accelerated employment legacy costs, severance-related obligations, reclamation and other environmental costs and the costs of terminating long-term obligations, including energy contracts and equipment leases. We accrue for the costs of reclaiming open pits, stockpiles, non-saleable sand, ponds, roads and other mining support areas over the estimated mining life of our property. If we were to reduce the estimated life of our Oakdale facility, the fixed facility closure costs would be applied to a shorter period of production, which would increase production costs per ton produced and could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Applicable statutes and regulations require that mining property be reclaimed following a mine closure in accordance with specified standards and an approved reclamation plan. The plan addresses matters such as removal of facilities and equipment, regrading, prevention of erosion and other forms of water pollution, re-vegetation and post-mining land use. We may be required to post a surety bond or other form of financial assurance equal to the cost of reclamation as set forth in the approved reclamation plan. The establishment of the final mine closure reclamation liability is based on permit requirements and requires various estimates and assumptions, principally associated with reclamation costs and production levels. If our accruals for expected reclamation and other costs associated with facility closures for which we will be responsible were later determined to be insufficient, our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.

Our operations are dependent on our rights and ability to mine our properties and on our having renewed or received the required permits and approvals from governmental authorities and other third parties.

We hold numerous governmental, environmental, mining and other permits, water rights and approvals authorizing operations at our Oakdale facility. For our extraction and processing in Wisconsin, the permitting process is subject to federal, state and local authority. For example, on the federal level, a Mine Identification

 

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Request (MSHA Form 7000-51) must be filed and obtained before mining commences. If wetlands are impacted, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wetland Permit is required. At the state level, a series of permits are required related to air quality, wetlands, water quality (waste water, storm water), grading permits, endangered species, archeological assessments and high capacity wells in addition to others depending upon site specific factors and operational detail. At the local level, zoning, building, storm water, erosion control, wellhead protection, road usage and access are all regulated and require permitting to some degree. A non-metallic mining reclamation permit is required. A decision by a governmental agency or other third party to deny or delay issuing a new or renewed permit or approval, or to revoke or substantially modify an existing permit or approval, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Title to, and the area of, mineral properties and water rights may also be disputed. Mineral properties sometimes contain claims or transfer histories that examiners cannot verify. A successful claim that we do not have title to our property or lack appropriate water rights could cause us to lose any rights to explore, develop and extract minerals, without compensation for our prior expenditures relating to such property. Our business may suffer a material adverse effect in the event we have title deficiencies.

A shortage of skilled labor together with rising labor costs in the excavation industry may further increase operating costs, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Efficient sand excavation using modern techniques and equipment requires skilled laborers, preferably with several years of experience and proficiency in multiple tasks, including processing of mined minerals. If there is a shortage of experienced labor in Wisconsin, we may find it difficult to hire or train the necessary number of skilled laborers to perform our own operations which could have an adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our business may suffer if we lose, or are unable to attract and retain, key personnel.

We depend to a large extent on the services of our senior management team and other key personnel. Members of our senior management and other key employees bring significant experience to the market environment in which we operate. Competition for management and key personnel is intense, and the pool of qualified candidates is limited. The loss of any of these individuals or the failure to attract additional personnel, as needed, could have a material adverse effect on our operations and could lead to higher labor costs or the use of less-qualified personnel. In addition, if any of our executives or other key employees were to join a competitor or form a competing company, we could lose customers, suppliers, know-how and key personnel. We do not maintain key-man life insurance with respect to any of our employees. Our success will be dependent on our ability to continue to attract, employ and retain highly skilled personnel.

Failure to maintain effective quality control systems at our mining, processing and production facilities could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

The performance and quality of our products are critical to the success of our business. These factors depend significantly on the effectiveness of our quality control systems, which, in turn, depends on a number of factors, including the design of our quality control systems, our quality-training program and our ability to ensure that our employees adhere to our quality control policies and guidelines. Any significant failure or deterioration of our quality control systems could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Seasonal and severe weather conditions could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our business could be materially adversely affected by severe weather conditions. Severe weather conditions may affect our customers’ operations, thus reducing their need for our products, impact our operations by resulting in weather-related damage to our facilities and equipment and impact our customers’ ability to take

 

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delivery of our products at our plant site. Any weather-related interference with our operations could force us to delay or curtail services and potentially breach our contractual obligations to deliver minimum volumes or result in a loss of productivity and an increase in our operating costs.

In addition, winter weather conditions impact our operations by causing us to halt our excavation and wet plant related production activities during the winter months. During non-winter months, we excavate excess sand to build a stockpile that will feed the dry plants which continue to operate during the winter months. Unexpected winter conditions (such as winter arriving earlier than expected or lasting longer than expected) may result in us not having a sufficient sand stockpile to operate our dry plants during winter months, which could result in us being unable to deliver our contracted sand amounts during such time and lead to a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our cash flow fluctuates on a seasonal basis.

Our cash flow is affected by a variety of factors, including weather conditions and seasonal periods. Seasonal fluctuations in weather impact the production levels at our wet processing plant. While our sales and finished product production levels are contracted evenly throughout the year, our mining and wet sand processing activities are limited to non-winter months. As a consequence, we experience lower cash costs in the first and fourth quarter of each calendar year.

A terrorist attack or armed conflict could harm our business.

Terrorist activities, anti-terrorist efforts and other armed conflicts involving the United States could adversely affect the U.S. and global economies and could prevent us from meeting financial and other obligations. We could experience loss of business, delays or defaults in payments from payors or disruptions of fuel supplies and markets if pipelines, production facilities, processing plants, refineries or transportation facilities are direct targets or indirect casualties of an act of terror or war. Such activities could reduce the overall demand for oil and natural gas, which, in turn, could also reduce the demand for our raw frac sand. Terrorist activities and the threat of potential terrorist activities and any resulting economic downturn could adversely affect our results of operations, impair our ability to raise capital or otherwise adversely impact our ability to realize certain business strategies.

Diminished access to water may adversely affect our operations or the operations of our customers.

The mining and processing activities at our facility requires significant amounts of water. Additionally, the development of oil and natural gas properties through fracture stimulation likewise requires significant water use. We have obtained water rights that we currently use to service the activities at our Oakdale facility, and we plan to obtain all required water rights to service other properties we may develop or acquire in the future. However, the amount of water that we and our customers are entitled to use pursuant to our water rights must be determined by the appropriate regulatory authorities in the jurisdictions in which we and our customers operate. Such regulatory authorities may amend the regulations regarding such water rights, increase the cost of maintaining such water rights or eliminate our current water rights, and we and our customers may be unable to retain all or a portion of such water rights. These new regulations, which could also affect local municipalities and other industrial operations, could have a material adverse effect on our operating costs and effectiveness if implemented. Such changes in laws, regulations or government policy and related interpretations pertaining to water rights may alter the environment in which we and our customers do business, which may negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations.

We may be subject to interruptions or failures in our information technology systems.

We rely on sophisticated information technology systems and infrastructure to support our business, including process control technology. Any of these systems may be susceptible to outages due to fire, floods, power loss, telecommunication failures, usage errors by employees, computer viruses, cyber-attacks or other

 

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security breaches, or similar events. The failure of any of our information technology systems may cause disruptions in our operations, which could adversely affect our sales and profitability.

Our inability to acquire, maintain or renew financial assurances related to the reclamation and restoration of mining property could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

We are generally obligated to restore property in accordance with regulatory standards and our approved reclamation plan after it has been mined. We are required under federal, state and local laws to maintain financial assurances, such as surety bonds, to secure such obligations. The inability to acquire, maintain or renew such assurances, as required by federal, state and local laws, could subject us to fines and penalties as well as the revocation of our operating permits. Such inability could result from a variety of factors, including:

 

    the lack of availability, higher expense, or unreasonable terms of such financial assurances;

 

    the ability of current and future financial assurance counterparties to increase required collateral; and

 

    the exercise by financial assurance counterparties of any rights to refuse to renew the financial assurance instruments.

Our inability to acquire, maintain or renew necessary financial assurances related to the reclamation and restoration of mining property could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

Risks Related to Environmental, Mining and Other Regulation

We and our customers are subject to extensive environmental and occupational health and safety regulations that impose, and will continue to impose, significant costs and liabilities. In addition, future regulations, or more stringent enforcement of existing regulations, could increase those costs and liabilities, which could adversely affect our results of operations.

We are subject to a variety of federal, state, and local regulatory environmental requirements affecting the mining and mineral processing industry, including among others, those relating to employee health and safety, environmental permitting and licensing, air and water emissions, water pollution, waste management, remediation of soil and groundwater contamination, land use, reclamation and restoration of properties, hazardous materials, and natural resources. Some environmental laws impose substantial penalties for noncompliance, and others, such as the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, as amended (“CERCLA”), may impose strict, retroactive, and joint and several liability for the remediation of releases of hazardous substances. Liability under CERCLA, or similar state and local laws, may be imposed as a result of conduct that was lawful at the time it occurred or for the conduct of, or conditions caused by, prior operators or other third parties. Failure to properly handle, transport, store, or dispose of hazardous materials or otherwise conduct our operations in compliance with environmental laws could expose us to liability for governmental penalties, cleanup costs, and civil or criminal liability associated with releases of such materials into the environment, damages to property, natural resources and other damages, as well as potentially impair our ability to conduct our operations. In addition, future environmental laws and regulations could restrict our ability to expand our facilities or extract our mineral deposits or could require us to acquire costly equipment or to incur other significant expenses in connection with our business. Future events, including adoption of new, or changes in any existing environmental requirements (or their interpretation or enforcement) and the costs associated with complying with such requirements, could have a material adverse effect on us.

Any failure by us to comply with applicable environmental laws and regulations may cause governmental authorities to take actions that could adversely impact our operations and financial condition, including:

 

    issuance of administrative, civil, or criminal penalties;

 

    denial, modification, or revocation of permits or other authorizations;

 

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    imposition of injunctive obligations or other limitations on our operations, including cessation of operations; and

 

    requirements to perform site investigatory, remedial, or other corrective actions.

Any such regulations could require us to modify existing permits or obtain new permits, implement additional pollution control technology, curtail operations, increase significantly our operating costs, or impose additional operating restrictions among our customers that reduce demand for our services.

We may not be able to comply with any new or amended laws and regulations that are adopted, and any new or amended laws and regulations could have a material adverse effect on our operating results by requiring us to modify our operations or equipment or shut down our facility. Additionally, our customers may not be able to comply with any new or amended laws and regulations, which could cause our customers to curtail or cease operations. We cannot at this time reasonably estimate our costs of compliance or the timing of any costs associated with any new or amended laws and regulations, or any material adverse effect that any new or modified standards will have on our customers and, consequently, on our operations.

Silica-related legislation, health issues and litigation could have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation or results of operations.

We are subject to laws and regulations relating to human exposure to crystalline silica. Several federal and state regulatory authorities, including the U.S. Mining Safety and Health Administration (“MSHA”) may continue to propose changes in their regulations regarding workplace exposure to crystalline silica, such as permissible exposure limits and required controls and personal protective equipment. We may not be able to comply with any new or amended laws and regulations that are adopted, and any new or amended laws and regulations could have a material adverse effect on our operating results by requiring us to modify or cease our operations.

In addition, the inhalation of respirable crystalline silica is associated with the lung disease silicosis. There is evidence of an association between crystalline silica exposure or silicosis and lung cancer and a possible association with other diseases, including immune system disorders such as scleroderma. These health risks have been, and may continue to be, a significant issue confronting the proppant industry. Concerns over silicosis and other potential adverse health effects, as well as concerns regarding potential liability from the use of raw frac sand, may have the effect of discouraging our customers’ use of our raw frac sand. The actual or perceived health risks of mining, processing and handling proppants could materially and adversely affect proppant producers, including us, through reduced use of frac sand, the threat of product liability or employee lawsuits, increased scrutiny by federal, state and local regulatory authorities of us and our customers or reduced financing sources available to the frac sand industry.

We are subject to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, which imposes stringent health and safety standards on numerous aspects of our operations.

Our operations are subject to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, as amended by the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006, which imposes stringent health and safety standards on numerous aspects of mineral extraction and processing operations, including the training of personnel, operating procedures, operating equipment, and other matters. Our failure to comply with such standards, or changes in such standards or the interpretation or enforcement thereof, could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition or otherwise impose significant restrictions on our ability to conduct mineral extraction and processing operations.

 

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We and our customers are subject to other extensive regulations, including licensing, plant and wildlife protection and reclamation regulation, that impose, and will continue to impose, significant costs and liabilities. In addition, future regulations, or more stringent enforcement of existing regulations, could increase those costs and liabilities, which could adversely affect our results of operations.

In addition to the regulatory matters described above, we and our customers are subject to extensive governmental regulation on matters such as permitting and licensing requirements, plant and wildlife protection, wetlands protection, reclamation and restoration activities at mining properties after mining is completed, the discharge of materials into the environment, and the effects that mining and hydraulic fracturing have on groundwater quality and availability. Our future success depends, among other things, on the quantity and quality of our raw frac sand deposits, our ability to extract these deposits profitably, and our customers being able to operate their businesses as they currently do.

In order to obtain permits and renewals of permits in the future, we may be required to prepare and present data to governmental authorities pertaining to the potential adverse impact that any proposed excavation or production activities, individually or in the aggregate, may have on the environment. Certain approval procedures may require preparation of archaeological surveys, endangered species studies, and other studies to assess the environmental impact of new sites or the expansion of existing sites. Compliance with these regulatory requirements is expensive and significantly lengthens the time needed to develop a site. Finally, obtaining or renewing required permits is sometimes delayed or prevented due to community opposition and other factors beyond our control. The denial of a permit essential to our operations or the imposition of conditions with which it is not practicable or feasible to comply could impair or prevent our ability to develop or expand a site. Significant opposition to a permit by neighboring property owners, members of the public, or other third parties, or delay in the environmental review and permitting process also could delay or impair our ability to develop or expand a site. New legal requirements, including those related to the protection of the environment, could be adopted that could materially adversely affect our mining operations (including our ability to extract or the pace of extraction of mineral deposits), our cost structure, or our customers’ ability to use our raw frac sand. Such current or future regulations could have a material adverse effect on our business and we may not be able to obtain or renew permits in the future.

Our inability to acquire, maintain or renew financial assurances related to the reclamation and restoration of mining property could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are generally obligated to restore property in accordance with regulatory standards and our approved reclamation plan after it has been mined. We are required under federal, state, and local laws to maintain financial assurances, such as surety bonds, to secure such obligations. The inability to acquire, maintain or renew such assurances, as required by federal, state, and local laws, could subject us to fines and penalties as well as the revocation of our operating permits. Such inability could result from a variety of factors, including:

 

    the lack of availability, higher expense, or unreasonable terms of such financial assurances;

 

    the ability of current and future financial assurance counterparties to increase required collateral; and

 

    the exercise by financial assurance counterparties of any rights to refuse to renew the financial assurance instruments.

Our inability to acquire, maintain, or renew necessary financial assurances related to the reclamation and restoration of mining property could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

 

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Climate change legislation and regulatory initiatives could result in increased compliance costs for us and our customers.

In recent years, the U.S. Congress has considered legislation to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (“GHGs”), including methane, a primary component of natural gas, and carbon dioxide, a byproduct of the burning of natural gas. It presently appears unlikely that comprehensive climate legislation will be passed by either house of Congress in the near future, although energy legislation and other regulatory initiatives are expected to be proposed that may be relevant to GHG emissions issues. In addition, a number of states are addressing GHG emissions, primarily through the development of emission inventories or regional GHG cap and trade programs. Depending on the particular program, we could be required to control GHG emissions or to purchase and surrender allowances for GHG emissions resulting from our operations. Independent of Congress, the EPA has adopted regulations controlling GHG emissions under its existing authority under the Clean Air Act (“CAA”). For example, following its findings that emissions of GHGs present an endangerment to human health and the environment because such emissions contributed to warming of the earth’s atmosphere and other climatic changes, the EPA has adopted regulations under existing provisions of the CAA that, among other things establish construction and operating permit reviews for GHG emissions from certain large stationary sources that are already potential major sources for conventional pollutants. In addition, the EPA has adopted rules requiring the monitoring and reporting of GHG emissions from specified production, processing, transmission and storage facilities in the United States on an annual basis. Also, the United States is one of almost 200 nations that, in December 2015, agreed to the Paris Agreement, an international climate change agreement in Paris, France that calls for countries to set their own GHG emissions targets and be transparent about the measures each country will use to achieve its GHG emissions targets. Although it is not possible at this time to predict how new laws or regulations in the United States or any legal requirements imposed following the United States’ agreeing to the Paris Agreement that may be adopted or issued to address GHG emissions would impact our business, any such future laws, regulations or legal requirements imposing reporting or permitting obligations on, or limiting emissions of GHGs from, our equipment and operations could require us to incur costs to reduce emissions of GHGs associated with our operations as well as delays or restrictions in our ability to permit GHG emissions from new or modified sources. In addition, substantial limitations on GHG emissions could adversely affect demand for the oil and natural gas we produce. Finally, it should be noted that increasing concentrations of GHGs in the Earth’s atmosphere may produce climate changes that have significant physical effects, such as increased frequency and severity of storms, floods and other climatic events; if any such effects were to occur, they could have an adverse effect on our exploration and production operations. Although it is not currently possible to predict how any such proposed or future GHG legislation or regulation by Congress, the states or multi-state regions or any legal requirements imposed following the United States’ agreeing to the Paris Agreement will impact our business, any legislation or regulation of GHG emissions that may be imposed in areas in which we conduct business could result in increased compliance costs or additional operating restrictions to us or our exploration and production customers, and could reduce demand for our frac sand, which could have a significant adverse effect on our operations.

Risks Related to This Offering and Ownership of Our Common Stock

We will be subject to certain requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. If we are unable to timely comply with Section 404 or if the costs related to compliance are significant, our profitability, stock price, results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.

We will be required to comply with certain provisions of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act as early as December 31, 2017. Section 404 requires that we document and test our internal control over financial reporting and issue management’s assessment of our internal control over financial reporting. This section also requires that our independent registered public accounting firm opine on those internal controls upon becoming a large accelerated filer, as defined in the SEC rules, or otherwise ceasing to qualify as an emerging growth company under the JOBS Act. We are evaluating our existing controls against the standards adopted by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. During the course of our ongoing evaluation and integration of the internal control over financial reporting, we may identify areas requiring improvement, and we

 

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may have to design enhanced processes and controls to address issues identified through this review. For example, we anticipate the need to hire additional administrative and accounting personnel to conduct our financial reporting.

We believe that the out-of-pocket costs, diversion of management’s attention from running the day-to-day operations and operational changes caused by the need to comply with the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act could be significant. If the time and costs associated with such compliance exceed our current expectations, our results of operations could be adversely affected.

We cannot be certain at this time that we will be able to successfully complete the procedures, certification and attestation requirements of Section 404 or that we or our independent registered public accounting firm will not identify material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting. If we fail to comply with the requirements of Section 404 or if we or our independent registered public accounting firm identify and report such material weaknesses, the accuracy and timeliness of the filing of our annual and quarterly reports may be materially adversely affected and could cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information, which could have a negative effect on the stock price of our common stock. In addition, a material weakness in the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting could result in an increased chance of fraud and the loss of customers, reduce our ability to obtain financing and require additional expenditures to comply with these requirements, each of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

The concentration of our capital stock ownership among our largest stockholders and their affiliates will limit your ability to influence corporate matters.

Upon completion of this offering (assuming no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares), Clearlake will own approximately     % of our outstanding common stock. Consequently, Clearlake will continue to have significant influence over all matters that require approval by our stockholders, including the election of directors and approval of significant corporate transactions. This concentration of ownership will limit your ability to influence corporate matters, and as a result, actions may be taken that you may not view as beneficial.

Furthermore, conflicts of interest could arise in the future between us, on the one hand, Clearlake and its affiliates, including its portfolio companies, on the other hand, concerning among other things, potential competitive business activities or business opportunities. Clearlake is a private equity firm in the business of making investments in entities in a variety of industries. As a result, Clearlake’s existing and future portfolio companies which it controls may compete with us for investment or business opportunities. These conflicts of interest may not be resolved in our favor.

We have also renounced our interest in certain business opportunities. Please read “—Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation contains a provision renouncing our interest and expectancy in certain corporate opportunities.”

There is no existing market for our common stock, and a trading market that will provide you with adequate liquidity may not develop. The price of our common stock may fluctuate significantly, and you could lose all or part of your investment.

Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for our common stock. After this offering, there will be only          publicly traded shares of common stock held by our public common stockholders (                 shares of common stock if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of common stock). Clearlake will own                  shares of common stock, representing an aggregate     % of outstanding shares of our common stock (or                  shares of common stock, representing an aggregate     % of outstanding shares of our common stock, if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of common stock). We do not know the extent to which investor interest will lead to the development of an active trading

 

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market or how liquid that market might be. You may not be able to resell your common stock at or above the initial public offering price. Additionally, the lack of liquidity may result in wide bid-ask spreads, contribute to significant fluctuations in the market price of the common stock and limit the number of investors who are able to buy the common stock.

The initial public offering price for the common stock offered hereby will be determined by negotiations between us, the selling stockholders and the representatives of the underwriters and may not be indicative of the market price of the common stock that will prevail in the trading market. The market price of our common stock may decline below the initial public offering price.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation contains a provision renouncing our interest and expectancy in certain corporate opportunities.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides for the allocation of certain corporate opportunities between us and Clearlake. Under these provisions, neither Clearlake, its affiliates and subsidiaries, nor any of their respective officers, directors, agents, stockholders, members or partners will have any duty to refrain from engaging, directly or indirectly, in the same business activities or similar business activities or lines of business in which we operate. For instance, a director of our company who also serves as a director, officer or employee of Clearlake or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates may pursue certain acquisitions or other opportunities that may be complementary to our business and, as a result, such acquisition or other opportunities may not be available to us. These potential conflicts of interest could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations if attractive corporate opportunities are allocated by Clearlake to itself or its subsidiaries or affiliates instead of to us. The terms of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation are more fully described in “Description of Capital Stock.”

If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or reports or publish unfavorable research about our business, the price and trading volume of our common stock could decline.

The trading market for our common stock will depend in part on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. We do not currently have and may never obtain research coverage by securities and industry analysts. If no securities or industry analysts commence coverage of us the trading price for our common stock and other securities would be negatively affected. In the event we obtain securities or industry analyst coverage, if one or more of the analysts who covers us downgrades our securities, the price of our securities would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts ceases to cover us or fails to publish regular reports on us, interest in the purchase of our securities could decrease, which could cause the price of our common stock and other securities and their trading volume to decline.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, as well as Delaware law, contain provisions that could discourage acquisition bids or merger proposals, which may adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation authorizes our board of directors to issue preferred stock without stockholder approval. If our board of directors elects to issue preferred stock, it could be more difficult for a third party to acquire us. In addition, some provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire control of us, even if the change of control would be beneficial to our stockholders, including:

 

    limitations on the ability of our stockholders to call special meetings;

 

    advance notice provisions for stockholder proposals and nominations for elections to the board of directors to be acted upon at meetings of stockholders;

 

    providing that the board of directors is expressly authorized to adopt, or to alter or repeal our bylaws; and

 

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    establishing advance notice and certain information requirements for nominations for election to our board of directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon by stockholders at stockholder meetings.

Investors in this offering will experience immediate and substantial dilution of $            per share.

Based on an assumed initial public offering price of $            per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus), purchasers of our common stock in this offering will experience an immediate and substantial dilution of $            per share in the net tangible book value per share of common stock from the initial public offering price, and our historical and as adjusted net tangible book value as of June 30, 2016 would be $            per share. Please read “Dilution.”

We have broad discretion in the use of the net proceeds from this offering and may not use them effectively.

Our management will have broad discretion in the application of the net proceeds from this offering and could spend the proceeds in ways that do not improve our results of operations or enhance the value of our common stock. We intend to use a portion of the net proceeds from this offering to redeem all the outstanding shares of our preferred stock, to repay the outstanding indebtedness under our existing revolving credit facility and the remaining net proceeds for general corporate purposes. However, our use of these proceeds may differ substantially from our current plans. The failure by our management to apply these funds effectively could result in financial losses that could have a material adverse effect on our business and cause the price of our common stock to decline. Pending their use, we may invest the net proceeds from this offering in a manner that does not produce income or that loses value.

We do not intend to pay dividends on our common stock, and our debt agreements place certain restrictions on our ability to do so. Consequently, your only opportunity to achieve a return on your investment is if the price of our common stock appreciates.

We do not plan to declare dividends on shares of our common stock in the foreseeable future. Additionally, we expect our amended revolving credit facility will place certain restrictions on our ability to pay cash dividends. Consequently, unless we revise our dividend policy, your only opportunity to achieve a return on your investment in us will be if you sell your common stock at a price greater than you paid for it. There is no guarantee that the price of our common stock that will prevail in the market will ever exceed the price that you pay in this offering.

Future sales of our common stock in the public market could reduce our stock price, and the sale or issuance of equity or convertible securities may dilute your ownership in us.

We may sell additional shares of common stock in subsequent public offerings. We may also issue additional shares of common stock or convertible securities. After the completion of this offering, we will have outstanding              shares of common stock. Following the completion of this offering, assuming no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares, Clearlake will own              shares of our common stock, or approximately         % of our total outstanding shares, all of which are restricted from immediate resale under the federal securities laws and are subject to the lock-up agreements with the underwriters described in “Underwriting,” but may be sold into the market in the future. Please read “Shares Eligible for Future Sale.”

In connection with this offering, we intend to file a registration statement with the SEC on Form S-8 providing for the registration of shares of our common stock issued or reserved for issuance under our equity incentive plans. Subject to the satisfaction of vesting conditions, the expiration of lock-up agreements and the requirements of Rule 144, shares registered under the registration statement on Form S-8 will be available for resale immediately in the public market without restriction. In addition, the issuance of shares of common stock upon the exercise of our outstanding warrants could result in substantial dilution to the interests of other stockholders. Please read “Description of Capital Stock—Outstanding Warrants.”

 

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We cannot predict the size of future issuances of our common stock or securities convertible into common stock or the effect, if any, that future issuances and sales of shares of our common stock will have on the market price of our common stock. Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock (including shares issued in connection with an acquisition), or the perception that such sales could occur, may adversely affect prevailing market prices of our common stock.

The underwriters of this offering may waive or release parties to the lock-up agreements entered into in connection with this offering, which could adversely affect the price of our common stock.

We, Clearlake, all of our directors and executive officers, the selling stockholders and certain of our principal stockholders will enter into lock-up agreements with respect to their common stock, pursuant to which they are subject to certain resale restrictions for a period of 180 days following the effectiveness date of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part.                         , in its sole discretion, may, at any time and without notice, release all or any portion of the common stock subject to the foregoing lock-up agreements. If the restrictions under the lock-up agreements are waived, then common stock will be available for sale into the public markets, which could cause the market price of our common stock to decline and impair our ability to raise capital.

We will incur increased costs as a result of operating as a public company, and our management will be required to devote substantial time to compliance efforts.

As a public company, we will incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. Our management and other personnel will need to devote a substantial amount of time and financial resources to comply with obligations related to being a publicly-traded corporation. We currently estimate that we will incur approximately $1.4 million annually in additional operating expenses as a publicly-traded corporation that we have not previously incurred, including costs associated with compliance under the Exchange Act, annual and quarterly reports to common stockholders, registrar and transfer agent fees, audit fees, incremental director and officer liability insurance costs and director and officer compensation.

We are an “emerging growth company” and we cannot be certain if the reduced disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies will make our common stock less attractive to investors.

We are an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the JOBS Act, and we intend to take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies, including, but not limited to, not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our 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. We intend to take advantage of these reporting exemptions until we are no longer an emerging growth company. We cannot predict if investors will find our common stock less attractive because we will rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our common stock less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our common stock and our stock price may be more volatile.

We will remain an emerging growth company for up to five years, although we will lose that status sooner if we have more than $1.0 billion of revenues in a fiscal year, have more than $700 million in market value of our common stock held by non-affiliates as of any June 30 or issue more than $1.0 billion of non-convertible debt over a rolling three-year period.

Under the JOBS Act, emerging growth companies can delay adopting new or revised accounting standards until such time as those standards apply to private companies. We have irrevocably elected not to avail ourselves of this exemption from new or revised accounting standards and, therefore, we will be subject to the same new or revised accounting standards as other public companies that are not emerging growth companies.

 

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To the extent that we rely on any of the exemptions available to emerging growth companies, you will receive less information about our executive compensation and internal control over financial reporting than issuers that are not emerging growth companies.

We may issue preferred stock whose terms could adversely affect the voting power or value of our common stock.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation authorizes us to issue, without the approval of our stockholders, one or more classes or series of preferred stock having such designations, preferences, limitations and relative rights, including preferences over our common stock respecting dividends and distributions, as our board of directors may determine. The terms of one or more classes or series of preferred stock could adversely impact the voting power or value of our common stock. For example, we might grant holders of preferred stock the right to elect some number of our directors in all events or on the happening of specified events or the right to veto specified transactions. Similarly, the repurchase or redemption rights or liquidation preferences we might assign to holders of preferred stock could affect the residual value of the common stock.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation will designate the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware as the sole and exclusive forum for certain types of actions and proceedings that may be initiated by our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers, employees or agents.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation will provide that unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, be the sole and exclusive forum for (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers, employees or agents to us or our stockholders, (iii) any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”), our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or our bylaws, or (iv) any action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine, in each such case subject to such Court of Chancery having personal jurisdiction over the indispensable parties named as defendants therein. Any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in shares of our capital stock will be deemed to have notice of, and consented to, the provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation described in the preceding sentence. This choice of forum provision may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers, employees or agents, which may discourage such lawsuits against us and such persons. Alternatively, if a court were to find these provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation inapplicable to, or unenforceable in respect of, one or more of the specified types of actions or proceedings, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such matters in other jurisdictions, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

We expect to receive approximately $             million of net proceeds (assuming the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus) from the sale of the common stock offered by us after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

We intend to use a portion of the net proceeds from this offering to redeem all of our outstanding Preferred Stock, to repay the outstanding indebtedness under our existing revolving credit facility and the remaining net proceeds for general corporate purposes.

We will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of shares of our common stock by the selling stockholders in this offering, including pursuant to any exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional shares of our common stock from the selling stockholders. The selling stockholders have granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an aggregate of                  additional shares of our common stock. We will pay all expenses related to this offering, other than underwriting discounts and commissions related to the shares sold by the selling stockholders.

The following table illustrates our anticipated use of the net proceeds from this offering:

 

Sources of Funds

    

Use of Funds

 
(In millions)  

Net proceeds from this offering

   $                   

Redemption of Preferred Stock

   $                
     

Repayment of outstanding borrowings under our existing revolving credit facility

  
     

General corporate purposes

  
  

 

 

       

 

 

 

Total sources of funds

   $                   

Total uses of funds

   $                
  

 

 

       

 

 

 

Our existing revolving credit facility has restrictions on our ability to make interest or principal payments on the Preferred Stock. As of June 30, 2016, we had $58.0 million of outstanding borrowings and $3.5 million of letters of credit outstanding under our existing revolving credit facility. Our existing revolving credit facility matures March 28, 2019 and bears interest at a variable rate. At June 30, 2016, the weighted average interest rate on borrowings under our existing revolving credit facility was 4.47%. We also pay a commitment fee on unused amounts of our revolving credit facility of 37.5 basis points. The outstanding borrowings under our existing revolving credit facility were incurred primarily to fund a portion of our 2014 and 2015 capital expenditures. We may reborrow amounts repaid under our existing revolving credit facility at any time, and we may do so in the future to fund new capital projects or acquisitions or for other general corporate purposes. In connection with the completion of this offering, we expect to amend our existing revolving credit facility.

A $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of $             per share would cause the net proceeds from this offering, after deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses, received by us to increase or decrease, respectively, by approximately $             million, assuming the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same. If the proceeds increase due to a higher initial public offering price or due to the issuance of additional shares, we would use the additional net proceeds to fund our 2017 and 2018 capital expenditures or for general corporate purposes. If the proceeds decrease due to a lower initial public offering price or a decrease in the number of shares issued, then we would first reduce by a corresponding amount the net proceeds directed to general corporate purposes and then, if necessary, the net proceeds directed to repay outstanding borrowings under our existing revolving credit facility.

 

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STOCK SPLIT

On                     ,         , we effected a              for 1 stock split. The stock split affects all of our stockholders uniformly and did not affect any stockholder’s percentage ownership interest in us. Unless otherwise indicated, information presented in this prospectus is adjusted to reflect our              for 1 stock split.

DIVIDEND POLICY

We do not anticipate declaring or paying any cash dividends to holders of our common stock in the foreseeable future. We currently intend to retain future earnings, if any, to finance the growth of our business. Our future dividend policy is within the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon then-existing conditions, including our results of operations, financial condition, capital requirements, investment opportunities, statutory restrictions on our ability to pay dividends and other factors our board of directors may deem relevant. In addition, we expect that our amended revolving credit facility will place restrictions on our ability to pay cash dividends.

 

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CAPITALIZATION

The following table sets forth our cash and cash equivalents and capitalization as of June 30, 2016:

 

    on a historical basis; and

 

    on an as adjusted basis to reflect this offering and the application of the net proceeds from this offering as described under “Use of Proceeds.”

This table is derived from, should be read together with and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the historical consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes and the unaudited pro forma condensed consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes included elsewhere in this prospectus. You should also read this table in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

 

     As of June 30, 2016  
     Historical     As Adjusted(1)  
    

(in millions, except

share data)

 

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 1.9      $                
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Long-term debt:

    

Revolving credit facility(2)

   $ 57.2      $     

Equipment financing obligations

     0.7     

Notes payable

     0.3     
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total long-term debt (net of current maturities)

   $ 58.2      $     
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Stockholders’ equity:

    

Redeemable Series A Preferred Stock ($0.001 par value; 100,000 shares authorized, 38,266 issued and outstanding, actual; and          shares authorized,          shares issued and outstanding, as adjusted)(2)

     40.0     

Preferred stock ($0.001 par value; zero shares authorized, issued and outstanding, actual; and          shares authorized,          shares issued and outstanding, as adjusted)

     —       

Common stock ($0.001 par value; 15,000 shares authorized, 10,077 issued and outstanding, actual; and          shares authorized,          shares issued and outstanding, as adjusted)

     —       

Treasury stock (at cost; 18.0 shares, actual;          shares, as adjusted)

     (0.2  

Additional paid-in capital

     4.6     

Accumulated deficit

     (3.4  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total stockholders’ equity

   $ 41.0     
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total Capitalization

   $ 99.2     
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

(1) A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) additional paid-in capital, total stockholder’s equity and total capitalization each by approximately $         million, assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same, after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us. We may also increase or decrease the number of shares we are offering. An increase (decrease) of one million shares offered by us at an assumed offering price of $         per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) additional paid-in capital, total stockholders’ equity and total capitalization each by approximately $         million, after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us.

 

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(2) As of June 30, 2016, there was approximately $58.0 million (including debt discount of $1.7 million) outstanding under our existing revolving credit facility as well as $0.2 million of accrued interest included in accrued expenses in the consolidated balance sheet. In connection with the completion of this offering, we will (i) repay in full outstanding borrowings under the revolving credit facility and (ii) redeem in full our Preferred Stock. Please read “Use of Proceeds” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Credit Facilities—Our Credit Facility and Other Arrangements—Revolving Credit Facility.”

The following table presents the pro forma adjustments to net income (loss) and net income (loss) per share had the (i) repayment of the full outstanding borrowings under our revolving credit facility and (ii) redemption in full of our Preferred Stock occurred as of January 1, 2015 and January 1, 2016, respectively. Adjustments to net income (loss) for the year ended December 31, 2015 and for the six months ended June 30, 2016 include (i) $1.8 million and $1.3 million related to removal of interest expense on our revolving credit facility; (ii) $5.6 million and $3.4 million related to removal of interest expense on our Preferred Stock; (iii) $2.6 million and $1.3 million loss on extinguishment of debt due to the accelerated accretion of Preferred Stock transaction costs; and (iv) $0.7 million and $0.5 million income tax expense, respectively.

 

     December 31, 2015      June 30, 2016  
     (in thousands, except per share data)  

Net income (loss)

   $ 4,498       $ (2,213

Proforma adjustments

     4,054         2,835   
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Proforma net income

   $ 8,552       $ 622   
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net income (loss) per share, basic

   $ 447.51       $ (219.62

Proforma adjustments per share, basic

     403.27         281.30   
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Proforma net income per share, basic

   $ 850.78       $ 61.68   
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net income (loss) per share, diluted

   $ 374.86       $ (219.62

Proforma adjustments per share, diluted

     337.81         271.35   
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Proforma net income per share, diluted

   $ 712.67       $ 51.73   
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

The information presented above assumes no exercise of the option to purchase additional shares by the underwriters. The table does not reflect shares of common stock reserved for issuance under our 2016 Plan, which we plan to adopt in connection with this offering, or upon exercise of outstanding warrants.

 

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DILUTION

Purchasers of our common stock in this offering will experience immediate and substantial dilution in the net tangible book value (tangible assets less total liabilities) per share of our common stock for accounting purposes. Our net tangible book value as of June 30, 2016 was approximately $            million, or $            per share.

As adjusted net tangible book value per share is determined by dividing our net tangible book value, or total tangible assets less total liabilities, by our shares of common stock that will be outstanding immediately prior to the closing of this offering. Assuming an initial public offering price of $            per share (which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus), after giving effect to the sale of the shares in this offering and further assuming the receipt of the estimated net proceeds (after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us), our adjusted net tangible book value as of June 30, 2016 would have been approximately $            million, or $            per share. This represents an immediate increase in the net tangible book value of $            per share to our existing stockholders and an immediate dilution to new investors purchasing shares in this offering of $            per share, resulting from the difference between the offering price and the as adjusted net tangible book value after this offering. The following table illustrates the per share dilution to new investors purchasing shares in this offering:

 

Assumed initial public offering price per share

      $                

Net tangible book value per share as of June 30, 2016

   $                   

Increase per share attributable to new investors in this offering

   $        

As adjusted net tangible book value per share (after giving effect to this offering)

     
     

 

 

 

Dilution in net tangible book value per share to new investors in this offering

      $     
     

 

 

 

A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $            per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) our as adjusted net tangible book value per share after the offering by $            and increase (decrease) the dilution to new investors in this offering by $            per share, assuming the number of shares offered by us, as              set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same, after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

The following table summarizes, on an adjusted basis as of June 30, 2016, the total number of shares of common stock owned by existing stockholders and to be owned by new investors at $            per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and the total consideration paid and the average price per share paid by our existing stockholders and to be paid by new investors in this offering at $            , the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, calculated before deduction of estimated underwriting discounts and commissions.

 

     Shares
Acquired
    Total Consideration     Average
Price
Per Share
 
     Number      Percent     Amount      Percent    

Existing stockholders(1)

             %   $                           %   $                

New investors in this offering

            
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total

        100 %   $           100 %   $     

 

(1) The number of shares disclosed for the existing stockholders includes              shares that may be sold by the selling stockholder in this offering pursuant to any exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of common stock.

 

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SELECTED HISTORICAL CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

The following table presents selected historical consolidated financial data of Smart Sand, Inc. as of the dates and for the periods indicated. The selected historical consolidated financial data as of and for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014 are derived from the audited financial statements appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. The selected historical consolidated interim financial data as of June 30, 2016 and for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015 are derived from the unaudited interim financial statements appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. The unaudited condensed financial statements have been prepared on the same basis as our audited financial statements and, in our opinion, include all adjustments, consisting of normal recurring adjustments, which are considered necessary for a fair presentation of the financial position, results of operations and cash flows for such periods. Historical results are not necessarily indicative of future results.

The selected historical consolidated financial data presented below should be read in conjunction with “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and the related notes and other financial data included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

     Year Ended
December 31,
    Six Months Ended
June 30,
 
     2015     2014     2016     2015  
                 (unaudited)     (unaudited)  
     (in thousands, except per share data)  

Statement of Operations Data:

        

Revenues

   $ 47,698      $ 68,170      $ 18,853      $ 23,525   

Cost of goods sold

     21,003        29,934        11,869        12,288   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Gross profit

     26,695        38,236        6,984        11,237   

Operating expenses

        

Salaries, benefits and payroll taxes

     5,055        5,088        2,295        2,828   

Depreciation and amortization

     388        160        181        169   

Selling, general and administrative

     4,669        7,222        1,926        2,547   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     10,112        12,470        4,402        5,544   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Operating income (loss)

     16,583        25,766        2,582        5,693   

Other (expenses) income:

        

Preferred stock interest expense

     (5,570     (5,970     (3,369     (2,680

Other interest expense

     (2,748     (2,231     (1,671     (1,048

Other income

     362        370        189        351   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total other (expense) income

     (7,956     (7,831     (4,851     (3,377

Loss on extinguishment of debt

     —          (1,230     —          —     
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income (loss) before income tax expense (benefit)

     8,627        16,705        (2,269     2,316   

Income tax expense (benefit)

     4,129        9,518        (56     1,633   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net and comprehensive income (loss)

   $ 4,498      $ 7,187      ($ 2,213   $ 683   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Per share information:

        

Net income (loss) per common share:

        

Basic(1)

   $ 447.51      $ 717.36      $ (219.62   $ 67.98   

Diluted(1)

   $ 374.86      $ 602.47      $ (219.62   $ 56.87   

Weighted-average number of common shares:

        

Basic

     10,052        10,018        10,077        10,042   

Diluted

     12,000        11,929        12,016        12,004   

Balance Sheet Data (at period end):

        

Property, plant and equipment, net

   $ 108,928      $ 85,815      $ 106,451      $ 107,398   

Total assets

     133,050        109,629        123,963        125,948   

Total stockholders’ equity (deficit)

     2,868        (2,326     996        (1,309

Cash Flow Statement Data:

        

Net cash provided by operating activities

   $ 30,703      $ 22,137      $ 6,070      $ 11,446   

Net cash used in investing activities

     (29,375     (30,888     (690     (21,806

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities

     1,766        7,434        (7,408     9,983   

 

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     Year Ended
December 31,
     Six Months Ended
June 30,
 
     2015      2014      2016     2015  
                   (unaudited)     (unaudited)  
     (in thousands)  

Other Data:

          

Capital expenditures(2)

   $ 28,102       $ 34,719       $ (1,365   $ 22,624   

Adjusted EBITDA(3)

     23,881         33,330         6,391        9,418   

Production costs(3)

     10,114         20,690         5,654        6,040   

 

(1) Pro forma basic and diluted net income (loss) per share of common stock, after giving effect to a              for 1 stock split on             ,              would have been              and              for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014 and              and              for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015.
(2) Negative capital expenditures for the six months ended June 30, 2016 resulted from various deposits received for projects included in construction-in-progress.
(3) For our definitions of the non-GAAP financial measures of Adjusted EBITDA and production costs and reconciliations of Adjusted EBITDA and production costs to our most directly comparable financial measures calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP, please read “—Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”

 

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Non-GAAP Financial Measures

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA

We define EBITDA as our net income, plus (i) depreciation, depletion, accretion and amortization expense; (ii) income tax expense (benefit); (iii) interest expense and (iv) franchise taxes. We define Adjusted EBITDA as EBITDA, plus (i) gain or loss on sale of assets, (ii) costs related to our initial public offering, (iii) restricted stock compensation; (iv) development costs; (v) non-cash charges and unusual or non-recurring charges and (vi) gain or loss on extinguishment of debt. Adjusted EBITDA is used as a supplemental financial measure by management and by external users of our financial statements, such as investors and commercial banks, to assess:

 

    the financial performance of our assets without regard to the impact of financing methods, capital structure or historical cost basis of our assets;

 

    the viability of capital expenditure projects and the overall rates of return on alternative investment opportunities;

 

    our ability to incur and service debt and fund capital expenditures; and

 

    our operating performance as compared to those of other companies in our industry without regard to the impact of financing methods and capital structure.

We believe that our presentation of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA will provide useful information to investors in assessing our financial condition and results of operations. Net income is the GAAP measure most directly comparable to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered alternatives to net income presented in accordance with GAAP. Because EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA may be defined differently by other companies in our industry, our definition of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies, thereby diminishing its utility. The following table presents a reconciliation of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA to net income (loss) for each of the periods indicated.

 

     Year Ended
December 31,
     Six Months
Ended June 30,
 
     2015      2014      2016     2015  
     (in thousands)  

Net income (loss)

   $ 4,498       $ 7,187       $ (2,213   $ 683   

Depreciation, depletion, accretion and amortization

     5,318         3,642         3,209        2,342   

Income tax expense (benefit)

     4,129         9,518         (56     1,633   

Interest expense

     8,319         8,201         5,041        3,728   

Franchise taxes

     34         139         16        25   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

EBITDA

   $ 22,298       $ 28,687       $ 5,996      $ 8,411   

Gain (loss) on sale of assets

     39         57         (30     45   

Initial public offering-related costs

     221         2,687         —          183   

Restricted stock compensation

     792         420         420        416   

Development costs

     76         249         —          28   

Non-cash charges and unusual or non-recurring charges

     455         —           5        335   

Loss on extinguishment of debt

     —           1,230         —          —     
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA

   $ 23,881       $ 33,330       $ 6,391      $ 9,418   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

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Production Costs

We also use production costs, which we define as costs of goods sold, excluding depreciation, depletion, accretion of asset retirement obligations and freight charges to measure our financial performance. Freight charges consist of shipping costs and rail car rental and storage expenses. Shipping costs consist of railway transportation costs to deliver products to customers. Rail car rental and storage expenses are associated with our long-term rail car operating agreements with certain customers. A portion of these freight charges are passed through to our customers and therefore included in revenue. We believe production costs is a meaningful measure to management and external users of our financial statements, such as investors and commercial banks because it provides a measure of operating performance that is unaffected by historical cost basis. Cost of goods sold is the GAAP measure most directly comparable to production costs. Production costs should not be considered an alternative to cost of goods sold presented in accordance with GAAP. Because production costs may be defined differently by other companies in our industry, our definition of production costs may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies, thereby diminishing its utility. The following table presents a reconciliation of production costs to cost of goods sold.

 

     Year Ended
December 31,
    Six Months
Ended June 30,
 
     2015     2014     2016     2015  
     (in thousands)  

Cost of goods sold

   $ 21,003      $ 29,934      $ 11,869      $ 12,288   

Depreciation, depletion, and accretion of asset retirement obligations

     (4,930     (3,481     (3,028     (2,173

Freight charges

     (5,959     (5,763     (3,187     (4,075
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Production costs

   $ 10,114      $ 20,690      $ 5,654      $ 6,040   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

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MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations together with our audited financial statements and the related notes appearing at the end of this prospectus. Some of the information contained in this discussion and analysis or set forth elsewhere in this prospectus, including information with respect to our plans and strategy for our business and related financing, includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. You should read the “Risk Factors” section of this prospectus for a discussion of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results described in or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in the following discussion and analysis.

Overview

We are a pure-play, low-cost producer of high-quality Northern White raw frac sand, which is a preferred proppant used to enhance hydrocarbon recovery rates in the hydraulic fracturing of oil and natural gas wells. We sell our products primarily to oil and natural gas exploration and production companies, such as EOG Resources, and oilfield service companies, such as Weatherford, under a combination of long-term take-or-pay contracts and spot sales in the open market. We believe that the size and favorable geologic characteristics of our sand reserves, the strategic location and logistical advantages of our facilities and the industry experience of our senior management team have positioned us as a highly attractive source of raw frac sand to the oil and natural gas industry.

We own and operate a raw frac sand mine and related processing facility near Oakdale, Wisconsin, at which we have approximately 244 million tons of proven recoverable sand reserves and approximately 92 million tons of probable recoverable sand reserves as of December 31, 2015, respectively. Our integrated Oakdale facility, with on-site rail infrastructure and wet and dry sand processing facilities, is served by two Class I rail lines and enables us to process and cost-effectively deliver up to approximately 3.3 million tons of raw frac sand per year. We believe that with further development and permitting the Oakdale facility ultimately could be expanded to allow production of up to 9 million tons of raw frac sand per year.

Our Assets and Operations

Our sand reserves include a balanced concentration of coarse (20/40, 30/50 and 40/70 gradation) sands and fine (60/140 gradation, which we refer to in this prospectus as “100 mesh”) sand. Our reserves contain deposits of approximately 19% of 20/40 and coarser substrate, 41% of 40/70 mesh substrate and approximately 40% of 100 mesh substrate. Our 30/50 gradation is a derivative of the 20/40 and 40/70 blends. We believe that this mix of coarse and fine sand reserves, combined with contractual demand for our products across a range of mesh sizes, provides us with relatively higher mining yields and lower processing costs than frac sand mines with predominantly coarse sand reserves. In addition, our approximate 244 million tons of proven recoverable reserves implies a reserve life of approximately 73 years based on our current annual processing capacity of 3.3 million tons per year. This long reserve life enables us to better serve demand for different types of raw frac sand as compared to mines with shorter reserve lives. We currently have one wet plant and one dryer in storage at Oakdale that would allow us to increase our annual processing capacity to approximately 4.4 million tons should market demand increase sufficiently to warrant capacity expansion. We believe that with further development and permitting, the Oakdale facility could ultimately be expanded to allow production of up to 9 million tons of raw frac sand per year.

Our Oakdale facility is purpose-built to exploit the reserve profile in place and produce high-quality raw frac sand. Unlike some of our competitors, our primary processing and rail loading facilities are located in close proximity at the mine site, which eliminates the need for us to truck sand on public roads between the mine and the production facility or between wet and dry processing facilities. Our on-site transportation assets include approximately seven miles of rail track in a double-loop configuration and three rail car loading facilities that are

 

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connected to a Class I rail line owned by Canadian Pacific. This enables us to simultaneously accommodate multiple unit trains and significantly increases our efficiency in meeting our customers’ raw frac sand transportation needs. Our Oakdale facility is dual served with connections to the Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific networks. In addition, we have a transload facility approximately 3.5 miles from the Oakdale facility in Byron Township, Wisconsin that provides us with the ability to ship sand to our customers on the Union Pacific network. We believe that we are the only sand facility in Wisconsin that has dual served rail capabilities, which should create competition among our rail carriers and allow us to provide more competitive logistics options for our customers. Most of our product is shipped via unit trains, which we believe should yield lower operating and transportation costs compared to manifest train or single-unit train facilities due to our higher rail car utilization, more efficient use of locomotive power and more predictable movement of products between mine and destination. We believe that the combination of efficient production and processing, our well-designed plant, our dual served rail access and our focus on shipping sand in unit trains offer a considerable economic advantage to our customers.

Overall Trends and Outlook

Industry Trends Impacting Our Business

Unless otherwise indicated, the information set forth under “—Industry Trends Impacting Our Business,” including all statistical data and related forecasts, is derived from The Freedonia Group’s Industry Study #3302, “Proppants in North America,” published in September 2015, Spears & Associates’ “Hydraulic Fracturing Market 2005-2017” published in the second quarter 2016, PropTester, Inc. and Kelrik, LLC’s “2015 Proppant Market Report” published in March 2016 and Baker Hughes’ “North America Rotary Rig Count” published July 2016. While we are not aware of any misstatements regarding the proppant industry data presented herein, estimates involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various factors, including those discussed under the heading “Risk Factors.”

Demand Trends

According to Kelrik, the U.S. proppant market, including raw frac sand, ceramic and resin-coated proppant, was approximately 54.9 million tons in 2015. Kelrik estimates that the total raw frac sand market in 2015 represented approximately 50.7 million tons, or 92.3% of the total proppant market by weight. Market demand in 2015 dropped by approximately 20% from 2014 record demand levels due to the downturn in commodity prices since late 2014, which led to a corresponding decline in oil and natural gas drilling and production activity. According to the Freedonia Group, during the period from 2009 to 2014, proppant demand by weight increased by 42% annually. Spears estimates from 2016 through 2020 proppant demand is projected to grow by 23.2% per year, from 30 million tons per year to 85 million tons per year, representing an increase of approximately 55 million tons in annual proppant demand over that time period.

 

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This change in demand has impacted contract discussions and negotiated terms with our customers as existing contracts have been adjusted resulting in a combination of reduced average selling prices per ton, adjustments to take-or-pay volumes and length of contract. We believe we have mitigated the short-term negative impact on revenues of some of these adjustments through contractual shortfall and reservation payments. In the current market environment, customers have begun to purchase more volumes on a spot basis as compared to committing to term contracts, and we expect this trend to continue in the near term until oil and natural gas drilling and completion activity begins to increase. However, should drilling and completion activity return to higher levels, we believe customers would more actively consider contracting proppant volumes under term contracts rather than continuing to rely on buying proppant on a spot basis in the market.

Demand growth for raw frac sand and other proppants is primarily driven by advancements in oil and natural gas drilling and well completion technology and techniques, such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. These advancements have made the extraction of oil and natural gas increasingly cost-effective in formations that historically would have been uneconomic to develop. While current horizontal rig counts have fallen significantly from their peak of approximately 1,370 in 2014, rig count grew at an annual rate of 18.7% from 2009 to 2014. Additionally, the percentage of active drilling rigs used to drill horizontal wells, which require greater volumes of proppant than vertical wells, has increased from 42.2% in 2009 to 68.4% in 2014, and as of July 2016 the percentage of rigs drilling horizontal wells is 77% according to the Baker Hughes Rig Count. Moreover, the increase of pad drilling has led to a more efficient use of rigs, allowing more wells to be drilled per rig. As a result of these factors, well count, and hence proppant demand, has grown at a greater rate than overall rig count. Spears estimates that in 2019, proppant demand will exceed the 2014 peak (of approximately 72.5 million tons) and reach 77.5 million tons even though the projection assumes approximately 10,000 fewer wells will be drilled. Spears estimates that average proppant usage per well will be approximately 5,000 tons per well by 2020. Kelrik notes that current sand-based slickwater completions use in excess of 7,500 tons per well of proppant.

While demand for proppant has declined since late 2014 in connection with the downturn in commodity prices and the corresponding decline in oil and natural gas drilling and production activity, we believe that the demand for proppant will increase over the medium and long term as commodity prices rise from their recent lows, which will lead producers to resume completion of their inventory of drilled but uncompleted wells and undertake new drilling activities. Further, we believe that demand for proppant will be amplified by the following factors:

 

    improved drilling rig productivity, resulting in more wells drilled per rig per year;

 

    completion of exploration and production companies’ inventory of drilled but uncompleted wells;

 

    increases in the percentage of rigs that are drilling horizontal wells;

 

    increases in the length of the typical horizontal wellbore;

 

    increases in the number of fracture stages per foot in the typical completed horizontal wellbore;

 

    increases in the volume of proppant used per fracturing stage;

 

    renewed focus of exploration and production companies to maximize ultimate recovery in active reservoirs through downspacing; and

 

    increasing secondary hydraulic fracturing of existing wells as early shale wells age.

Recent growth in demand for raw frac sand has outpaced growth in demand for other proppants, and industry analysts predict that this trend will continue. As well completion costs have increased as a proportion of total well costs, operators have increasingly looked for ways to improve per well economics by lowering costs without sacrificing production performance. To this end, the oil and natural gas industry is shifting away from the use of higher-cost proppants towards more cost-effective proppants, such as raw frac sand. Evolution of completion techniques and the substantial increase in activity in U.S. oil and liquids-rich resource plays has further accelerated the demand growth for raw frac sand.

 

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In general, oil and liquids-rich wells use a higher proportion of coarser proppant while dry gas wells typically use finer grades of sand. In the past, with the majority of U.S. exploration and production spending focused on oil and liquids-rich plays, demand for coarser grades of sand exceeded demand for finer grades; however, due to innovations in completion techniques, demand for finer grade sands has also shown a considerable resurgence. According to Kelrik, a notable driver impacting demand for fine mesh sand is increased proppant loadings, specifically, larger volumes of proppant placed per frac stage. Kelrik expects the trend of using larger volumes of finer mesh materials such as 100 mesh sand and 40/70 sand, to continue.

According to The Freedonia Group, development of unconventional resources such as shale oil and natural gas has been the driving force behind growth in proppant demand over the past decade. While significant demand began with drilling in the Barnett Shale, more recent growth has been in liquids-rich plays such as the Permian and Eagle Ford Shales. Demand in these and similar formations had been driven by high oil prices, which spurred drilling activity, and by the depth and challenging geology of these wells, which require larger amounts of proppant to complete as they involve more fracturing stages. However, the drop in oil prices that began in June 2014 slowed drilling activity in liquids-rich plays and, therefore, adversely affected proppant demand. A recovery of both oil and natural gas prices should renew demand in most liquid and gas shale fields.

Supply Trends

In recent years, through the fall of 2014, customer demand for high-quality raw frac sand outpaced supply. Several factors contributed to this supply shortage, including:

 

    the difficulty of finding frac sand reserves that meet API specifications and satisfy the demands of customers who increasingly favor high-quality Northern White raw frac sand;

 

    the difficulty of securing contiguous raw frac sand reserves large enough to justify the capital investment required to develop a processing facility;

 

    the challenges of identifying reserves with the above characteristics that have rail access needed for low-cost transportation to major shale basins;

 

    the hurdles to securing mining, production, water, air, refuse and other federal, state and local operating permits from the proper authorities;

 

    local opposition to development of certain facilities, especially those that require the use of on-road transportation, including moratoria on raw frac sand facilities in multiple counties in Wisconsin and Minnesota that hold potential sand reserves; and

 

    the long lead time required to design and construct sand processing facilities that can efficiently process large quantities of high-quality raw frac sand.

Supplies of high-quality Northern White frac sand are limited to select areas, predominantly in western Wisconsin and limited areas of Minnesota and Illinois. The ability to obtain large contiguous reserves in these areas is a key constraint and can be an important supply consideration when assessing the economic viability of a potential raw frac sand facility. Further constraining the supply and throughput of Northern White raw frac sand, is that not all of the large reserve mines have onsite excavation and processing capability. Additionally, much of the recent capital investment in Northern White raw frac sand mines was used to develop coarser deposits in western Wisconsin. With the shift to finer sands in the liquid and oil plays, many mines may not be economically viable as their ability to produce finer grades of sand may be limited.

Pricing

We generally expect the price of raw frac sand to correlate with the level of drilling activity for oil and natural gas. The willingness of exploration and production companies to engage in new drilling is determined by a number of factors, the most important of which are the prevailing and projected prices of oil and natural gas, the cost to drill and operate a well, the availability and cost of capital and environmental and government

 

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regulations. We generally expect the level of drilling to correlate with long-term trends in commodity prices. Similarly, oil and natural gas production levels nationally and regionally generally tend to correlate with drilling activity.

Sand is sold on a contract basis or through spot market pricing. Long-term take-or-pay contracts reduce exposure to fluctuations in price and provide predictability of volumes and price over the contract term. By contrast, the spot market provides direct access to immediate prices, with accompanying exposure to price volatility and uncertainty. For sand producers operating under stable long-term contract structures, the spot market can offer an outlet to sell excess production at opportunistic times or during favorable market conditions.

How We Generate Revenue

We generate revenue by excavating and processing raw frac sand, which we sell to our customers under long-term price agreements or at prevailing market rates. In some instances, revenues also include a charge for transportation services provided to customers. Our transportation revenue fluctuates based on a number of factors, including the volume of product transported and the distance between the plant and our customers.

As of June 30, 2016, our facility had the capacity to produce 3.3 million tons of raw frac sand per year. When market conditions are favorable, we look to enter into long-term take-or-pay contracts with our customers that are intended to mitigate our exposure to the potential price volatility of the spot market for raw frac sand and to enhance the stability of our cash flows. As of July 31, 2016, we had approximately 2.1 million tons (or approximately 64% of our current annual production capacity) contracted to oil and natural gas exploration and production and oilfield service companies. Beginning January 1, 2017, we will have approximately          million tons of average annual production (or approximately         % of our current annual production capacity) contracted under long-term take-or-pay contracts. Each contract defines, among other commitments, the minimum volume of product that the customer is required to purchase per contract year and the minimum tonnage per grade, the volume of product that we are required to provide, the price that we will charge and that our customers will pay for each ton of contracted product, and certain remedies in the event either we or the customer fails to meet minimum requirements.

Our current contracts include a combination of fixed prices and market based prices. For fixed price contracts, prices are fixed and subject to adjustment, upward or downward, based upon: (i) certain changes in published producer cost indices, including the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers and the Producer Price Index published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; or (ii) market factors, including a natural gas surcharge and/or a propane surcharge which are applied if the Average Natural Gas Price or the Average Quarterly Mont Belvieu TX Propane Spot Price, respectively, as listed by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, are above the benchmark set in the contract for the preceding calendar quarter. Contracts with market based pricing mechanisms allow for our raw frac sand prices to fluctuate within certain negotiated ranges depending on the price of crude oil (based upon the Average Cushing Oklahoma WTI Spot Prices (“WTI”) as listed on www.eia.doe.gov) for the preceding three month period. As a result, our realized prices may not grow at rates consistent with broader industry pricing trends. We may also elect to sell raw frac sand in the spot market if we have excess production and the spot market conditions are favorable.

With respect to the take-or-pay contracts, if the customer is not allowed to make up deficiencies, we recognize revenues to the extent of the minimum contracted quantity, assuming payment has been received or is reasonably assured. If deficiencies can be made up, receipts in excess of actual sales are recognized as deferred revenues until production is actually taken or the right to make up deficiencies expires. For the year ended December 31, 2015 and for the six months ended June 30, 2016, we received $11.1 million and $9.5 million in contractual minimum payments, respectively. As of June 30, 2016, $1.0 million of these contractual minimum payments was recognized as deferred revenue; there were no such payments recognized as deferred revenue as of December 31, 2015.

 

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Due to sustained freezing temperatures in our area of operation during winter months, we halt the operation of our wet plant for up to five months. As a result, we excavate and wash sand in excess of current delivery requirements during the months when the wet plant is operational. This excess sand is placed in stockpiles that feed the dry plants and enable us to fill customer orders throughout the year without interruption.

Costs of Conducting Our Business

The principal direct costs involved in operating our business are excavation, labor and utility costs.

We incur excavation costs with respect to the excavation of sand and other materials from which we ultimately do not derive revenue. However, the ratio of rejected materials to total amounts excavated has been, and we believe will continue to be, in line with our expectations, given the extensive core sampling and other testing we undertook at the Oakdale facility. For more information regarding our reserves testing procedures, please read “Business—Our Assets and Operations—Our Reserves.”

On August 1, 2010, we entered into a consulting agreement related to the purchase of land with a third party, whereby he acted as an agent for us to obtain options to purchase certain identified real property in Wisconsin, as well as obtain permits and approvals necessary to open, construct and operate a sand mining and processing facility on such real property. In connection with this agreement, our mineral rights are subject to an aggregate non-participating royalty interest of $0.50 per ton sold of 70 mesh and coarser substrate.

We incurred excavation costs of $1.4 million and $5.4 million during the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. For the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015, we incurred $0.5 million and $0.3 million of excavation costs, respectively.

Labor costs associated with employees at our processing facility represent the most significant cost of converting raw frac sand to finished product. We incurred labor costs of $4.8 million and $5.2 million for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively, and $2.0 million and $2.6 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015, respectively. We incur utility costs in connection with the operation of our processing facility, primarily electricity and natural gas, which are both susceptible to market fluctuations. We incurred utility costs of $2.6 million and $5.6 million for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively, and $0.9 million and $1.4 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Our facilities require periodic scheduled maintenance to ensure efficient operation and to minimize downtime, which historically has not resulted in significant costs to us.

Direct excavation costs, processing costs, overhead allocation, depreciation and depletion are capitalized as a component of inventory and are reflected in cost of goods sold when inventory is sold.

Revenue is generally recognized FCA, payment made at the origination point at our facility, and title passes as the product is loaded into rail cars hired by the customer. Certain spot-rate customers have shipping terms of FCA, payment made at the destination, for which we recognize revenue when the sand is received at the destination. As a result, we generally do not incur shipping expenses, as the expense is passed through to the customer.

How We Evaluate Our Operations

Gross Profit and Production Costs

We market our raw frac sand production under long-term take-or-pay contracts that either have fixed prices for our production or market based prices for our production that fluctuate with the price of crude oil. Additionally, we sell sand on a spot basis at current prevailing spot market prices. When market conditions are favorable, we look to enter into long-term take-or-pay contracts with our customers that are intended to mitigate our exposure to the potential price volatility of the spot market for raw frac sand and to enhance the stability of

 

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our cash flows. As of July 31, 2016, we had approximately 2.1 million tons (or approximately 64% of our current annual production capacity) contracted to oil and natural gas exploration and production and oilfield service companies. Beginning January 1, 2017, we will have approximately          million tons of average annual production (or approximately         % of our current annual production capacity) contracted under long-term take-or-pay contracts. Our revenues are generated from a combination of raw frac sand sales and minimum contractual payments we receive from our customers. Gross profit will primarily be affected by the price we are able to receive for the sale of our raw frac sand along with our minimum contractual payments made by our customers and our ability to control other direct and indirect costs associated with processing raw frac sand.

We also use production costs, which we define as costs of goods sold, excluding depreciation, depletion, accretion of asset retirement obligations and freight charges, to measure our financial performance. We believe production costs is a meaningful measure because it provides a measure of operating performance that is unaffected by historical cost basis. For a reconciliation of production costs to its most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP, please read “Selected Historical Consolidated Financial Data—Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA

We view EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as an important indicator of performance. We define EBITDA as our net income, plus (i) depreciation, depletion, accretion and amortization expense, (ii) income tax expense (benefit), (iii) interest expense and (iv) franchise taxes. We define Adjusted EBITDA as EBITDA, plus (i) gain or loss on sale of assets, (ii) initial public offering related costs, (iii) restricted stock compensation, (iv) development costs, (v) non-cash charges and unusual or non-recurring charges and (vi) gain or loss on extinguishment of debt. We recognize shortfall payments on a quarterly or annual basis in accordance with the respective terms of our customer contracts. Therefore, shortfall payment revenue impacts EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA in only certain periods rather than on a straight-line basis over the entire period. Please read “Selected Historical Consolidated Financial Data—Non-GAAP Financial Measures.” EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are supplemental measures utilized by our management and other users of our financial statements such as investors, commercial banks, research analysts and others, to assess the financial performance of our assets without regard to financing methods, capital structure or historical cost basis.

Note Regarding Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Production costs, EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are not financial measures presented in accordance with GAAP. We believe that the presentation of these non-GAAP financial measures will provide useful information to investors in assessing our financial condition and results of operations. Costs of goods sold is the GAAP measure most directly comparable to production costs and net income is the GAAP measure most directly comparable to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA. Our non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered as alternatives to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure. Each of these non-GAAP financial measures has important limitations as analytical tools because they exclude some but not all items that affect the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures. You should not consider production costs, EBITDA or Adjusted EBITDA in isolation or as substitutes for an analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Because production costs, EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA may be defined differently by other companies in our industry, our definitions of these non-GAAP financial measures may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies, thereby diminishing their utility. Please read “Selected Historical Consolidated Financial Data—Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”

 

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Factors Impacting Comparability of Our Financial Results

Our historical results of operations and cash flows are not indicative of results of operations and cash flows to be expected in the future, principally for the following reasons:

 

    We completed an expansion of our Oakdale facility in September 2015. In September 2015, we completed an expansion project to increase our processing capacity at our Oakdale facility from 2.2 million tons per year to approximately 3.3 million tons per year. As of July 31, 2016, we had approximately 2.1 million tons (or approximately 64% of our current annual production capacity) contracted to oil and natural gas exploration and production and oilfield service companies. Beginning January 1, 2017, we will have approximately          million tons of average annual production (or approximately         % of our current annual production capacity) contracted under long-term take-or-pay contracts, with a volume-weighted average remaining term of approximately          years.

 

    We will incur additional operating expenses as a publicly traded corporation. We expect we will incur approximately $1.4 million annually in additional operating expenses as a publicly traded corporation that we have not previously incurred, including costs associated with compliance under the Exchange Act, annual and quarterly reports to common stockholders, registrar and transfer agent fees, audit fees, incremental director and officer liability insurance costs and director and officer compensation. We additionally expect to incur $1.0 million in non-recurring costs related to our transition to a publicly traded corporation. These incremental expenses exclude the costs of this offering, as well as the costs associated with the initial implementation of our Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 internal control reviews and testing.

Results of Operations

The following table summarizes our revenue and expenses for the periods indicated.

 

     Six Months Ended
June 30,
    Year Ended
December 31,
 
     2016     2015     2015     2014  
     (in thousands)  

Revenues

   $ 18,853      $ 23,525      $ 47,698      $ 68,170   

Cost of goods sold

     11,869        12,288        21,003        29,934   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Gross profit

     6,984        11,237        26,695        38,236   

Operating expenses:

        

Salaries, benefits and payroll taxes

     2,295        2,828        5,055        5,088   

Depreciation and amortization

     181        169        388        160   

Selling, general and administrative

     1,926        2,547        4,669        7,222   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     4,402        5,544        10,112        12,470   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income from operations

     2,582        5,693        16,583        25,766   

Preferred stock interest expense

     (3,369     (2,680     (5,570     (5,970

Other interest expense

     (1,671     (1,048     (2,748     (2,231

Other income

     189        351        362        370   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total other expense

     (4,851     (3,377     (7,956     (7,831

Loss on extinguishment of debt

     —          —          —          (1,230
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income (loss) before income tax expense

     (2,269     2,316        8,627        16,705   

Income tax expense (benefit)

     (56     1,633        4,129        9,518   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net and comprehensive income (loss)

   ($ 2,213   $ 683      $ 4,498      $ 7,187   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

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Six Months Ended June 30, 2016 Compared to Six Months Ended June 30, 2015

Revenue

Revenue was $18.9 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016, during which we sold approximately 322,000 tons of sand. Revenue for the six months ended June 30, 2015 was $23.5 million, during which we sold approximately 447,000 tons of sand. Although total revenue decreased for the six months ended June 30, 2016 as compared to the six months ended June 30, 2015, average revenue per ton sold increased by approximately $6 as a result of other contractual terms, such as required reservation and shortfall payments.

The key factors contributing to the decrease in revenues and increase in average revenue per ton for the six months ended June 30, 2016 as compared to the six months ended June 30, 2015 were as follows:

 

    Contractual terms of four customer contracts were amended in the second half of 2015 resulting in a combination of reduced average selling prices per ton and adjustments to required take-or-pay volumes and length of contract. Two long-term contracts were amended in 2016 resulting in a combination of reduced average selling prices per ton and adjustments to required take-or-pay volumes and length of contract.

 

    Sand sales revenue decreased to $12.7 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016 compared to $19.6 million for the six months ended June 30, 2015 due to a decrease in tons sold and average selling price per ton. During the six months ended June 30, 2016, the average selling price per ton was $39.30 as compared to $43.82 the six months ended June 30, 2015 due to the decrease in exploration and production activity in the oil and natural gas industry. Sand sales revenue and average selling price includes any monthly reservation charges that certain of our customers are required to pay.

 

    Contractual shortfall and reservation revenues were $3.0 million and $5.5 million, respectively, for the six months ended June 30, 2016, which helped to mitigate the lower sales volume and average selling price. Shortfall revenues for the six months ended June 30, 2016 resulted from one customer that was unable to meet the take-or-pay requirements for its contract year. Our customer contracts indicate whether customers are invoiced quarterly or at the end of their respective contract year for shortfall payments. We recognized revenue to the extent of the unfulfilled minimum contracted quantity at the shortfall price per ton as stated in the contract once payment was received or was reasonably assured. We expect to recognize shortfall revenue in future periods only to the extent that customers do not take contractual minimum volumes. Certain customers are required to pay a fixed-price monthly reservation charge based on a minimum contractual volume over the remaining life of their contract, which then may be applied as a per ton credit to the sales price up to a certain contractually specified monthly volume or credited against any applicable shortfall payments. There was no such revenue for the six months ended June 30, 2015.

 

    Transportation revenue was approximately $2.0 million less for the six months ended June 30, 2016 compared to the six months ended June 30, 2015. Rail car rental revenue increased by approximately $1.3 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016 compared to the six months ended June 30, 2015 due to an increase in the number of rail cars rented to our customers under long-term contracts. We incur transportation costs and recurring rail car rental expenses under our long-term rail car operating agreements. Our transportation and rail car rental revenues currently represent the pass through of these costs to our customers; therefore, these revenues do not have a material impact on our gross profit.

Cost of Goods Sold and Production Costs

Cost of goods sold was $11.9 million and $12.3 million, or $36.83 and $27.51 per ton sold, for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Of this amount, production costs comprised $5.7 million and $6.0 million, or $17.56 and $13.51 per ton sold, and freight charges, which consist of shipping costs and rail car rental and storage expense, comprised $3.2 million and $4.1 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Cost of goods sold was lower in the first six months of 2016 in comparison to the same period in 2015 due to lower sales volume along with cost savings initiatives enacted by us, including moving excavation activities in-house and converting fuel for all dry plants from propane to natural gas at the end of 2015.

 

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Depreciation and depletion included in cost of goods sold accounted for $3.0 million and $2.2 million, respectively, for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015. The per ton cost of goods sold increased by $9.32 as a result of 125,000 fewer tons sold for the six months ended June 30, 2016 compared to June 30, 2015 due to the decrease in exploration and production activity in the oil and natural gas industry. For the definition of production costs and a reconciliation to its most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP, please read “Selected Historical Consolidated Financial Data—Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”

Gross Profit

Gross profit equals revenues less cost of goods sold. Gross profit was $7.0 million and $11.2 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

Operating Expenses

Operating expenses were $4.4 million and $5.5 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Operating expenses are comprised primarily of wages and benefits, travel and professional services fees. Salaries, benefits and payroll taxes of $2.3 million and $2.8 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015, respectively, decreased due to the restructuring of certain management salaries and a reduction in headcount. Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased by $0.6 million in the six months ended June 30, 2016 compared to the six months ended June 30, 2015 as a result of decreased professional costs due to market downturn and less growth opportunities.

Preferred Stock and Other Interest Expense

We incurred $5.0 million and $3.7 million of interest expense for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Interest expense for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015 is derived primarily from paid-in-kind interest on the Preferred Stock as well as interest on our existing revolving credit facility. Interest on the Preferred Stock accounted for $3.3 million and $2.7 million of the expense for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Interest on our existing revolving credit facility accounted for $1.6 million and $1.0 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Additional items included in interest expense include the accretion of common stock issued and transaction costs incurred in conjunction with the September 2011 Securities Purchase Agreement, deferred financing fees, and interest incurred on capital leases. The paid-in-kind interest is added to the outstanding balance of the Preferred Stock.

Income Tax Expense (Benefit)

Income tax benefit and income tax expense was $(0.1) million and $1.6 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015, respectively. For the six months ended June 30, 2016, our statutory tax rate and effective tax rate were approximately 35% and 54%, respectively. The tax benefit for the six months ended June 30, 2016 also includes a discrete 7% impact for a provision-to-return adjustment associated with a change in estimates related to expenses that are not deductible for tax purposes. For the six months ended June 30, 2015, our statutory tax rate and effective tax rate were approximately 35% and 71%, respectively. The difference in these tax rates for both the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015 was primarily due to state income tax, non-deductible interest expense on the Preferred Stock and certain book expenses not deductible for tax.

Net Loss and Adjusted EBITDA

Net loss was $(2.2) million for the six months ended June 30, 2016 compared to net income of $0.7 million for the six months ended June 30, 2015. Adjusted EBITDA was $6.4 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016 compared to $9.4 million for the six months ended June 30, 2015. The decreases in net income (loss) and Adjusted EBITDA resulted from decreases in revenue and gross profit. The decreases were primarily due to lower volumes of sand sold and average selling price per ton sold due to reduced exploration and production activity in the oil and natural gas industry. Additionally, we recognize shortfall payments on a quarterly or annual basis in accordance with the respective terms of our customer contracts. Therefore, shortfall payment revenue

 

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impacts EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA in only certain periods rather than on a straight-line basis over the entire period. For example, we expect that shortfall payments will have less of an impact on EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA for the six months ended June 30, 2016 than they will the six months ending December 31, 2016. For the definition of Adjusted EBITDA and a reconciliation to its most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP, please read “Selected Historical Consolidated Financial Data—Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”

Year Ended December 31, 2015 Compared to the Year Ended December 31, 2014

Revenue

Revenue was $47.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, during which we sold approximately 751,000 tons of sand. Revenue for the year ended December 31, 2014 was $68.2 million, during which we sold approximately 1,255,000 tons of sand. Although total revenue decreased for the year ended December 31, 2015 as compared to the year ended December 31, 2014, average revenue per ton sold increased by approximately $9 as a result of other contractual terms, such as required reservation and shortfall payments.

The key factors contributing to the decrease in revenues and increase in average revenue per ton for the year ended December 31, 2015 as compared to the year ended December 31, 2014 were as follows:

 

    Sand sales revenue decreased to $31.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to $62.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2014. Tons sold decreased by 40% due to the decrease in exploration and production activity in the oil and natural gas industry;

 

    Average selling price per ton decreased to $42.32 for the year ended December 31, 2015 from $49.89 for the year ended December 31, 2014 due to the decrease in exploration and production activity in the oil and natural gas industry; and

 

    Contractual shortfall and reservation revenues were $10.1 million and $1.0 million, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2015, which helped to mitigate the lower sales volume and average selling price. Shortfall revenues for the year ended December 31, 2015 resulted from two customers that were unable to meet the take-or-pay requirements for their respective contract year. Our customer contracts indicate whether customers are invoiced quarterly or at the end of their respective contract year for shortfall payments. We recognized revenue to the extent of the unfulfilled minimum contracted quantity at the shortfall price per ton as stated in the contract once payment was received or was reasonably assured. We expect to recognize shortfall revenue in future periods only to the extent that customers do not take contractual minimum volumes. Certain customers are required to pay a fixed-price monthly reservation charge based on a minimum contractual volume over the remaining life of their contract, which are then credited against any applicable shortfall payments. There was no such revenue for the year ended December 31, 2014.

 

    Transportation revenue was approximately $0.3 million more for the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to the year ended December 31, 2014. Rail car rental revenue increased by approximately $2.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to the year ended December 31, 2014 due to an increase in the number of rail cars rented to our customers under long-term contracts. Transportation costs decreased by approximately $1.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to the year ended December 31, 2014 due to a decrease in customer orders for which we paid transportation charges. We incur transportation costs and recurring rail car rental expenses under our long-term rail car operating agreements. Our transportation and rail car rental revenues currently represent the pass through of these costs to our customers; therefore, these revenues do not have a material impact on our gross profit.

Cost of Goods Sold and Production Costs

Cost of goods sold was $21.0 million and $29.9 million, or $27.97 and $23.85 per ton sold, for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. Of this amount, production costs comprised $10.1 million and $20.7 million, or $13.47 and $16.48 per ton sold, and freight charges, which consist of shipping costs and rail car rental

 

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and storage expense, comprised $6.0 million and $5.7 million for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. Cost of goods sold was approximately $8.9 million lower in 2015 compared to 2014 due to lower sales volumes and reduced excavation expenses. For the year ended December 31, 2015, we performed excavation activities in-house resulting in cost savings of approximately $0.50 per ton excavated. For the year ended December 31, 2014, we outsourced excavation activities to an independent third party, with primarily fixed terms of $2.01 per ton excavated and delivered. Depreciation and depletion included in cost of goods sold account for $4.9 million and $3.5 million, respectively, for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014. For the definition of production costs and a reconciliation to its most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP, please read “Selected Historical Consolidated Financial Data—Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”

Gross Profit

Gross profit equals revenues less cost of goods sold. Gross profit was $26.7 million and $38.2 million for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively.

Operating Expenses

Operating expenses were $10.1 million and $12.5 million for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. Salaries, benefits and payroll taxes remained consistent at $5.0 million for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014. Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased by $2.6 million in 2015 compared to 2014 due to higher professional costs incurred in 2014 related to our previous uncompleted initial public offering process.

Preferred Stock and Other Interest Expense

We incurred $8.3 million and $8.2 million of interest expense during the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. Interest expense in 2015 and 2014 was derived primarily from paid-in-kind interest on the Preferred Stock as well as interest on our existing revolving credit facility. Interest on the Preferred Stock accounted for $5.6 million and $6.0 million of the expense for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. Interest on our existing revolving credit facility accounted for $2.6 million and $2.1 million, respectively, for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014. Additional items included in interest expense include the accretion of common stock issued and transaction costs incurred in conjunction with the September 2011 Securities Purchase Agreement, deferred financing fees, and interest incurred on capital leases. The paid-in-kind interest is added to the outstanding balance of the Preferred Stock.

Income Tax Expense

Income tax expense was $4.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to $9.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2014. For the year ended December 31, 2015, our statutory tax rate and effective tax rate were approximately 35% and 48%, respectively. For the year ended December 31, 2014, our statutory tax rate and effective tax rate were approximately 35% and 57%, respectively. The difference in these tax rates for both 2015 and 2014 was primarily due to state income tax, non-deductible interest expense on the Preferred Stock costs associated with our initial public offering process and changes in the applicable tax rate.

Net Income and Adjusted EBITDA

Net income was $4.5 million for year ended December 31, 2015 compared to $7.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2014. Adjusted EBITDA was $23.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to $33.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2014. The decrease in net income and Adjusted EBITDA resulted from the decrease in revenue and gross profit primarily due to lower volumes and pricing compression resulting primarily from reduced exploration and production activity in the oil and natural gas industry. For the definition of Adjusted EBITDA and a reconciliation to its most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP, please read “Selected Historical Consolidated Financial Data—Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”

 

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Liquidity and Capital Resources

Overview

Our principal liquidity requirements for the year ended December 31, 2015 and the six months ended June 30, 2016 were to fund capital expenditures for the expansion of the sand processing facility in Oakdale and to meet working capital needs. We met our liquidity needs with a combination of funds generated through operations and our existing revolving credit facility.

We expect that our future principal uses of cash will be for working capital, capital expenditures, potential acquisition activity and funding our debt service obligations. We expect our principal sources of liquidity will be cash generated by our operations and borrowings under our amended revolving credit facility, and we believe that cash from these sources will be sufficient to meet our short-term working capital requirements and long-term capital expenditure requirements.

Working Capital

Working capital is the amount by which current assets exceed current liabilities and is a measure of our ability to pay our liabilities as they become due.

The following table presents the components of our working capital as of June 30, 2016 compared to June 30, 2015 and December 31, 2015 compared to December 31, 2014.

 

     June 30,      December 31,  
   2016     2015         
   (unaudited)     (unaudited)      2015     2014  
     (in thousands)  

Current assets

         

Cash

   $ 1,867      $ 425       $ 3,896      $ 802   

Accounts and unbilled receivables

     2,613        5,137         6,041        8,578   

Inventories

     4,349        5,778         4,181        8,630   

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

     862        2,375         1,524        3,923   

Deferred tax assets, current

     —          20         —          225   
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total current assets

     9,691        13,735         15,642        22,158   

Current liabilities

         

Accounts payable

     930        3,264         1,170        2,047   

Accrued liabilities

     2,559        5,426         3,778        6,350   

Deferred revenue

     6,229        —           7,133        —     

Income taxes payable

     2,425        —           —          —     

Current portion of equipment lease obligations

     740        399         409        389   

Current portion of long-term debt

     712        692         1,369        104   

Current Redeemable Series A Preferred Stock

     38,995        —           35,569        —     
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total current liabilities

     52,590        9,781         49,428        8,890   
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Working capital (deficit)

   ($ 42,899   $ 3,954       ($ 33,786   $ 13,268   
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

June 30, 2016 Compared to June 30, 2015. Our working capital deficit was $(42.9) million at June 30, 2016 compared to working capital of $4.0 million at June 30, 2015. Working capital included deferred revenue of $6.2 million at June 30, 2016 which represented contractual prepayments by certain customers. No such contractual prepayment obligations existed at June 30, 2015. Additionally, the Preferred Stock is included in current liabilities as it has a mandatory redemption date of September 13, 2016, but it can only be redeemed if certain defined pro forma financial covenants of our revolving credit facility are met. While we have classified the Preferred Stock as current because of these covenant requirements, we do not anticipate being able to redeem the Preferred Stock within the foreseeable future unless this offering is consummated. We plan to fully redeem the Preferred Stock from the proceeds of this offering.

 

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Accounts and unbilled receivables decreased by $2.5 million from June 30, 2016 to June 30, 2015 primarily due to decreases of raw frac sand volumes sold and average selling prices.

Accounts payable and accrued liabilities decreased $2.3 million and $2.9 million, respectively, from June 30, 2016 to June 30, 2015, primarily due to payment of construction expenses related to certain capital projects in 2015.

December 31, 2015 Compared to December 31, 2014. Our working capital deficit was $(33.8) million at December 31, 2015 compared to working capital of $13.3 million at December 31, 2014. As of December 31, 2015, working capital included deferred revenue of $7.1 million that represented advanced payments from certain customers in order to secure and procure a reliable provision and delivery of product. Additionally, the Preferred Stock is included in current liabilities as it has a mandatory redemption date of September 13, 2016, but it can only be redeemed if certain defined pro forma financial covenants of our revolving credit facility are met. While we have classified the Preferred Stock as current, because of these covenant requirements, we do not anticipate being able to redeem the Preferred Stock within the foreseeable future unless the offering is consummated. We plan to fully redeem the Preferred Stock from the proceeds of this offering.

Accounts receivable decreased by $2.5 million from December 31, 2014 to December 31, 2015, primarily due to a decrease in raw frac sand sales volumes. The $4.4 million decrease in inventory from December 31, 2014 to December 31, 2015 is attributable to our lower estimate of sand inventory that is required to fill customer orders for a twelve-month period from the balance sheet date. Prepaid expenses and other current assets decreased $2.4 million as a result of a $1.4 million income tax refund received, collection of $0.3 million of other receivables and a $0.5 million decrease in prepaid insurance.

Accounts payable and accrued expenses included capitalized expenditures of $3.1 million and $4.4 million, as well as $0.6 million and $0.5 million of real estate taxes as of December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. Additionally, revolving credit facility accrued interest totaled $0.7 million as of December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014.

Operating Activities

Six Months Ended June 30, 2016 Compared to Six Months Ended June 30, 2015

Net cash provided by operating activities was $6.1 million and $11.4 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and June 30, 2015, respectively. Operating cash flows include a net loss of $(2.2) million and net income of $0.7 million in net earnings generated from the sale of raw frac sand to our customers in the six months ended June 30, 2016 and June 30, 2015, respectively. The net earnings in each period were offset by production costs, general and administrative expenses and cash interest expense, adjusted for changes in working capital to the extent they are positive or negative. Included in operating activities for the six months ended June 30, 2016 is a $0.5 million settlement of a derivative instrument; no such instrument existed in 2015.

Year Ended December 31, 2015 Compared to the Year Ended December 31, 2014

Net cash provided by operating activities was $30.7 million and $22.1 million for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. Operating cash flows include net income of $4.5 million and $7.2 million in net earnings generated from the sale of raw frac sand to our customers in the year ended December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014, respectively. The net earnings in each period were offset by production costs, general and administrative expenses and cash interest expense, adjusted for changes in working capital to the extent they are positive or negative.

 

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Investing Activities

The following table presents the components of net cash used in investing activities for the periods indicated.

 

     Six Months Ended June 30,      Year Ended December 31,   
     2016     2015                
       (unaudited)         (unaudited)                2015                      2014          
     (in thousands)  

Oakdale:

          

Plant Expansion

   $ 239      $ 13,495       $ 16,907       $ 17,853   

Land

     —          —           —           —     

Other

     722        1,723         2,027         4,498   

Hixton:

          

Original Plant

     (458     6,212         8,723         3,224   

Land

     —          209         1,397         3,911   

Other

     —          167         172         1,402   

Byron:

          

Original Facility

     258        —           149         —     
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Cash capital expenditures

     761        21,806         29,375         30,888   
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Non-cash capital expenditures

     987        5,204         3,113         4,386   
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total capital expenditures

   $ 1,748      $ 27,010       $ 32,488       $ 35,274   
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Financing Activities

Six Months Ended June 30, 2016 Compared to Six Months Ended June 30, 2015

Net cash used in financing activities was $7.4 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016, which included repayments of $6.2 million under our existing revolving credit facility and $1.1 million of payments on our existing equipment notes payable and capitalized leases.

Net cash provided by financing activities was $10.0 million for the six months ended June 30, 2015, which was comprised primarily of $10.4 million of net borrowings on our existing revolving credit facility and $0.2 million of payments on our existing equipment notes payable and capital leases.

Year Ended December 31, 2015 Compared to the Year Ended December 31, 2014

Net cash provided by financing activities was $1.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, which included net borrowings of $3.2 million under our existing revolving credit facility, offset by $0.5 million of repayments on long-term debt, $0.4 million in payments on equipment financing obligations, $0.4 million on loan amendment fees and $0.1 million in treasury stock purchases.

Net cash provided by financing activities was $7.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, which included net borrowings of $57.7 million under our existing revolving credit facility, offset by a $40.0 million partial redemption of the Preferred Stock, a $9.2 million pay down of the line of credit, and $0.7 million of loan origination and amendment costs.

Off Balance Sheet Arrangements

At June 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015, we had outstanding letters of credit in the amount of $3.5 million and $4.2 million, respectively.

 

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Capital Requirements

The second Oakdale drying facility was completed in July 2014 and the third Oakdale drying facility was completed in September 2015. As of June 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015, we had commitments related to these projects as well as future expansion projects of approximately $2.3 million and $2.4 million, respectively. We expect to incur approximately $1.6 million during the second half of 2016 in expansion capital expenditures. Expansion capital expenditures are anticipated to support incremental growth initiatives. These projects are expected to provide efficiencies in our plant operations and improve our logistics capabilities to further position us to capitalize upon growth opportunities that we anticipate will continue to develop with both current and potential new customers. We expect to fund these expansion capital expenditures with cash flow from operations. Please read “Use of Proceeds.”

Credit Facilities

Our Credit Facility and Other Arrangements

Below is a description of our existing revolving credit facility and other financing arrangements. We expect that upon completion of this offering we will have $3.5 million of letters of credit outstanding and no borrowings outstanding under our amended revolving credit facility described below.

Line of Credit. On July 2, 2012, we obtained a one-year $10 million line of credit from a bank. The line of credit had an interest rate of Prime plus 1%. In July 2012, borrowings on the line of credit amounted to $6 million. In August 2012, we borrowed the remaining $4 million under the line of credit. The line of credit was guaranteed by the majority holder of our common stock (and the sole holder of the Preferred Stock). In connection with the guarantee, the holder of the Preferred Stock was paid additional stock dividends of 0.32% per annum through the maturity date of the line of credit. In July 2013, the line of credit was extended through July 9, 2014 and bore an interest rate of Prime plus 0.35% (3.60% as of December 31, 2013). There were no financial covenants associated with the agreement. On March 28, 2014, the outstanding balance of $9.3 million, which included accrued interest, was paid in full.

Existing Revolving Credit Facility. On March 28, 2014, we entered into a $72.5 million revolving credit and security agreement with our wholly-owned subsidiary Fairview Cranberry Company, LLC as co-borrowers, and PNC Bank, National Association, as administrative agent and collateral agent (the “Credit Agreement”). The existing revolving credit facility matures on March 28, 2019. We refer to this facility as the existing revolving credit facility.

On October 29, 2014, we amended the Credit Agreement to provide for up to a $100.0 million existing revolving credit facility, as well as a sublimit of up to $15.0 million for the issuance of letters of credit.

The credit facility contains various covenants and restrictive provisions and requires maintenance of financial covenants, including a fixed charge coverage ratio and a total leverage ratio (as defined in the Credit Agreement). As of September 30, 2015, our total leverage ratio exceeded the threshold of 3.00 to 1.00. We were in compliance with all other covenants at that time.

 

On December 18, 2015, we entered into the fourth amendment to the Credit Agreement (“Fourth Amendment”). Under the Fourth Amendment, the event of default related to the September 30, 2015 leverage ratio was waived and the following terms were amended:

 

    the total commitment was reduced from $100.0 million to $75.0 million;

 

    quarterly permanent paydowns are required until the maximum commitment reaches $55.0 million from the sharing of excess cash flow, as defined in the Fourth Amendment. As of June 30, 2016, the maximum commitment for the existing revolving credit facility was $74.0 million;

 

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    application of the leverage ratio and fixed charge coverage ratio covenants are foregone until the earlier of December 31, 2016 or such quarter that the Company cannot maintain a $3.0 million excess availability (as defined in the Fourth Amendment); and

 

    annual capital expenditures are restricted, as defined in the Fourth Amendment, until the $55.0 million maximum commitment level is reached.

In addition, the Fourth Amendment increased the interest rates applicable to borrowings under the existing revolving credit facility at our option at either:

 

    a Base Rate, as defined, which will be the base commercial lending rate of PNC Bank, as publicly announced to be in effect from time to time, plus an applicable margin of 3.00%; or

 

    LIBOR plus an applicable margin of 4.00%.

We incurred a $250,000 commitment fee for this amendment, recorded as debt discount against the existing revolving credit facility. At June 30, 2016, we were in compliance with the required financial covenants and had undrawn availability under this credit facility totaling $12.5 million. At June 30, 2016, outstanding borrowings under the Credit Agreement bore interest at a weighted-average rate of approximately 4.47%. We expect to fully repay any outstanding borrowings with a portion of the proceeds from this offering. Please read “Use of Proceeds.”

Amended Revolving Credit Facility. In connection with the completion of this offering, we intend to amend our credit agreement to provide for a $     million senior secured revolving credit facility. The credit facility will be available on and after the closing date of this offering, subject to our satisfaction of conditions precedent that are usual and customary for credit facilities of this type, including (i) execution and delivery of the credit agreement and all related documents and legal opinions; (ii) delivery of officer’s certificates, financial information and organizational documents; (iii) satisfaction of conditions related to perfection of liens; (iv) obtaining all required consents and (v) payment of all fees and other amounts due to the lenders under the credit agreement. The credit facility will be used for capital expenditures and permitted acquisitions, to provide for working capital requirements and for other general corporate purposes.

We expect that our amended revolving credit facility will contain various affirmative and negative covenants and restrictive provisions that will limit our ability (as well as the ability of our subsidiaries) to, among other things:

 

    incur or guarantee additional debt;

 

    make certain investments and acquisitions;

 

    incur certain liens or permit them to exist;

 

    alter our lines of business;

 

    enter into certain types of transactions with affiliates;

 

    merge or consolidate with another company; and

 

    transfer, sell or otherwise dispose of assets.

In addition, we expect that our revolving credit facility will restrict our ability to make distributions on, or redeem or repurchase, our equity interests, except for distributions of available cash so long as, both at the time of the distribution and after giving effect to the distribution, no default exists under our amended revolving credit facility. Our amended revolving credit facility will also require us to maintain certain financial covenants.

 

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We also expect that our amended revolving credit facility will contain events of default customary for facilities of this nature, including, but not limited, to:

 

    events of default resulting from our failure or the failure of any guarantors to comply with covenants and financial ratios;

 

    the occurrence of a change of control;

 

    the institution of insolvency or similar proceedings against us or any guarantor; and

 

    the occurrence of a default under any other material indebtedness we or any guarantor may have.

Upon the occurrence and during the continuation of an event of default, subject to the terms and conditions of our amended revolving credit facility, we expect that the lenders will be able to declare any outstanding principal of our credit facility debt, together with accrued and unpaid interest, to be immediately due and payable and exercise other remedies.

Mandatorily Redeemable Preferred Stock. On September 13, 2011, we entered into a financing agreement with Clearlake. The agreement provides for the sale of Preferred Stock to Clearlake in three tranches. For the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, we incurred $6.1 million and $6.3 million of interest expense related to the Preferred Stock, respectively. We capitalized $0.6 million and $0.4 million of interest expense related to the Preferred Stock in the consolidated balance sheets as of December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. On March 28, 2014, in connection with entering into our existing revolving credit facility, approximately $40 million of Preferred Stock was redeemed.

The Preferred Stock is mandatorily redeemable on September 13, 2016. The redemption price is the original issuance price per share of all outstanding Preferred Stock plus any unpaid accrued dividends. We have an option to redeem the Preferred Stock before September 13, 2016; if this option is exercised, we must redeem at least $1.0 million. The Preferred Stock is not convertible into common stock or any other security we issue. As a result of the Preferred Stock’s stated mandatory redemption date, we classified these securities as current liabilities in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets as of June 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015. As of June 30, 2015 and December 31, 2014, we classified the Preferred Stock as long-term liabilities in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets. Under our existing revolving credit facility, the Preferred Stock can be redeemed only if we meet certain defined pro forma financial covenants. While we have classified the Preferred Stock as current because of these covenant requirements, we do not anticipate being able to redeem the Preferred Shares in the foreseeable future unless the offering is consummated. We expect to redeem all of the Preferred Stock with a portion of the proceeds from this offering.

At June 30, 2016, the liquidation value of the Preferred Stock was $38.3 million.

Customer Concentration

For the six months ended June 30, 2016, sales to US Well Services, Weatherford, and C&J Energy Services accounted for 37.3%, 32.8% and 17.6%, respectively, of total revenue. For the year ended December 31, 2015, sales to EOG Resources, US Well Services, Weatherford and Archer Pressure Pumping accounted for 35.0%, 24.6%, 18.4% and 15.8%, respectively, of total revenue. The terms of each contract provide for certain remedies, including true-up payments, in the event that a customer does not purchase minimum monthly volumes of sand.

 

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Contractual Obligations

The following table presents our contractual obligations and other commitments as of December 31, 2015.

 

            Less than      1-3      3-5      More than  
     Total      1 year      years      years      5 years  
     (in thousands)  

Equipment lease obligations(1)

   $ 1,791       $ 483       $ 1,308       $ —         $ —     

Notes payable(2)

     1,938         1,369         569         —           —     

Oakdale construction obligations(3)

     2,400         2,400         —           —           —     

Asset retirement obligations(4)

     1,180         —           —           —           1,180   

Preferred Stock(5)

     35,552         35,552         —           —           —     

Equipment and office operating leases(6)

     26,153         6,537         11,372         6,174         2,070   

Revolving credit facility(7)

     64,216         —           —           64,216         —     
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 
   $ 133,230       $ 46,341       $ 13,249       $ 70,390       $ 3,250   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1) Through December 31, 2015, we entered into various lease arrangements to lease operational equipment. Interest rates on these lease arrangements ranged from 4.8% to 6.3% and maturities range from 2017 through 2018.
(2) We have financed certain equipment, automobile and land purchases by entering into various debt agreements. Interest rates on these notes ranged from 0% to 4.75% and maturities range from 2014 through 2017.
(3) As part of our Oakdale plant expansion, we were committed to capital expenditures of approximately $2,400 as of June 30, 2016.
(4) The asset retirement obligation represents the fair value of post closure reclamation and site restoration commitments for the Oakdale property and processing facility and Hixton property.
(5) In September 2011, we entered into a Securities Purchase Agreement with Clearlake which provided for three investment tranches of Preferred Stock. As of December 31, 2013, two of the tranches have been funded, resulting in the issuance of 48,000 preference shares with a par value of $0.001 per share which are mandatorily redeemable on September 13, 2016. The Preferred Stock has been valued at its issuance value plus accrued dividends less a $40 million repayment made in March 2014. As of June 30, 2016, the liquidation value was $38.3 million. While we have classified the Preferred Stock as current because of these covenant requirements, we do not anticipate being able to redeem the Preferred Stock in the foreseeable future unless this offering is consummated.
(6) We have entered into long-term operating leases for certain operational equipment, rail equipment and office space. Certain long-term rail car operating leases have been executed; however payment does not begin until the cars arrive. Cars are estimated to arrive in the fourth quarter of 2016. Monthly lease expense per car on these 30 cars is $645, or $232 on an annualized basis. Due to the uncertain nature of delivery, these rail car leases have not been included in the schedule.
(7) The existing revolving credit facility has a maturity date of March  28, 2019.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosure of Market Risks

Market risk is the risk of loss arising from adverse changes in market rates and prices. Historically, our risks have been predominantly related to potential changes in the fair value of our long-term debt due to fluctuations in applicable market interest rates. Going forward our market risk exposure generally will be limited to those risks that arise in the normal course of business, as we do not engage in speculative, non-operating transactions, nor do we utilize financial instruments or derivative instruments for trading purposes.

Commodity Price Risk

The market for proppant is indirectly exposed to fluctuations in the prices of crude oil and natural gas to the extent such fluctuations impact drilling and completion activity levels and thus impact the activity levels of our

 

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customers in the oilfield services and exploration and production industries. However, because we generate the substantial majority of our revenues under long-term take-or-pay contracts, we believe we have only limited exposure to short-term fluctuations in the prices of crude oil and natural gas. We do not currently intend to hedge our indirect exposure to commodity price risk.

Interest Rate Risk

As of June 30, 2016, we had $57.2 million, net of a $0.8 million debt discount, in variable rate long-term debt outstanding under our existing revolving credit facility, which bears interest at our option at either:

 

    a Base Rate (as defined in the existing revolving credit facility), which will be the base commercial lending rate of PNC Bank, as publicly announced to be in effect from time to time, plus an applicable margin of 3.00%; or

 

    LIBOR plus an applicable margin of 4.00%.

The fair value of our long-term debt at June 30, 2016 was approximately $58.0 million, as the debt was obtained in March 2014, and is therefore considered to reflect the application of current interest rates offered for debt with similar remaining terms and maturities. As an indication of this debt’s sensitivity to changes in interest rates, based upon an immediate 50 basis point increase in the applicable interest rates at June 30, 2016, the fair value of our variable rate long-term debt would have decreased by approximately $0.1 million. Conversely, a 50 basis point decrease in that rate would increase the fair value of this indebtedness by $0.2 million.

We expect to have no borrowings outstanding under the amended revolving credit facility following the closing of this offering and the application of the net proceeds therefrom.

Credit Risk

Substantially all of our revenue for the year ended December 31, 2015 was generated through long-term take-or-pay contracts with five customers. Our customers are oil and natural gas producers and oilfield service providers, all of which have been negatively impacted by the recent downturn in activity in the oil and natural gas industry. This concentration of counterparties operating in a single industry may increase our overall exposure to credit risk, in that the counterparties may be similarly affected by changes in economic, regulatory or other conditions. If a customer defaults or if any of our contracts expires in accordance with its terms, and we are unable to renew or replace these contracts, our gross profit and cash flows may be adversely affected. For example, in July 2016, one of our contracted customers, C&J Energy Services filed for bankruptcy and rejected our contract, which had 2.3 years and 0.7 million tons contracted remaining under the contract. We are pursuing a claim for damages through the bankruptcy courts at this time but it is uncertain as to what, if any recoveries we will be granted by the court.

Internal Controls and Procedures

We are not currently required to comply with the SEC’s rules implementing Section 404 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002, and are therefore not required to make a formal assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting for that purpose. Upon becoming a public company, we will be required to comply with the SEC’s rules implementing Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which will require our management to certify financial and other information in our quarterly and annual reports and provide an annual management report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. We will not be required to make our first assessment of our internal control over financial reporting until the year of our second annual report required to be filed with the SEC. To comply with the requirements of being a public company, we may need to implement additional financial and management controls, reporting systems and procedures and hire additional accounting, finance and legal staff.

 

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Further, our independent registered public accounting firm is not yet required to formally attest to the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting, and will not be required to do so for as long as we are an “emerging growth company” pursuant to the provisions of the JOBS Act. Please read “Summary—Our Emerging Growth Company Status.”

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

In March 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (the “FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2016-09, “Stock Compensation (ASC 718)—Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting”, which is intended to simplify the tax accounting impacts of stock compensation. Additionally, the new standard provides accounting policy elections regarding vesting and forfeiture accounting. The new standard is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016 and interim periods within those annual periods. We are currently in the process of evaluating the impact of the adoption on our consolidated financial statements.

In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, “Leases” (ASC 842), which replaces the existing guidance in ASC 840, “Leases.” ASC 842 requires lessees to recognize most leases on their balance sheets as lease liabilities with corresponding right-of-use assets. The new lease standard does not substantially change lessor accounting. The new standard is effective for interim and annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018, with early adoption permitted. We are currently in the process of evaluating the impact of the adoption on our consolidated financial statements.

In November 2015, the FASB issued ASU No. 2015-17, “Income Taxes—Balance Sheet Classification of Deferred Taxes”, which requires the presentation of deferred tax liabilities and assets be classified as non-current on balance sheets. The amendments in this ASU are effective for financial statements issued for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016, and interim periods within those annual periods. Early adoption is permitted for all entities as of the beginning of an interim or annual reporting period. We have elected to early adopt this guidance prospectively as of December 31, 2015. The adoption only impacted deferred tax presentation on the consolidated balance sheet and related disclosure. No prior periods were retrospectively adjusted.

In July 2015, the FASB issued ASU No. 2015-11, “Simplifying the Measurement of Inventory”, which requires an entity to measure most inventory at the lower of cost and net realizable value, thereby simplifying the current guidance under which an entity must measure inventory at the lower of cost or market. The new standard is effective for public entities for financial statements issued for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2016, including interim periods within those fiscal years. We are currently evaluating the new guidance and have not yet determined the impact this standard may have on our consolidated financial statements.

In April 2015, the FASB issued ASU No. 2015-15, “Interest-Imputation of Interest”, which simplifies presentation of debt issuance costs. The new standard requires that debt issuance costs be presented in the balance sheet as a direct deduction from the carrying amount of the debt liability, consistent with debt discounts or premiums. The new standard will be effective for financial statements issued for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2015, and interim periods within fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2016. Early adoption is permitted for financial statements that have not been previously issued. We are currently evaluating the new guidance and have not yet determined the impact this standard may have on our consolidated financial statements.

In August 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 2014-15, “Going Concern”, which provides guidance on determining when and how to disclose going-concern uncertainties in the financial statements. The new standard requires management to perform interim and annual assessments of an entity’s ability to continue as a going concern within one year of the date the financial statements are issued. An entity must provide certain disclosures if “conditions or events raise substantial doubt about the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern.” The

 

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ASU applies to all entities and is effective for annual periods ending after December 15, 2016, and interim periods thereafter, with early adoption permitted. We are currently evaluating the future disclosure requirements under this guidance.

In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU 2014-09, “Revenue from Contracts with Customers”. The objective of ASU 2014-19 is to establish a single comprehensive model for entities to use in accounting for revenue arising from contracts with customers and will supersede most of the existing revenue recognition guidance, including industry-specific guidance. The core principle of ASU 2014-09 is that an entity recognizes revenue to depict the transfer of promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. In applying the new guidance, an entity will (1) identify the contract(s) with a customer; (2) identify the performance obligations in the contract; (3) determine the transaction price; (4) allocate the transaction price to the contract’s performance obligations; and (5) recognize revenue when (or as) the entity satisfies a performance obligation. ASU 2014-09 applies to all contracts with customers except those that are within the scope of other topics in the FASB Accounting Standards Codification. The new guidance is effective for annual reporting periods (including interim periods within those periods) beginning after December 15, 2017 for public companies. Early adoption is only permitted as of annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016. Entities have the option of using either a full retrospective or modified approach to adopt ASU 2014-09. We are currently evaluating the new guidance and have not determined the impact this standard may have on our consolidated financial statements nor decided upon the method of adoption.

New and Revised Financial Accounting Standards

We qualify as an “emerging growth company” pursuant to the provisions of the JOBS Act, enacted on April 5, 2012. Section 102 of the JOBS Act provides that an “emerging growth company” can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act for complying with new or revised accounting standards. However, we are choosing to “opt out” of such extended transition period, and as a result, we will comply with new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required for non-emerging growth companies. Our election to “opt-out” of the extended transition period is irrevocable.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

The discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations is based on our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally acceptable in the United States of America. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the dates of the financial statements and the reported revenues and expenses during the reporting periods. We evaluate these estimates and assumptions on an ongoing basis and base our estimates on historical experience, current conditions and various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. The results of these estimates form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities as well as identifying and assessing the accounting treatment with respect to commitments and contingencies. Our actual results may materially differ from these estimates.

Listed below are the accounting policies we believe are critical to our financial statements due to the degree of uncertainty regarding the estimates or assumptions involved, and that we believe are critical to the understanding of our operations.

Revenue Recognition

We recognize revenue when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, delivery of products has occurred, the sales price charged is fixed or determinable, collectability is reasonably assured, and the risk of loss is transferred to the customer. This generally means that sales are FCA, payment made at the origination point at

 

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our facility, and title passes as the product is loaded into rail cars hired by the customer. Certain spot-rate customers have shipping terms of FCA, payment made at the destination; we recognize this revenue when the sand is received at the destination.

We derive our revenue by mining and processing sand that our customers purchase for various uses. Our revenues are primarily a function of the price per ton realized and the volumes sold. In some instances, our revenues also include transportation costs we charge to our customers and a monthly charge to reserve sand capacity. Our transportation revenue fluctuates based on a number of factors, including the volume of product we transport and the distance between our plant and our customers. Our reservation revenue fluctuates based on negotiated contract terms.

We sell a limited amount of product under short-term price agreements or at prevailing market rates. The majority of our revenues are realized through long-term take-or-pay contracts. The expiration dates of these contracts range from 2016 through 2020; however, certain contracts include extension periods, as defined in the respective contracts. These agreements define, among other commitments, the volume of product that our customers must purchase, the volume of product that we must provide and the price that we will charge and that our customers will pay for each ton of contracted product. Prices under these agreements are generally either fixed or indexed to WTI and subject to adjustment, upward or downward, based upon: (i) certain changes in published producer cost indices, including the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers and the Producer Price Index published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; or (ii) market factors, including a natural gas surcharge and a propane surcharge which are applied if the Average Natural Gas Price or the Average Quarterly Mont Belvieu TX Propane Spot Price, respectively, as listed by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, are above the benchmark set in the contract for the preceding calendar quarter. As a result, our realized prices may not grow at rates consistent with broader industry pricing. For example, during periods of rapid price growth, our realized prices may grow more slowly than those of competitors, and during periods of price decline, our realized prices may outperform industry averages. With respect to the take-or-pay arrangements, if the customer is not allowed to make up deficiencies, we recognize revenues to the extent of the minimum contracted quantity, assuming payment has been received or is reasonably assured. Such revenue is generally recognized either quarterly or at the end of a customer contract year rather than ratably over the respective contract year. If deficiencies can be made up, receipts in excess of actual sales are recognized as deferred revenues until production is actually taken or the right to make up deficiencies expires.

Asset Retirement Obligation

We estimate the future cost of dismantling, restoring and reclaiming operating excavation sites and related facilities in accordance with federal, state and local regulatory requirements and recognize reclamation obligations when extraction occurs and record them as liabilities at estimated fair value. In addition, a corresponding increase in the carrying amount of the related asset is recorded and depreciated over such asset’s useful life or the estimated number of years of extraction. The reclamation liability is accreted to expense over the estimated productive life of the related asset and is subject to adjustments to reflect changes in value resulting from the passage of time and revisions to the estimates of either the timing or amount of the reclamation costs. If the asset retirement obligation is settled for more or less than the carrying amount of the liability, a loss or gain will be recognized, respectively.

Inventory Valuation

Sand inventory is stated at the lower of cost or market using the average cost method. Costs applied to inventory include direct excavation costs, processing costs, overhead allocation, depreciation and depletion. Stockpile tonnages are calculated by measuring the number of tons added and removed from the stockpile. Tonnages are verified periodically by an independent surveyor. Costs are calculated on a per ton basis and are applied to the stockpiles based on the number of tons in the stockpile.

Spare parts inventory includes critical spare parts. We account for spare parts on a first in first out basis, and value the inventory at the lower of cost or market.

 

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Depletion

We amortize the cost to acquire land and mineral rights using a units-of-production method, based on the total estimated reserves and tonnage extracted each period.

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets

We periodically evaluate whether current events or circumstances indicate that the carrying value of our assets may not be recoverable. If circumstances indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable, we estimate future undiscounted net cash (without interest charges), estimated future sales prices (considering historical and current prices, price trends and related factors) and anticipated operating costs and capital expenditures. We record a reduction in the carrying value of our long-lived assets if the undiscounted cash flows are less than the carrying value of the assets.

Our estimates of prices, recoverable proven reserves and operating and capital costs are subject to certain risks and uncertainties which may affect the recoverability of our long-lived assets. Although we have made our best estimate of these factors based on current conditions, it is reasonably possible that changes could occur, which could adversely affect our estimate of the net cash flows expected to be generated from our operating property. No impairment charges were recorded during the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014 or the six-month period ended June 30, 2016.

Income Taxes

Under the balance sheet approach to provide for income taxes, we recognize deferred tax assets and liabilities for the expected future tax consequences of net operating loss carryforwards and temporary differences between the carrying amounts and the tax bases of assets and liabilities. In assessing the realizability of deferred tax assets, we consider whether it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. The ultimate realization of deferred tax assets is dependent upon the generation of future taxable income during the period in which those temporary differences become deductible. If we determine it is more likely than not that we will not be able to realize the benefits of the deductible temporary differences, we record a valuation against the net deferred tax asset.

We recognize the impact of uncertain tax positions at the largest amount that, in our judgment, is more-likely-than-not to be required to be recognized upon examination by a taxing authority.

Stock-Based Compensation

Stock-based compensation expense is recorded based upon the fair value of the award at grant date. Such costs are recognized as expense over the corresponding requisite service period. The fair value of the awards granted was calculated based on a weighted analysis of (i) publicly-traded companies in a similar line of business to us (market comparable method) and (ii) our discounted cash flows. The application of this valuation model involves inputs and assumptions that are judgmental and highly sensitive in the valuation of incentive awards, which affects compensation expense related to these awards. These inputs and assumptions include the value of a share of our common stock.

We use a combination of the guideline company approach and a discounted cash flow analysis to determine the fair value of our stock. The key assumptions in this estimate include our projections of future cash flows, company-specific cost of capital used as a discount rate, lack of marketability discount, and qualitative factors to compare us to comparable guideline companies. During 2015, factors that contributed to changes in the underlying value of our stock included the continued market challenges and corresponding decline in oil and natural gas drilling activity, changes to future cash flows projected from the recent expansion of capacity, product mix including mix of finer grade versus coarser grade sand, and other factors. As our operations are highly dependent on sales to the oil and gas industry, the market conditions for this industry have a high degree of impact on the company’s value.

 

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We will continue to use judgment in evaluating the inputs and assumptions related to our stock-based compensation on a prospective basis and incorporating these factors into our pricing model. However, once our shares are publicly traded, we will use the actual market price as the grant date fair value, and will no longer estimate the value of the shares underlying the stock-based awards.

The following is a summary of the restricted stock awards granted and the related grant date fair value in the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, as well as for the six months ended June 30, 2016.

     Number of
Shares
Granted
     Grant Date Fair
Value
 

For the six months ended June 30, 2016

     73.0       $ 8,464   

For the year ended December 31, 2015

     20.0         17,732   

For the year ended December 31, 2014

     154.0         17,732   

Environmental Matters

We are subject to various federal, state and local laws and regulations governing, among other things, hazardous materials, air and water emissions, environmental contamination and reclamation and the protection of the environment and natural resources. We have made, and expect to make in the future, expenditures to comply with such laws and regulations, but cannot predict the full amount of such future expenditures.

 

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PROPPANT INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

Unless otherwise indicated, the information set forth under “—Industry Trends Impacting Our Business,” including all statistical data and related forecasts, is derived from The Freedonia Group’s Industry Study #3302, “Proppants in North America,” published in September 2015, Spears & Associates’ “Hydraulic Fracturing Market 2005-2017” published in the second quarter 2016, PropTester, Inc. and Kelrik, LLC’s “2015 Proppant Market Report” published in March 2016 and Baker Hughes’ “North America Rotary Rig Count” published in July 2016. We believe that the third-party sources are reliable and that the third-party information included in this prospectus or in our estimates is accurate and complete. While we are not aware of any misstatements regarding the proppant industry data presented herein, estimates involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various factors, including those discussed under the heading “Risk Factors.”

Overview

The oil and natural gas proppant industry is comprised of businesses involved in the mining or manufacturing of the propping agents used in the drilling and completion of oil and natural gas wells. Hydraulic fracturing is the most widely used method for stimulating increased production from wells. The process consists of pumping fluids, mixed with granular proppants, into the geologic formation at pressures sufficient to create fractures in the hydrocarbon-bearing rock. Proppant-filled fractures create conductive channels through which the hydrocarbons can flow more freely from the formation into the wellbore and then to the surface.

Types of Proppant

There are three primary types of proppant that are commonly utilized in the hydraulic fracturing process: raw frac sand, which is the product we produce, resin-coated sand and manufactured ceramic beads. The following chart illustrates the composition of the U.S. market for proppant by type.

 

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Pricing Trends

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking hydraulic frac sand as part of its Producer Price Index (“PPI”) related to commodities in 2012. A chart of their Frac Sand PPI is below.

 

LOGO

Raw Frac Sand

Of the three primary types of proppant, raw frac sand is the most widely used due to its broad applicability in oil and natural gas wells and its cost advantage relative to other proppants. Raw frac sand has been employed in nearly all major U.S. oil and natural gas producing basins, including the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Fayetteville, Granite Wash, Haynesville, Marcellus, Niobrara, DJ, Permian, Utica, Williston and Woodford basins.

Raw frac sand is generally mined from the surface or underground, and in some cases crushed, and then cleaned and sorted into consistent mesh sizes. The API has a range of guidelines it uses to evaluate frac sand grades and mesh sizes. In order to meet API specifications, raw frac sand must meet certain thresholds related to particle size, shape (sphericity and roundness), crush resistance, turbidity (fines and impurities) and acid solubility. Oil and natural gas producers generally require that raw frac sand used in their drilling and completion processes meet API specifications.

Raw frac sand can be further delineated into two main naturally occurring types: white sand and brown sand. Northern White, which is the specific type of white raw frac sand that we produce, is considered to be of higher quality than brown sand due to the monocrystalline grain structure of Northern White frac sand. Brown sand (also called Brady or Hickory sand) has historically been considered the lower quality raw frac sand, due to its polycrystalline structure and inferior angularity, strength and purity characteristics. Northern White frac sand, due to its exceptional quality, commands premium prices relative to other types of sand. Northern White frac sand has historically experienced the greatest market demand relative to supply, due both to its superior physical characteristics and the fact that it is a limited resource that exists predominately in Wisconsin and other limited parts of the upper Midwest region of the United States. However, even within Northern White raw frac sand, the quality of Northern White raw frac sand can vary significantly across deposits.

Resin-Coated Frac Sand

Resin-coated frac sand consists of raw frac sand that is coated with a resin that increases the sand’s crush strength and prevents crushed sand from dispersing throughout the fracture. The strength and shape of the end

 

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product are largely determined by the quality of the underlying raw frac sand. Pressured (or tempered) resin-coated sand primarily enhances crush strength, thermal stability and chemical resistance, allowing the sand to perform under harsh downhole conditions. Curable (or bonding) resin-coated frac sand uses a resin that is designed to bond together under closure stress and high temperatures, preventing proppant flowback. In general, resin-coated frac sand is better suited for higher pressure, higher temperature drilling operations commonly associated with deep wells and natural gas wells.

Ceramics

Ceramic proppant is a manufactured product of comparatively consistent size and spherical shape that typically offers the highest crush strength relative to other types of proppants. As a result, ceramic proppant use is most applicable in the highest pressure and temperature drilling environments. Ceramic proppant derives its product strength from the molecular structure of its underlying raw material and is designed to withstand extreme heat, depth and pressure environments. The deepest, highest temperature and highest pressure wells typically require heavy weight ceramics with high alumina/bauxite content and coarser mesh sizes. The lower crush resistant ceramic proppants are lighter weight and derived from kaolin clay, with densities closer to raw frac sand.

Comparison of Key Proppant Characteristics

The following table sets forth what we believe to be the key comparative characteristics of the primary types of proppant, including Northern White raw frac sand that we produce.

 

   

Brown Raw Frac Sand

 

Northern White
Raw Frac Sand

 

Resin-coated

 

Ceramics

Product and Characteristics

 

•  Natural resource

 

•  Quality of sand varies widely depending on source

 

•  Natural resource

 

•  Considered highest quality raw frac sand

 

•  Monocrystalline in nature, exhibiting crush strength, turbidity and roundness and sphericity in excess of API specifications

 

•  Raw frac sand substrate with resin coating

 

•  Coating increases crush strength

 

•  Bond together to prevent proppant flowback

 

•  Manufactured product

 

•  Typically highest crush strength

Crush Strength

  up to 12,000 psi   up to 12,000 psi   up to 15,000 psi   up to 18,000 psi

Relative Price

  Least Expensive   ×                                                                      Ø   Most Expensive

Source: API; Stim-Lab, Inc.; company provided information; The Freedonia Group, September 2015

Proppant Mesh Sizes

Mesh size is used to describe the size of the proppant and is determined by sieving the proppant through screens with uniform openings corresponding to the desired size of the proppant. Each type of proppant comes in various sizes, categorized as mesh sizes, and the various mesh sizes are used in different applications in the oil and natural gas industry. The mesh number system is a measure of the number of equally sized openings there are per linear inch of screen (composed of a grid pattern of crisscrossed wires) through which the proppant is sieved. For example, a 30 mesh screen has 30 equally sized openings per linear inch. Therefore, as the mesh size increases, the granule size decreases. A mesh size of 30/50 refers to sand that passes through a 30 mesh screen but is retained on a 50 mesh screen. As defined by John T. Boyd, 100 mesh sand refers to sand that passes through a 70 mesh screen but is retained on a 140 mesh screen.

Frac Sand Extraction, Processing and Distribution

Raw frac sand is a naturally occurring mineral that is mined and processed. While the specific extraction method utilized depends primarily on the geologic setting, most raw frac sand is mined using conventional open-

 

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pit bench extraction methods. The composition, depth and chemical purity of the sand also dictate the processing method and equipment utilized. After extraction, the raw frac sand is washed with water to remove fine impurities such as clay and organic particles. The final steps in the production process involve the drying and sorting of the raw frac sand according to mesh size required to meet API specifications.

After this processing stage, most frac sand is shipped in bulk from the processing facility to customers by rail, barge or truck. For high volumes of raw frac sand, transportation costs often represent a significant portion of the customer’s overall cost, which highlights the importance of efficient bulk shipping. Due to the midcontinent location of Northern White raw frac sand mines, rail is the predominant method of long distance sand shipment from the region. For this reason, direct access to Class I rail lines (such as Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific) is an important differentiator in the industry. Our Oakdale facility is serviced by two Class I rail lines. The presence of an onsite rail yard capable of storing multiple trains, like the rail facility at our Oakdale plant, provides optimal efficiency. Rail shipment can occur via manifest trains or unit trains. Manifest trains, also called mixed-freight trains, are considered less efficient because these trains switch cars at various intermediate junctions in transit and routinely encounter delays. By contrast, unit trains, like those we employ at our Oakdale facility, tend to travel from origin to destination without stopping at intermediate destinations or multiple switching yards. The capability to ship via unit train, and simultaneously manage multiple unit trains at the production facility, enables reliable and cost effective delivery of high volumes of sand.

Demand Trends

According to Kelrik, the U.S. proppant market, including raw frac sand, ceramic and resin-coated proppant, was approximately 54.9 million tons in 2015. Kelrik estimates that the total raw frac sand market in 2015 represented approximately 50.7 million tons, or 92.3% of the total proppant market by weight. Market demand in 2015 dropped by approximately 20% from 2014 record demand levels due to the downturn in commodity prices since late 2014, which led to a corresponding decline in oil and natural gas drilling and production activity. According to the Freedonia Group, during the period from 2009 to 2014, proppant demand by weight increased by 42% annually. Spears estimates from 2016 through 2020 proppant demand is projected to grow by 23.2% per year, from 30 million tons per year to 85 million tons per year, representing an increase of approximately 55 million tons in annual proppant demand over that time period.

 

LOGO

Demand growth for raw frac sand and other proppants is primarily driven by advancements in oil and natural gas drilling and well completion technology and techniques, such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. These advancements have made the extraction of oil and natural gas increasingly cost-effective in formations that historically would have been uneconomic to develop. While current horizontal rig counts have

 

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fallen significantly from their peak of approximately 1,370 in 2014, rig count grew at an annual rate of 18.7% from 2009 to 2014. Additionally, the percentage of active drilling rigs used to drill horizontal wells, which require greater volumes of proppant than vertical wells, has increased from 42.2% in 2009 to 68.4% in 2014, and as of July 2016 the percentage of rigs drilling horizontal wells is 77% according to the Baker Hughes Rig Count. According to its “Drilling and Production Outlook” published in June 2016, Spears estimates that drilling and completion spending will increase from an estimated $49 billion in 2016 to $144 billion in 2020, driving an estimated increase in the total active rig count to 1,089 active rigs by 2020, with the estimated percentage of horizontal wells being drilled at 62%. Moreover, the increase of pad drilling has led to a more efficient use of rigs, allowing more wells to be drilled per rig. As a result of these factors, well count, and hence proppant demand, has grown at a greater rate than overall rig count. Spears estimates that in 2019, proppant demand will exceed the 2014 peak (of approximately 72.5 million tons) and reach 77.5 million tons even though the projection assumes approximately 10,000 fewer wells will be drilled. Spears estimates that average proppant usage per well will be approximately 5,000 tons per well by 2020. Kelrik notes that current sand-based slickwater completions use in excess of 7,500 tons per well of proppant.

We believe that demand for proppant will be amplified by the following factors:

 

    improved drilling rig productivity, resulting in more wells drilled per rig per year;

 

    completion of exploration and production companies’ inventory of drilled but uncompleted wells;

 

    increases in the percentage of rigs that are drilling horizontal wells;

 

    increases in the length of the typical horizontal wellbore;

 

    increases in the number of fracture stages per foot in the typical completed horizontal wellbore;

 

    increases in the volume of proppant used per fracturing stage;

 

    renewed focus of exploration and production companies to maximize ultimate recovery in active reservoirs through downspacing; and

 

    increasing secondary hydraulic fracturing of existing wells as early shale wells age.

The following table illustrates the steadily increasing intensity of proppant use in those wells.

 

LOGO

Wells in unconventional reservoirs are characterized by high initial production rates followed by a steep decline in production rates during the first several years of the well’s life. Producers must continuously drill new wells to offset production declines and maintain overall production levels. Additionally, operators are beginning to perform secondary hydraulic fracturing of existing wells in order to maintain overall production levels. We

 

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believe these efforts to offset steep production declines in unconventional oil and natural gas reservoirs will be a strong driver of future proppant demand growth.

Recent growth in demand for raw frac sand has outpaced growth in demand for other proppants, and industry analysts predict that this trend will continue. As oil prices have fallen, operators have increasingly looked for ways to improve per well economics by lowering costs without sacrificing production performance. To this end, the oil and natural gas industry is shifting away from the use of higher-cost proppants towards more cost-effective proppants, such as raw frac sand. Evolution of completion techniques and the substantial increase in activity in U.S. oil and liquids-rich resource plays has further accelerated the demand growth for raw frac sand.

In general, oil and liquids-rich wells use a higher proportion of coarser proppant while dry gas wells typically use finer grades of sand. In the past, with the majority of U.S. exploration and production spending focused on oil and liquids-rich plays, demand for coarser grades of sand exceeded demand for finer grades; however, due to innovations in completion techniques, demand for finer grade sands has also shown a considerable resurgence. According to Kelrik, a notable driver impacting demand is increased proppant loadings, specifically, larger volumes of proppant placed per frac stage. Kelrik expects the trend of using larger volumes of finer mesh materials such as 100 mesh sand and 40/70 sand, to continue.

Supply Trends

In recent years, through the fall of 2014, customer demand for high-quality raw frac sand outpaced supply. Several factors contributed to this supply shortage, including:

 

    the difficulty of finding raw frac sand reserves that meet API specifications and satisfy the demands of customers who increasingly favor high-quality Northern White raw frac sand;

 

    the difficulty of securing contiguous raw frac sand reserves large enough to justify the capital investment required to develop a processing facility;

 

    the challenges of identifying reserves with the above characteristics that have rail access needed for low-cost transportation to major shale basins;

 

    the hurdles to securing mining, production, water, air, refuse and other federal, state and local operating permits from the proper authorities;

 

    local opposition to development of certain facilities, especially those that require the use of on-road transportation, including moratoria on raw frac sand facilities in multiple counties in Wisconsin and Minnesota that hold potential sand reserves; and

 

    the long lead time required to design and construct sand processing facilities that can efficiently process large quantities of high-quality raw frac sand.

Supplies of high-quality Northern White raw frac sand are limited to select areas, predominantly in western Wisconsin and limited areas of Minnesota and Illinois. The ability to obtain large contiguous reserves in these areas is a key constraint and can be an important supply consideration when assessing the economic viability of a potential raw frac sand facility. Further constraining the supply and throughput of Northern White raw frac sand, is that not all of the large reserve mines have onsite excavation and processing capability. Additionally, much of the recent capital investment in Northern White raw frac sand mine was used to develop coarser deposits in western Wisconsin. With the shift to finer sands in the liquid and oil plays, many mines may not be economically viable as their ability to produce finer grades of sand may be limited.

Pricing and Contract Considerations

Sand is sold on a contract basis or through spot market pricing. Long-term take-or-pay contracts reduce exposure to fluctuations in price and provide predictability of volumes and price over the contract term. By contrast, the spot market provides direct access to immediate prices, with accompanying exposure to price volatility and uncertainty. For sand producers operating under stable long-term contract structures, the spot market can offer an outlet to sell excess production at opportunistic times or during favorable market conditions.

 

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BUSINESS

Overview

We are a pure-play, low-cost producer of high-quality Northern White raw frac sand, which is a preferred proppant used to enhance hydrocarbon recovery rates in the hydraulic fracturing of oil and natural gas wells. We sell our products primarily to oil and natural gas exploration and production companies, such as EOG Resources and oilfield service companies, such as Weatherford, under a combination of long-term take-or-pay contracts and spot sales in the open market. We believe that the size and favorable geologic characteristics of our sand reserves, the strategic location and logistical advantages of our facilities and the industry experience of our senior management team have positioned us as a highly attractive source of raw frac sand to the oil and natural gas industry.

We own and operate a raw frac sand mine and related processing facility near Oakdale, Wisconsin, at which we have approximately 244 million tons of proven recoverable sand reserves and approximately 92 million tons of probable recoverable sand reserves as of December 31, 2015, respectively. Our integrated Oakdale facility, with on-site rail infrastructure and wet and dry sand processing facilities, is served by two Class I rail lines and enables us to process and cost-effectively deliver up to approximately 3.3 million tons of raw frac sand per year. We believe that with further development and permitting the Oakdale facility could ultimately be expanded to allow production of up to 9 million tons of raw frac sand per year.

In addition to the Oakdale facility, we own a second property in Jackson County, Wisconsin, which we call the Hixton site. The Hixton site is also located adjacent to a Class I rail line and is fully permitted and available for future development. As of August 2014, our Hixton site had approximately 100 million tons of proven recoverable sand reserves.

For the year ended December 31, 2015 and six months ended June 30, 2016, we generated net income (loss) of approximately $4.5 million and $(2.2) million, respectively, and Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $23.9 million and $6.4 million, respectively. For the definition of Adjusted EBITDA and reconciliations to its most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP, please read “Selected Historical Consolidated Financial Data—Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”

Over the past decade, exploration and production companies have increasingly focused on exploiting the vast hydrocarbon reserves contained in North America’s unconventional oil and natural gas reservoirs utilizing advanced techniques, such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. In recent years, this focus has resulted in exploration and production companies drilling more and longer horizontal wells, completing more hydraulic fracturing stages per well and utilizing more proppant per stage in an attempt to maximize the volume of hydrocarbon recoveries per wellbore. From 2010 to 2015 proppant demand experienced strong growth, growing at an average annual rate of 25%. In addition, raw frac sand’s share of the total proppant market continues to increase, growing from approximately 78% in 2010 to approximately 92% in 2015 as exploration and production companies continue to look closely at overall well cost, completion efficiency and design optimization, which has led to a greater use of raw frac sand in comparison to resin-coated sand and manufactured ceramic proppants.

Northern White raw frac sand, which is found predominantly in Wisconsin and limited portions of Minnesota and Illinois, is highly valued by oil and natural gas producers as a preferred proppant due to its favorable physical characteristics. We believe that the market for high-quality raw frac sand, like the Northern White raw frac sand we produce, particularly finer mesh sizes, will grow based on the potential recovery in the development of North America’s unconventional oil and natural gas reservoirs as well as the increased proppant volume usage per well. According to Kelrik, a notable driver impacting demand for fine mesh sand is increased proppant loadings, specifically, larger volumes of proppant placed per frac stage. Kelrik expects the trend of using larger volumes of finer mesh materials, such as 100 mesh sand and 40/70 sand, to continue.

We believe the growth in the supply of raw frac sand will be increasingly constrained by logistics complexity, limited availability of API-specification sand reserves globally as well as the difficulty of obtaining the myriad of construction, environmental, mining and other permits required by local, state and federal

 

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regulators. Our sand reserves include a balanced concentration of coarse (20/40, 30/50 and 40/70 gradation) sands and fine (60/140 gradation, which we refer to in this prospectus as “100 mesh”) sand. Our reserves contain deposits of approximately 19% of 20/40 and coarser substrate, 41% of 40/70 mesh substrate and approximately 40% of 100 mesh substrate. Our 30/50 gradation is a derivative of the 20/40 and 40/70 blends. We believe that this mix of coarse and fine sand reserves, combined with contractual demand for our products across a range of mesh sizes, provides us with relatively higher mining yields and lower processing costs than frac sand mines with predominately coarse sand reserves. In addition, our approximate 244 million tons of proven recoverable reserves at our Oakdale facility as of December 31, 2015, implies a reserve life of approximately 73 years based on our current annual processing capacity of 3.3 million tons per year. This long reserve life, coupled with our balanced mix of coarse and fine sand reserves, enables us to better serve demand for different types of raw frac sand as compared to mines with disproportionate amounts of coarse or fine sand and mines with shorter reserve lives.

As of July 31, 2016, we had approximately 2.1 million tons (or approximately 64% of our current annual production capacity) contracted to oil and natural gas exploration and production and oilfield service companies. Beginning January 1, 2017, we will have approximately      million tons of average annual production (or approximately     % of our current annual production capacity) contracted under long-term take-or-pay contracts, with a volume-weighted average remaining term of approximately      years. Each of these contracts contains a minimum volume purchase requirement, is subject to certain price escalators and provides for delivery of raw frac sand FCA at our Oakdale facility. Certain of these contracts contain provisions that allow our customers to extend the term of the contracts. The mesh size specifications in these contracts vary and include a mix of 20/40, 30/50, 40/70 and 100 mesh frac sand.

Our Oakdale facility is optimized to exploit the reserve profile in place and produce high-quality raw frac sand. Unlike some of our competitors, our mine, processing plants and rail loading facilities are located in one location, which eliminates the need for us to truck sand on public roads between the mine and the production facility or between wet and dry processing facilities. Our on-site transportation assets include approximately seven miles of rail track in a double-loop configuration and three rail car loading facilities that are connected to a Class I rail line owned by Canadian Pacific, which enables us to simultaneously accommodate multiple unit trains and significantly increases our efficiency in meeting our customers’ raw frac sand transportation needs. We currently ship a substantial portion of our sand volumes (approximately 56% from April 1, 2016 to July 31, 2016) in unit train shipments through rail cars that our customers own or lease and deliver to our facility.

We believe that we are one of the few raw frac sand producers with a facility custom-designed for the specific purpose of delivering raw frac sand to all of the major U.S. oil and natural gas producing basins by an on-site rail facility that can simultaneously accommodate multiple unit trains. Our ability to handle multiple rail car sets allows for the efficient transition of locomotives from empty inbound trains to fully loaded outbound trains at our facility. We believe our customized on-site logistical configuration yields lower overall operating and transportation costs compared to manifest train or single-unit train facilities as a result of our higher rail car utilization, more efficient use of locomotive power and more predictable movement of product between mine and destination. Unit train operations such as ours can double or triple the average number of loads that a rail car carries per year reducing the number of rail cars needed to support our operations thus limiting our exposure to unutilized rail cars and the corresponding storage and lease expense. We believe our Oakdale facility’s connection to the Canadian Pacific rail network, combined with our unit train logistics capabilities, will provide us enhanced flexibility to serve customers located in shale plays throughout North America.

In addition, we have invested in a transloading facility on the Union Pacific rail network in Byron Township, Wisconsin, approximately 3.5 miles from our Oakdale facility. This facility is operational and provides us with the ability to ship directly on the Union Pacific rail network to locations in the major operating basins of Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado, which should facilitate more competitive pricing among our rail carriers. With the addition of this transload facility, we believe we are the only mine in Wisconsin with dual served railroad shipment capabilities on the Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific rail networks, which should provide us more competitive logistics options to the market relative to other Wisconsin-based sand mining and production facilities.

 

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In addition to the Oakdale facility, our Hixton site consists of approximately 959 acres in Jackson County, Wisconsin. The Hixton site is fully permitted to initiate operations and is available for future development and is located on a Class I rail line. As of August 2014, our Hixton site had approximately 100 million tons of proven recoverable sand reserves.

Competitive Strengths

We believe that we will be able to successfully execute our business strategies because of the following competitive strengths:

 

    Long-lived, strategically located, high-quality reserve base. We believe our Oakdale facility is one of the few raw frac sand mine and production facilities that has the unique combination of a large high-quality reserve base of primarily fine mesh sand that is contiguous to its production and primary rail loading facilities. Our Oakdale facility is situated on 1,196 acres in a rural area of Monroe County, Wisconsin, on a Class I rail line, and contains approximately 244 million tons of proven recoverable reserves and approximately 92 million tons of probable recoverable reserves as of December 31, 2015. We have an implied current proven reserve life of approximately 73 years based on our current annual processing capacity of 3.3 million tons per year. As of July 31, 2016, we have utilized 135 acres for facilities and mining operations, or only 11.3% of this location’s acreage. We believe that with further development and permitting, the Oakdale facility ultimately could be expanded to allow production of up to 9 million tons of raw frac sand per year.

We believe our reserve base positions us well to take advantage of current market trends of increasing demand for finer mesh raw frac sand. Approximately 81% of our reserve mix today is 40/70 mesh substrate and 100 mesh substrate, considered to be the finer mesh substrates of raw frac sand. We believe that if oil and natural gas exploration and production companies continue recent trends in drilling and completion techniques to increase lateral lengths per well, the number of frac stages per well, the amount of proppant used per stage and the utilization of slickwater completions, that the demand for the finer grades of raw frac sand will continue to increase, which we can take advantage of due to the high percentage of high-quality, fine mesh sand in our reserve base.

We also believe that having our mine, processing facilities and primary rail loading facilities at our Oakdale facility provides us with an overall low-cost structure, which enables us to compete effectively for sales of raw frac sand and to achieve attractive operating margins. The proximity of our mine, processing plants and primary rail loading facilities at one location eliminates the need for us to truck sand on public roads between the mine and the production facility or between wet and drying processing facilities, eliminating additional costs to produce and ship our sand.

In addition to the Oakdale facility, we own the Hixton site in Jackson County, Wisconsin. The Hixton site is a second fully permitted location adjacent to a Class I rail line that is fully permitted to initiate operations and is available for future development. As of August 2014, our Hixton site had approximately 100 million tons of proven recoverable sand reserves.

 

   

Intrinsic logistics advantage. We believe that we are one of the few operating frac sand producers with a facility custom-designed for the specific purpose of delivering operating frac sand to all of the major U.S. oil and natural gas producing basins by an on-site rail facility that can simultaneously accommodate multiple unit trains. Our on-site transportation assets at Oakdale include approximately seven miles of rail track in a double-loop configuration and three rail car loading facilities that are connected to a Class I rail line owned by Canadian Pacific. We believe our customized on-site logistical configuration typically yields lower operating and transportation costs compared to manifest train or single-unit train facilities as a result of our higher rail car utilization, more efficient use of locomotive power and more predictable movement of product between mine and destination. In addition, we have recently constructed a transload facility on a Class I rail line owned by Union Pacific in Byron Township, Wisconsin, approximately 3.5 miles from the Oakdale facility. This transload facility allows us to ship sand directly to our customers on more than one Class I rail carrier. This facility commenced operations in June 2016 and provides increased delivery options for our customers, greater competition among our rail carriers and potentially

 

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lower freight costs. With the addition of this transload facility, we believe we are the only mine in Wisconsin with dual served railroad shipment capabilities on the Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific rail networks. Our Hixton site is also located adjacent to a Class I rail line.

 

    Significant organic growth potentialWe believe that we have a significant pipeline of attractive opportunities to expand our sales volumes and our production capacity at our Oakdale facility, which commenced commercial operations in July 2012 and was expanded to 3.3 million tons of annual processing capacity in September 2015. We currently have one wet plant and one dryer in storage at Oakdale that would allow us to increase our annual processing capacity to approximately 4.4 million tons should market demand increase sufficiently to warrant capacity expansion. We believe these units could be installed and operational in approximately six to nine months from commencement of construction. We believe, under current regulations and permitting requirements, that we can ultimately expand our annual production capacity at Oakdale of up to 9 million tons. Other growth opportunities include the ability to expand our Byron Township transload facility to handle multiple unit trains simultaneously and to invest in transload facilities located in the shale operating basins. Investments in additional rail loading facilities should enable us to provide more competitive transportation costs and allow us to offer additional pricing and delivery options to our customers. We also have opportunities to expand our sales into the industrial sand market which would provide us the opportunity to diversify our customer base and sales product mix.

Additionally, as of July 31, 2016, we have approximately 2.4 million tons of washed raw frac sand inventory at our Oakdale facility available to be processed through our dryers and sold in the market. This inventory of available washed raw frac sand provides us with the ability to quickly meet changing market demand and strategically sell sand on a spot basis to expand our market share of raw frac sand sales if market conditions are favorable.

 

    Strong balance sheet and financial flexibility. We believe that at the closing of this offering we will have a strong balance sheet, which will provide us ample liquidity to pursue our growth initiatives. With a portion of the proceeds of this offering, we plan to repay the outstanding balance under our existing revolving credit facility. At the closing of this offering, we expect to have $     million in liquidity from cash on hand and $     million of available borrowing capacity under our amended revolving credit facility to provide liquidity and support for our operations and growth objectives. Additionally, unlike some of our peers, we have minimal exposure to unutilized rail cars. We currently have 850 rail cars under long-term leases of which 710 are currently rented to our customers, which minimizes our exposure to storage and leasing expense for rail cars that are currently not being utilized for sand shipment and provides us greater flexibility in managing our transportation costs prospectively.

 

    Focus on safety and environmental stewardship. We are committed to maintaining a culture that prioritizes safety, the environment and our relationship with the communities in which we operate. In August 2014, we were accepted as a “Tier 1” participant in Wisconsin’s voluntary “Green Tier” program, which encourages, recognizes and rewards companies for voluntarily exceeding environmental, health and safety legal requirements. In addition, we committed to certification under ISO standards and, in April 2016, we received ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 registrations for our quality management system and environmental management system programs, respectively. We believe that our commitment to safety, the environment and the communities in which we operate is critical to the success of our business. We are one of a select group of companies who are members of the Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association, which promotes safe and environmentally responsible sand mining standards.

 

    Experienced management team. The members of our senior management team bring significant experience to the market environment in which we operate. Their expertise covers a range of disciplines, including industry-specific operating and technical knowledge as well as experience managing high-growth businesses.

 

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Business Strategies

Our principal business objective is to be a pure-play, low-cost producer of high-quality raw frac sand and to increase stockholder value. We expect to achieve this objective through the following business strategies:

 

    Focusing on organic growth by increasing our capacity utilization and processing capacity. We intend to continue to position ourselves as a pure-play producer of high-quality Northern White raw frac sand, as we believe the proppant market offers attractive long-term growth fundamentals. While demand for proppant has declined since late 2014 in connection with the downturn in commodity prices and the corresponding decline in oil and natural gas drilling and production activity, we believe that the demand for proppant will increase over the medium and long term as commodity prices rise from their recent lows, which will lead producers to resume completion of their inventory of drilled but uncompleted wells and undertake new drilling activities. We expect this demand growth for raw frac sand will be driven by increased horizontal drilling, increased proppant loadings per well (as operators increase lateral length and increase proppant per lateral foot above current levels), increased wells drilled per rig and the cost advantages of raw frac sand over resin-coated sand and manufactured ceramics. As market dynamics improve, we will continue to evaluate economically attractive facility enhancement opportunities to increase our capacity utilization and processing capacity. For example, our current annual processing capacity is approximately 3.3 million tons per year, and we believe that with further development and permitting the Oakdale facility could ultimately be expanded to allow production of up to 9 million tons of raw frac sand per year.

 

    Optimizing our logistics infrastructure and developing additional origination and destination points. We intend to further optimize our logistics infrastructure and develop additional origination and destination points. We expect to capitalize on our Oakdale facility’s ability to simultaneously accommodate multiple unit trains to maximize our product shipment rates, increase rail car utilization and lower transportation costs. With our recently developed transloading facility located on the Union Pacific rail network approximately 3.5 miles from our Oakdale facility, we have the ability to ship our raw frac sand directly to our customers on more than one Class I rail carrier. This facility provides increased delivery options for our customers, greater competition among our rail carriers, and potentially lower freight costs. In addition, we intend to continue evaluating ways to reduce the landed cost of our products at the basin for our customers, such as investing in transload and storage facilities and assets in our target shale basins to increase our customized service offerings and provide our customers with additional delivery and pricing alternatives, including selling product on an “as-delivered” basis at our target shale basins.

 

    Focusing on being a low-cost producer and continuing to make process improvements. We will focus on being a low-cost producer, which we believe will permit us to compete effectively for sales of raw frac sand and to achieve attractive operating margins. Our low-cost structure results from a number of key attributes, including, among others, our (i) relatively low royalty rates compared to other industry participants, (ii) balance of coarse and fine mineral reserve deposits and corresponding contractual demand that minimizes yield loss and (iii) Oakdale facility’s proximity to two Class I rail lines and other sand logistics infrastructure, which helps reduce transportation costs, fuel costs and headcount needs. We have strategically designed our operations to provide low per-ton production costs. For example, we completed the construction of a natural gas connection to our Oakdale facility in October 2015 that provides us the optionality to source lower cost natural gas (as compared to propane under current commodity pricing) as a fuel source for our drying operations. In addition, we seek to maximize our mining yields on an ongoing basis by targeting sales volumes that more closely match our reserve gradation in order to minimize mining and processing of superfluous tonnage and continue to evaluate the potential of mining by dredge to reduce the overall cost of our mining operations.

 

   

Pursuing accretive acquisitions and greenfield opportunities. At the closing of this offering, we expect to have $        million of liquidity in the form of cash on hand and undrawn borrowing capacity under our $        million amended revolving credit facility, which will position us to pursue strategic acquisitions to increase our scale of operations and our logistical capabilities as well as to potentially diversify our mining and production operations into locations other than our current Oakdale and Hixton locations. We

 

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may also grow by developing low-cost greenfield projects, where we can capitalize on our technical knowledge of geology, mining and processing.

 

    Maintaining financial strength and flexibility. We plan to pursue a disciplined financial policy to maintain financial strength and flexibility. At the closing of this offering, we expect to have $        million of liquidity in the form of cash on hand and undrawn borrowing capacity under our $        million amended revolving credit facility. We believe that our borrowing capacity and ability to access debt and equity capital markets after this offering will provide us with the financial flexibility necessary to achieve our organic expansion and acquisition strategy.

Our Assets and Operations

Overview

Our Oakdale facility is purpose-built to exploit the reserve profile in place and produce high-quality raw frac sand. Unlike some of our competitors, our mine, processing plants and primary rail loading facilities are in one location, which eliminates the need for us to truck sand on public roads between the mine and the production facility or between wet and dry processing facilities. Our on-site transportation assets include approximately seven miles of rail track in a double-loop configuration and three rail car loading facilities that are connected to a Class I rail line owned by Canadian Pacific, which enables us to simultaneously accommodate multiple unit trains and significantly increases our efficiency in meeting our customers’ raw frac sand transportation needs. We ship a substantial portion of our sand volumes (approximately 56% from April 1, 2016 to July 31, 2016) in unit train shipments through rail cars that our customers own or lease and deliver to our facility. We believe that we are one of the few raw frac sand producers with a facility custom-designed for the specific purpose of delivering raw frac sand to all of the major U.S. oil and natural gas producing basins by an on-site rail facility that can simultaneously accommodate multiple unit trains. Our ability to handle multiple rail car sets allows for the efficient transition of locomotives from empty inbound trains to fully loaded outbound trains at our facility.

We believe our customized on-site logistical configuration yields lower overall operating and transportation costs compared to manifest train or single-unit train facilities as a result of our higher rail car utilization, more efficient use of locomotive power and more predictable movement of product between mine and destination. Unit train operations such as ours can double or triple the average number of loads that a rail car carries per year reducing the number of rail cars needed to support our operations thus limiting our exposure to unutilized rail cars and the corresponding storage and lease expense. We believe that our Oakdale facility’s connection to the Canadian Pacific rail network, combined with our unit train logistics capabilities, will provide us enhanced flexibility to serve customers located in shale plays throughout North America. In addition, we have invested in a transloading facility on the Union Pacific rail network in Byron Township, Wisconsin, approximately 3.5 miles from our Oakdale facility. This facility is operational and provides us with the ability to ship directly on the Union Pacific network to locations in the major operating basins in the Western and Southwestern United States, which should facilitate more competitive pricing among our rail carriers. With the addition of this transload facility, we believe we are the only raw frac sand mine in Wisconsin with dual served railroad shipment capabilities on the Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific, which should provide us more competitive logistics options to the market relative to other Wisconsin based sand mining and production facilities.

In addition to the Oakdale facility, our Hixton site consists of approximately 959 acres in Jackson County, Wisconsin. The Hixton site is fully permitted to initiate operations and is available for future development. As of August 2014, our Hixton site had approximately 100 million tons of proven recoverable sand reserves. This location is located on a Class I rail line, the Canadian National.

 

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The following tables provide key characteristics of our Oakdale facility and Hixton site (as of June 30, 2016, unless otherwise stated):

Our Oakdale Facility

 

Facility Characteristic

  

Description

Site geography

   Situated on 1,196 contiguous acres, with on-site processing and rail loading facilities.

Proven recoverable reserves

   244 million tons.

Probable recoverable reserves

   92 million tons.

Deposits

   Sand reserves of up to 140 feet; grade mesh sizes 20/40, 30/50, 40/70 and 100 mesh.

Proven reserve mix

   Approximately 19% of 20/40 and coarser substrate, 41% of 40/70 mesh substrate and approximately 40% of 100 mesh substrate. Our 30/50 gradation is a derivative of the 20/40 and 40/70 blends.

Excavation technique

   Shallow overburden allowing for surface excavation.

Annual processing capacity

   3.3 million tons with the ability to increase to 4.4 million tons within approximately six to nine months.

Logistics capabilities

   Dual served rail line logistics capabilities. On-site transportation infrastructure capable of simultaneously accommodating multiple unit trains and connected to the Canadian Pacific rail network. Additional transload facility located approximately 3.5 miles from the Oakdale facility in Byron Township that provides access to the Union Pacific rail network.

Royalties

   $0.50 per ton sold of 70 mesh and coarser substrate.

Expansion Capabilities

   We believe that with further development and permitting the Oakdale facility could ultimately be expanded to allow production of up to 9 million tons of raw frac sand per year.

Our Hixton Site

Facility Characteristic

  

Description

Site geography

   Situated on 959 contiguous acres, with access to a Canadian National Class I rail line.

Proven recoverable reserves

   100 million tons.

Deposits

   Sand reserves of up to 150 feet; grade mesh sizes 20/40, 30/50, 40/70 and 100 mesh.

Proven reserve mix

   Approximately 72% of 70 mesh and coarser substrate and approximately 28% of 100 mesh substrate.

Logistics capabilities

   Planned on-site transportation infrastructure capable of simultaneously accommodating multiple unit trains and connected to the Canadian National rail network.

Royalties

  

$0.50 per ton sold of 70 mesh and coarser substrate.

Our Reserves

We believe that our strategically located Oakdale and Hixton sites provide us with a large and high-quality mineral reserves base. Mineral resources and reserves are typically classified by confidence (reliability) levels based on the level of exploration, consistency and assurance of geologic knowledge of the deposit. This classification system considers different levels of geoscientific knowledge and varying degrees of technical and economic evaluation. Mineral reserves are derived from in situ resources through application of modifying factors, such as mining, analytical, economic, marketing, legal, environmental, social and governmental factors, relative to mining methods, processing techniques, economics and markets. In estimating our reserves, John T. Boyd does not classify a resource as a reserve unless that resource can be demonstrated to have reasonable certainty to be recovered economically in accordance with the modifying factors listed above. “Reserves” are defined by SEC Industry Guide 7 as that part of a mineral deposit that could be economically and legally extracted or produced at the time of the reserve determination. Industry Guide 7 defines “proven (measured)

 

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reserves” as reserves for which (a) quantity is computed from dimensions revealed in outcrops, trenches, workings or drill holes; grade and/or quality are computed from the results of detailed sampling and (b) the sites for inspection, sampling and measurement are spaced so closely and the geologic character is so well defined that size, shape, depth and mineral content of reserves are well-established.

In estimating our reserves, John T. Boyd categorizes our reserves as proven recoverable in accordance with these SEC definitions. According to such definitions, John T. Boyd estimates that we, as of December 31, 2015, had a total of approximately 244 million tons of proven recoverable sand reserves and approximately 92 million tons of probable recoverable sand reserves at our Oakdale facility and approximately 100 million tons of proven recoverable sand reserves at our Hixton site. The quantity and nature of the sand reserves at our Oakdale site are estimated by third-party geologists and mining engineers, and we internally track the depletion rate on an interim basis. Before acquiring new reserves, we perform surveying, drill core analysis and other tests to confirm the quantity and quality of the acquired reserves.

Our Oakdale reserves are located on 1,196 contiguous acres in Monroe County, Wisconsin. We own our Monroe County acreage in fee and acquired surface and mineral rights on all of such acreage from multiple landowners in separate transactions. Our mineral rights are subject to an aggregate non-participating royalty interest of $0.50 per ton sold of coarser than 70 mesh, which we believe is significantly lower than many of our competitors.

In addition to the Oakdale facility, we own the Hixton site that is on approximately 959 acres in Jackson County, Wisconsin. The Hixton site is fully permitted and available for future development. We own our Jackson County acreage in fee and acquired surface and mineral rights on all of such acreage from multiple landowners in separate transactions. Our mineral rights are subject to an aggregate non-participating royalty interest of $0.50 per ton sold of coarser than 70 mesh, which we believe is significantly lower than many of our competitors.

To opine as to the economic viability of our reserves, John T. Boyd reviewed our financial cost and revenue per ton data at the time of the reserve determination. Based on their review of our cost structure and their extensive experience with similar operations, John T. Boyd concluded that it is reasonable to assume that we will operate under a similar cost structure over the remaining life of our reserves. John T. Boyd further assumed that if our revenue per ton remained relatively constant over the life of the reserves, our current operating margins are sufficient to expect continued profitability throughout the life of our reserves.

The cutoff grade used by John T. Boyd in estimating our reserves considers sand that falls between 20 and 140 mesh sizes as proven recoverable reserves, meaning that sands within this range are included in John T. Boyd’s estimate of our proven recoverable. In addition, John T. Boyd’s estimate of our reserves adjusts for mining losses of 10% and processing losses through the wet plant and dry plants, for a total yield of the in-place sand resource. Our processing losses are primarily due to minus 140 mesh sand being removed at the wet processing plant, plus 20 mesh sand being removed in the dry plants (including moisture) through normal attrition and all other material discarded as waste (including clay and other contaminants).

During wet plant processing operations, the wet plant process water leaving the wet plant is pumped into a settling basin for the ultra-fine (minus 140 mesh) sand to settle. The settling basin allows the wet plant process water to flow back to the fresh water pump pond via a canal system to its original starting point. The fresh water pump pond, wet plant, settling basin and canal system complete an enclosed circuit for continuous recycled wet plant process water.

Wet plant process tailings are temporarily piled and/or stored. Tailings are systematically used throughout the mining operation for various purposes such as reclamation, roads and soil stabilization. Dry plant process material discharged during the drying process is temporarily piled and/or stored for various purposes such as reclamation and soil stabilization, and it is commonly recycled through the wet plant process.

Our Oakdale reserves are a mineral resource deposited over millions of years. Approximately 500 million years ago, quartz rich Cambrian sands were deposited in the upper Midwest region of the United States. During the Quaternary era, glaciation and erosion caused by the melting of glaciers removed millions of years of

 

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bedrock, to expose the Cambrian sandstone deposit, near the surface. Our deposits are located in an ancient marine setting, which is the reason our deposit is well sorted and rounded. The high quartz content of the Cambrian sands and the monocrystalline structure of our deposits are responsible for the extremely high crush strength relative to other types of sand. The deposit found in our open-pit Oakdale mine and our Hixton site is a Cambrian quartz sandstone deposit that produces high-quality Northern White raw frac sand with a silica content of 99%.

Although crush strength is one of a number of characteristics that define the quality of raw frac sand, it is a key characteristic for our customers and other purchasers of raw frac sand in determining whether the product will be suitable for its desired application. For example, raw frac sand with exceptionally high crush strength is suitable for use in high pressure downhole conditions that would otherwise require the use of more expensive resin-coated or ceramic proppants.

The sand deposit at our formation does not require crushing or extensive processing to eliminate clays or other contaminants, enabling us to cost-effectively produce high-quality raw frac sand meeting API specifications. In addition, the sand deposit is present to a depth of approximately 140 feet, with a shallow overburden of less than 10 feet, on average, over the entire property. The shallow depth of the sand deposits allows us to conduct surface mining rather than underground mining, which lowers our production costs and decreases safety risks as compared to underground mining. All of our surface mining is currently conducted utilizing excavators and trucks to deliver sand to the wet plant. We have considered utilizing other mining methods, such as a dredge operation, and may continue evaluating other mining methods from time to time in the future.

Our Oakdale Facility

We began construction of our Oakdale facility in November 2011 and commenced operations in July 2012. Prior to our commencement of operations, we performed surveying, drill core analysis and other tests to confirm the quantity and quality of the reserves. The process was performed with the assistance of John T. Boyd. Before acquiring new acreage in the future, including material additional acreage adjacent to our Oakdale site, we will perform similar procedures.

Our Oakdale wet plant facility is comprised of a steel structure and relies primarily on industrial grade aggregate processing equipment to process up to 3.3 million tons per year of wet sand. Our Oakdale dry plants sit inside insulated metal buildings designed to minimize weather-related effects during winter months. Each building contains one 200 ton per hour propane-or natural gas-fired fluid bed dryer as well as four to six high-capacity mineral separators. Each dryer is capable of producing over 1.1 million tons per year of dry Northern White raw frac sand in varying gradations, including 20/40, 30/50, 40/70 and 100 mesh. For the year ended December 31, 2015, we sold approximately 751,000 tons of raw frac sand and produced approximately 702,000 tons of raw frac sand. All of our sales volumes have historically, and are currently, sold FCA our Oakdale facility. Generally, logistics costs can comprise 60-80% of the delivered cost of Northern White raw frac sand, depending on the basin into which the product is delivered. Some of our competitors’ sales volumes are sold FCA basin.

The surface excavation operations at our Oakdale site are conducted by our employees with leased or purchased heavy equipment. The mining technique at our Oakdale site is open-pit excavation of our silica deposits. The excavation process involves clearing and grubbing vegetation and trees overlying the proposed mining area. The initial shallow overburden is removed and utilized to construct perimeter berms around the pit and property boundary. No underground mines are operated at our Oakdale site. In situations where the sand-bearing geological formation is tightly cemented, it may be necessary to utilize blasting to make the sand easier to excavate.

A track excavator and articulated trucks are utilized for excavating the sand at several different elevation levels of the active pit. The pit is dry mined, and the water elevation is maintained below working level through a dewatering and pumping process. The mined material is loaded and hauled from different areas of the pit and different elevations within the pit to the primary loading facility at our mine’s on-site wet processing facility.

 

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Once processed and dried, sand from our Oakdale facility is stored in one of ten on-site silos with a combined storage capacity of 27,000 tons. In addition to the 27,000 tons of silo capacity, we own approximately seven miles of on-site rail track (in a double-loop configuration) that is connected to the Canadian Pacific rail network and that is used to stage and store empty or recently loaded customer rail cars. Our strategic location adjacent to a Canadian Pacific mainline provides our customers with the ability to transport Northern White raw frac sand from our Oakdale facility to all major unconventional oil and natural gas basins currently producing in the United States. For additional information regarding our transportation logistics and infrastructure, please read “—Transportation Logistics and Infrastructure.”

Our Oakdale facility undergoes regular maintenance to minimize unscheduled downtime and to ensure that the quality of our raw frac sand meets applicable API and ISO standards and our customers’ specifications. In addition, we make capital investments in our facility as required to support customer demand and our internal performance goals. Because raw sand cannot be wet-processed during extremely cold temperatures, our wet plant typically operates only seven to eight months out of the year. Except for planned and unplanned downtime, our dry plants operate year-round.

As of July 31, 2016, we have utilized 135 acres for facilities and mining operations, or only 11.3% of Oakdale location.

Transportation Logistics and Infrastructure

Historically, all of our product has been shipped by rail from our approximately seven-mile on-site rail spur, in a double-loop configuration, that connects our Oakdale facility to a Canadian Pacific mainline. The length of this rail spur and the capacity of the associated product storage silos allow us to accommodate a large number of rail cars. This configuration also enables us to accommodate multiple unit trains simultaneously, which significantly increases our efficiency in meeting our customers’ raw frac sand transportation needs. Unit trains, typically 80 rail cars in length or longer, are dedicated trains chartered for a single delivery destination. Generally, unit trains receive priority scheduling and do not switch cars at various intermediate junctions, which results in a more cost-effective and efficient method of shipping than the standard method of rail shipment. While many of our competitors may be able to handle a single unit train, we believe that our Oakdale facility is one of the few raw frac sand facilities in the industry that is able to simultaneously accommodate multiple unit trains in its rail yard.

The ability to handle multiple rail car sets is particularly important in order to allow for the efficient transition of the locomotive from empty inbound trains to fully-loaded outbound trains at the originating mine. For example, in a “hook-and-haul” operation, inbound locomotive power arriving at the mine unhooks from an empty train and hooks up to a fully loaded unit car train waiting at the rail yard with a turnaround time of as little as two hours. We believe that this type of operation typically yields lower operating and transportation costs compared to manifest train traffic movements as a result of higher rail car utilization, more efficient use of locomotive power and more predictable movement of product between mine and destination. We believe that this is a key differentiator as currently rail cars are in high demand in the industry and hook-and-haul operations can increase the average number of turns per year of a rail car from seven to nine turns per year for manifest train shipments to over 20 turns per year while reducing demand variability for locomotive services. We believe that we are one of the few raw frac sand producers with a facility custom-designed for the specific purpose of delivering raw frac sand to all of the major U.S. oil and natural gas producing basins by an on-site rail facility that can simultaneously accommodate multiple unit trains, a capability that requires sufficient acreage, loading facilities and rail spurs.

In addition, we recently constructed a transload facility on a rail line owned by the Union Pacific in Byron Township, Wisconsin, approximately 3.5 miles from the Oakdale facility. This transload facility will allow us to ship sand directly to our customers on more than one rail carrier. This facility has been operational since June

 

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2016 and should provide increased delivery options for our customers, greater competition among our rail carriers and potentially lower freight costs. With the addition of this transload facility, we believe we are the only mine in Wisconsin with dual served railroad shipment capabilities on the Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific railroads, which should provide us more competitive logistics options to the market relative to other Wisconsin-based sand mining and production facilities.

The logistics capabilities of raw frac sand producers are important to customers, who focus on both the reliability and flexibility of product delivery. Because our customers generally find it impractical to store raw frac sand in large quantities near their job sites, they seek to arrange for product to be delivered where and as needed, which requires predictable and efficient loading and shipping of product. The integrated nature of our logistics operations, our approximate seven-mile on-site rail spur and our ability to ship using unit trains enable us to handle rail cars for multiple customers simultaneously, which:

 

    minimizes the time required to successfully load shipments, even at times of peak activity;

 

    eliminates the need to truck sand on public roads between the mine and the production facility or between wet and dry processing facilities; and

 

    minimizes transloading at our Oakdale site, lowers product movement costs and minimizes the reduction in sand quality due to handling.

In addition, with the transload facility now operational at Byron Township, our Oakdale facility is now dual served and capable of shipping sand directly on the Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific rail lines. Together, these advantages provide our customers with a reliable and efficient delivery method from our facility to each of the major U.S. oil and natural gas producing basins, and allow us to take advantage of the increasing demand for such a delivery method.

Permits

We operate in a highly regulated environment overseen by many government regulatory and enforcement bodies. To conduct our mining operations, we are required to obtain permits and approvals from local, state and federal governmental agencies. These governmental authorizations address environmental, land use and safety issues. We have obtained numerous federal, state and local permits required for operations at the Oakdale facility, the Byron Transload Facility and our Hixton mine location. Our current and planned areas for excavation of our Oakdale property are permitted for extraction of our proven reserves. Outlying areas at the edge of our Oakdale property’s boundaries that lie in areas delineated as wetlands will require additional local, state or federal permits prior to mining and reclaiming those areas.

We also meet requirements for several international standards concerning safety, greenhouse gases and rail operations. We have voluntarily agreed to meet the standards of the Wisconsin DNR’s “Green Tier” program and the “Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association.” Further, we have agreed to meet the standards required to maintain our ISO 9001/14001 quality/environmental management system registrations. These voluntary requirements are tracked and managed along with our permits.

While resources invested in securing permits are significant, this cost has not had a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition. We cannot assure that existing environmental laws and regulations will not be reinterpreted or revised or that new environmental laws and regulations will not be adopted or become applicable to us. Revised or additional environmental requirements that result in increased compliance costs or additional operating restrictions could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Our Customers and Contracts

Our core customers are major oil and natural gas exploration and production and oilfield service companies. These customers have signed long-term take-or-pay contracts, which mitigate our risk of non-performance by

 

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such customers. Our contracts provide for a true-up payment in the event the customer does not take delivery of the minimum annual volume of raw frac sand specified in the contract and has not purchased in certain prior periods an amount exceeding the minimum volume, resulting in a shortfall. The true-up payment is designed to compensate us, at least in part, for our margins for the applicable contract year and is calculated by multiplying the contract price (or, in some cases, a discounted contract price ) by the tonnage shortfall. Any sales of the shortfall volumes to other customers on the spot market would provide us with additional margin on these volumes. For the year ended December 31, 2015, EOG Resources, US Well Services, Weatherford and Archer Pressure Pumping accounted for 35.0%, 24.6%, 18.4% and 15.8%, respectively, of our total revenues, and the remainder of our revenues represented sales to seven customers. For the six months ended June 30, 2016, US Well Services, Weatherford, and C&J Energy Services accounted for 37.3%, 32.8% and 17.6%, respectively, of our total revenues, and the remainder of our revenues represented sales to three customers. Beginning January 1, 2017, we will have approximately          million tons of average annual production (or approximately         % of our current annual production capacity) contracted under long-term take-or-pay contracts, with a volume-weighted average remaining term of approximately          years. For the year ended December 31, 2015 and the six months ended June 30, 2016, we generated approximately 96.4% and 99.6%, respectively, of our revenues from raw frac sand delivered under long-term take-or-pay contracts. We sell raw frac sand under long-term contracts as well as in the spot market if we have excess production and the spot market conditions are favorable.

Our current contracts include a combination of either fixed prices or market based prices. For fixed price contracts, prices are fixed and subject to adjustment, upward or downward, based upon: (i) certain changes in published producer cost indices, including the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers and the Producer Price Index published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; or (ii) market factors, including a natural gas surcharge and/or a propane surcharge which are applied if the Average Natural Gas Price or the Average Quarterly Mont Belvieu TX Propane Spot Price, respectively, as listed by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, are above the benchmark set in the contract for the preceding calendar quarter. Contracts with market based pricing mechanisms allow for our raw frac sand prices to fluctuate within certain negotiated ranges depending on the price of crude oil (based upon the average WTI as listed on www.eia.doe.gov) for the preceding three month period.

Our contracts generally provide that, if we are unable to deliver the contracted minimum volume of raw frac sand, the customer has the right to purchase replacement raw frac sand from alternative sources, provided that our inability to supply is not the result of an excusable delay. In the event that the price of replacement raw frac sand exceeds the contract price and our inability to supply the contracted minimum volume is not the result of an excusable delay, we are responsible for the price difference. At June 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015, we had significant levels of raw frac sand inventory on hand; therefore, the likelihood of any such penalties was considered remote.

Some of our long-term take-or-pay contracts contain provisions that allow our customers to extend the term of the contracts. Some of our customers executed such options to extend existing contracts. Each of our contracts contains a minimum volume purchase requirement and provides for delivery of raw frac sand FCA at our Oakdale facility. Certain of our contracts allow the customer to defer a portion of the annual minimum volume to future contract years, subject to a maximum deferral amount. The mesh size specifications in our contracts vary and include a mix of 20/40, 30/50, 40/70 and 100 mesh raw frac sand. In the event that one or more of our current contract customers decides not to continue purchasing our raw frac sand following the expiration of its contract with us, we believe that we will be able to sell the volume of sand that they previously purchased to other customers through long-term contracts or sales on the spot market.

Our Relationship with Our Sponsor

Our sponsor is a fund managed by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., which, together with its affiliates and related persons, we refer to as Clearlake. Clearlake is a private investment firm with a sector-focused approach.

 

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The firm seeks to partner with world-class management teams by providing patient, long-term capital to dynamic businesses that can benefit from Clearlake’s operational and strategic expertise. The firm’s core target sectors include technology, communications and business services; industrials, energy and power; and consumer products and services. Clearlake currently has approximately $3.5 billion of assets under management. We believe our relationship with Clearlake provides us with a unique resource to effectively compete for acquisitions within the industry by being able to take advantage of their experience in acquiring businesses to assist us in seeking out, evaluating and closing attractive acquisition opportunities over time.

Competition

The proppant industry is highly competitive. Please read “Risk Factors—Risks Inherent in Our Business—We face significant competition that may cause us to lose market share.” There are numerous large and small producers in all sand producing regions of the United States with whom we compete. Our main competitors include Badger Mining Corporation, Emerge Energy Services LP, Fairmount Santrol, Hi-Crush Partners LP, Unimin Corporation and U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc.

Although some of our competitors have greater financial and other resources than we do, we believe that we are competitively well positioned due to our low cost of production, transportation infrastructure and high-quality, balanced reserve profile. The most important factors on which we compete are product quality, performance, sand characteristics, transportation capabilities, reliability of supply and price. Demand for raw frac sand and the prices that we will be able to obtain for our products, to the extent not subject to a fixed price or take-or-pay contract, are closely linked to proppant consumption patterns for the completion of oil and natural gas wells in North America. These consumption patterns are influenced by numerous factors, including the price for hydrocarbons, the drilling rig count and hydraulic fracturing activity, including the number of stages completed and the amount of proppant used per stage. Further, these consumption patterns are also influenced by the location, quality, price and availability of raw frac sand and other types of proppants such as resin-coated sand and ceramic proppant.

Seasonality

Our business is affected to some extent by seasonal fluctuations in weather that impact the production levels at our wet processing plant. While our dry plants are able to process finished product volumes evenly throughout the year, our excavation and our wet sand processing activities are limited to non-winter months. As a consequence, we experience lower cash operating costs in the first and fourth quarter of each calendar year. We may also sell raw frac sand for use in oil and natural gas producing basins where severe weather conditions may curtail drilling activities and, as a result, our sales volumes to those areas may be reduced during such severe weather periods. For a discussion of the impact of weather on our operations, please read “Risk Factors—Seasonal and severe weather conditions could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition” and “Risk Factors—Our cash flow fluctuates on a seasonal basis.”

Insurance

We believe that our insurance coverage is customary for the industry in which we operate and adequate for our business. As is customary in the proppant industry, we review our safety equipment and procedures and carry insurance against most, but not all, risks of our business. Losses and liabilities not covered by insurance would increase our costs. To address the hazards inherent in our business, we maintain insurance coverage that includes physical damage coverage, third-party general liability insurance, employer’s liability, business interruption, environmental and pollution and other coverage, although coverage for environmental and pollution-related losses is subject to significant limitations.

 

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Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations

We are subject to stringent and complex federal, state and local laws and regulations governing the discharge of materials into the environment or otherwise relating to protection of worker health, safety and the environment. Compliance with these laws and regulations may expose us to significant costs and liabilities and cause us to incur significant capital expenditures in our operations. Any failure to comply with these laws and regulations may result in the assessment of administrative, civil and criminal penalties, imposition of remedial obligations, and the issuance of injunctions delaying or prohibiting operations. Private parties may also have the right to pursue legal actions to enforce compliance as well as to seek damages for non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations or for personal injury or property damage. In addition, the clear trend in environmental regulation is to place more restrictions on activities that may affect the environment, and thus, any changes in, or more stringent enforcement of, these laws and regulations that result in more stringent and costly pollution control equipment, the occurrence of delays in the permitting or performance of projects, or waste handling, storage, transport, disposal or remediation requirements could have a material adverse effect on our operations and financial position.

We do not believe that compliance by us and our customers with federal, state or local environmental laws and regulations will have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position or results of operations or cash flows. We cannot assure you, however, that future events, such as changes in existing laws or enforcement policies, the promulgation of new laws or regulations or the development or discovery of new facts or conditions adverse to our operations will not cause us to incur significant costs. The following is a discussion of material environmental and worker health and safety laws, as amended from time to time. that relate to our operations or those of our customers that could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Air Emissions

Our operations are subject to the CAA and related state and local laws, which restrict the emission of air pollutants and impose permitting, monitoring and reporting requirements on various sources. These regulatory programs may require us to install emissions abatement equipment, modify operational practices, and obtain permits for existing or new operations. Obtaining air emissions permits has the potential to delay the development or continued performance of our operations. Over the next several years, we may be required to incur certain capital expenditures for air pollution control equipment or to address other air emissions-related issues. Changing and increasingly stricter requirements, future non-compliance, or failure to maintain necessary permits or other authorizations could require us to incur substantial costs or suspend or terminate our operations.

Climate change

In recent years, the U.S. Congress has considered legislation to reduce emissions of GHGs. It presently appears unlikely that comprehensive climate legislation will be passed by either house of Congress in the near future, although energy legislation and other regulatory initiatives are expected to be proposed that may be relevant to GHG emissions issues. In addition, a number of states are addressing GHG emissions, primarily through the development of emission inventories or regional GHG cap and trade programs. Depending on the particular program, we could be required to control GHG emissions or to purchase and surrender allowances for GHG emissions resulting from our operations. Independent of Congress, the EPA has adopted regulations controlling GHG emissions under its existing authority under the CAA. For example, following its findings that emissions of GHGs present an endangerment to human health and the environment because such emissions contributed to warming of the Earth’s atmosphere and other climatic changes, the EPA has adopted regulations under existing provisions of the CAA that, among other things, establish construction and operating permit reviews for GHG emissions from certain large stationary sources that are already potential major sources for conventional pollutants. In addition, the EPA has adopted rules requiring the monitoring and reporting of GHG emissions from specified production, processing, transmission and storage facilities in the United States on an annual basis. Also, the United States is one of almost 200 nations that, in December 2015, agreed to the Paris Agreement, an international climate change agreement in Paris, France that calls for countries to set their own GHG emissions targets and be transparent about the measures each country will use to achieve its GHG

 

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emissions targets. Although it is not possible at this time to predict how new laws or regulations in the United States or any legal requirements imposed following the United States’ agreeing to the Paris Agreement that may be adopted or issued to address GHG emissions would impact our business, any such future laws, regulations or legal requirements imposing reporting or permitting obligations on, or limiting emissions of GHGs from, our equipment and operations could require us to incur costs to reduce emissions of GHGs associated with our operations as well as delays or restrictions in our ability to permit GHG emissions from new or modified sources. In addition, substantial limitations on GHG emissions could adversely affect demand for the oil and natural gas we produce. Finally, it should be noted that increasing concentrations of GHGs in the Earth’s atmosphere may produce climate changes that have significant physical effects, such as increased frequency and severity of storms, floods and other climatic events; if any such effects were to occur, they could have an adverse effect on our exploration and production operations.

Water Discharges

The Clean Water Act (“CWA”), and analogous state laws impose restrictions and strict controls with respect to the discharge of pollutants, including spills and leaks of oil and other substances, into state waters or waters of the United States. The discharge of pollutants into regulated waters is prohibited, except in accordance with the terms of a permit issued by the EPA or an analogous state agency. Spill prevention control and countermeasure requirements require containment to mitigate or prevent contamination of navigable waters in the event of an oil overflow, rupture or leak, and the development and maintenance of Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure, or SPCC, plans at our facilities. The CWA and regulations implemented thereunder also prohibit the discharge of dredge and fill material into regulated waters, including jurisdictional wetlands, unless authorized by the Army Corps of Engineers pursuant to an appropriately issued permit. In addition, the CWA and analogous state laws require individual permits or coverage under general permits for discharges of storm water runoff from certain types of facilities. The EPA has issued final rules attempting to clarify the federal jurisdictional reach over waters of the United States but this rule has been stayed nationwide by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals as that appellate court and numerous district courts ponder lawsuits opposing implementation of the rule. In February 2016, a split three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that it has jurisdiction to review challenges to these final rules and the Sixth Circuit subsequently elected not to review this decision en banc but it is currently unknown whether other federal Circuit Courts or state courts currently considering this rulemaking will place their cases on hold, pending the Sixth Circuit’s hearing of the case. Federal and state regulatory agencies can impose administrative, civil and criminal penalties as well as other enforcement mechanisms for non-compliance with discharge permits or other requirements of the CWA and analogous state laws and regulations.

Hydraulic Fracturing

We supply raw frac sand to hydraulic fracturing operators in the oil and natural gas industry. Hydraulic fracturing is an important and increasingly common practice that is used to stimulate production of natural gas and oil from low permeability hydrocarbon bearing subsurface rock formations. The hydraulic fracturing process involves the injection of water, proppants, and chemicals under pressure into the formation to fracture the surrounding rock, increase permeability and stimulate production. Although we do not directly engage in hydraulic fracturing activities, our customers purchase our raw frac sand for use in their hydraulic fracturing activities. Hydraulic fracturing is typically regulated by state oil and natural gas commissions and similar agencies. Some states have adopted, and other states are considering adopting, regulations that could impose new or more stringent permitting, disclosure or well construction requirements on hydraulic fracturing operations. Aside from state laws, local land use restrictions may restrict drilling in general or hydraulic fracturing in particular. Municipalities may adopt local ordinances attempting to prohibit hydraulic fracturing altogether or, at a minimum, allow such fracturing processes within their jurisdictions to proceed but regulating the time, place and manner of those processes. In addition, federal agencies have started to assert regulatory authority over the process and various studies have been conducted or are currently underway by the EPA, and other federal agencies concerning the potential environmental impacts and, in some instances, have pursued voter ballot initiatives of hydraulic fracturing activities. At the same time, certain environmental groups have suggested that

 

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additional laws may be needed to more closely and uniformly limit or otherwise regulate the hydraulic fracturing process, and legislation has been proposed by some members of Congress to provide for such regulation.

The adoption of new laws or regulations at the federal or state levels imposing reporting obligations on, or otherwise limiting or delaying, the hydraulic fracturing process could make it more difficult to complete natural gas wells, increase our customers’ costs of compliance and doing business, and otherwise adversely affect the hydraulic fracturing services they perform, which could negatively impact demand for our raw frac sand. In addition, heightened political, regulatory, and public scrutiny of hydraulic fracturing practices could expose us or our customers to increased legal and regulatory proceedings, which could be time-consuming, costly, or result in substantial legal liability or significant reputational harm. We could be directly affected by adverse litigation involving us, or indirectly affected if the cost of compliance limits the ability of our customers to operate. Such costs and scrutiny could directly or indirectly, through reduced demand for our raw frac sand, have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Non-Hazardous and Hazardous Wastes

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) and comparable state laws control the management and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste. These laws and regulations govern the generation, storage, treatment, transfer and disposal of wastes that we generate. In the course of our operations, we generate waste that are regulated as non-hazardous wastes and hazardous wastes, obligating us to comply with applicable standards relating to the management and disposal of such wastes. In addition, drilling fluids, produced waters, and most of the other wastes associated with the exploration, development, and production of oil or natural gas, if properly handled, are currently exempt from regulation as hazardous waste under RCRA and, instead, are regulated under RCRA’s less stringent non-hazardous waste provisions, state laws or other federal laws. However, it is possible that certain oil and natural gas drilling and production wastes now classified as non-hazardous could be classified as hazardous wastes in the future. For example, in May 2016, several non-governmental environmental groups filed suit against the EPA in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for failing to timely assess its RCRA Subtitle D criteria regulations for oil and natural gas wastes, asserting that the agency is required to review its Subtitle D regulations every three years but has not conducted an assessment on those oil and natural gas waste regulations since July 1988. A loss of the RCRA exclusion for drilling fluids, produced waters and related wastes could result in an increase in our customers’ costs to manage and dispose of generated wastes and a corresponding decrease in their drilling operations, which developments could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Site Remediation

The CERCLA and comparable state laws impose strict, joint and several liability without regard to fault or the legality of the original conduct on certain classes of persons that contributed to the release of a hazardous substance into the environment. These persons include the owner and operator of a disposal site where a hazardous substance release occurred and any company that transported, disposed of, or arranged for the transport or disposal of hazardous substances released at the site. Under CERCLA, such persons may be liable for the costs of remediating the hazardous substances that have been released into the environment, for damages to natural resources, and for the costs of certain health studies. In addition, where contamination may be present, it is not uncommon for the neighboring landowners and other third parties to file claims for personal injury, property damage and recovery of response costs. We have not received notification that we may be potentially responsible for cleanup costs under CERCLA at any site.

Endangered Species

The Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) restricts activities that may affect endangered or threatened species or their habitats. Similar protections are offered to migratory birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. As a result of a settlement approved by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required to consider listing numerous species as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act before the completion of the agency’s 2017 fiscal year. Current ESA listings and the

 

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designation of previously unprotected species as threatened or endangered in areas where we or our customers operate could cause us or our customers to incur increased costs arising from species protection measures and could result in delays or limitations in our or our customers’ performance of operations, which could adversely affect or reduce demand for our raw frac sand.

Mining and Workplace Safety

Our sand mining operations are subject to mining safety regulation. MSHA is the primary regulatory organization governing raw frac sand mining and processing. Accordingly, MSHA regulates quarries, surface mines, underground mines and the industrial mineral processing facilities associated with and located at quarries and mines. The mission of MSHA is to administer the provisions of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and to enforce compliance with mandatory miner safety and health standards. As part of MSHA’s oversight, representatives perform at least two unannounced inspections annually for each above-ground facility. To date, these inspections have not resulted in any citations for material violations of MSHA standards. In 2015, we experienced no lost time incidents in our mining facilities.

OSHA has promulgated new rules for workplace exposure to respirable silica for several other industries. Respirable silica is a known health hazard for workers exposed over long periods. The MSHA is expected to adopt similar rules, although they may change as a result of multiple legal challenges against the OSHA rules. Airborne respirable silica is associated with a limited number of work areas at our site and is monitored closely through routine testing and MSHA inspection. If the workplace exposure limit is lowered significantly, we may be required to incur certain capital expenditures for equipment to reduce this exposure. Smart Sand voluntarily adheres to the National Industrial Sand Association’s (NISA) respiratory protection program, and ensures that workers are provided with fitted respirators and ongoing radiological monitoring.

Environmental Reviews

Our operations may be subject to broad environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act, as amended, (“NEPA”). NEPA requires federal agencies to evaluate the environmental impact of all “major federal actions” significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. The granting of a federal permit for a major development project, such as a mining operation, may be considered a “major federal action” that requires review under NEPA. As part of this evaluation, the federal agency considers a broad array of environmental impacts, including, among other things, impacts on air quality, water quality, wildlife (including threatened and endangered species), historic and archeological resources, geology, socioeconomics, and aesthetics. NEPA also requires the consideration of alternatives to the project. The NEPA review process, especially the preparation of a full environmental impact statement, can be time consuming and expensive. The purpose of the NEPA review process is to inform federal agencies’ decision-making on whether federal approval should be granted for a project and to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the environmental impacts of a proposed project. Though NEPA requires only that an environmental evaluation be conducted and does not mandate a particular result, a federal agency could decide to deny a permit or impose certain conditions on its approval, based on its environmental review under NEPA, or a third party could challenge the adequacy of a NEPA review and thereby delay the issuance of a federal permit or approval.

State and Local Regulation

We are subject to a variety of state and local environmental review and permitting requirements. Some states, including Wisconsin where our current projects are located, have state laws similar to NEPA; thus our development of a new site or the expansion of an existing site may be subject to comprehensive state environmental reviews even if it is not subject to NEPA. In some cases, the state environmental review may be more stringent than the federal review. Our operations may require state-law based permits in addition to federal permits, requiring state agencies to consider a range of issues, many the same as federal agencies, including, among other things, a project’s impact on wildlife and their habitats, historic and archaeological sites, aesthetics, agricultural operations, and scenic areas. Wisconsin has specific permitting and review processes for commercial silica mining operations, and state agencies may impose different or additional monitoring or mitigation

 

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requirements than federal agencies. The development of new sites and our existing operations also are subject to a variety of local environmental and regulatory requirements, including land use, zoning, building, and transportation requirements.

Demand for raw frac sand in the oil and natural gas industry drove a significant increase in the production of frac sand. As a result, some local communities expressed concern regarding silica sand mining operations. These concerns have generally included exposure to ambient silica sand dust, truck traffic, water usage and blasting. In response, certain state and local communities have developed or are in the process of developing regulations or zoning restrictions intended to minimize dust from becoming airborne, control the flow of truck traffic, significantly curtail the amount of practicable area for mining activities, provide compensation to local residents for potential impacts of mining activities and, in some cases, ban issuance of new permits for mining activities. To date, we have not experienced any material impact to our existing mining operations or planned capacity expansions as a result of these types of concerns. We would expect this trend to continue as oil and natural gas production increases.

In August 2014, we were accepted as a “Tier 1” participant in Wisconsin’s voluntary “Green Tier” program, which encourages, recognizes and rewards companies for voluntarily exceeding environmental, health and safety legal requirements. Successful Tier 1 participants are required to demonstrate a strong record of environmental compliance, develop and implement an environmental management system meeting certain criteria, conduct and submit annual performance reviews to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, promptly correct any findings of non-compliance discovered during these annual performance reviews, and make certain commitments regarding future environmental program improvements. Our most recent annual report required under the Tier 1 protocol was submitted to the Green Tier Program contact on July 28, 2016.

Employees

As of July 31, 2016, we employed 97 people. None of our employees are subject to collective bargaining agreements. We consider our employee relations to be good.

Legal Proceedings

From time to time we may be involved in litigation relating to claims arising out of our operations in the normal course of business. We are not currently a party to any legal proceedings that we believe would have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows and are not aware of any material legal proceedings contemplated by governmental authorities.

 

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MANAGEMENT

Directors and Executive Officers of Smart Sand, Inc.

The following table sets forth the names, ages and titles of our directors and executive officers. Directors hold office until their successors have been elected or qualified or until their earlier death, resignation, removal or disqualification. Executive officers are appointed by, and serve at the discretion of, the board of directors. The following table shows information for the directors and executive officers as of June 30, 2016.

 

Name

   Age   

Position with Smart Sand, Inc.

Charles E. Young

   48    Chief Executive Officer and Director

Lee E. Beckelman

   51    Chief Financial Officer

Robert Kiszka

   48    Executive Vice President of Operations

William John Young

   42    Vice President of Sales and Logistics

Susan Neumann

   37    Controller and Secretary

José E. Feliciano

   43    Co-Chairman of the Board

Colin Leonard

   34    Director

Timothy Pawlenty

   55    Director

Tracy Robinson

   52    Director

Sharon Spurlin

   51    Director

Andrew Speaker

   53    Co-Chairman of the Board

Charles E. Young

Charles E. Young was named Chief Executive Officer in July 2014. Mr. Young has also served as a director since September 2011. Mr. Young founded Smart Sand, LLC (our predecessor) and served as its President from November 2009 to August 2011. Mr. Young served as our President and Secretary from September 2011 to July 2014. Mr. Young has over 20 years of executive and entrepreneurial experience in the high-technology, telecommunications and renewable energy industries. He previously served as the President and Founder of Premier Building Systems, a construction, solar, geothermal and energy audit company in Pennsylvania and New Jersey from 2006 to 2011. Mr. Young received a B.A. in Political Science from Miami University. Mr. Young is the brother of William John Young, our Vice President of Sales and Logistics. We believe that Mr. Young’s industry experience and deep knowledge of our business makes him well suited to serve as Chief Executive Officer and Director.

Lee E. Beckelman

Lee E. Beckelman was named Chief Financial Officer in August 2014. From December 2009 to February 2014, Mr. Beckelman served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Hilcorp Energy Company, an exploration and production company. From February 2008 to October 2009, he served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Price Gregory Services, Incorporated, a crude oil and natural gas pipeline construction firm until its sale to Quanta Services. Prior thereto, Mr. Beckelman served in various roles from 2002 to 2007 at Hanover Compressor Company, an international oil field service company, until its merger with Universal Compression to form Exterran Holdings. Mr. Beckelman received his BBA in Finance with High Honors from the University of Texas at Austin.

Robert Kiszka

Robert Kiszka was named Executive Vice President of Operations in May 2014. Mr. Kiszka has served as the Vice President of Operations since September 2011. Mr. Kiszka has over 20 years of construction, real estate, renewable energy and mining experience. Prior to joining Smart Sand, Inc., Mr. Kiszka was President of A-1 Bracket Group Inc. from 2005 to 2011 and a member of Premier Building Systems LLC from 2010 to 2011. Mr. Kiszka attended Pedagogical University in Krakow, Poland and Rutgers University.

 

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William John Young

William John Young was named Vice President of Sales and Logistics in May 2014. Mr. Young served as Director of Sales from November 2011 to April 2014. Prior to joining Smart Sand, Inc., Mr. Young was Director of Sales for Comcast Corporation from 2002 to 2011. Mr. Young brings over 20 years of experience in the mining, commercial telecommunications and broadband industries. Mr. Young received a BSc in Biology from Dalhousie University. Mr. Young is the brother of Charles E. Young, our Chief Executive Officer and a member of our board of directors.

Susan Neumann

Susan Neumann was named Controller and Secretary in April 2013 and July 2014, respectively. Prior to joining Smart Sand, Inc. in April 2013, Ms. Neumann was an assurance senior manager at BDO USA, LLP (“BDO”). At BDO, she served in various roles in the assurance group from September 2000 to March 2013. Ms. Neumann received an MBA with a Global Perspective from Arcadia University in March 2008, and a B.A. in Accounting from Beaver College (currently Arcadia University) in May 2000.

José E. Feliciano

José E. Feliciano was appointed co-Chairman of the board of directors in June 2014 and previously served as the sole Chairman of the board of directors from September 2011 to June 2014. Mr. Feliciano is Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Clearlake which he co-founded in 2006. Mr. Feliciano is responsible for the day-to-day management of Clearlake, and is primarily focused on investments in the industrials, energy and consumer sectors. Mr. Feliciano currently serves or has served on the boards of several private companies including AmQuip Crane Rental, Ashley Stewart, Globe Energy Services, Jacuzzi Brands and Sage Automotive. Mr. Feliciano graduated with High Honors from Princeton University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering. He received his Masters of Business Administration from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. We believe Mr. Feliciano’s experience as a current and former director of many companies and his financial expertise makes him well qualified to serve on our board of directors.

Colin M. Leonard

Colin M. Leonard was appointed as a member of the board of directors in September 2011. Mr. Leonard is a Principal of Clearlake and joined Clearlake in 2007. Prior to Clearlake, Mr. Leonard was an investment professional at HBK Investments L.P. where he focused on investments in the industrials and transportation/logistics sectors. Mr. Leonard currently serves or has served the boards of several private companies including Globe Energy Services, Jacuzzi Brands and Sage Automotive. Mr. Leonard graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Economics (Wharton School) and a minor in Mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania. We believe Mr. Leonard’s experience as a current and former director of many companies and his financial expertise makes him well qualified to serve on our board of directors.

Timothy Pawlenty

Timothy Pawlenty was appointed as a member of the board of directors in June 2012. Since November 2012, Mr. Pawlenty has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Financial Services Roundtable, a leading advocacy organization for America’s financial services industry. From January 2011 to November 2012, Mr. Pawlenty served as an independent contractor. Mr. Pawlenty previously served as Governor of the State of Minnesota for two terms from 2003 to 2011. During his tenure as Governor, Mr. Pawlenty was responsible for overseeing a $60 billion biennial budget and 30,000 employees, and worked closely with state agencies including those dealing with natural resource and transportation issues. Mr. Pawlenty previously served as a director of Digital River, Inc., a company that provides global e-commerce solutions. Mr. Pawlenty served as a member of Digital River’s Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Mr. Pawlenty also serves as a director of several privately-held companies. Mr. Pawlenty received a

 

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degree in Political Science from University of Minnesota. He also received his law degree from the University of Minnesota. We believe Mr. Pawlenty’s knowledge of our business as well as his legal, regulatory and enterprise oversight experience make him well qualified to serve on our board of directors.

Tracy Robinson

Tracy Robinson was appointed as a member of our board of directors in February 2015. Ms. Robinson holds the position of Vice President, Supply Chain for TransCanada Corporation, a leader in the responsible development and reliable operation of North American energy infrastructure, including natural gas and liquids pipelines, power generation and storage facilities. In her role, Ms. Robinson has overall responsibility for the strategy and execution of sourcing and procurement, including material management, inventory, logistics and payables. Previous to this, Ms. Robinson served as Vice President Transportation, Liquids Pipelines for TransCanada. Prior to joining TransCanada in 2014, Ms. Robinson served as Vice President, Marketing and Sales for Canadian Pacific Railway with responsibility for the Energy and Merchandise team in advancement of the company’s strategy across a broad group of business sectors, accounting for $2.3 billion in annual revenues. Over her 27-year career with Canadian Pacific, Ms. Robinson advanced through positions across the Commercial, Operations and Finance area, most recently including Vice President Marketing and Sales, Vice President and Treasurer and General Manager, Operations. Ms. Robinson received her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and her Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Saskatchewan. She serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council of the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan. Ms. Robinson also serves on the Board of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) Foundation and represents TransCanada at the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) Foundation. We believe that Ms. Robinson’s extensive experience and industry knowledge relating to railways, logistics and transportation make her well qualified to serve on our board of directors.

Andrew Speaker

Andrew Speaker was appointed co-Chairman of our board of directors in June 2014. He was appointed as a director in September 2011. Mr. Speaker served as our Chief Executive Officer from April 2011 to June 2014. Since June 2014, Mr. Speaker has continued to work on special projects for us. Prior to joining Smart Sand, Inc., Mr. Speaker was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mercer Insurance Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries since 2000. At Mercer, Mr. Speaker held various offices including Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Since June 2015, Mr. Speaker also has served as a director of a privately-held company. Mr. Speaker received a BS in Accounting from LaSalle University. We believe that Mr. Speaker’s industry experience and deep knowledge of our business make him well qualified to serve on our board of directors.

Sharon Spurlin

Sharon Spurlin was appointed as a member of our board of directors in February 2015. Ms. Spurlin is a finance executive with more than 25 years of experience leading various finance functions. Ms. Spurlin currently is the Vice President and Treasurer of Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. (“PAA”) and is responsible for financial planning activities, customer credit functions, insurance risk management, foreign exchange and interest rate management activities and coordination of banking transactions and lending arrangements. Prior to joining PAA in October 2014, Ms. Spurlin was Sr. Vice President and CFO of PetroLogistics from 2009 to 2014. PetroLogistics was a privately owned entity, and in 2012, Ms. Spurlin held a lead role in PetroLogistics’ initial public offering as a master limited partnership. We believe that Ms. Spurlin’s industry experience and deep knowledge of our business make her well qualified to serve on our board of directors.

 

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Committees of the Board of Directors

The board of directors has an audit committee and a compensation committee, and may have such other committees (including a nominating and governance committee) as the board of directors shall determine from time to time.

Audit Committee

Our audit committee is comprised of Sharon Spurlin (Chair), Tim Pawlenty and Colin Leonard, all who meet the independence and experience standards established by the NASDAQ and the Exchange Act, subject to certain transitional relief during the one-year period following the effective date of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part. Our audit committee will assist the board of directors in its oversight of the integrity of our financial statements and our compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and corporate policies and controls. Our audit committee will have the sole authority to retain and terminate our independent registered public accounting firm, approve all auditing services and related fees and the terms thereof, and pre-approve any non-audit services to be rendered by our independent registered public accounting firm. Our audit committee will also be responsible for confirming the independence and objectivity of our independent registered public accounting firm. Our independent registered public accounting firm will be given unrestricted access to our audit committee.

Compensation Committee

Our compensation committee is comprised of José E. Feliciano (Chair), Tim Pawlenty and Tracy Robinson, all of whom meet the independence standards established by the NASDAQ and the Exchange Act. This committee will establish salaries, incentives and other forms of compensation for executive officers. The compensation committee will also administer our long-term incentive plan.

Compensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation

None of our executive officers serve on the board of directors or compensation committee of a company that has an executive officer that serves on our board or compensation committee. No member of our board is an executive officer of a company in which one of our executive officers serves as a member of the board of directors or compensation committee of that company.

Board Composition

Upon the closing of this offering, it is anticipated that we will have seven directors.

Our board of directors has determined that Tim Pawlenty, Sharon Spurlin, Tracy Robinson, José E. Feliciano and Colin Leonard are independent under NASDAQ listing standards.

Board Role in Risk Oversight

Our corporate governance guidelines will provide that the board of directors is responsible for reviewing the process for assessing the major risks facing us and the options for their mitigation. This responsibility will be largely satisfied by our audit committee, which is responsible for reviewing and discussing with management and our independent registered public accounting firm our major risk exposures and the policies management has implemented to monitor such exposures, including our financial risk exposures and risk management policies.

 

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EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

This executive compensation disclosure provides an overview of the executive compensation program for the named executive officers identified below. For the year ended December 31, 2015, our named executive officers, or the NEOs, were:

 

    Charles E. Young, Chief Executive Officer;

 

    Lee E. Beckelman, Chief Financial Officer; and

 

    Robert Kiszka, Executive Vice President of Operations.

Summary Compensation Table For 2015

The following table sets forth certain information with respect to the compensation paid to our NEOs for the year ended December 31, 2015. The amounts shown below include all compensation paid to these individuals for services in 2015.

 

Name and principal position

   Year      Salary ($)      All other
compensation ($)
    Total ($)  

Charles E. Young

     2015         498,077         210,590 (1)      708,667   

Chief Executive Officer

          

Lee E. Beckelman

     2015         298,846         11,944 (2)      310,790   

Chief Financial Officer

          

Robert Kiszka.

     2015         373,557         23,483 (3)      397,040   

Executive Vice President of Operations

          

 

(1) Amount shown represents costs associated with providing Mr. Young use of a company-owned automobile ($3,952), employer contributions made under our 401(k) Plan ($15,274) and relocation cost reimbursement ($191,364).
(2) Amount shown represents Mr. Beckelman’s employer contributions made under our 401(k) Plan ($11,944).
(3) Amount shown represents costs associated with providing Mr. Kiszka use of a company-owned automobile ($6,541) and employer contributions made under our 401(k) Plan ($16,942).

Narrative Disclosure to Summary Compensation Table

We provide compensation to our executives, including our NEOs, in the form of base salaries, annual cash incentive awards and participation in various employee benefit plans and arrangements, including participation in a qualified 401(k) retirement plan and health and welfare benefits on the same basis as offered to other full-time employees.

Base Salaries

We pay our NEOs a base salary to compensate them for the satisfactory performance of services rendered to our company. The base salary payable to each NEO is intended to provide a fixed component of compensation reflecting the executive’s skill set, experience and responsibilities and has historically been set at levels deemed necessary to attract and retain individuals with superior talent.

Our NEOs’ base salaries for 2015 were $500,000 for Mr. Young, $300,000 for Mr. Beckelman and $375,000 for Mr. Kiszka. None of our NEOs received any base salary increases in 2015. In December 2015, due to market conditions generally affecting our industry, our NEO’s, with the support of the board of directors, determined to reduce their base salary amounts by 10% each. The board of directors may reinstate these amounts at a later date in its discretion.

 

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Performance Bonuses

We offer our NEOs the opportunity to earn annual cash incentive awards to compensate them for attaining short-term company and individual performance goals. Each NEO has an annual target bonus that is expressed as a percentage of his annual base salary. The target bonus percentages for our NEOs are 100% of base salary for Mr. Young, 50% of base salary for Mr. Beckelman and 50% of base salary for Mr. Kiszka.

Our annual cash incentive awards have historically been determined by the compensation committee of our board of directors on a discretionary basis. In making individual bonus decisions, the compensation committee does not rely on predetermined financial performance targets or metrics. Instead, determinations regarding annual cash incentive awards are based on a subjective assessment of individual and company performance. For 2015, our compensation committee determined not to award any discretionary bonuses to our NEOs.

Pursuant to a letter agreement with Mr. Beckelman entered into in connection with his commencement of employment, Mr. Beckelman is entitled to receive a one-time bonus of $300,000 following the consummation of this offering.

Equity Compensation

In 2014, we granted shares of restricted stock to each of Mr. Beckelman and Mr. Kiszka as the long-term incentive component of their compensation. The restricted shares were granted under our 2012 Equity Incentive Plan, or the 2012 Plan, and vest in equal installments over a period of four (4) years for Mr. Beckelman or five (5) years for Mr. Kiszka, subject to continued employment through the applicable vesting date and accelerated vesting upon a change in control of us.

None of our NEOs received awards or grants of equity during 2015. In connection with this offering, we intend to adopt a 2016 Incentive Award Plan, or the 2016 Plan, to facilitate the grant of cash and equity incentives to our directors, employees (including our NEOs) and consultants and to enable our company to obtain and retain the services of these individuals, which we believe is essential to our long-term success. Following the effective date of our 2016 Plan, we will not make any further grants under our 2012 Plan. However, the 2012 Plan will continue to govern the terms and conditions of the outstanding awards granted under it. For additional information about the 2016 Plan and the 2012 Plan, please read “Equity Compensation Plans” below.

Retirement, Health, Welfare and Additional Benefits

Our NEOs are eligible to participate in our employee benefit plans and programs, including medical and dental benefits, long-term care benefits, and short- and long-term disability and life insurance, to the same extent as our other full time employees, subject to the terms and eligibility requirements of those plans. We sponsor a 401(k) defined contribution plan in which our NEOs may participate, subject to limits imposed by the Code, to the same extent as our other full time employees. Currently, we match 100% of contributions made by participants in the 401(k) plan, up to 3% of eligible compensation, and 50% of contributions made between 3% and 5% of eligible compensation. Matching contributions are fully vested when made. Our NEOs are also entitled to certain perquisites, including relocation cost reimbursements and use of company-owned automobiles, as set forth in the Summary Compensation Table above.

 

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Outstanding Equity Awards at December 31, 2015

The following table sets forth the outstanding equity awards held by our NEOs as of December 31, 2015.

 

     Stock awards  

Name

   Number of
shares
that have
not vested (#)
    Market
value of
shares
that have
not vested
($)(3)
 

Charles E. Young.

     —          —     

Lee E. Beckelman

     26 (1)      220,053   

Robert Kiszka.

     28 (2)      236,980   

 

(1) The restricted shares vest in substantially equal installments on each of August 11, 2016, 2017 and 2018, subject to Mr. Beckelman’s continued employment on the applicable vesting date and accelerated vesting upon a change in control.
(2) The restricted shares vest in substantially equal installments on June 10, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, subject to Mr. Kiszka’s continued employment on the applicable vesting date and accelerated vesting upon a change in control.
(3) Amount shown is based on the fair value of our common stock as of December 31, 2015, as determined by a third party valuation firm.

Executive Employment Agreements

We have entered into employment agreements with each of Messrs. Young and Kiszka. Certain key terms of these agreements are described below. We have not entered into a current employment agreement with Mr. Beckelman.

Messrs. Young and Kiszka

We entered into employment agreements with Messrs. Young and Kiszka in September 2011, and these agreements were amended in 2014. As amended, Mr. Young’s employment agreement is for a term that will end on May 15, 2017, and Mr. Kiszka’s employment agreement was for an initial term that expired on May 15, 2016, but has renewed for at least one additional year. The agreements automatically renew for successive one-year periods unless thirty (30) days’ notice of non-renewal is delivered by either party. The agreements entitle the executives to an annual base salary, an annual bonus and participation in the benefit plans maintained by us from time to time.

If the employment of Messrs. Young or Kiszka terminates due to death or disability, then he or his estate, as applicable, will be entitled to receive an amount equal to six months of base salary, payable in monthly installments until the earlier to occur of (i) six months following the date of death or termination due to disability or (ii) February of the calendar year immediately following the year of death or termination due to disability, with the remaining amount payable in a lump sum. If the employment of Messrs. Young or Kiszka is terminated by us without cause or he resigns for good reason, then he will be entitled to receive an amount equal to 12 months of base salary, payable in monthly installments until the earlier to occur of (i) 12 months or (ii) February of the calendar year immediately following the year of termination, with the remaining amount payable in a lump sum. Receipt of payments upon termination due to disability, by us without cause or due to resignation for good reason is conditioned upon Messrs. Young and Kiszka signing a release of claims in our favor. In addition, Messrs. Young and Kiszka are subject to a 12-month non-competition and non-solicitation period following termination of employment for any reason.

For purposes of the employment agreements, “cause” is generally defined as (i) repeated failure by the executive to perform his duties, (ii) executive’s conviction or entry of a plea of nolo contendere for fraud,

 

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misappropriation or embezzlement, or any felony or crime of moral turpitude, (iii) willful material violation of a policy which is directly and materially injurious to the company or (iv) executive’s material breach of the employment agreement; in the case of items (i), (iii) or (iv), subject to notice and a 30-day cure period. “Good reason” is generally defined as (i) material diminution by the company of executive’s authority, duties and responsibilities, which change would cause executive’s position to become one of less responsibility, importance and scope or (ii) material reduction by the company of base salary, unless such reduction is a result of a reduction of salaries to all employees and is no greater than the average of the salary reductions imposed on other employees; in each case, subject to notice and a 30-day cure period.

Benefits Upon a Change in Control

The agreements governing Messrs. Beckelman’s and Kiszka’s restricted shares provide for full accelerated vesting of any unvested portion of the award in connection with a change in control.

Equity Compensation Plans

The following summarizes the material terms of the equity compensation plans in which our employees, including the NEOs, participate.

2016 Incentive Award Plan

In connection with this offering, we intend to adopt and ask our stockholders to approve the 2016 Incentive Award Plan, or the 2016 Plan, under which we may grant cash and equity-based incentive awards to eligible service providers in order to attract, retain and motivate the persons who make important contributions to our company. The material terms of the 2016 Plan are summarized below.

Eligibility and Administration

Our employees, consultants and directors, and employees and consultants of our subsidiaries, will be eligible to receive awards under the 2016 Plan. The 2016 Plan will be administered by our board of directors, which may delegate its duties and responsibilities to one or more committees of our directors and/or officers (referred to collectively as the plan administrator below), subject to the limitations imposed under the 2016 Plan, Section 16 of the Exchange Act, stock exchange rules and other applicable laws. The plan administrator will have the authority to take all actions and make all determinations under the 2016 Plan, to interpret the 2016 Plan and award agreements and to adopt, amend and repeal rules for the administration of the 2016 Plan as it deems advisable. The plan administrator will also have the authority to determine which eligible service providers receive awards, grant awards and set the terms and conditions of all awards under the 2016 Plan, including any vesting and vesting acceleration provisions, subject to the conditions and limitations in the 2016 Plan.

Shares Available for Awards

An aggregate of              shares of our common stock will initially be available for issuance under the 2016 Plan. No more than              shares of common stock may be issued under the 2016 Plan upon the exercise of incentive stock options. Shares issued under the 2016 Plan may be authorized but unissued shares, shares purchased on the open market or treasury shares.

If an award under the 2016 Plan or the 2012 Plan expires, lapses or is terminated, exchanged for cash, surrendered, repurchased, canceled without having been fully exercised or forfeited, any unused shares subject to the award will, as applicable, become or again be available for new grants under the 2016 Plan. Awards granted under the 2016 Plan in substitution for any options or other stock or stock-based awards granted by an entity before the entity’s merger or consolidation with us or our acquisition of the entity’s property or stock will not reduce the shares available for grant under the 2016 Plan, but will count against the maximum number of shares that may be issued upon the exercise of incentive stock options.

 

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In addition, the maximum aggregate grant date fair value, as determined in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 718 (or any successor thereto), of awards granted to any non-employee director for services as a director pursuant to the 2016 Plan during any fiscal year may not exceed $         (or, in the fiscal year of any director’s initial service, $        ). The plan administrator may, however, make exceptions to such limit on director compensation in extraordinary circumstances, subject to the limitations in the 2016 Plan.

Awards

The 2016 Plan provides for the grant of stock options, including incentive stock options, or ISOs, and nonqualified stock options, or NSOs, stock appreciation rights, or SARs, restricted stock, dividend equivalents, restricted stock units, or RSUs, and other stock or cash based awards. Certain awards under the 2016 Plan may constitute or provide for payment of “nonqualified deferred compensation” under Section 409A of the Code. All awards under the 2016 Plan will be set forth in award agreements, which will detail the terms and conditions of awards, including any applicable vesting and payment terms and post-termination exercise limitations. A brief description of each award type follows.

 

    Stock Options and SARs. Stock options provide for the purchase of shares of our common stock in the future at an exercise price set on the grant date. ISOs, by contrast to NSOs, may provide tax deferral beyond exercise and favorable capital gains tax treatment to their holders if certain holding period and other requirements of the Code are satisfied. SARs entitle their holder, upon exercise, to receive from us an amount equal to the appreciation of the shares subject to the award between the grant date and the exercise date. The plan administrator will determine the number of shares covered by each option and SAR, the exercise price of each option and SAR and the conditions and limitations applicable to the exercise of each option and SAR. The exercise price of a stock option or SAR will not be less than 100% of the fair market value of the underlying share on the grant date (or 110% in the case of ISOs granted to certain significant stockholders), except with respect to certain substitute awards granted in connection with a corporate transaction. The term of a stock option or SAR may not be longer than ten years (or five years in the case of ISOs granted to certain significant stockholders). The maximum aggregate number of shares of common stock with respect to one or more options or SARs that may be granted to any one person during any fiscal year of the company will be         .

 

    Restricted Stock and RSUs. Restricted stock is an award of nontransferable shares of our common stock that remain forfeitable unless and until specified conditions are met and which may be subject to a purchase price. RSUs are contractual promises to deliver shares of our common stock in the future, which may also remain forfeitable unless and until specified conditions are met and may be accompanied by the right to receive the equivalent value of dividends paid on shares of our common stock prior to the delivery of the underlying shares. The plan administrator may provide that the delivery of the shares underlying RSUs will be deferred on a mandatory basis or at the election of the participant. The terms and conditions applicable to restricted stock and RSUs will be determined by the plan administrator, subject to the conditions and limitations contained in the 2016 Plan.

 

    Other Stock or Cash Based Awards. Other stock or cash based awards are awards of cash, fully vested shares of our common stock and other awards valued wholly or partially by referring to, or otherwise based on, shares of our common stock or other property. Other stock or cash based awards may be granted to participants and may also be available as a payment form in the settlement of other awards, as standalone payments and as payment in lieu of compensation to which a participant is otherwise entitled. The plan administrator will determine the terms and conditions of other stock or cash based awards, which may include any purchase price, performance goal, transfer restrictions and vesting conditions.

Performance Criteria

The plan administrator may select performance criteria for an award to establish performance goals for a performance period. Performance criteria under the 2016 Plan may include, but are not limited to, the following: net earnings or losses (either before or after one or more of interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and non-

 

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cash equity-based compensation expense); gross or net sales or revenue or sales or revenue growth; net income (either before or after taxes) or adjusted net income; profits (including but not limited to gross profits, net profits, profit growth, net operation profit or economic profit), profit return ratios or operating margin; budget or operating earnings (either before or after taxes or before or after allocation of corporate overhead and bonus); cash flow (including operating cash flow and free cash flow or cash flow return on capital); return on assets; return on capital or invested capital; cost of capital; return on stockholders’ equity; total stockholder return; return on sales; costs, reductions in costs and cost control measures; expenses; working capital; earnings or loss per share; adjusted earnings or loss per share; price per share or dividends per share (or appreciation in or maintenance of such price or dividends); regulatory achievements or compliance; implementation, completion or attainment of objectives relating to research, development, regulatory, commercial, or strategic milestones or developments; market share; economic value or economic value added models; division, group or corporate financial goals; customer satisfaction/growth; customer service; employee satisfaction; recruitment and maintenance of personnel; human resources management; supervision of litigation and other legal matters; strategic partnerships and transactions; financial ratios (including those measuring liquidity, activity, profitability or leverage); debt levels or reductions; sales-related goals; financing and other capital raising transactions; cash on hand; acquisition activity; investment sourcing activity; and marketing initiatives, any of which may be measured in absolute terms or as compared to any incremental increase or decrease. Such performance goals also may be based solely by reference to the company’s performance or the performance of a subsidiary, division, business segment or business unit of the company or a subsidiary, or based upon performance relative to performance of other companies or upon comparisons of any of the indicators of performance relative to performance of other companies. When determining performance goals, the plan administrator may provide for exclusion of the impact of an event or occurrence which the plan administrator determines should appropriately be excluded, including, without limitation, non-recurring charges or events, acquisitions or divestitures, changes in the corporate or capital structure, events unrelated to the business or outside of the control of management, foreign exchange considerations, and legal, regulatory, tax or accounting changes.

Certain Transactions

In connection with certain corporate transactions and events affecting our common stock, including a change in control, or change in any applicable laws or accounting principles, the plan administrator has broad discretion to take action under the 2016 Plan to prevent the dilution or enlargement of intended benefits, facilitate the transaction or event or give effect to the change in applicable laws or accounting principles. This includes canceling awards for cash or property, accelerating the vesting of awards, providing for the assumption or substitution of awards by a successor entity, adjusting the number and type of shares subject to outstanding awards and/or with respect to which awards may be granted under the 2016 Plan and replacing or terminating awards under the 2016 Plan. In addition, in the event of certain non-reciprocal transactions with our stockholders, the plan administrator will make equitable adjustments to the 2016 Plan and outstanding awards as it deems appropriate to reflect the transaction.

Plan Amendment and Termination

Our board of directors may amend or terminate the 2016 Plan at any time; however, no amendment, other than an amendment that increases the number of shares available under the 2016 Plan, may materially and adversely affect an award outstanding under the 2016 Plan without the consent of the affected participant, and stockholder approval will be obtained for any amendment to the extent necessary to comply with applicable laws. Further, the plan administrator can, without the approval of our stockholders, amend any outstanding stock option or SAR to reduce its price per share. The 2016 Plan will remain in effect until the tenth anniversary of its effective date, unless earlier terminated by our board of directors. No awards may be granted under the 2016 Plan after its termination.

 

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Foreign Participants, Claw-Back Provisions, Transferability and Participant Payments

The plan administrator may modify awards granted to participants who are foreign nationals or employed outside the United States or establish subplans or procedures to address differences in laws, rules, regulations or customs of such foreign jurisdictions. All awards will be subject to any company claw-back policy as set forth in such claw-back policy or the applicable award agreement. Except as the plan administrator may determine or provide in an award agreement, awards under the 2016 Plan are generally non-transferrable, except by will or the laws of descent and distribution, or, subject to the plan administrator’s consent, pursuant to a domestic relations order, and are generally exercisable only by the participant. With regard to tax withholding obligations arising in connection with awards under the 2016 Plan, and exercise price obligations arising in connection with the exercise of stock options under the 2016 Plan, the plan administrator may, in its discretion, accept cash, wire transfer or check, shares of our common stock that meet specified conditions, a promissory note, a “market sell order,” such other consideration as the plan administrator deems suitable or any combination of the foregoing.

2012 Plan

Our board of directors and stockholders have approved the 2012 Plan, under which we have granted shares of restricted stock. We previously reserved a total of 400 shares of our common stock for issuance under the 2012 Plan.

Following the effectiveness of the 2016 Plan, we will not make any further grants under the 2012 Plan. However, the 2012 Plan will continue to govern the terms and conditions of outstanding awards granted under it. Shares of our common stock subject to awards granted under the 2012 Plan that are forfeited, lapse unexercised or are settled in cash and which following the effective date of the 2016 Plan are not issued under the 2012 Plan will be available for issuance under the 2016 Plan.

Administration

The 2012 Plan is administered by our board of directors, or a committee of the board to the extent the board has delegated its authority under the 2012 Plan to a committee. The board has authority to issue awards under the 2012 Plan; to adopt, alter and repeal administrative rules, guidelines and practices governing the 2012 Plan; to establish the terms of awards granted under the 2012 Plan; to interpret the terms of the 2012 Plan and any awards granted thereunder; and to otherwise supervise the administration of the 2012 Plan. The board may correct any defect, supply any omission or reconcile any inconsistency in the 2012 Plan or in any outstanding award in the manner and to the extent it deems necessary to carry out the intent of the 2012 Plan. Following the effectiveness of this offering, we expect that the board of directors will delegate its general administrative authority under the 2012 Plan to its compensation committee.

Types of Awards

The 2012 Plan provides for the grant of stock options and restricted stock awards to employees, consultants and directors or other service providers of the company or its affiliates. As of the date of this prospectus, awards of restricted stock are outstanding under the 2012 Plan.

Certain Transactions

In the event of certain events or transactions affecting our common stock, including a recapitalization, stock split or combination, or stock dividend, the 2012 Plan and outstanding awards may be adjusted with respect to the number, type and issuer of securities, as determined by the board of directors. In the event of a change in control, the board may take one or more of the following actions in its discretion: (i) cause any or all outstanding awards to become vested or non-forfeitable, in whole or in part; (ii) cancel any award in exchange for an award in the successor corporation; or (iii) cancel outstanding awards for cash or other consideration.

 

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Amendment and Termination

The board of directors may amend, alter or terminate the 2012 Plan at any time, provided that, except with respect to actions that may be taken by the board in connection with a change in control as described above, no alteration, amendment or discontinuation of the 2012 Plan may impair the rights of a holder of an outstanding award without the holder’s consent. Any amendment that increases the total number of shares reserved for issuance under the 2012 Plan or changes the persons or class of persons eligible to receive awards under the 2012 Plan must be approved by our stockholders.

Director Compensation

The table below sets forth the compensation paid to our non-employee directors for their service on our board of directors during 2015.

 

Name

   Fees earned or
paid in cash ($)
     Stock awards
($)(1)
     All other
compensation
($)(2)
     Total ($)  

José E. Feliciano(3)

     60,000         —           —           60,000   

Colin Leonard(3)

     60,000         —           —           60,000   

Timothy Pawlenty(4)

     60,000         —           —           60,000   

Tracy Robinson(4)

     60,000         177,324         —           237,324   

Sharon Spurlin(4)

     60,000         177,324         —           237,324   

Andrew Speaker(5)

     200,000         —           7,308         207,308   

 

(1) Amount shown represents the grant date fair value of shares of restricted stock granted in 2015.
(2) Amount shown represents our contributions to Mr. Speaker’s 401(k) Plan account in 2015.
(3) These directors are employed by Clearlake and, pursuant to arrangements with Clearlake, amounts shown are paid to Clearlake at the direction of the directors.
(4) As of December 31, 2015, Mr. Pawlenty held 3 unvested shares of our restricted stock and Ms. Robinson and Ms. Spurlin each held 10 unvested shares of our restricted stock.
(5) Effective as of January 1, 2016, Mr. Speaker’s annual board retainer fee was reduced to $100,000.

In connection with this offering, we intend to adopt a director compensation policy pursuant to which directors who are not officers, employees or paid consultants or advisors of us, may receive a combination of cash and equity-based awards under our 2016 Plan as compensation for their services on our board of directors. Such directors will also receive reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses associated with attending board or committee meetings and director and officer liability insurance coverage. Officers, employees or paid consultants or advisors of us who also serve as directors will not receive additional compensation for their service as directors. All directors will be indemnified by us for actions associated with being a director to the fullest extent permitted under Delaware law.

 

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PRINCIPAL AND SELLING STOCKHOLDERS

The following table sets forth the beneficial ownership of our common stock that, upon the consummation of this offering, will be owned by:

 

    each person known to us to beneficially own more than 5% of any class of our outstanding common stock;

 

    each of our directors;

 

    each of our named executive officers;

 

    all of our directors and executive officers as a group; and

 

    the selling stockholders.

The amounts and percentage of shares of common stock beneficially owned are reported on the basis of regulations of the SEC governing the determination of beneficial ownership of securities. Under the rules of the SEC, a person is deemed to be a “beneficial owner” of a security if that person has or shares “voting power,” which includes the power to vote or to direct the voting of such security, or “investment power,” which includes the power to dispose of or to direct the disposition of such security. In computing the number of shares beneficially owned by a person and the percentage ownership of that person, common stock subject to options or warrants held by that person that are currently exercisable or exercisable within 60 days of the date of this prospectus, if any, are deemed outstanding, but are not deemed outstanding for computing the percentage ownership of any other person. Except as indicated by footnote, the persons named in the table below have sole voting and investment power with respect to all shares of common stock shown as beneficially owned by them, subject to community property laws where applicable.

 

Name of Beneficial Owner(1)

  Shares Beneficially
Owned Before this
Offering
    Shares Beneficially Owned
After this Offering (Assuming
No Exercise of  the
Underwriters’ Over-
Allotment Option)
    Shares Beneficially Owned
After this Offering (Assuming
the  Underwriters’ Over-
Allotment Option is
Exercised in Full)
 
  Number     Percentage     Number     Percentage     Number     Percentage  

Clearlake Capital Partners II (Master), L.P.(2)

                                
           

Directors/Named Executive Officers

           

Charles E. Young

                                

Lee Beckelman

Robert Kiszka

     

 

    

    


     

 

    

    


     

 

    

    


José E. Feliciano(3)

                                

Colin Leonard(3)

                                

Timothy J. Pawlenty

                                

Andrew Speaker

                                

Sharon Spurlin

                                

Tracy Robinson

                                

All Directors and Executive Officers as a group
(11 persons)

                                

Other Selling Stockholders

                                

 

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* Less than 1%.
(1) Unless otherwise indicated, the address for all beneficial owners in this table is c/o Smart Sand, Inc., 24 Waterway Avenue, Suite 350, The Woodlands, Texas 77380.
(2) Clearlake Capital Partners II (Master), L.P., a Delaware limited partnership (“CCPII”). CCPII is managed by Clearlake Capital Management II, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership (“CCMII”). CCMII’s general partner is Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., whose general partner is CCG Operations, L.L.C., a Delaware limited liability company (“CCG Ops”). CCPII’s general partner is Clearlake Capital Partners II GP, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership (“CCPII GP”). CCPII GP’s general partner is Clearlake Capital Partners, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (“CCP”). CCP’s managing member is CCG Ops. José E. Feliciano and Behdad Eghbali are managers of CCG Ops and may be deemed to control the Clearlake entities. Each of Messrs. Feliciano and Eghbali, together with CCPII, CCMII, CCG Ops, CCPII GP and CCP, are collectively referred to herein as the “Clearlake Entities.” In addition, one of our directors, Colin Leonard, serves as Principal of Clearlake.
(3) The shares reported as beneficially owned by Messrs. Feliciano and Leonard are held by CCPII.

 

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CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

Procedures for Review, Approval and Ratification of Related Person Transactions

Our board of directors will adopt a code of business conduct and ethics in connection with the completion of this offering that will provide that the board of directors or its authorized committee will review on at least a quarterly basis all transactions with related persons that are required to be disclosed under SEC rules and, when appropriate, initially authorize or ratify all such transactions. In the event that the board of directors or its authorized committee considers ratification of a transaction with a related person and determines not to so ratify, the code of business conduct and ethics will provide that our management will make all reasonable efforts to cancel or annul the transaction.

The code of business conduct and ethics will provide that, in determining whether or not to recommend the initial approval or ratification of a transaction with a related person, the board of directors or its authorized committee should consider all of the relevant facts and circumstances available, including (if applicable) but not limited to: (i) whether there is an appropriate business justification for the transaction; (ii) the benefits that accrue to us as a result of the transaction; (iii) the terms available to unrelated third parties entering into similar transactions; (iv) the impact of the transaction on a director’s independence (in the event the related person is a director, an immediate family member of a director or an entity in which a director or an immediate family member of a director is a partner, shareholder, member or executive officer); (v) the availability of other sources for comparable products or services; (vi) whether it is a single transaction or a series of ongoing, related transactions; and (vii) whether entering into the transaction would be consistent with the code of business conduct and ethics.

The code of business conduct and ethics described above will be adopted in connection with the completion of this offering and, therefore, the transactions described below were not reviewed under such policy.

Our Relationship with Our Sponsor

Our sponsor is a fund managed by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., which, together with its affiliates and related persons, we refer to as Clearlake. Clearlake is a private investment firm with a sector-focused approach. The firm seeks to partner with world-class management teams by providing patient, long-term capital to dynamic businesses that can benefit from Clearlake’s operational and strategic expertise. The firm’s core target sectors include technology, communications and business services; industrials, energy and power; and consumer products and services. Clearlake currently has approximately $3.5 billion of assets under management. We believe our relationship with Clearlake provides us with a unique resource to effectively compete for acquisitions within the industry by being able to take advantage of their experience in acquiring businesses to assist us in seeking out, evaluating and closing attractive acquisition opportunities over time.

After the completion of this offering, our sponsor will own              share of our common stock, representing a     % interest in us. If the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of our common stock, our sponsor will own              share of our common stock , representing a     % interest in us.

Reimbursement of Expenses

Under an agreement with Clearlake, the Company reimbursed Clearlake approximately $130,000 in 2014 for certain out-of-pocket and other expenses in connection with certain management and administrative support services provided. In connection with this offering, we expect to amend and restate the agreement under which such reimbursements were made.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

Upon completion of this offering, the authorized capital stock of Smart Sand, Inc., will consist of              shares of common stock, $0.001 par value per share, of which              shares will be issued and outstanding, and              shares of preferred stock, $0.001 par value per share, of which no shares will be issued and outstanding. Please read “Summary—The Offering.”

The following summary of the capital stock and amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws of Smart Sand, Inc., does not purport to be complete and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the provisions of applicable law and to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, which are filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part.

Common Stock

Except as provided by law or in a preferred stock designation, holders of common stock are entitled to one vote for each share held of record on all matters submitted to a vote of the stockholders, will have the exclusive right to vote for the election of directors and do not have cumulative voting rights. Except as otherwise required by law, holders of common stock are not entitled to vote on any amendment to the amended and restated certificate of incorporation (including any certificate of designations relating to any series of preferred stock) that relates solely to the terms of any outstanding series of preferred stock if the holders of such affected series are entitled, either separately or together with the holders of one or more other such series, to vote thereon pursuant to the amended and restated certificate of incorporation (including any certificate of designations relating to any series of preferred stock) or pursuant to the DGCL. Subject to the rights of any holders of any outstanding shares or series of preferred stock, holders of common stock are entitled to the payment of dividends when and as declared by our board of directors in accordance with applicable law and to receive other distributions. All outstanding shares of common stock are fully paid and non-assessable. The holders of common stock have no pre-emptive or other subscription rights. Subject to the rights of any holders of any outstanding shares or series of preferred stock, in the event of any liquidation, dissolution or winding up of our affairs, whether voluntary or involuntary, our funds and assets, to the extent they may be legally distributed to holders of common stock, shall be distributed among the holders of the then outstanding common stock pro rata in accordance with the number of shares of common stock held by each such holder.

Preferred Stock

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation authorizes our board of directors, in accordance with the DGCL and subject to the stockholders’ agreement, without further stockholder approval, to establish and to issue from time to time one or more series of preferred stock, par value $0.001 per share. Our board of directors is authorized to determine the terms and rights of each such series of preferred stock, including the number of shares, voting rights, if any, and such designations, preferences and relative participating, optional or other special rights, and qualifications, limitations or restrictions thereof, including without limitation thereof, dividend rights, conversion rights, redemption privileges and liquidation preferences, as our board of directors may deem advisable, all to the fullest extent permitted by the DGCL and the stockholders’ agreement.

Outstanding Warrants

On September 13, 2011, we issued four warrants to purchase an aggregate of              shares of our common stock at an exercise price of $         per share. The material terms and provisions of our outstanding warrants are summarized below. The following description is subject to, and qualified in its entirety by, the common stock purchase warrants, which are filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part.

 

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Term. The warrants (and the right to purchase shares of common stock upon the exercise thereof) terminate upon the earliest to occur of (i) the eight-year anniversary of the issue date (September 13, 2011) and (ii) a change of control (as defined in the warrants) of us.

Exercise Price. The exercise price of the warrants is $             per whole share of common stock. The exercise price is subject to appropriate adjustment in the event of certain stock dividends and distributions, stock splits, stock combinations, stock issuances, reclassifications or similar events affecting our common stock.

Exercisability. Holders may exercise the warrants, in whole or in part, on and after the earlier of:

 

  (i) the date upon which we have achieved EBITDA in excess of $76.8 million over the course of any twenty-four month period;

 

  (ii) (A) the occurrence of a transaction in which our stockholders immediately prior to such transaction do not retain direct or indirect beneficial ownership of at least 60% of the total outstanding shares of our common stock following the transaction and such transaction implies a valuation of our common stock of at least $300 million, or (B) the adoption of a plan relating to the dissolution or liquidation of us; and

 

  (iii) the date immediately following the 20th consecutive trading day on which our common stock is actively traded on a national securities exchange and the aggregate market value of the common stock is at least $300 million for each of the 20 trading days.

No Fractional Shares. No fractional shares will be issued upon the exercise of the warrants. As to any fraction of a share that the holder would otherwise be entitled to purchase upon such exercise, we will pay a cash adjustment in respect of such fraction in an amount equal to such fraction multiplied by the fair market value of one share of common stock on the date of exercise, as determined in good faith by our board of directors.

Transferability. Except for affiliate transfers (as defined in the warrants), the warrants may not be assigned or transferred by the registered holder without our prior written consent.

Authorized Shares. During the period the warrants are outstanding, we will reserve from our authorized and unissued common stock a sufficient number of shares to provide for the issuance of shares of common stock underlying the warrants upon the exercise of the warrants.

Exchange Listing. The warrants are not listed on any securities exchange.

Fundamental Transactions. In the event of certain fundamental transactions, as described in the warrants and generally including any merger or consolidation with or into another entity in which the Company is not the surviving entity, then upon any subsequent exercise of a warrant the holder shall have the right to receive as alternative consideration, for each share of our common stock that would have been issuable upon such exercise immediately prior to the occurrence of such fundamental transaction, the number of shares of common stock of the successor or acquiring corporation, and any additional consideration receivable upon or as a result of such transaction by a holder of the number of shares of our common stock for which the warrant is exercisable immediately prior to such event.

Right as a Stockholder. Except as otherwise provided in the warrants or by virtue of such holder’s ownership of shares of our common stock, the holders of the warrants do not have the rights or privileges of holders of our common stock, including any voting rights, until they exercise their warrants.

Amendments or Waivers. Any term of the warrants may be amended or waived only by an instrument in writing signed by the party against which enforcement of the amendment or waiver is sought.

 

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Anti-Takeover Effects of Provisions of Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, our Amended and Restated Bylaws and Delaware Law

Some provisions of Delaware law, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws will contain provisions that could make acquisitions of us by means of a tender offer, a proxy contest or otherwise or removal of our directors more difficult. These provisions may also have the effect of preventing changes in our management. It is possible that these provisions could make it more difficult to accomplish or could deter transactions that stockholders may otherwise consider to be in their best interest or in our best interests, including transactions that might result in a premium over the market price for our shares.

These provisions are expected to discourage coercive takeover practices and inadequate takeover bids. These provisions are also designed to encourage persons seeking to acquire control of us to first negotiate with us. We believe that the benefits of increased protection and our potential ability to negotiate with the proponent of an unfriendly or unsolicited proposal to acquire or restructure us outweigh the disadvantages of discouraging these proposals because, among other things, negotiation of these proposals could result in an improvement of their terms.

Delaware Law

Section 203 of the DGCL prohibits a Delaware corporation, including those whose securities are listed for trading on the NASDAQ, from engaging in any business combination (as defined in Section 203) with any interested stockholder (as defined in Section 203) for a period of three years following the date that the stockholder became an interested stockholder, unless:

 

    the business combination or the transaction which resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder is approved by the board of directors before the date the interested stockholder attained that status;

 

    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 the corporation outstanding at the time the transaction commenced; or

 

    on or after such time the business combination is approved by the board of directors and authorized at a meeting of stockholders by at least two-thirds of the outstanding voting stock that is not owned by the interested stockholder.

A corporation may elect not to be subject to Section 203 of the DGCL. We have elected to not be subject to the provisions of Section 203 of the DGCL.

Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Amended and Restated Bylaws

Provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, which will become effective upon the closing of this offering, may delay or discourage transactions involving an actual or potential change in control or change in our management, including transactions in which stockholders might otherwise receive a premium for their shares, or transactions that our stockholders might otherwise deem to be in their best interests. Therefore, these provisions could adversely affect the price of our common stock.

Among other things, upon the completion of this offering, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws will:

 

   

establish advance notice procedures with regard to stockholder proposals relating to the nomination of candidates for election as directors or new business to be brought before meetings of our stockholders. These procedures provide that notice of stockholder proposals must be timely given in writing to our corporate secretary prior to the meeting at which the action is to be taken. Generally, to be timely, notice

 

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must be received at our principal executive offices not less than 90 days nor more than 120 days prior to the first anniversary date of the annual meeting for the preceding year. Our amended and restated bylaws specify the requirements as to form and content of all stockholders’ notices. These requirements may preclude stockholders from bringing matters before the stockholders at an annual or special meeting;

 

    provide our board of directors the ability to authorize undesignated preferred stock. This ability makes it possible for our board of directors to issue, without stockholder approval, preferred stock with voting or other rights or preferences that could impede the success of any attempt to change control of us. These and other provisions may have the effect of deferring hostile takeovers or delaying changes in control or management of our company;

 

    provide that the authorized number of directors may be changed only by resolution of the board of directors;

 

    provide that all vacancies, including newly created directorships, shall, except as otherwise required by law or, if applicable, the rights of holders of a series of preferred stock, be filled exclusively by the affirmative vote of a majority of directors then in office, even if less than a quorum;

 

    provide that any action required or permitted to be taken by the stockholders must be effected at a duly called annual or special meeting of stockholders and may not be effected by any consent in writing in lieu of a meeting of such stockholders, subject to the rights of the holders of any series of preferred stock with respect to such series (prior to such time, such actions may be taken without a meeting by written consent of holders of common stock having not less than the minimum number of votes that would be necessary to authorize such action at a meeting);

 

    provide that our bylaws may be amended by the stockholders only by the affirmative vote of the holders of at least two-thirds of our then outstanding common stock (prior to such time, our bylaws may be amended by the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of our then outstanding common stock);

 

    provide that special meetings of our stockholders may only be called by the board of directors, (prior to such time, a special meeting may also be called at the request of stockholders holding a majority of the outstanding shares of our common stock);

 

    provide that certain provisions of our certificate of incorporation may be amended by the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 66 23% of our then outstanding common stock (prior to such time, our certificate of incorporation may amended by the affirmative vote of the majority of our then outstanding common stock);

 

    provide that, subject to the rights of the preferred stockholders, if any, any director may be removed only for cause and upon the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 66 23% of our then outstanding common stock (prior to such time, subject to the rights of the preferred stockholders, if any, any director may be removed, with or without cause, upon the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of our outstanding common stock); and

 

    provide that our bylaws can be amended or repealed by the board of directors.

Corporate Opportunity

Under our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, to the extent permitted by law:

 

    any of our directors or officers who is also an officer, director, employee, managing director or other affiliate (a “Covered Person”) of Clearlake will have the right to carry on and conduct, directly or indirectly, business with any business that is competitive or in the same line of business as us, do business with any of our clients, customers, vendors or lessors, or make investments in the kind of property in which we may make investments;

 

    if a Covered Person acquires knowledge of a potential transaction that could be a corporate opportunity, he or she will have no duty to offer such corporate opportunity to us;

 

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    we have renounced any interest or expectancy in, or in being offered an opportunity to participate in, such corporate opportunities; and

 

    we have waived any claim against each Covered Person and shall indemnify, and will pay in advance any expenses incurred in defense of such claims by, a Covered Person against any claim that such Covered Person is liable to us or our stockholders for breach of any fiduciary duty solely by reason of the fact that such Covered Person (x) pursues or acquires any corporate opportunity for his or her own account or the account of any affiliate, (y) directs, recommends, sells, assigns, or otherwise transfers such corporate opportunity to another person or (z) does not communicate information regarding such corporate opportunity to us.

Forum Selection

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation will provide that unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, be the sole and exclusive forum for:

 

    any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf;

 

    any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers, employees or agents to us or our stockholders;

 

    any action asserting a claim against us arising pursuant to any provision of the DGCL, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or our bylaws; or