S-1/A 1 e66937a5sv1za.htm AMENDMENT NO. 5 TO FORM S-1 AMENDMENT NO. 5 TO FORM S-1
 

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 6, 2003
Registration No. 333-103169


SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549


Amendment No. 5

To
Form S-1
REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933


Volume Services America Holdings, Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
         
Delaware   5812   13-3870167
(Jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
  (Primary Standard Industrial
Classification Code Number)
  (I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)

201 East Broad Street

Spartanburg, South Carolina 29306
(864) 598-8600
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including
area code, of Registrant’s principal executive offices)

Janet L. Steinmayer, Esq.

General Counsel
Volume Services America Holdings, Inc.
300 First Stamford Place
Stamford, Connecticut 06902
(203) 975-5900
(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone
number, including area code, of agent for service)


Copies to:

     
Risë B. Norman, Esq.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
425 Lexington Avenue
New York, New York 10017
(212) 455-2000
  David J. Goldschmidt, Esq.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Four Times Square
New York, New York 10036
(212) 735-3000


Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: As soon as practicable after the 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.    o

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.    o 


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.    o 


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.    o 


If delivery of the prospectus is expected to be made pursuant to Rule 434 under the Securities Act, please check the following box.    o


CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

         


Proposed Maximum
Title of Each Class of Aggregate Amount of
Securities to be Registered Offering Price(1) Registration Fee

Income Deposit Securities (IDSs)(2)
       

       
Shares of Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share(3)
  $286,191,923   $906(4)

       
  % Subordinated Notes(5)
       

       
Subsidiary Guarantees of   % Subordinated Notes(6)
       


(1)  Estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the amount of the registration fee pursuant to Rule 457(o) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
(2)  The IDSs represent 18,463,995 shares of the common stock and $105.2 million aggregate principal amount of     % subordinated notes of Volume Services America Holdings, Inc. (“VSAH”). Includes 1,678,545 IDSs subject to the underwriters’ over-allotment option and an indeterminate number of IDSs of the same series which may be received by holders of IDSs in the future on one or more occasions in replacement of the IDSs being offered hereby in the event of a subsequent issuance of IDSs, upon an automatic exchange of portions of the subordinated notes for identical portions of such additional notes as discussed in note (5) below.
(3)  Includes 1,678,545 shares of VSAH’s common stock subject to the underwriters’ over-allotment option.
(4)  A fee of $25,300 was previously paid for the registration of $275,000,000 proposed maximum aggregate offering price of securities at the prior fee rate.
(5)  Includes $9.6 million aggregate principal amount of VSAH’s     % subordinated notes subject to the underwriters’ over-allotment option and an indeterminate principal amount of notes of the same series as the subordinated notes, which will be received by holders of subordinated notes in the future on one or more occasions in the event of a subsequent issuance of IDSs, upon an automatic exchange of portions of the subordinated notes for identical portions of such additional notes.
(6)  Pursuant to Rule 457(n) under the Securities Act of 1933, no separate fee for the guarantees is payable.


The Registrants hereby amend this Registration Statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the Registrants 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 this Registration Statement shall become effective on such date as the Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.




 

Table of Additional Registrant Guarantors

             
State or Other Address Including Zip Code,
Exact Name of Registrant Jurisdiction of Telephone Number Including Area
Guarantor as Specified Incorporation or I.R.S. Employer Code, of Registrant Guarantor’s
in its Charter Organization Identification Number Principal Executive Offices




Events Center Catering, Inc.
  Wyoming   57-1007720   201 East Broad Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306
(864) 598-8600
Service America Concessions Corporation   Maryland   06-1182149   201 East Broad Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306
(864) 598-8600
Service America Corporation   Delaware   13-1939453   201 East Broad Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306
(864) 598-8600
Service America Corporation of Wisconsin   Wisconsin   39-1655756   201 East Broad Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306
(864) 598-8600
Service America of Texas, Inc.   Texas   76-0261618   201 East Broad Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306
(864) 598-8600
Servo-Kansas, Inc.   Kansas   06-1238400   201 East Broad Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306
(864) 598-8600
SVM of Texas, Inc.   Texas   75-1913406   201 East Broad Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306
(864) 598-8600
Volume Services, Inc.   Delaware   36-2786575   201 East Broad Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306
(864) 598-8600
Volume Services, Inc.   Kansas   57-0973901   201 East Broad Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306
(864) 598-8600
Volume Services America, Inc.   Delaware   57-0969174   201 East Broad Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306
(864) 598-8600


 

Subject to Completion, Dated November 6, 2003

The information in this prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is declared effective. This prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted.

16,785,450

Income Deposit Securities (IDSs)

Volume Services America Holdings, Inc.


We are selling 16,785,450 IDSs in the United States and Canada representing 16,785,450 shares of our common stock and $95.7 million aggregate principal amount of our     % subordinated notes due 2013, subject to extension as described herein. Each IDS initially represents:

  •   one share of our common stock; and
 
  •   $5.70 aggregate principal amount of our     % subordinated notes.

This is the initial public offering of our IDSs, common stock and subordinated notes. We anticipate that the public offering price will be between $14.50 and $15.50 per IDS.

Holders of IDSs will have the right to separate the IDSs into the shares of our common stock and subordinated notes represented thereby at any time after the earlier of 90 days from the closing of this offering or the occurrence of a change of control. Similarly, any holder of shares of our common stock and subordinated notes may, at any time, combine the applicable number of shares of common stock and principal amount of subordinated notes to form IDSs. Separation of all of the IDSs will occur automatically upon the occurrence of any redemption of the subordinated notes or upon maturity of the subordinated notes.

Upon a subsequent issuance by us of IDSs, a portion of your notes may be automatically exchanged for an identical principal amount of the subordinated notes issued in such subsequent issuance, and in that event your IDSs will be replaced with new IDSs. In addition to the subordinated notes offered hereby, the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part also relates to the subordinated notes and new IDSs to be issued upon any such subsequent issuance. For more information regarding these automatic exchanges and the effect they may have on your investment, see “Description of Subordinated Notes— Covenants Relating to IDSs— Procedures Relating to Subsequent Issuance” on page 123 and “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences— Consequences to U.S. Holders— Subordinated Notes— Additional Issuances” on page 160.

We have applied to list our IDSs on the American Stock Exchange under the trading symbol “CVP” and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol “CVP.un.” We have applied to list our shares of common stock on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “CVP.”

Investing in our IDSs, and the shares of our common stock and subordinated notes represented thereby, involves risks. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 24.

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 IDS Total


Public offering price(1)
  $       $    
Underwriting discount
  $       $    
Proceeds to Volume Services America Holdings, Inc. (before expenses)(2)
  $       $    


(1)  The offering price in Canada is payable in Canadian dollars and is the approximate equivalent of the U.S. dollar offering price based on the noon buying rate on the date of this prospectus as quoted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
 
(2)  Approximately $         million of these proceeds will be paid to our existing equity investors.


We have granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to 1,678,545 additional IDSs to cover over-allotments.

The underwriters expect to deliver the IDSs in book-entry form only through the facilities of The Depository Trust Company to purchasers on or about                  , 2003.

 
CIBC World Markets UBS Investment Bank
RBC Capital Markets McDonald Investments Inc. Harris Nesbitt Corp.
 
Robert W. Baird & Co. TD Securities U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray
Wells Fargo Securities, LLC Morgan Joseph & Co. Inc.

                    , 2003


 


 


 


 

Table of Contents

         
Page

Summary
    1  
Risk Factors
    24  
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
    41  
Use of Proceeds
    42  
Dividend Policy
    44  
Capitalization
    46  
Dilution
    47  
Selected Historical Financial Information
    48  
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
    54  
Business
    66  
Management
    82  
Principal Stockholders
    91  
Related Party Transactions
    93  
Description of Certain Indebtedness
    98  
Description of IDSs
    106  
Description of Capital Stock
    111  
Description of Subordinated Notes
    115  
Shares Eligible for Future Sale
    156  
Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences
    157  
Certain ERISA Considerations
    166  
Underwriting
    168  
Legal Matters
    172  
Experts
    172  
Where You Can Find More Information
    172  
Index to Consolidated Financial Statements
    F-1  

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Summary

The following is a summary of the principal features of this offering of IDSs and should be read together with the more detailed information and financial data and statements contained elsewhere in this prospectus.

Throughout this prospectus, we refer to Volume Services America Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation, as “VSAH,” and, together with its consolidated operations, as “we,” “our” and “us,” unless otherwise indicated. Any reference to “VSA” refers to our wholly owned subsidiary, Volume Services America, Inc., a Delaware corporation, and its consolidated operations, unless otherwise indicated. We are a holding company and have no direct operations. Our principal assets are the capital stock of VSA and any intercompany notes owed to VSAH, all of which will be pledged to the creditors under the new credit facility, as described more fully below.

Our Company

Overview

We are a leading provider of food and beverage concessions, catering and merchandise services for sports facilities, convention centers and other entertainment facilities throughout the United States. Based on the number of facilities served, we are one of the largest providers of food and beverage services to a variety of recreational facilities in the United States and are:

  •   the second largest provider to National Football League, or NFL, facilities (10 teams);
 
  •   the third largest provider to Major League Baseball, or MLB, facilities (6 teams);
 
  •   the largest provider to minor league baseball and spring training facilities (27 teams); and
 
  •   one of the largest providers to major convention centers (those with greater than approximately 300,000 square feet of exhibition space) (10 centers).

We have a large diversified client base, serving 128 facilities as of September 30, 2003. As of December 31, 2002, we served 129 facilities, with an average length of client relationship of over 15 years. Some of our major accounts by client category include:

  •   Yankee Stadium in New York City;
 
  •   the Louisiana Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints;
 
  •   the Seattle Mariners’ Safeco Field;
 
 
  •   the National Trade Centre in Toronto, Canada’s largest exhibit hall;
 
  •   the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre; and
 
  •   the Los Angeles Zoo.

Our contracts are typically long-term and exclusive. From 1999 through 2002, contracts came up for renewal that generated, on average, approximately 14.8% of our net sales for each year. During this period, we retained contracts up for renewal that generated, on average, approximately 85.3% of our net sales for each year, which together with the contracts that did not come up for renewal resulted in us retaining contracts that generated, on average, approximately 97.8% of our net sales for each year.

On February 11, 2003, we announced that we changed the tradename for our operating businesses from Volume Services America to Centerplate.

Our Strengths

A Leading Market Position. Based on the number of facilities served, we are one of the largest providers of food and beverage services to a variety of sports facilities and to major convention centers in the United States.

Diversified Client Base. As of September 30, 2003, we provided services to 68 sports facilities, 29 convention centers and 31 other entertainment

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facilities. As of December 31, 2002, we provided services to 66 sports facilities, 31 convention centers and 32 other entertainment facilities, representing approximately 65.9%, 21.8% and 12.3%, respectively, of our net sales for fiscal 2002.

Exclusive, Long-Term Service Contracts. We typically provide services at our clients’ facilities pursuant to long-term contracts that grant us the exclusive right to provide certain food and beverage products and services and, under some contracts, merchandise products and other services within the facility.

High Quality, Full Service Capabilities. We believe that our expertise in catering and concession sales, coupled with our reputation for high-quality food and beverage products and services, provide a competitive advantage when we bid for contracts.

Experienced Management Team. We believe that the considerable experience of our senior management and facility general managers in the recreational food service industry, which refers to the portion of the food service industry in which we do business, is of particular value in enabling us to evaluate the risks and benefits associated with potential new contracts, contract structures, product innovations and markets.

Strategic Direction and Growth Opportunities

Our industry position and experience have enabled us to effectively evaluate and select opportunities for growth. Our strategy is to increase net sales with existing clients, obtain new clients and expand into related markets. We intend to accomplish these goals by:

Further Penetrating the Mid-Size Account Market. We believe that the most promising area of future growth for us is in the mid-size account market— sporting and other recreational facilities, arenas, civic centers, convention centers and amphitheatres in medium- to small-cities. We believe that we have the opportunity to expand our presence in this market, and we plan to focus our sales efforts there.

Extending Our Suite and Club-Level Seat Catering Services. We believe that we are capable of providing the quality and service levels that our clients expect for their suites and club-level seats at sports and other entertainment facilities. We are actively seeking to be awarded the suite and club-level service contracts for the facilities at which we provide concession services and for prospective clients.

Building the Facilities Management Business. We believe that we can offer efficiencies to our clients by providing food and beverage services and facilities management services in the same facility. We intend to build on our experience in facilities management and our expertise in operating and managing food and beverage concession services in order to more effectively bid on new facility management accounts.

Offering a Variety of Branded Products to Our Clients. We are pursuing a strategy of offering a variety of high-quality, well-recognized branded products to our clients, which involves working with prospective branded food and beverage companies in order to make targeted use of branded products to increase customer sales.

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New Credit Facility

Concurrently with the closing of this offering, VSA will enter into a new senior secured credit facility with a syndicate of financial institutions, including CIBC World Markets Corp., as lead arranger and sole bookrunner. In this document, we refer to this credit facility as the “new credit facility.” The new credit facility will be comprised of a secured revolving credit facility in a total principal amount of up to $50 million (less amounts reserved for letters of credit) and a term facility consisting of senior secured notes in an aggregate principal amount of $65 million. While the new credit facility will permit us to pay interest and dividends to IDS holders, it will contain significant restrictions on our ability to make interest and dividend payments to IDS holders and on our subsidiaries’ ability to make dividend and interest payments to us. The revolving credit facility will have a 3-year maturity and the term facility will have a 4.5-year maturity. See “Description of Certain Indebtedness— New Credit Facility.”

Tender Offer and Consent Solicitation

On October 22, 2003, VSA commenced a tender offer and consent solicitation with respect to all of its outstanding $100.0 million aggregate principal amount of 11 1/4% senior subordinated notes due 2009 for an expected aggregate consideration of $108.3 million. The closing of this offering is conditioned upon the receipt of the tender and consent of at least a majority in aggregate principal amount of VSA’s senior subordinated notes outstanding. Holders of VSA’s senior subordinated notes that provide consents are obligated to tender their notes in the offer, and holders of VSA’s senior subordinated notes that tender their notes are obligated to provide consents. Upon obtaining the minimum required consents in the tender offer and consent solicitation, VSA and the trustee of the senior subordinated notes will enter into a supplemental indenture that will delete all of the material restrictive covenants contained in the indenture governing the senior subordinated notes. The consummation of the tender offer and consent solicitation is conditioned upon the closing of this offering. The tender offer and consent solicitation will be consummated on the terms described above. VSA will use a portion of the net proceeds from this offering and borrowings under the new credit facility to pay for its senior subordinated notes accepted for purchase in the tender offer and consent solicitation. As of November 6, 2003, a majority of the holders of VSA’s senior subordinated notes had tendered and we expect to execute the supplemental indenture on or about November 7, 2003, with effectiveness subject to the consummation of the tender offer.

Our Existing Equity Investors

BCP Volume L.P., BCP Offshore Volume L.P. and VSI Management Direct, L.P., affiliates of The Blackstone Group L.P., which we refer to as “Blackstone” in this prospectus, and Recreational Services L.L.C., an affiliate of General Electric Capital Corporation, which we refer to as “GE Capital” in this prospectus, are the owners of all our outstanding common stock prior to this offering. In this prospectus, we refer to these four owners as the “existing equity investors.” As discussed below, our existing equity investors will be selling 6,844,503 shares of their common stock to us for approximately $47.1 million, (subject to certain adjustments as described in “Use of Proceeds”), which we will purchase with a portion of the proceeds of this offering, or 9,551,833 shares of their common stock for $70.2 million if the over-allotment option is exercised in full. At the option of the existing equity investors, upon any subsequent sale of common stock by the existing equity investors, we will automatically exchange a portion of the common stock that is sold with the purchasers of such common stock for our subordinated notes at an exchange rate of $9.30 principal amount of subordinated notes for each share (subject to compliance with law and applicable agreements). The effect of this exchange is that subsequent purchasers from our existing equity investors will have the correct components, comprised of the shares of common stock purchased from the sellers and the subordinated notes we issue in the exchange, to represent integral numbers of IDSs.

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Use of Proceeds

We estimate that we will receive net proceeds from this offering of approximately $225.4 million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other estimated offering expenses payable by us. We will use these net proceeds, together with $65 million of borrowings under our new credit facility and cash on hand, which we refer to in the aggregate as the “aggregate cash sources,” as follows:

  •   $241.2 million to repurchase all of VSA’s outstanding senior subordinated notes, to
fund the cash collateral account and dividend/ capex funding account required under the new credit facility, and to repay all outstanding borrowings under the existing credit facility;
 
  •   $1 million to pay certain members of our senior management contingent bonuses described under “Management— Annual Bonus Plan;”
 
  •   $1 million to pay Lawrence E. Honig, our chief executive officer, the payment to which he is entitled under the terms of his employment agreement with us. Mr. Honig will use the after-tax proceeds from this payment to purchase IDSs in this offering in an amount equal to approximately $570,000; and
 
  •   any remaining aggregate cash sources, after deducting the Working Capital Adjustment as described in “Use of Proceeds,” to repurchase 6,844,503 shares of our common stock from the existing equity investors. Assuming this offering and all related transactions described in this prospectus had been consummated on September 30, 2003, such remaining aggregate cash sources would have been $47.1 million.

If the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option in full, we will use all of the net proceeds we receive from the sale of additional IDSs under the over-allotment option ($23.1 million) to repurchase an additional 2,707,331 shares of our common stock held by the existing equity investors.

4


 

Our Capital Structure After this Offering

The following chart reflects our capital structure immediately after this offering (without giving effect to the exercise of the underwriters’ over-allotment option), including percentages of voting control:

(CAPITAL STRUCTURE CHART)


(1)  The existing equity investors will hold 6,768,327 shares of common stock. At the option of the existing equity investors, upon any subsequent sale of common stock by the existing equity investors, we will automatically exchange a portion of the common stock that is sold with the purchasers of such common stock for subordinated notes at an exchange rate of $9.30 principal amount of subordinated notes for each share of common stock. The effect of this exchange is that subsequent purchasers from our existing equity investors will have the correct components, comprised of the shares of common stock purchased from the sellers and the subordinated notes we issue in the exchange, to represent integral numbers of IDSs. If the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option in full, the existing equity investors will hold 4,060,996 shares of common stock, or 18.0% of the voting power.
(2)  As discussed below under “—Management’s Equity Ownership,” our named executive officers will be acquiring 64,174 IDSs (64,174 shares of common stock and $0.4 million aggregate principal amount of subordinated notes) in connection with this offering. The combined percentage ownership reflected on this chart does not include any indirect ownership interests that these three officers have in us through the existing equity investors.
(3)  The public will hold 16,721,276 IDSs (16,721,276 shares of common stock and $95.3 million aggregate principal amount of subordinated notes). If the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option in full, the public will hold 18,399,821 IDSs (18,399,821 shares of common stock representing 81.7% of the voting power and $104.9 million aggregate principal amount of subordinated notes).
(4) VSAH will guarantee on a senior secured basis the new credit facility and pledge all outstanding shares of VSA’s common stock and substantially all of its other assets to the creditors under the new credit facility. See “Description of Certain Indebtedness— New Credit Facility— Collateral.”
(5)  Immediately following the offering, approximately $65.0 million of borrowings will be outstanding under the new credit facility plus approximately $20.0 million of letters of credit.
(6) The subordinated notes, which are represented by the IDSs, will be fully and unconditionally guaranteed, on an unsecured subordinated basis, by each of our direct and indirect U.S. wholly owned subsidiaries. See “Description of Subordinated Notes— Guarantees.”

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Management’s Equity Ownership

Lawrence E. Honig, our chief executive officer, will receive a payment from us of $1 million upon the closing of this offering under the terms of his employment agreement with us. Mr. Honig will use his after-tax proceeds from this payment to purchase IDSs in this offering in an amount equal to approximately $570,000. Kenneth Frick, our executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Janet Steinmayer, our executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, own interests in some of the existing equity investors and will receive cash distributions of $451,623 and $183,824, respectively, upon our purchase of these existing equity investors’ shares of common stock. Mr. Frick and Ms. Steinmayer will use their after-tax proceeds (and in the case of Ms. Steinmayer, after-loan repayment proceeds) from these distributions to purchase IDSs in this offering in an amount equal to $392,603 and $0, respectively. If the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option in full, Mr. Frick and Ms. Steinmayer will receive additional cash distributions of $284,675 and $113,635, respectively. See “Related Party Transactions— Management Ownership and Transactions with Management.”

Our Corporate Information

Our principal executive office is located at 201 East Broad Street, Spartanburg, South Carolina 29306, and our telephone number is (864) 598-8600. Our internet address is www.centerplate.com. www.centerplate.com is a textual reference only, meaning that the information contained on the website is not part of this prospectus and is not incorporated in this prospectus by reference.

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The Offering

Summary of the IDSs

We are offering 16,785,450 IDSs at an assumed initial public offering price of $15.00, which represents the midpoint of the range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus.

 
What are IDSs?

IDSs are securities comprised of common stock and subordinated notes.

Each IDS initially represents:

  •   one share of our common stock; and
 
  •   $5.70 aggregate principal amount of our      % subordinated notes.

The ratio of common stock to principal amount of subordinated notes represented by an IDS is subject to change in the event of a stock split, recombination or reclassification of our common stock. For example, if we effect a two-for-one stock split, from and after the effective date of the stock split, each IDS will represent two shares of common stock and the same principal amount of subordinated notes as it previously represented. Likewise, if we effect a recombination or reclassification of our common stock, each IDS will thereafter represent the appropriate number of shares of common stock on a recombined or reclassified basis, as applicable, and the same principal amount of subordinated notes as it previously represented.

 
What payments can I expect to receive as a holder of IDSs?

Assuming we make our scheduled interest payments on the subordinated notes, and pay dividends in the amount contemplated by our current dividend policy, you will receive in the aggregate approximately $1.56 per year in interest on the subordinated notes and dividends on the common stock represented by each IDS. We expect to make interest and dividend payments on the 20th day of each month to holders of record on the tenth day or the immediately preceding business day of such month.

You will be entitled to receive monthly interest payments at an annual rate of      % of the aggregate principal amount of subordinated notes represented by your IDSs or approximately $0.77 per IDS per year, subject to our obligation, under circumstances specified in the indenture governing the subordinated notes and in our new credit facility, to defer interest payments on our subordinated notes. For a detailed description of these circumstances, see “Description of Subordinated Notes— Terms of the Notes— Interest Deferral” and “Description of Certain Indebtedness— New Credit Facility— Subordinated Note Interest Deferral.”

You will also receive monthly dividends on the shares of our common stock represented by your IDSs, if and to the extent dividends are declared by our board of directors and permitted by applicable law and the terms of the new credit facility, the indenture governing our subordinated notes and any other then outstanding indebtedness of ours. Specifically, the indenture governing our subordinated notes restricts our ability to declare and pay dividends on our common stock as described under “Dividend Policy.” In addition, the new credit facility restricts our ability to declare and pay dividends on our common stock as described under “Dividend Policy” and “Description of Certain Indebtedness— New Credit Facility— Suspension of Dividend Payments.” Upon the closing of this offering, our board of directors is expected to adopt a dividend policy which contemplates that, subject to applicable law and the terms of our then existing indebtedness, initial annual dividends will be approximately $0.79 per share of our common stock. However, our board of directors may, in its discretion, modify or repeal this dividend policy. We cannot assure you that we will pay dividends at this level in the future or at all.

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Will my rights as a holder of IDSs be any different than the rights of a beneficial owner of separately held common stock and subordinated notes?

No. As a holder of IDSs you are the beneficial owner of the common stock and subordinated notes represented by your IDSs. As such, through your broker or other financial institution and DTC, you will have exactly the same rights, privileges and preferences, including voting rights, rights to receive distributions, rights and preferences in the event of a default under the indenture governing our subordinated notes, ranking upon bankruptcy and rights to receive communications and notices as a beneficial owner of separately held common stock and subordinated notes, as applicable, would have through its broker or other financial institution and DTC.

 
Will the IDSs be listed on an exchange?

Yes. We have applied to list the IDSs on the American Stock Exchange under the trading symbol “CVP” and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol “CVP.un.”

 
Will the shares of our common stock and subordinated notes represented by the IDSs be separately listed on an exchange?

We have applied to list the shares of our common stock represented by the IDSs on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol “CVP.” We do not anticipate that our common stock will trade on any other exchange or that our subordinated notes will trade on any exchange. We currently do not expect an active trading market for our common stock or subordinated notes to develop. However, if at least 33% of our outstanding shares of common stock are separately traded for a period of 30 days, we will use reasonable efforts to cause the common stock to be listed on any exchange on which the IDSs are then listed, in addition to the Toronto Stock Exchange. The shares of common stock and subordinated notes offered hereby will be freely tradable without restriction or further registration under the Securities Act, unless they are purchased by “affiliates” as that term is defined in Rule 144 under the Securities Act of 1933.

 
In what form will IDSs and the shares of our common stock and subordinated notes represented by the IDSs be issued?

The IDSs and the shares of our common stock and subordinated notes represented by the IDSs will be issued in book-entry form only. This means that you will not be a registered holder of IDSs or the securities represented by the IDSs, and you will not receive a certificate for your IDSs or the securities represented by your IDSs. You must rely on your broker or other financial institution that will maintain your book-entry position to receive the benefits and exercise the rights of a holder of IDSs.

 
Can I separate my IDSs into shares of common stock and subordinated notes or recombine shares of common stock and subordinated notes to form IDSs?

Yes. Holders of IDSs, whether purchased in this offering or in a subsequent offering of IDSs of the same series may, at any time after the earlier of 90 days from the date of the closing of this offering or the occurrence of a change of control, through their broker or other financial institution, separate the IDSs into the shares of our common stock and subordinated notes represented thereby. Any holder of shares of our common stock and subordinated notes may, at any time, through his or her broker or other financial institution, combine the applicable number of shares of common stock and principal amount of subordinated notes to form IDSs. Separation and recombination of IDSs may involve transaction fees charged by your broker and/or financial intermediary. See “Description of IDSs— Book-Entry Settlement and Clearance— Separation and Combination.”

8


 

 
Will my IDSs automatically separate into shares of common stock and subordinated notes upon the occurrence of certain events?

Yes. Separation of all of the IDSs will occur automatically upon the occurrence of any redemption, whether in whole or in part, of the subordinated notes or upon the maturity of the subordinated notes.

 
What will happen if we issue additional IDSs of the same series in the future?

We may conduct future financings by selling additional IDSs of the same series, which will have terms that are identical to those of the IDSs being sold in this offering and will represent the same proportions of common stock and subordinated notes as are represented by the then outstanding IDSs. Although the subordinated notes represented by such IDSs will have terms that are identical (except for the issuance date) to the subordinated notes being sold in this offering and will be part of the same series of subordinated notes for all purposes under the indenture, it is possible that the new subordinated notes will be sold with original issue discount (referred to as OID) for United States federal income tax purposes. If such subordinated notes are issued with OID, all IDSs of the same series (including the IDSs being offered hereby) and all subordinated notes, whether held directly or in the form of IDSs, will be automatically exchanged for IDSs and subordinated notes, respectively, with new CUSIP numbers. As a result of such exchanges, the OID associated with the sale of the new subordinated notes will effectively be spread among all holders of subordinated notes on a pro rata basis, which may adversely affect your tax treatment.

 
What will be the U.S. federal income tax consequences of an investment in the IDSs?

The U.S. federal income tax consequences of the purchase, ownership and disposition of IDSs in this offering are unclear.

Treatment of Purchase of IDSs. We believe the purchase of IDSs in this offering should be treated as the purchase of shares of our common stock and subordinated notes and, by purchasing IDSs, you will agree to such treatment. You must allocate the purchase price of the IDSs between those shares of common stock and subordinated notes in proportion to their respective initial fair market values, which will establish your initial tax basis. The value attributed to the shares of common stock and subordinated notes represented by the IDSs will be established based on the fair market value of such shares of common stock and subordinated notes. Assuming an estimated initial public offering price of $15.00 per IDS (the midpoint of the range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus), we expect to report the initial fair market value of each share of common stock as $9.30 and the initial fair market value of each $5.70 aggregate principal amount of our subordinated notes as $5.70 and, by purchasing IDSs, you will agree to such allocation.

Treatment of Subordinated Notes. The subordinated notes should be treated as debt for U.S. federal income tax purposes. If the subordinated notes were treated as equity rather than debt for U.S. federal income tax purposes, then the stated interest on the subordinated notes could be treated as a dividend, and interest on the subordinated notes would not be deductible by us for U.S. federal income tax purposes, which could significantly reduce our future cash flow. In addition, payments on the subordinated notes to foreign holders would be subject to U.S. federal withholding taxes at rates of up to 30%. Payments to foreign holders would not be grossed-up on account of any such taxes.

9


 

 
What will be the U.S. federal income tax consequences of a subsequent issuance of subordinated notes?

The U.S. federal income tax consequences to you of the subsequent issuance of subordinated notes with original issue discount upon a subsequent offering by us of IDSs or upon the issuance of subordinated notes following an automatic exchange with purchasers of our common stock from the existing equity investors are unclear.

Exchange of Subordinated Notes. The indenture governing the subordinated notes will provide that, in the event there is a subsequent issuance of subordinated notes with a new CUSIP number having terms that an otherwise identical (other than issuance date) in all material respects to the subordinated notes represented by the IDSs, each holder of IDSs or separately held subordinated notes, as the case may be, agrees that a portion of such holder’s subordinated notes will be exchanged for a portion of the subordinated notes acquired by the holders of such subsequently issued subordinated notes. Consequently, immediately following such subsequent issuance, each holder of subsequently issued subordinated notes, held either as part of IDSs or separately, and each holder of existing subordinated notes, held either as part of IDSs or separately, will own an inseparable unit composed of a proportionate percentage of both the old subordinated notes and the newly issued subordinated notes. The aggregate principal amount of subordinated notes owned by each holder will not change as a result of such subsequent issuance and exchange. Because a subsequent issuance will affect the subordinated notes in the same manner, regardless of whether these subordinated notes are held as part of IDSs or separately, the combination of subordinated notes and shares of common stock to form IDSs, or the separation of IDSs, should not affect your tax treatment.

We intend to take the position that any subsequent issuance of subordinated notes with a new CUSIP number, whether or not such notes are issued with original issue discount, will not result in a taxable exchange of your subordinated notes for U.S. federal income tax purposes. However, we cannot assure you that the Internal Revenue Service will not assert that such issuance of subordinated notes should, regardless of whether you hold your subordinated notes as part of IDSs or separately, be treated as a taxable exchange of a portion of your subordinated notes for a portion of the subordinated notes subsequently issued. In such case, however, you would generally not be expected to realize any gain on the deemed exchange, and any loss realized would likely be disallowed. Your initial tax basis in the subordinated notes deemed to have been received in the exchange would be the fair market value of such subordinated notes on the date of the deemed exchange (adjusted to reflect any disallowed loss), and your holding period for such subordinated notes would begin on the day after the deemed exchange.

Reporting of Original Issue Discount. Following any subsequent issuance of subordinated notes with original issue discount, we (and our agents) will report any original issue discount on the subsequently issued subordinated notes ratably among all holders of IDSs and separately held subordinated notes, and each holder of IDSs and separately held subordinated notes will, by purchasing IDSs, agree to report original issue discount in a manner consistent with this approach. However, we cannot assure you that the Internal Revenue Service will not assert that any original issue discount should be reported only to the persons that initially acquired such subsequently issued subordinated notes (and their transferees). In such case, the Internal Revenue Service might further assert that, unless a holder can establish that it is not a person that initially acquired such subsequently issued subordinated notes (or a transferee thereof), all of the subordinated notes held by such holder have original issue discount.

Because there is no statutory, judicial or administrative authority directly addressing the tax treatment of the IDSs or instruments similar to the IDSs, we urge you to consult your own tax advisor concerning the tax consequences of an investment in the IDSs. For additional information, see “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences.”

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Summary of the Common Stock

 
Issuer Volume Services America Holdings, Inc.
 
Shares of common stock represented by IDSs 16,785,450 shares, or 18,463,995 shares if the underwriters’ over-allotment option is exercised in full.
 
Shares of common stock to be outstanding following the offering 23,553,777 shares, or 22,524,991 shares if the underwriters’ over-allotment option is exercised in full.
 
Voting rights Each outstanding share of our common stock will carry one vote per share.
 
Dividends You will receive monthly dividends on the shares of our common stock if and to the extent dividends are declared by our board of directors and permitted by applicable law and the terms of our then outstanding indebtedness. Specifically, the subordinated notes indenture and the new credit facility both restrict our ability to declare and pay dividends on our common stock as described in detail under “Dividend Policy.” Upon the closing of this offering, our board of directors is expected to adopt a dividend policy which contemplates that, subject to applicable law and the terms of our then existing indebtedness, initial annual dividends will be approximately $0.79 per share of our common stock. However, our board of directors may, in its discretion, modify or repeal this dividend policy. We cannot assure that we will pay dividends at this level in the future or at all.
 
Dividend payment dates If declared, dividends will be paid monthly on the 20th day of each month to holders of record on the tenth day or the immediately preceding business day of such month.
 
Listing We have applied to list our common stock on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol “CVP.” We do not anticipate that our common stock will trade on any other exchange and we currently do not expect an active trading market for our common stock to develop. However, we will use reasonable efforts to list the common stock on any exchange where the IDSs are listed if at least 33% of our outstanding shares of common stock are separately traded for a period of 30 days. Our common stock will be freely tradable without restriction or further registration under the Securities Act, unless purchased by “affiliates” as that term is defined in Rule 144 under the Securities Act of 1933.

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Summary of the Subordinated Notes

 
Issuer Volume Services America Holdings, Inc.
 
Subordinated notes represented by IDSs $95.7 million aggregate principal amount of      % subordinated notes, or $105.2 million aggregate principal amount if the underwriters’ over-allotment option is exercised in full.
 
Interest rate      % per year.
 
Interest payment dates Interest will be paid monthly in arrears on the 20th day of each month, commencing                     , 2004 to holders of record on the tenth day or the immediately preceding business day of such month.
 
Interest deferral We will be required to defer interest payments on our subordinated notes pursuant to the indenture if our senior debt requires us to defer such interest.
 
Our new credit facility requires that, if our interest coverage ratio, total leverage ratio and senior leverage ratio do not meet specified levels (or if we fail to timely deliver financial statements calculating such ratios), we will defer interest payments on our subordinated notes as described in detail under “Description of Certain Indebtedness— New Credit Facility— Subordinated Note Interest Deferral.”
 
Interest payments will not be deferred for more than 24 months in the aggregate prior to December 18, 2008. During the period from December 20, 2008, through December      , 2013, interest payments may be deferred for no more than 10 interest payment dates in the aggregate at any time. If the maturity of our notes is extended, we will also be required to defer interest payments on our notes if required to under any then outstanding senior indebtedness in the same manner as during the period from December 20, 2008 through December      , 2013. Deferred interest on our subordinated notes will bear interest monthly, at a rate equal to the stated annual rate of interest on the notes divided by 12. For any interest deferral prior to December 18, 2008, we may pay the deferred interest at any time if permitted under our senior indebtedness as described herein and under the indenture, but we must pay all deferred interest on or prior to December 18, 2008. These terms are described further in “Description of Subordinated Notes— Terms of the Notes— Interest Deferral.”
 
In the event that interest payments on the subordinated notes are deferred, you would be required to include accrued interest in your income for U.S. federal income tax purposes even if you do not receive any cash interest payments.

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Maturity date The subordinated notes will mature on                     , 2013. We may extend the maturity of our subordinated notes for two additional successive five-year terms if the following conditions are satisfied:
 
   •  during the twelve month period ending on the last day of the fiscal quarter ending at least 45 days before the end of the then-current term, our ratio of net debt to Adjusted EBITDA under the indenture is less than 5.00 to 1.00;
 
   •  no event of default, including certain events of bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization of us or our subsidiaries, under the indenture has occurred and is continuing;
 
   •  no event of default has occurred and is continuing with respect to any of our other outstanding indebtedness or could occur as a result of the extension; and
 
   •  there are no overdue payments of interest on our subordinated notes or any of our other outstanding indebtedness.
 
Optional redemption We may not redeem the subordinated notes at our option prior to                     , 2008. After                     , 2008, we may redeem for cash all or part of the subordinated notes upon not less than 30 or more than 60 days’ notice by mail to the holders of subordinated notes, for a price equal to 100% of the principal amount of subordinated notes to be redeemed, plus a make-whole premium, plus any accrued but unpaid interest to but not including the redemption date. If we redeem any subordinated notes, there will be an automatic separation of IDSs.
 
Change of control Upon the occurrence of a change of control, as defined under “Description of Subordinated Notes— Change of Control,” each holder of subordinated notes will have the right to require us to repurchase that holder’s subordinated notes at a price equal to 101% of the principal amount of the subordinated notes being repurchased, plus any accrued but unpaid interest to but not including the repurchase date. In order to exercise that right, a holder must separate its IDSs into the shares of common stock and subordinated notes represented thereby and hold the subordinated notes separately.
 
Guarantees of subordinated
notes
The subordinated notes will be fully and unconditionally guaranteed, on an unsecured subordinated basis, by each of our direct and indirect U.S. wholly owned subsidiaries existing on the closing of this offering and all our future U.S. wholly owned restricted subsidiaries that incur indebtedness or issue shares of preferred stock or certain capital stock that is redeemable at the option of the holder. The subordinated notes will not be guaranteed by certain of our subsidiaries which are either not wholly owned or are organized outside of the United States. The guarantees will be subordinated to the guarantees issued by the subsidiary guarantors under the new credit facility.
 
Subsequent issuances may affect tax treatment The indenture governing the subordinated notes will provide that in the event we issue additional subordinated notes that are otherwise with a new CUSIP number having terms identical to the subordinated notes (except for the issuance date) in connection with the issuance by us of additional IDSs, each holder of IDSs or separately held

13


 

subordinated notes, as the case may be, agrees that a portion of such holder’s subordinated notes, whether held as part of IDSs or separately, will be exchanged for a portion of the subordinated notes acquired by the holders of such subsequently issued subordinated notes, and the records of any record holders of subordinated notes will be revised to reflect such exchanges. Consequently, following each such subsequent issuance and exchange, each holder of IDSs or separately held subordinated notes, as the case may be, will own subordinated notes of each separate issuance in the same proportion as each other holder. However, the aggregate principal amount of subordinated notes owned by each holder will not change as a result of such subsequent issuance and exchange. Any subsequent issuance of subordinated notes by us may affect the tax treatment of the IDSs and subordinated notes. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences— Consequences to U.S. Holders— Subordinated Notes— Additional Issuances.”
 
Ranking of subordinated notes and guarantees The subordinated notes will be unsecured and subordinated in right of payment to all of VSAH’s existing and future senior indebtedness, including its guarantee under the new credit facility. The subordinated notes will rank pari passu in right of payment with all of VSAH’s indebtedness other than senior or secured indebtedness. VSAH is a holding company and derives all of its operating income and cash flow from its subsidiaries.
 
The guarantees will be unsecured and will be subordinated in right of payment to all existing and future senior indebtedness of the subsidiary guarantors, including all borrowings of VSA and all guarantees of the other subsidiary guarantors under the new credit facility. The guarantees will rank pari passu with all other indebtedness of the subsidiary guarantors, including trade payables.
 
The indenture governing the subordinated notes will permit VSAH and the subsidiary guarantors to incur additional indebtedness, including senior indebtedness, subject to specified limitations. On a pro forma basis as of September 30, 2003:
 
   •  VSAH would have had no senior or pari passu indebtedness outstanding except for its guarantee under the new credit facility, as described below;
 
   •  VSA would have had $65.0 million aggregate principal amount of senior secured indebtedness outstanding under the new credit facility plus approximately $20.0 million of letters of credit, which would have been guaranteed on a senior secured basis by VSAH and the other subsidiary guarantors;
 
   •  VSA and the other subsidiary guarantors would have had no other debt outstanding that would be senior in right of payment to the subordinated notes, and $21.3 million of pari passu indebtedness outstanding, including trade payables, other than the guarantees of the subordinated notes; and
 
   •  the non-guarantor subsidiaries would have had total liabilities, excluding liabilities owed to us, of $2.9 million and the total

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assets of these subsidiaries would have accounted for 2.4% of our assets.
 
Acceleration forebearance periods Unless no designated senior indebtedness is outstanding, the maturity of the principal amount of the subordinated notes may not be accelerated and the principal amount will not become due and payable, prior to the scheduled maturity date, for a period beginning on the date notice is provided to us with respect to the occurrence of certain events of default and ending no later than 179 days after such date, as described in “Description of Subordinated Notes— Acceleration Forebearance Periods.”
 
Restrictive covenants The indenture governing the subordinated notes will contain covenants with respect to us and our restricted subsidiaries that will restrict:
 
   •  the incurrence of additional indebtedness and the issuance of preferred stock and certain redeemable capital stock;
 
   •  the payment of dividends on, and redemption of, capital stock;
 
   •  a number of other restricted payments, including investments;
 
   •  specified sales of assets;
 
   •  specified transactions with affiliates;
 
   •  the creation of a number of liens; and
 
 
   •  consolidations, mergers and transfers of all or substantially all of our assets.
 
The indenture will also prohibit certain restrictions on distributions from our restricted subsidiaries. However, there will be no restriction in the indenture on VSAH’s incurring indebtedness in connection with the issuance of additional IDSs so long as the ratio of the aggregate principal amount of the additional subordinated notes to the number of the additional shares of common stock (or common stock outstanding on the date of the indenture which may be sold by our existing equity investors) will not exceed the equivalent ratio represented by the then existing IDSs. In addition, all the limitations and prohibitions described above are subject to a number of other important qualifications and exceptions described under “Description of Subordinated Notes— Certain Covenants.”
 
Listing We do not anticipate that our subordinated notes will be separately listed on any exchange.

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Risk Factors

You should carefully consider the information under the heading “Risk Factors” and all other information in this prospectus before investing in the IDSs and the shares of our common stock and subordinated notes represented by the IDSs.

General Information About This Prospectus

Throughout this prospectus, unless otherwise noted, we have assumed:

  •   no exercise of the underwriters’ over-allotment option;
 
  •   the purchase of 100% of VSA’s senior subordinated notes in the tender offer and consent solicitation for aggregate consideration of $108.3 million;
 
  •   a 13.5% annual interest rate on the subordinated notes, which is subject to change depending on market conditions prior to the pricing date; and
 
  •   an initial public offering price of $15.00, the midpoint of the range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, comprised of $9.30 allocated to one share of common stock and $5.70 allocated to the $5.70 principal amount of subordinated notes included in each IDS.

All per share information in this prospectus assumes a 40,920-for-one stock split, which will become effective in connection with this offering.

Our average length of client relationships is calculated based on continuous historical contract relationships with our existing clients, after weighting each relevant contract by the net sales it generated in fiscal 2002. For purposes of calculating our average length of client relationships, we count as continuous relationships those cases in which a sports team at a facility we serve moves to a new facility for which we obtain the relevant service contract. In addition, our contracts’ average remaining life is based on the average period of time left to run before their scheduled expiration, after weighting each contract by the net sales it generated in fiscal 2002. We also present our contracts’ simple average remaining life which is based on the average period of time left to run before scheduled expiration.

In this prospectus, unless otherwise indicated, all references to dollars are to U.S. dollars, and all references to GAAP are to U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

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Summary Consolidated Financial Information

The following table sets forth our summary consolidated financial information derived from our audited consolidated financial statements for each of the fiscal years ended December 29, 1998, December 28, 1999, January 2, 2001, January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2002, of which the financial statements for fiscal 2000, 2001 and 2002 are included elsewhere in this prospectus, and our unaudited consolidated financial statements for the thirty-nine weeks ended October 1, 2002 and September 30, 2003, which are included elsewhere in this prospectus.

The unaudited consolidated financial statements for the thirty-nine weeks ended October 1, 2002 and September 30, 2003 include all adjustments, consisting of normal recurring adjustments, which, in our opinion, are necessary for a fair presentation of the financial position and results of operations for these periods. Operating results for the thirty-nine weeks ended September 30, 2003 are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for the fifty-two week fiscal year ending December 30, 2003, primarily due to the seasonal nature of the business.

The information in the table below is only a summary and should be read together with our audited consolidated financial statements for fiscal 2000, 2001 and 2002 and the related notes, our unaudited consolidated financial statements for the thirty-nine weeks ended September 30, 2003 and October 1, 2002 and the related notes and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” all as included elsewhere in this prospectus. The figures in the table below reflect rounding adjustments.

                                                         
Thirty-nine
Weeks Ended
Fiscal(1)

October 1, September 30,
1998(2) 1999 2000 2001 2002 2002 2003







(In millions, except ratios)
Statement of operations data:
                                                       
Net sales
  $ 283.4     $ 431.5     $ 522.5     $ 543.1     $ 577.2     $ 449.4     $ 484.3  
Net income (loss)(3)
  $ (5.2 )   $ (5.6 )   $ (4.2 )   $ (3.6 )   $ 4.5     $ 6.8     $ 7.0  
Cash flow data:
                                                       
Net cash provided by operating activities
  $ 2.5     $ 16.1     $ 22.7     $ 24.7     $ 38.6     $ 48.0     $ 45.4  
Net cash used in investing activities
  $ (5.3 )   $ (25.4 )   $ (12.9 )   $ (29.3 )   $ (45.0 )   $ (41.1 )   $ (19.8 )
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities
  $ 6.3     $ 12.8     $ (7.3 )   $ 5.0     $ 1.7     $ (11.5 )   $ (8.8 )
Other data:
                                                       
Maintenance capital expenditures(4)
  $ 4.6     $ 4.9     $ 8.3     $ 12.7     $ 31.2     $ 27.8     $ 6.2  
Growth capital expenditures(4)
    14.2       21.4       5.6       16.7       16.4       15.7       13.6  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
Aggregate capital expenditures(4)
  $ 18.8     $ 26.3     $ 13.9     $ 29.4     $ 47.6     $ 43.5     $ 19.8  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
Ratio of earnings to fixed charges(5)
                            1.2       1.45       1.47  
Deficiency in the coverage of earnings to fixed charges(5)
  $ (2.2 )   $ (6.1 )   $ (5.5 )   $ (4.0 )   $     $     $  

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September 30, 2003

Pro Forma
As
Actual Adjustments Adjusted(6)



(In millions)
Balance sheet data(7):
                       
Total current assets
  $ 72.3     $ 17.5     $ 89.8  
Total current liabilities
  $ 81.9     $ (2.1 )   $ 79.8  
Working capital (deficiency)(8)
  $ (9.6 )   $ 19.6     $ 10.0  
Total assets
  $ 306.5     $ 29.9     $ 336.4  
Long-term debt (including current portion)
  $ 214.5     $ (53.9 )   $ 160.7  
Total liabilities
  $ 304.2     $ (54.8 )   $ 249.5  
                                                           
Thirty-nine
Weeks Ended
Fiscal(1)

October 1, September 30,
1998(2) 1999 2000 2001 2002 2002 2003







(In millions)
EBITDA:
                                                       
Net income (loss)(3)
  $ (5.2 )   $ (5.6 )   $ (4.2 )   $ (3.6 )   $ 4.5     $ 6.8     $ 7.0  
Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle, net of taxes(9)
          0.2                                
Extraordinary loss on debt extinguishment, net of taxes(10)
    1.5       0.9                                
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
Income (loss) before extraordinary item and cumulative effect of change in accounting principle
    (3.7 )     (4.5 )     (4.2 )     (3.6 )     4.5       6.8       7.0  
Income tax provision (benefit)
    1.5       (1.5 )     (1.3 )     (0.4 )     (0.2 )     0.5       0.3  
Income (loss) before income taxes
    (2.2 )     (6.1 )     (5.5 )     (4.0 )     4.3       7.3       7.3  
Adjustments:
                                                       
 
Interest expense
    11.3       23.0       26.6       23.4       20.7       15.7       15.0  
 
Depreciation and amortization
    18.2       26.8       26.3       24.5       26.2       19.0       20.3  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
EBITDA(11)
  $ 27.3     $ 43.7     $ 47.4     $ 43.9     $ 51.2     $ 42.0     $ 42.7  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
Unusual item included in EBITDA:
                                                       
 
Return of bankruptcy funds to Service America(12)
                          $ 1.4     $ 1.4        

  (1) We have adopted a 52-53 week period ending on the Tuesday closest to December 31 as our fiscal year. The 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002 fiscal years consisted of 52 weeks, and fiscal year 2000 consisted of 53 weeks.
  (2) We acquired Service America in 1998 and our results of operations for fiscal 1998 include the results of operations for Service America from the acquisition in August 1998.
  (3) In accordance with Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 142, or SFAS 142, effective January 2, 2002, we discontinued the amortization of goodwill and trademarks and identified intangible assets which we believe have indefinite lives. Adjusted net income (loss) to give effect to SFAS 142 would have been $(3.9) million for fiscal 1998, $(3.1) million for fiscal 1999, $(1.8) million for fiscal 2000 and $(1.1) million for fiscal 2001.
 
footnotes continue on next page

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  (4)  The sum of maintenance and growth capital expenditures equals the sum of contract rights acquired, net (purchase of contract rights) and the purchase of property and equipment, net, for the relevant periods as displayed in the statement of cash flow data as follows:
                                                           
Thirty-nine
Weeks Ended
Fiscal(1)

October 1, September 30,
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2002 2003







(In millions)
Statement of cash flow data:
                                                       
 
Contract rights acquired, net (purchase of contract rights)
  $ 6.2     $ 15.9     $ 7.5     $ 21.3     $ 37.7     $ 35.9     $ 13.5  
 
Purchase of property and equipment, net
    12.6       10.4       6.4       8.1       9.9       7.6       6.3  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
Aggregate capital expenditures
  $ 18.8     $ 26.3     $ 13.9     $ 29.4     $ 47.6     $ 43.5     $ 19.8  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
  Maintenance capital expenditures are capital expenditures made to secure renewals of our existing contracts and maintain these contracts following renewal. Growth capital expenditures are those made to secure new contracts and maintain these contracts during their initial term. Accordingly, growth capital expenditures in any given year consist of up-front capital investments in new contracts and additional committed investments in existing contracts that have never previously been renewed. We believe that the identification and separation of maintenance and growth capital expenditures are important factors in evaluating our financial results.
  (5) For purposes of determining the ratio of earnings to fixed charges, earnings are defined as income (loss) before income taxes, extraordinary item and cumulative effect of change in accounting principle plus fixed charges. Fixed charges include interest expense on all indebtedness, amortization of deferred financing costs and one-third of rental expense on operating leases, representing that portion of rental expense deemed to be attributable to interest. Where earnings are inadequate to cover fixed charges, the deficiency is reported.
  (6)  The pro forma as adjusted balance sheet Working Capital Adjustment, as defined in the “Use of Proceeds” section, data have been prepared assuming the closing of this offering, the tender of 100% of VSA’s senior subordinated notes and completion of the bank refinancing, including payment of related fees and expenses. The pro forma as adjusted balance sheet data give effect to those transactions as if they had occurred on September 30, 2003.
  (7)  As described in “Risk Factors” and further described in “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences,” we plan to account for the issuance of the IDSs as representing shares of common stock and subordinated notes. We will deduct the interest expense on the subordinated notes from taxable income for income tax purposes and report the full benefit of the income tax deduction in our consolidated financial statements. We cannot assure you that the Internal Revenue Service will not seek to challenge the treatment of these subordinated notes as debt and the amount of interest expense deducted. If the Internal Revenue Service were to challenge this treatment successfully, we would have to provide an additional liability for the previously recorded benefit for the interest deductions.
  (8)  Working capital represents total current assets less total current liabilities.
  (9)  For fiscal 1999, we adopted the provisions of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Statement of Position 98-5, Reporting on the Costs of Start-up Activities, which requires that costs of start-up activities be expensed as incurred. As a result, we recorded a charge of $0.2 million reflecting the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle, net of taxes.
(10)  For fiscal 1998, a $1.5 million extraordinary loss on debt extinguishment, net of taxes resulted from refinancing our secured credit facility; for fiscal 1999, a $0.9 million extraordinary loss on debt extinguishment resulted from the early retirement of a portion of the secured credit facility, net of taxes.
(11)  EBITDA is not a measure in accordance with GAAP. EBITDA is not intended to represent cash flows from operations as determined by GAAP and should not be used as an alternative to income (loss) before taxes or net income as an indicator of operating performance or to cash flows as a measure of liquidity. We believe that EBITDA is an important measure of the cash returned on our investment in capital expenditures under our contracts.
  “Adjusted EBITDA,” as defined in the indenture governing our subordinated notes, is determined as EBITDA, as adjusted for transaction related expenses, contract related losses, other non-cash charges, and the annual management fee paid to affiliates of Blackstone and GE Capital, less any non-cash credits. We present this discussion of Adjusted EBITDA because covenants in the indenture governing our subordinated notes contain ratios based on this measure. For example, our ability to incur additional debt requires a ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to fixed charges of 2.0 to 1.0, subject to certain exceptions, including our ability to incur an unlimited amount of indebtedness in connection with the issuance of additional IDSs so long as the ratio of the aggregate principal amount of the additional subordinated notes to the number of the additional shares of our common stock will not exceed the equivalent ratio represented by the then existing IDSs.
 
footnotes continue on next page

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  On a historical basis, we made the following adjustments to EBITDA to compute our Adjusted EBITDA:

                                                           
Thirty-nine
Weeks Ended
Fiscal(1)

October 1, September 30,
1998(2) 1999 2000 2001 2002 2002 2003







(In millions, except ratios)
EBITDA
  $ 27.3     $ 43.7     $ 47.4     $ 43.9     $ 51.2     $ 42.0     $ 42.7  
Adjustments:
                                                       
 
Transaction related expenses
    3.1       1.5       1.1             0.6              
 
Contract related losses
    1.4       1.4       2.5       4.8       0.7       0.7       0.6  
 
Non-cash compensation
                0.3       0.1       0.6       0.5       0.1  
 
Management fees paid to affiliates of Blackstone and GE Capital
    0.3       0.4       0.4       0.4       0.4       0.3       0.3  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
Adjusted EBITDA
  $ 32.1     $ 47.1     $ 51.7     $ 49.2     $ 53.5     $ 43.5     $ 43.7  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
Unusual item included in EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA:
                                                       
 
Return of bankruptcy funds to Service America (see note 11 below)
                          $ 1.4     $ 1.4        
Ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to fixed charges
    2.98       2.19       2.06       2.24       2.77       2.98       3.13  

  For an explanation of the adjustments to EBITDA to calculate Adjusted EBITDA, see Footnote (8) to “Selected Historical Financial Information.”
  For purposes of calculating the ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to fixed charges, fixed charges includes interest expense (excluding amortization of deferred financing fees) plus capitalized interest, the earned discount or yield with respect to the sale of receivables and cash dividends on preferred stock. On a pro forma basis, for the thirty-nine week period ended September 30, 2003, our ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to fixed charges under the indenture would have been 3.17 to 1.0.

(12)  During fiscal 2002, Service America received approximately $1.4 million from funds previously set aside to satisfy creditors pursuant to a plan of reorganization approved in 1993.

20


 

Interest and Dividend Payments to IDS Holders

The following table shows our funds available before capital expenditures and dividend payments for the fifty-two week period ended September 30, 2003 on a pro forma as adjusted basis assuming the closing of this offering, and the related transactions contemplated by this prospectus. The table also shows comparable historical data for the fifty-three weeks ended October 2, 2001 and the fifty-two weeks ended October 1, 2002. We have also assumed that all of the existing equity investors have sold their shares of common stock and that all of such shares eligible to be exchanged for subordinated notes have been exchanged for subordinated notes. We have computed our funds available before capital expenditures and dividend payments based on our calculation of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as defined in the indenture governing our subordinated notes. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are not measures in accordance with GAAP and are fully described in “—Summary Consolidated Financial Information” and an explanation of the adjustments to EBITDA to calculate Adjusted EBITDA is included in Footnote (8) to “Selected Historical Financial Information.”

We have presented this data for the fifty-two week period ending at our latest quarter end because the measurement of Adjusted EBITDA, as defined in the indenture governing our subordinated notes, for our debt incurrence test is measured on the basis of our last four fiscal quarters. In addition, we will be paying interest and dividends monthly and we will be testing the restrictions on our dividends under the restricted payments test under the indenture on a quarterly basis and our interest deferral and dividend suspension tests under the new credit facility on a fiscal monthly basis, in each case based on the latest fifty-two or fifty-three week period. The new credit facility restricts us from paying interest on the subordinated notes and dividends on the common stock if we do not meet specified financial levels under our interest coverage ratio, total leverage ratio and senior leverage ratio, and if we do not comply with certain other conditions, as described in detail under “Description of Certain Indebtedness—New Credit Facility.” We will report our funds available before capital expenditures and dividend payments for the applicable fifty-two or fifty-three week periods in each annual and quarterly report that we file with the SEC as long as we are subject to these measures under our debt agreements. The pro forma information in the table below assumes that these transactions occurred on October 2, 2002 and reflects rounding adjustments.

                                               
Fifty-two Weeks Ended September 30, 2003
Fifty-three Weeks Fifty-two Weeks
Ended Ended Pro Forma
October 2, 2001 October 1, 2002 Actual Adjustments As Adjusted





(In millions)
Net cash provided by operating activities
  $ 12.0     $ 46.6     $ 36.0     $ (3.1 )(1)   $ 32.9  
Adjustments to reconcile net cash provided by operating activities to net income:
                                       
 
Depreciation and amortization
    (24.5 )     (25.3 )     (27.5 )             (27.5 )
 
Amortization of deferred financing costs
    (1.4 )     (1.4 )     (1.4 )             (1.4 )
 
Contract related losses
    (4.1 )     (1.3 )     (0.6 )             (0.6 )
 
Non-cash compensation expense
    (0.4 )     (0.5 )     (0.2 )             (0.2 )
 
Deferred tax change
    1.3       0.4       0.2               0.2  
 
Other
    0.4             (0.6 )             (0.6 )
 
Changes in assets and liabilities:
                                       
   
(Decrease) increase in assets:
                                       
     
Accounts and notes receivable
    (2.3 )     (0.2 )     1.7               1.7  
     
Inventories
    2.9       (0.6 )     1.7               1.7  

21


 

                                               
Fifty-two Weeks Ended September 30, 2003
Fifty-three Weeks Fifty-two Weeks
Ended Ended Pro Forma
October 2, 2001 October 1, 2002 Actual Adjustments As Adjusted





(In millions)
     
Prepaid expenses
    (0.8 )     (0.5 )     1.7               1.7  
     
Other assets
    2.6       (0.7 )     4.0               4.0  
   
(Increase) decrease in liabilities:
                                       
     
Accounts payable
    (0.1 )     2.2       (1.7 )             (1.7 )
     
Accrued salaries and vacations
    2.0       (1.9 )     (2.3 )             (2.3 )
     
Liabilities for self-insurance
    (0.3 )     (1.9 )     (2.3 )             (2.3 )
     
Accrued commissions and royalties
    5.5       (8.6 )     (0.6 )             (0.6 )
     
Other liabilities
    2.5       (3.1 )     (3.4 )             (3.4 )
     
     
     
     
     
 
Net income (loss)
  $ (4.7 )   $ 3.2     $ 4.7     $ (3.1 )   $ 1.7  
Income tax (benefit) provision
    (1.4 )     0.1       (0.4 )             (0.4 )
     
     
     
     
     
 
Income (loss) before income taxes
    (6.1 )     3.3       4.3       (3.1 )     1.3  
Additions:
                                       
 
Interest expense on the existing credit facility and VSA’s senior subordinated notes, including deferred financing costs
    24.8       21.0       20.1       (20.1 )      
 
Interest expense on new credit facility(3)
                            5.6       5.6  
 
Interest expense on subordinated notes represented by IDSs
                            16.1       16.1  
 
Income tax expense(5)
                            0.3       0.3  
 
Depreciation and amortization
    24.5       25.3       27.5               27.5  
     
     
     
     
     
 
EBITDA
  $ 43.2     $ 49.7     $ 51.9     $ (1.2 )   $ 50.8  
     
     
     
     
     
 
Additions:
                                       
 
Transaction related expenses
  $ 0.3     $     $ 0.6     $       $ 0.6  
 
Contract related losses
    4.1       1.3       0.6               0.6  
 
Non-cash compensation
    0.4       0.5       0.2               0.2  
 
Management fees paid to affiliates of Blackstone and GE Capital(2)
    0.4       0.4       0.4               0.4  
     
     
     
     
     
 
Adjusted EBITDA as defined in the indenture governing our subordinated notes
  $ 48.4     $ 51.9     $ 53.8     $ (1.2 )   $ 52.6  
     
     
     
     
     
 
Pro Forma Deductions from
Adjusted EBITDA:
                                       
 
Interest expense on new credit facility(3)
                            (5.6 )     (5.6 )
 
Interest expense on subordinated notes represented by IDSs
                            (16.1 )     (16.1 )
 
Income tax expense(5)
                            (0.3 )     (0.3 )
                             
     
 
     
Funds available before capital expenditures and dividend payments
                                  $ 30.6  
                                     
 

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(1)  Consists of the difference between (X) the sum of (a) $5.6 million of interest expense on the new credit facility, (b) $16.1 million of interest expense on subordinated notes represented by IDSs, (c) $1.2 million of additional public company administrative expenses, and (d) $0.3 million of income tax expense, and (Y) $20.1 million of interest expense on the existing credit facility and VSA’s senior subordinated notes, including deferred financing costs.
(2)  Management fees to Blackstone and GE Capital are paid quarterly in arrears. These fees will cease upon the closing of this offering.
(3)  Assumes 7.4% fixed rate interest on $65.0 million of outstanding borrowings under the term facility, a letter of credit fee on a portion of the revolving credit facility reserved for the letters of credit, 4.6% interest for drawings under the revolving credit facility, 0.5% fee for unused amounts of the revolving credit facility and interest income of 1.0% related to certain cash balances.
(4)  Consist primarily of director and officer liability insurance, directors’ fees, additional audit and legal fees, expenses relating to the annual stockholders’ meeting, printing expenses, investor relations expenses, additional filing fees, additional trustee fees, registrar and transfer agent fees, directors’ fees, additional legal fees, listing fees and miscellaneous fees.
(5)  Consists of federal and state taxes resulting from the capitalization of our company after this offering.

Under the dividend policy our board of directors is expected to adopt upon the closing of this offering, we would have used the funds available before capital expenditures and dividend payments shown in the above table as follows:

         
Average maintenance capital expenditures (fiscal 1998-fiscal 2002)
  $ 13.0  
Dividends on shares of common stock
    16.6  
     
 
Remaining funds
  $ 1.0  
     
 

In the above table, we have used our average maintenance capital expenditures from fiscal 1998 to fiscal 2002 because our actual maintenance capital expenditures for fiscal 2002 of $31.2 million were unusually high due to the capital we used to renew several long-term contracts with some of our largest clients. Our maintenance capital expenditures for the thirty-nine week period ended September 30, 2003 were $6.2 million and we expect total maintenance capital expenditures for the fiscal year ending December 30, 2003 to be $11.9 million. We have also assumed that we would have funded growth capital expenditures of $16.8 through borrowings under the revolving line of credit of the new credit facility. During the twelve-month period ended September 30, 2003, we funded these growth capital expenditures through a combination of borrowings under the revolving line of credit of the existing credit facility and cash flows from operating activities.

Based on the foregoing, aggregate payments to IDS holders during the twelve-month period ended September 30, 2003 would have been as follows:

                 
Aggregate Per IDS


Interest on subordinated notes represented by IDSs(1)
  $ 16.1     $ 0.77  
Dividends on shares of common stock represented by IDSs(2)
    16.6       0.79  
     
     
 
    $ 32.7     $ 1.56  
     
     
 

(1) We will be required to defer interest payments on our subordinated notes under specified circumstances and subject to the limitations described in “Description of Subordinated Notes— Terms of the Notes— Interest Deferral.” Deferred interest on our subordinated notes will bear interest at an annual rate equal to the stated rate of interest on the notes.
 
(2) Dividends are payable if and to the extent they are declared by our board of directors and permitted by applicable law and the terms of our then existing indebtedness. The indenture governing our subordinated notes restricts our ability to declare and pay dividends on our common stock as described under “Dividend Policy.” In addition, the new credit facility restricts our ability to declare and pay dividends on our common stock as described under “Dividend Policy” and “Description of Certain Indebtedness— New Credit Facility— Suspension of Dividend Payments.”

23


 

Risk Factors

An investment in the IDSs and the shares of our common stock and our subordinated notes represented by the IDSs involves a number of risks. In addition to the other information contained in this prospectus, prospective investors should give careful consideration to the following factors.

Risks Relating to the IDSs and the Shares of Common Stock and Subordinated Notes Represented by the IDSs

We have substantial indebtedness, which could restrict our ability to pay interest and principal on the subordinated notes and to pay dividends with respect to shares of our common stock represented by the IDSs and impact our financing options and liquidity position.

Our ability to make distributions, pay dividends or make other payments will be subject to applicable law and contractual restrictions contained in the instruments governing any indebtedness of ours and our subsidiaries, including the new credit facility which we guarantee on a senior secured basis. The degree to which we are leveraged on a consolidated basis could have important consequences to the holders of the IDSs, including:

  •   our ability in the future to obtain additional financing for working capital, capital expenditures or acquisitions may be limited;
 
  •   we may not be able to refinance our indebtedness on terms acceptable to us or at all;
 
  •   a significant portion of our cash flow from operations is likely to be dedicated to the payment of the principal of and interest on our indebtedness, thereby reducing funds available for future operations, capital expenditures and/or dividends on our common stock; and
 
  •   we may be more vulnerable to economic downturns and be limited in our ability to withstand competitive pressures.

While our new credit facility will contain total leverage, senior leverage and cash interest coverage maintenance covenants that will restrict our ability to incur debt as described under “Description of Certain Indebtedness—New Credit Facility,” the indenture governing the subordinated notes allows us to issue the following amounts of additional subordinated notes identical to the subordinated notes offered hereby (other than issuance date):

  •   up to $23.9 million aggregate principal amount of subordinated notes that we may issue in an automatic exchange with any purchasers of the common stock from our existing investors such that after all such sales and automatic exchanges, a maximum of 4,196,363 additional IDSs will be outstanding; and
 
  •   an unlimited amount of subordinated notes so long as we issue additional shares of common stock in the appropriate proportionate amounts to represent additional IDSs.

We may amend the terms of our new credit facility, or we may enter into new agreements that govern our senior indebtedness, and the amended or new terms may significantly affect our ability to pay interest and dividends to IDS holders.

Our new credit facility contains significant restrictions on our ability to pay interest on the subordinated notes and dividends on the shares of common stock based on meeting our interest coverage ratio, total leverage ratio and senior leverage ratio, and compliance with other conditions (including timely delivery of applicable financial statements), as described in detail under “Description of Certain Indebtedness—New Credit Facility—Subordinated Note Interest Deferral” and “—Suspension of Dividend Payments.” As a result of general economic conditions, conditions in the lending markets, the results of our business or for any other reason, we may elect or be required to amend or refinance our new credit facility, at or prior to maturity, or enter into additional agreements for senior indebtedness. Regardless of any protection you

24


 

have in the indenture governing the subordinated notes, any such amendment, refinancing or additional agreement may contain covenants which could limit in a significant manner our ability to pay interest payments and dividends to you.

We are subject to restrictive debt covenants and other requirements related to our outstanding debt that limit our business flexibility by imposing operating and financial restrictions on our operations.

The agreements governing our indebtedness impose significant operating and financial restrictions on us. These restrictions prohibit or limit, among other things:

  •   the incurrence of additional indebtedness and the issuance of preferred stock and certain redeemable capital stock;
 
  •   the payment of dividends on, and purchase or redemption of, capital stock;
 
  •   a number of other restricted payments, including investments;
 
  •   specified sales of assets:
 
  •   specified transactions with affiliates;
 
  •   the creation of a number of liens; and
 
  •   consolidations, mergers and transfers of all or substantially all of our assets.

The terms of the new credit facility include other and more restrictive covenants and prohibit us from prepaying our other indebtedness, including the subordinated notes, while indebtedness under the new credit facility is outstanding. The new credit facility also requires us to maintain specified financial ratios and satisfy financial condition tests, including, without limitation, the following: a maximum net leverage ratio, a minimum interest coverage ratio and a maximum net senior leverage ratio. Finally, the new credit facility requires us to maintain two cash collateral accounts, which means that we will not be allowed to use the minimum required cash balance amounts in operating our business and we may be restricted in the use of amounts in excess of the minimum required balances in operating our business.

Our ability to comply with the ratios or tests may be affected by events beyond our control, including prevailing economic, financial and industry conditions. A breach of any of these covenants, ratios or tests could result in a default under the new credit facility and/or the indenture. Certain events of default under the new credit facility would prohibit us from making payments on the subordinated notes, including payment of interest when due. In addition, upon the occurrence of an event of default under the new credit facility, the lenders could elect to declare all amounts outstanding under the new credit facility, together with accrued interest, to be immediately due and payable. If we were unable to repay those amounts, the lenders could proceed against the security granted to them to secure that indebtedness. If the lenders accelerate the payment of the indebtedness, our assets may not be sufficient to repay in full this indebtedness and our other indebtedness, including the subordinated notes.

We are a holding company and rely on dividends, interest and other payments, advances and transfers of funds from our subsidiaries to meet our debt service and other obligations.

We are a holding company and conduct all of our operations through our subsidiaries and currently have no significant assets other than the capital stock of VSA and intercompany debt owed by VSA, all of which will be pledged to the creditors under the new credit facility which we guarantee. As a result, we will rely on dividends and other payments or distributions from our subsidiaries to meet our debt service obligations and enable us to pay dividends. The ability of our subsidiaries to pay dividends or make other payments or distributions to us will depend on their respective operating results and may be restricted by, among other things, the laws of their jurisdiction of organization (which may limit the amount of funds available for the payment of dividends), agreements of those subsidiaries, the terms of the new credit facility and the covenants of any future outstanding indebtedness we or our subsidiaries incur.

25


 

If we are required to defer interest at any time prior to December 18, 2008, you may not be paid any deferred interest until December 18, 2008, and if we are required to defer interest at any time after December 18, 2008, and before December      , 2013, you may not be paid all of the deferred interest owed to you until December      , 2013.

Our new credit facility and the indenture governing our subordinated notes contain restrictions on our ability to pay interest, subject to certain limitations. During the first five years that the subordinated notes are outstanding, we may defer interest for up to 24 months in the aggregate. During the period from December 20, 2008, through December      , 2013, interest payments may be deferred for no more than 10 interest payment dates in the aggregate at any time. Deferred interest will bear interest at the same rate as the subordinated notes. For any interest deferred during the first five years, we are not obligated to pay any deferred interest until December 18, 2008, so you may be owed a substantial amount of deferred interest that will not be due and payable until such date. For any interest deferred after December 18, 2008, we are not obligated to pay all of the deferred interest until December      , 2013, so you may be owed a substantial amount of deferred interest that will not be due and payable until such date.

You may not receive the level of dividends provided for in the dividend policy our board of directors is expected to adopt upon the closing of this offering or any dividends at all.

Our board of directors may, in its discretion, amend or repeal the dividend policy it is expected to adopt upon the closing of this offering. Our board of directors may decrease the level of dividends provided for in this dividend policy or entirely discontinue the payment of dividends. Future dividends with respect to shares of our capital stock, if any, will depend on, among other things, our results of operations, cash requirements, financial condition, contractual restrictions, business opportunities, provisions of applicable law and other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant. The indenture governing our subordinated notes and the new credit facility contain significant restrictions on our ability to make dividend payments, including, if we have been required to defer interest on the subordinated notes under the new credit facility or the indenture, restrictions on the payment of dividends until we have paid all deferred interest.

In addition, our after-tax cash flow available for dividend and interest payments would be reduced if the subordinated notes were treated as equity rather than debt for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In that event, the stated interest on the subordinated notes could be treated as a dividend, and interest on the subordinated notes would not be deductible by us for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Our inability to deduct interest on the subordinated notes could materially increase our taxable income and, thus, our U.S. federal and applicable state income tax liability.

You will be immediately diluted by $13.48 per share of common stock if you purchase IDSs in this offering.

If you purchase IDSs in this offering, you will experience an immediate dilution of $13.48 per share of common stock represented by the IDSs which exceeds the entire price allocated to each share of common stock represented by the IDSs in this offering because there will be a net tangible book deficit for each share of common stock outstanding immediately after this offering. Our net tangible book deficiency as of September 30, 2003, after giving effect to this offering, was approximately $98.5 million, or $4.18 per share of common stock.

Our interest expense may increase significantly and could cause our net income and distributable cash to decline significantly.

The new credit facility will be subject to periodic renewal or must otherwise be refinanced. We may not be able to renew or refinance the new credit facility, or if renewed or refinanced, the renewal or refinancing may occur on less favorable terms. Borrowings under the revolving facility will be made at a floating rate

26


 

of interest. In the event of an increase in the base reference interest rates, our interest expense will increase and could have a material adverse effect on our ability to make cash dividend payments to our stockholders. Our ability to continue to expand our business will, to a large extent, be dependent upon our ability to borrow funds under our new credit facility and to obtain other third-party financing, including through the sale of IDSs or any sale of securities. We cannot assure you that such financing will be available to us on favorable terms or at all. We do not believe that we will experience the levels of growth we have achieved in the past.

We may not generate sufficient funds from operations to pay our indebtedness at maturity or upon the exercise by holders of their rights upon a change of control.

A significant portion of our cash flow from operations will be dedicated to maintaining our client base and servicing our debt requirements. In addition, we currently expect to distribute a significant portion of any remaining cash earnings to our stockholders in the form of monthly dividends. Moreover, prior to the maturity of our subordinated notes, we will not be required to make any payments of principal on our subordinated notes. We may not generate sufficient funds from operations to repay the principal amount of our indebtedness at maturity or in case you exercise your right to require us to purchase your notes upon a change of control. We may therefore need to refinance our debt or raise additional capital. These alternatives may not be available to us when needed or on satisfactory terms due to prevailing market conditions, a decline in our business or restrictions contained in our senior debt obligations.

The indenture governing our subordinated notes and our new credit facility permit us to pay a significant portion of our free cash flow to stockholders in the form of dividends.

Although the indenture governing our subordinated notes and our new credit facility have some limitations on our payment of dividends, they permit us to pay a significant portion of our free cash flow to stockholders in the form of dividends and, following completion of this offering, we intend to pay monthly dividends. Specifically, the indenture governing our subordinated notes permits us to pay up to the quarterly base dividend level in any fiscal quarter, which equals 85% of our excess cash (which is Adjusted EBITDA, as defined in the indenture, minus the sum of cash interest expense and cash income tax expense) for the 12 fiscal month period divided by four, as more fully described in “Description of Subordinated Notes— Certain Covenants.” In addition, if the actual dividends paid in any fiscal quarter are less than the quarterly base dividend level, the indenture permits us to use 50% of the difference between the aggregate amount of dividends actually paid and the quarterly base dividend level for such quarter for the payment of dividends at a later date. The new credit facility permits us to use up to 100% of the distributable cash, as defined in the new credit facility and described in detail in “Description of Certain Indebtedness— New Credit Facility,” plus certain other amounts under certain limited circumstances to fund dividends on our shares of common stock. Any amounts paid by us in the form of dividends will not be available in the future to satisfy our obligations under the subordinated notes.

Because we will use a significant portion of the proceeds of this offering to purchase shares of common stock from our existing equity investors, we will have only the remaining portion of the proceeds of this offering to repay our existing debt and for corporate purposes and will have to incur more debt.

We will use a significant portion of the net proceeds from this offering to purchase shares of common stock from our existing equity investors. The table set forth below details the aggregate net proceeds to us from this offering (excluding borrowings under our new credit facility and cash on hand), the amount of the net proceeds that will be used to purchase shares of our common stock from our existing equity investors and the net proceeds remaining after such purchase, assuming no exercise of the over-allotment option and full exercise of the over-allotment option. The net proceeds remaining after the purchase do not give effect to the other uses of the net proceeds of this offering detailed in “Use of Proceeds.”

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Amount of Net
Proceeds to Purchase
Common Stock Net Proceeds
Aggregate Net from Existing Remaining After
Proceeds to Us Equity Investors Purchase



(In millions)
No exercise of over-allotment option
  $ 236.7     $ 47.1     $ 189.6  
Full exercise of over-allotment option
  $ 260.3     $ 70.2     $ 190.1  

As a result of these purchases from our existing equity investors, the amount of net proceeds available to us will be less than if we had not undertaken these purchases (but your voting and economic interest in us would be less without these purchases). Therefore, we will not have these funds available to us to repay our existing debt, and will therefore have to borrow more under our new credit facility to repay the existing credit facility than we would have had we not undertaken these purchases, or to fund our operations or to continue to expand our business.

The realizable value of our assets upon liquidation may be insufficient to satisfy claims.

At September 30, 2003, our assets included intangible assets in the amount of $173.1 million, representing approximately 56.5% of our total consolidated assets and consisting primarily of contract rights. The value of these intangible assets will continue to depend significantly upon the success of our business as a going concern and the remaining terms of our contracts. Some of our larger contracts contain change of control provisions, which may diminish the realizable value of the contracts. As a result, in the event of a default on our subordinated notes or any bankruptcy or dissolution of our company, the realizable value of these assets may be substantially lower and may be insufficient to satisfy the claims of our creditors.

Deferral of interest payments would have adverse tax consequences for you and may adversely affect the trading price of the subordinated notes.

If interest payments on the subordinated notes are deferred, you will be required to recognize interest income for U.S. federal income tax purposes in respect of interest payments on the subordinated notes represented by the IDSs or the subordinated notes, as the case may be, held by you before you receive any cash payment of this interest. In addition, we will not pay you this cash if you sell the IDSs or the subordinated notes, as the case may be, before the end of any deferral period or before the record date relating to interest payments that are to be paid.

If interest is deferred, the IDSs or the subordinated notes may trade at a price that does not fully reflect the value of accrued but unpaid interest on the subordinated notes. In addition, the requirement that we defer payments of interest on the subordinated notes under certain circumstances may mean that the market price for the IDSs or the subordinated notes may be more volatile than other securities that do not have this requirement.

Because of the subordinated nature of the notes, holders of our subordinated notes may not be entitled to be paid in full, if at all, in a bankruptcy, liquidation or reorganization or similar proceeding.

As a result of the subordinated nature of our notes and related guarantees, upon any distribution to our creditors or the creditors of the subsidiary guarantors in bankruptcy, liquidation or reorganization or similar proceeding relating to us or the subsidiary guarantors or our or their property, the holders of our senior indebtedness and senior indebtedness of the subsidiary guarantors will be entitled to be paid in full in cash before any payment may be made with respect to our subordinated notes or the subsidiary guarantees.

In addition, the principal amount of the subordinated notes will not be due and payable from us or the subsidiary guarantors without the prior written consent of the holders of our senior indebtedness for a period of up to 179 days from the date of the occurrence of certain events of default with respect to our subordinated notes.

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In the event of a bankruptcy, liquidation or reorganization or similar proceeding relating to us or the subsidiary guarantors, holders of our subordinated notes will participate with all other holders of unsecured indebtedness of ours or the subsidiary guarantors similarly subordinated in the assets remaining after we and the subsidiary guarantors have paid all senior indebtedness. In any of these cases, we and the subsidiary guarantors may not have sufficient funds to pay all of our creditors, and holders of our subordinated notes may receive less, ratably, than the holders of senior indebtedness.

On a pro forma basis as of September 30, 2003, our subordinated notes and the subsidiary guarantees would have ranked junior, on a consolidated basis, to $65.0 million of outstanding senior secured indebtedness plus approximately $20.0 million of letters of credit and the subsidiary guarantees would have ranked junior to no senior unsecured debt and pari passu with approximately $21.3 million of outstanding indebtedness of ours and the subsidiary guarantors. In addition, as of September 30, 2003, on a pro forma basis, VSA would have had the ability to borrow up to an additional amount of $50.0 million under the new credit facility (less amounts reserved for letters of credit), which would have ranked senior in right of payment to our subordinated notes.

Holders of our subordinated notes will be structurally subordinated to the debt of our non-guarantor subsidiaries.

Our present and future foreign subsidiaries and partially owned domestic subsidiaries will not be guarantors of our subordinated notes. As a result, no payments are required to be made to us from the assets of these subsidiaries.

In the event of bankruptcy, liquidation or reorganization of any of the non-guarantor subsidiaries, holders of their indebtedness, including their trade creditors, would generally be entitled to payment of their claims from the assets of those subsidiaries before any assets are made available for distribution to us for payment to you. As a result, our subordinated notes are effectively subordinated to the indebtedness of the non-guarantor subsidiaries.

As of September 30, 2003, our non-guarantor subsidiaries had total assets that accounted for 2.4% of our assets on a consolidated basis and total liabilities, excluding liabilities owed to us, of $2.9 million. For and as of the end of fiscal 2002, our non-guarantor subsidiaries had net sales of $30.0 million, assets of $6.4 million and liabilities of $8.7 million.

The guarantees of the subordinated notes by our subsidiaries may not be enforceable.

Under federal bankruptcy law and comparable provisions of state fraudulent transfer laws, a guarantee could be voided, or claims in respect of a guarantee could be subordinated to all other debt of the guarantor, if, among other things, the guarantor, at the time that it assumed the guarantee:

  •   issued the guarantee to delay, hinder or defraud present or future creditors; or
 
  •   received less than reasonably equivalent value or fair consideration for issuing the guarantee and, at the time it issued the guarantee:

  •   was insolvent or rendered insolvent by reason of issuing the guarantee and the application of the proceeds of the guarantee;
 
  •   was engaged or about to engage in a business or a transaction for which the guarantor’s remaining unencumbered assets constituted unreasonably small capital to carry on its business;
 
  •   intended to incur, or believed that it would incur, debts beyond its ability to pay the debts as they mature; or
 
  •   was a defendant in an action for money damages, or had a judgment for money damages docketed against it if, in either case, after final judgment, the judgment is unsatisfied.

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In addition, any payment by the guarantor under its guarantee could be voided and required to be returned to the guarantor or to a fund for the benefit of the creditors of the guarantor or the guarantee could be subordinated to other debt of the guarantor.

The measures of insolvency for the purposes of fraudulent transfer laws vary depending upon the law applied in any proceeding to determine whether a fraudulent transfer has occurred. Generally, however, a person would be considered insolvent if, at the time it incurred the debt:

  •   the sum of its debts, including contingent liabilities, was greater than the fair saleable value of its assets;
 
  •   the present fair saleable value of its assets was less than the amount that would be required to pay its probable liability on its existing debts, including contingent liabilities, as they become absolute and mature; or
 
  •   it could not pay its debts as they become due.

We believe that immediately after the issuance of the subordinated notes and the guarantees, we and each of the guarantors will be solvent, will have sufficient capital to carry on our respective businesses and will be able to pay our respective debts as they mature. However, we cannot be sure as to what standard a court would apply in making these determinations or that a court would reach the same conclusions with regard to these issues. Regardless of the standard that the court uses, we cannot be sure that the issuance by the subsidiary guarantors of the subsidiary guarantees would not be voided or the subsidiary guarantees would not be subordinated to their other debt.

The guarantee of our subordinated notes by any subsidiary guarantor could be subject to the claim that, since the guarantee was incurred for the benefit of VSAH, and only indirectly for the benefit of the subsidiary guarantor, the obligations of the subsidiary guarantor were incurred for less than fair consideration. If such a claim were successful a court could void the obligations of the subsidiary guarantor under the guarantee or subordinate these obligations to the subsidiary guarantor’s other debt or take action detrimental to holders of the subordinated notes. If the guarantee of any subsidiary guarantor were voided, our subordinated notes would be effectively subordinated to the indebtedness of that subsidiary guarantor.

Seasonality and variability of our businesses may cause volatility in the market value of your investment and may hinder our ability to make timely distributions on the IDSs.

Our business is seasonal in nature, and our net sales and operating results vary significantly from quarter to quarter. This variability results from several factors, including:

  •   seasonality of sporting and other events;
 
  •   unpredictability in the number, timing and type of new contracts;
 
  •   timing of contract expirations and special events; and
 
  •   level of attendance at facilities which we serve.

Consequently, results of operations for any particular quarter may not be indicative of results of operations for future periods, which makes it difficult to forecast our results for an entire year. This variability may cause volatility in the market price of the IDSs.

In addition, the seasonality and variability of our business means that at certain times of the year our cash receipts are significantly higher than at other times. Given that we are required to make equal monthly interest payments and expect to pay equal monthly dividends to IDS holders throughout the year, there is a risk that we will experience cash shortages, which could hinder our ability to make timely distributions to IDS holders.

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The U.S. federal income tax consequences of the purchase, ownership and disposition of IDSs are unclear.

No statutory, judicial or administrative authority directly addresses the treatment of the IDSs or instruments similar to the IDSs for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As a result, the U.S. federal income tax consequences of the purchase, ownership and disposition of IDSs are unclear. We intend to treat an IDS as a unit representing a share of common stock and subordinated notes. However, the Internal Revenue Service or the courts may take the position that the subordinated notes are equity, which could adversely affect the amount, timing and character of income, gain or loss in respect of your investment in IDSs, and materially increase our taxable income and, thus, our U.S. federal and applicable state income tax liability. This would reduce our after-tax cash flow and materially and adversely impact our ability to make interest and dividend payments on the subordinated notes and the common stock. Foreign holders could be subject to withholding or estate taxes with regard to the subordinated notes in the same manner as they will be with regard to the common stock. Payments to foreign holders would not be grossed-up for any such taxes. For discussion of these tax related risks, see “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences.”

The allocation of the purchase price of the IDSs may not be respected.

The purchase price of each IDS must be allocated between the share of common stock and subordinated notes in proportion to their respective fair market values at the time of purchase. If our allocation is not respected, it is possible that the subordinated notes will be treated as having been issued with original issue discount (if the allocation to the subordinated notes were determined to be too high) or amortizable bond premium (if the allocation to the subordinated notes were determined to be too low). You generally would have to include original issue discount in income in advance of the receipt of cash attributable to that income and would be able to elect to amortize bond premium over the term of the subordinated notes.

The Internal Revenue Service may not view the interest rate on the subordinated notes as an arm’s length rate.

We plan to deduct the interest expense on the subordinated notes from taxable income for income tax purposes and to report the full benefit of the income tax deductions in our consolidated financial statements. If the Internal Revenue Service were to determine that the interest rate on the subordinated notes did not represent an arm’s length rate, any excess amount over arm’s length would not be deductible and could be recharacterized as a dividend payment instead of an interest payment. In addition, the reclassification of interest payments as dividend payments may give rise to an event of default under our new credit facility. In such case, our taxable income and, thus, our U.S. federal income tax liability could be materially increased and we would have to provide an additional liability in our consolidated financial statements for the previously recorded benefit for the interest deductions. In addition, foreign holders could be subject to withholding or estate taxes with regard to the subordinated notes in the same manner as they will be with regard to the common stock. If the interest rate were determined to be less than the arm’s length rate, the subordinated notes could be treated as issued with original issue discount, which you would be required to include in income over the term of the subordinated notes in advance of the receipt of cash attributable to that income.

Because of the deferral of interest provisions, the notes may be treated as issued with original issue discount.

Under applicable Treasury regulations, a “remote” contingency that stated interest will not be timely paid will be ignored in determining whether a debt instrument is issued with original issue discount. We believe that the likelihood of deferral of interest payments on the subordinated notes is remote and that the subordinated notes will therefore not be considered issued with original issue discount at the time of their original issuance. However, the matter is not free from doubt because of the lack of direct authority. If deferral of any payment of interest were determined not to be “remote,” the subordinated notes would be

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treated as issued with original issue discount at the time of issuance. In such case, all stated interest on the subordinated notes would be treated as original issue discount, and all holders, regardless of their method of tax accounting, would be required to include stated interest in income on a constant accrual basis.

Subsequent issuances of subordinated notes may adversely affect your tax treatment.

The indenture governing our subordinated notes will provide that, in the event there is a subsequent issuance of subordinated notes with a new CUSIP number having terms that are otherwise identical (other than issuance date) to the subordinated notes represented by the IDSs, each holder of IDSs or separately held subordinated notes, as the case may be, agrees that a portion of such holder’s subordinated notes will be exchanged for a portion of the subordinated notes acquired by the holders of such subsequently issued subordinated notes. Consequently, immediately following such subsequent issuance, each holder of subsequently issued subordinated notes, held either as part of IDSs or separately, and each holder of existing subordinated notes, held either as part of IDSs or separately, will own an inseparable unit composed of a proportionate percentage of both the old subordinated notes and the newly issued subordinated notes. Therefore, subsequent issuances of subordinated notes with original issue discount pursuant to an IDS offering by us or following an automatic exchange with purchasers of our common stock from the existing equity investors may adversely affect your tax treatment by increasing the original issue discount, if any, that you were previously accruing with respect to the subordinated notes represented by your IDSs. However, because a subsequent issuance will affect the subordinated notes in the same manner, regardless of whether these subordinated notes are held as part of IDSs or separately, the combination of subordinated notes and shares of common stock to form IDSs, or the separation of IDSs, should not affect your tax treatment. Because any newly issued subordinated notes may be issued with original issue discount in amounts different from the subordinated notes represented by the already existing IDSs, the Internal Revenue Service may assert that you have exchanged a portion of your subordinated notes, whether held as part of IDSs or separately, for the newly issued subordinated notes in a taxable exchange for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In such case, however, you would generally not be expected to realize any gain on the deemed exchange, and any loss realized would likely be disallowed. We intend to take the position that subsequent issuances will not result in a taxable exchange of your subordinated notes for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

Following any subsequent issuance of subordinated notes with original issue discount, we (and our agents) will report any original issue discount on the subsequently issued notes ratably among all holders of IDSs and separately held subordinated notes, and each holder of IDSs and separately held subordinated notes will, by purchasing IDSs, agree to report original issue discount in a manner consistent with this approach. However, there can be no assurance that the Internal Revenue Service will not assert that any original issue discount should be reported only to the persons that initially acquired such subsequently issued notes (and their transferees). In such case, the Internal Revenue Service might further assert that, unless a holder can establish that it is not a person that initially acquired such subsequently issued subordinated notes (or a transferee thereof), all of the subordinated notes held by such holder have original issue discount. Any of these assertions by the Internal Revenue Service could create significant uncertainties in the pricing of IDSs and subordinated notes and could adversely affect the market for IDSs and subordinated notes.

For a discussion of these tax related risks, see “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences.”

Under New York and federal bankruptcy law, holders of subsequently issued subordinated notes having original issue discount may not be able to collect the portion of their principal face amount that represents unamortized original issue discount as at the acceleration or filing date in the event of an acceleration of the subordinated notes or a bankruptcy of VSAH prior to the maturity date of the subordinated notes. As a result, an automatic exchange that results in a holder receiving a subordinated note with original issue discount could have the effect of ultimately reducing the amount such holder can recover from us in the event of an acceleration or bankruptcy.

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Before this offering, there has not been a public market for our IDSs, shares of our common stock or subordinated notes. The price of the IDSs may fluctuate substantially, which could negatively affect IDS holders.

None of the IDSs, the shares of our common stock or subordinated notes has a public market history. In addition, there has not been an active market in the United States or in Canada for securities similar to the IDSs. We cannot assure you that an active trading market for the IDSs will develop in the future, and we currently do not expect that an active trading market for the shares of our common stock will develop until the subordinated notes are redeemed or mature. If the subordinated notes represented by your IDSs are redeemed or mature, the IDSs will automatically separate and you will then hold the shares of our common stock. We do not intend to list our subordinated notes on any securities exchange.

The initial public offering price of the IDSs will be determined by negotiations among us, the existing equity investors and the representatives of the underwriters and may not be indicative of the market price of the IDSs after the offering. Factors such as quarterly variations in our financial results, announcements by us or others, developments affecting us, our clients and our suppliers, general interest rate levels and general market volatility could cause the market price of the IDSs to fluctuate significantly.

Future sales or the possibility of future sales of a substantial amount of IDSs, shares of our common stock or our subordinated notes may depress the price of the IDSs and the shares of our common stock and our subordinated notes.

Future sales or the availability for sale of substantial amounts of IDSs or shares of our common stock or a significant principal amount of our subordinated notes in the public market could adversely affect the prevailing market price of the IDSs and the shares of our common stock and our subordinated notes and could impair our ability to raise capital through future sales of our securities.

Our existing equity investors will own 28.7% of the voting power of our outstanding shares of our common stock or 18.0% if the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option in full. A portion of these shares of common stock may automatically be exchanged for subordinated notes upon sale by the existing equity investors, which, together with the remaining shares of common stock, could be sold as IDSs pursuant to an underwritten or other registered offering under a registration rights agreement with us. Such sales could cause a decline in the market price of the IDSs.

We may issue shares of our common stock and subordinated notes, which may be in the form of IDSs, or other securities from time to time as consideration for future acquisitions and investments. In the event any such acquisition or investment is significant, the number of shares of our common stock and the aggregate principal amount of subordinated notes, which may be in the form of IDSs, or the number or aggregate principal amount, as the case may be, of other securities that we may issue may in turn be significant. In addition, we may also grant registration rights covering those IDSs, shares of our common stock, subordinated notes or other securities in connection with any such acquisitions and investments.

Our restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated by-laws and several other factors could limit another party’s ability to acquire us and deprive our investors of the opportunity to obtain a takeover premium for their securities.

A number of provisions in our restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated by-laws will make it difficult for another company to acquire us and for you to receive any related takeover premium for your securities. For example, our restated certificate of incorporation provides that stockholders generally may not act by written consent and only stockholders representing at least 25% in voting power may request that our board of directors call a special meeting. In addition, our ability to merge or consolidate with any other person or, directly or indirectly, sell all or substantially all our assets is subject to the approval of a supermajority of our directors. Our restated certificate of incorporation provides for a

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classified board of directors and authorizes the issuance of preferred stock without stockholder approval and upon such terms as the board of directors may determine. The rights of the holders of shares of our common stock will be subject to, and may be adversely affected by, the rights of holders of any class or series of preferred stock that may be issued in the future.

Risks Relating to our Business and the Industry

If attendance or the number of events held at our clients’ facilities decreases, our net sales and cash flow may significantly decline.

A decline in the number of events held, the level of attendance at these events or the amount spent by each attendee at client facilities may cause a significant decline in our net sales and cash flow. We rely on our clients to schedule popular events at their facilities and to maximize attendance at these events. The level of attendance and number of events held at client facilities are affected by several factors, most of which are not within our control and are extremely difficult to predict, including the following:

  •   maintenance and physical condition of the facility;
 
  •   poor performance by the sports teams using the facility;
 
  •   relocation or loss of a major sports team using a facility;
 
  •   ticket prices;
 
  •   changing consumer preferences for leisure time activities;
 
  •   inclement weather;
 
  •   power outages such as the regional blackout in August 2003;
 
  •   scheduling of conventions, meetings and large catered events;
 
  •   construction of attractive alternative arenas, stadiums, convention centers or other venues or facilities;
 
  •   labor stoppages; and
 
  •   weaker economic conditions.

Labor stoppages in professional sports can cause a significant decline in our net sales and cash flow, especially in MLB which accounts for a significant portion of our net sales and a majority of our cash flow generated by contracts for sports facilities. For example, the labor stoppage which disrupted the 1995 MLB season caused a material decline in our net sales and cash flow. Had it not been averted, a MLB strike in the 2002 season would likely have had a similar negative effect on our financial performance for the period of the strike.

Furthermore, weak economic conditions in North America have caused event sponsors and people attending events held at convention center facilities, including those at which we operate, to cancel, reduce or postpone their use of the facilities and/or have caused attendees at these facilities to reduce spending on discretionary purchases, such as the products which we sell. As a result, these weak economic conditions have adversely affected our net sales and cash flow.

The pricing and termination provisions of our contracts may constrain our ability to recover costs and to make a profit on our contracts.

The amount of risk that we bear and our profit potential vary depending on the type of contract under which we provide our services. Under profit and loss and profit sharing contracts, which together account for substantially all our net sales and cash flow, we bear all of the expenses of providing our services and we bear all of the risk that net sales will be adequate to support our operations. In addition, some profit and loss and profit sharing contracts contain minimum guaranteed commissions or equivalent payments to the client, regardless of the level of net sales at the facility or whether a profit is generated. If net sales do not exceed costs under a contract, including guaranteed commissions, we will experience losses. Beginning

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in fiscal 2003, we expect that the profitability of our contract with our largest client will decline as a result of higher commission rates which we agreed to in connection with a renewal of the contract.

Under many of our contracts, we are obliged to comply with the instructions of our clients in determining which products are sold at individual facilities, and most of our contracts limit our ability to raise prices on the food, beverages and merchandise sold within a particular facility without the client’s consent. The refusal by clients to permit the sale of some products at their facilities, or the imposition by clients of maximum prices which are not economically feasible for us, could materially adversely affect our results of operations.

In addition, some of our contracts contain provisions allowing our clients to terminate the contract without cause or with little or no notice, exclude specified events or products from the scope of the contract or modify the terms under which we may operate at specified events. If clients exercise these rights, our net sales may decline significantly and our results of operations could be adversely affected.

We have a history of losses and may experience losses in the future.

We have incurred significant losses in the past and we may incur losses in the future. We incurred net losses of:

  •   $5.2 million in fiscal 1998;
 
  •   $5.6 million in fiscal 1999;
 
  •   $4.2 million in fiscal 2000; and
 
  •   $3.6 million in fiscal 2001.

We may not achieve profitability in the future or be able to generate cash flow sufficient to make distributions or meet our interest and principal payment obligations, including interest and dividend payments to IDS holders, and other capital needs such as working capital for future growth and capital expenditures.

We may not be able to recover our capital investments in clients’ facilities, which may significantly reduce our profits or cause losses.

When we enter into a new contract or renew an existing contract, we are often required to pay substantial contract acquisition fees to the client or to make capital investments in our clients’ facilities that can be substantial. If the contract is terminated early either by us or by the client or in the event that a client becomes insolvent or files for bankruptcy, we may not be able to recover our unamortized capital investment under that client’s contract and will have to recognize an operating loss or reduction from operating profit equal to the unrecovered portion of our capitalized investment. This amount may be substantial, depending on the remaining term of the contract and the size of the capital investment. For example, for the year ended January 1, 2002, we recorded contract related losses of approximately $1.1 million for the write-down of property and equipment related to two of our clients which filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and a receivable reserve of $2.3 million related to one of those clients.

If the sports team tenant of a facility we serve relocates or the ownership of a facility we serve changes, we may lose the contract for that facility.

Some of our sports facility contracts do not contain any protection for us in the event that the sports team tenant of the facility moves to a new facility. Changes in the ownership of a facility that we serve, or of a sports team tenant of the facility, may make renewal of a contract less likely and may result in disputes concerning the terms under which we provide our services at the facility.

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If we were to lose any of our largest clients, our results of operations could be significantly harmed.

Our net sales would significantly decline if we lost any of our largest clients, representing a few key facilities. For fiscal 2002:

  •   our largest client accounted for approximately 8.6% of our net sales;
 
  •   our three largest clients together accounted for approximately 22.1% of our net sales;
 
  •   our 10 largest clients together accounted for approximately 38.6% of our net sales; and
 
  •   our 20 largest clients together accounted for approximately 52.2% of our net sales.

In addition, if any of our largest contracts is terminated, it might result in an event of default under our new credit facility.

A contraction of MLB that eliminates any of the teams playing in any of the facilities served by us would likely have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

In November 2001, MLB announced plans for a “contraction” to eliminate three MLB teams beginning with the 2002 baseball season. No contraction occurred in the 2002 or 2003 baseball seasons, and the contract between MLB and its players’ union provides for no MLB team elimination by contraction through 2006. We do not have sufficient information to assess the likelihood that any specific team would be subject to contraction if a contraction were to occur. Press accounts at the time contraction of MLB was first announced in 2001 indicated that, among others, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Minnesota Twins and the Montreal Expos were possible targets. We currently have contracts with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Metrodome, home of the Minnesota Twins. If either or both of those teams were to be eliminated by contraction without due compensation to us, it could have a material adverse effect on us.

We may not have sufficient funds available to make capital investments in clients’ facilities that are necessary to maintain these relationships and increased capital investments or commissions to renew such relationships may lower our operating results for such facilities.

When we renew an existing contract, we are often required to pay substantial contract acquisition fees to the client or to make substantial investments in our client’s facility to help finance facility construction or renovation. The amount of these capital investments will vary, in some cases materially, from year to year depending on the number and significance of contracts up for renewal. For example, one of our 20 largest contracts will expire during 2004. In order to renew this contract, we expect that we will have to make significant capital expenditures. If we do not have sufficient funds available to make attractive bids for new contracts or renew existing contracts, our business will decline and our ability to make payments on the IDSs will be weakened. Even with sufficient funding, any significantly higher up-front capital expenditures for renewing facility contracts could, over the course of those contracts, harm our results of operations as we incur greater amortization expenses. Also, any significantly higher commissions payable to our clients after renewing facility contracts, especially for our largest contracts, could, over the course of the contracts, lower our profitability. Such higher costs could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

Our historical growth rates may not be indicative of future results, given our new capital structure and dividend policy and our reliance on other financing sources.

Our business has experienced relatively rapid growth over the last several years, much of which has been financed from cash generated by our operations. In the past, we have reinvested a significant portion of our cash earnings in the growth of our business through bidding for new business, which often requires substantial up-front cash payments. Following this offering, a substantial portion of our cash earnings will be required to service our debt and maintain our existing client base. In addition, we currently intend to distribute a significant portion of any remaining cash earnings to our stockholders in the form of monthly dividends. Our ability to continue to expand our business will depend upon our future cash flow from

36


 

operations after dividends and maintenance capital expenditures. Because more cash will be distributed to our holders of IDSs (or common stock and subordinated notes represented thereby) under our new capital structure, we will be more dependent upon our ability to borrow funds under our new credit facility and to obtain other third-party financing, including through the sale of IDSs or other securities, to fund our growth. We cannot assure you that such financing will be available to us on favorable terms or at all. Thus, we do not believe that we will be able to achieve the levels of growth we have experienced historically due to our new capital structure, our new dividend policy and our resultant reliance on third-party financing.

If labor or other operating costs increase, we may not be able to make a corresponding increase in the prices of our products and services and our profitability may decline significantly.

Most of our contracts require us to obtain our clients’ consent before raising prices. As a result, we may not be able to offset any increases in our wage or other operating costs through price changes. Any factors which increase the wage rates that we have to pay in order to attract suitable employees, including any tightening of the labor supply in any of the markets where we operate, or any other factors that increase our operating costs, such as trends affecting insurance premiums, may materially adversely affect our profitability. In addition, our profitability could be materially adversely affected if we were faced with cost increases for food, beverages, wages and equipment due to general economic conditions, collective bargaining obligations, competitive conditions or any combination of these.

We could incur significant liability for withdrawing from multi-employer pension plans.

We operate at numerous facilities under collective bargaining agreements. Under some of these agreements, we are obligated to contribute to multi-employer pension plans. If any of our service contracts at these facilities were terminated or not renewed, and the applicable multi-employer pension plan at that time had unfunded vested benefits, we could be subject to withdrawal liability to the multi-employer plan. We have not determined the extent of our potential liability, if any, for any withdrawal in the future. We may be exposed to material withdrawal liability under these circumstances. In addition, we cannot predict with any certainty which, if any, groups of employees who are not currently represented by labor unions may seek union representation in the future, or the outcome of any re-negotiation of current collective bargaining agreements.

We may incur significant liabilities or reputational harm if claims of illness or injury associated with our service of food and beverage to the public are brought against us.

Claims of illness or injury relating to food quality or handling are common in the food service industry and from time to time, we are and may become in the future subject to claims relating to:

  •   consumer product liability;
 
  •   product tampering;
 
  •   nutritional and health-related concerns; and
 
  •   federal, state, provincial and local food controls.

We may also be adversely affected by negative publicity resulting from the filing of food quality or handling claims at one or more of the facilities we serve. In addition, the level of product liability insurance coverage we currently maintain may not be adequate to cover these claims. Any losses that we may suffer from future liability claims, including the successful assertion against us of one or a series of large claims in excess of our insurance coverage, could materially adversely affect our results of operations. Furthermore, adverse publicity could negatively impact our ability to renew existing contracts or to obtain new clients.

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The loss of any of our liquor licenses or permits could adversely affect our ability to carry out our business.

We hold liquor licenses at many facilities at which we provide services and are subject to licensing requirements with respect to the sale of alcoholic beverages in the states and provinces in which we serve such beverages. Failure to receive or retain, or the suspension of, liquor licenses or permits would interrupt or terminate our ability to serve alcoholic beverages at the applicable locations and, depending on the number of locations or specific facilities affected, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. Some of our contracts require us to pay liquidated damages during any period in which our liquor license for the relevant facility is suspended, and most contracts are subject to termination in the event that we lose our liquor license for the relevant facility. Additional regulation relating to liquor licenses may limit our activities in the future or significantly increase the cost of compliance.

If one of our employees sells alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated or minor patron, we may be liable to third parties for the acts of the patron.

We serve alcoholic beverages at many facilities and are subject to the “dram-shop” statutes of the jurisdictions in which we serve alcoholic beverages. “Dram-shop” statutes generally provide that serving alcohol to an intoxicated or minor patron is a violation of law.

In most jurisdictions, if one of our employees sells alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated or minor patron, we may be liable to third parties for the acts of the patron. We cannot guarantee that those patrons will not be served or that we will not be subject to liability for their acts. Our liquor liability insurance coverage may not be adequate to cover any potential liability and insurance may not continue to be available on commercially acceptable terms or at all, or we may face increased deductibles on such insurance. Any increase in the number or size of “dram-shop” claims could have a material adverse effect on us through the costs of: defending against such claims; paying deductibles and increased insurance premium amounts; implementing improved training and heightened control procedures for our employees; and paying any damages or settlements on such claims.

If we fail to comply with applicable governmental regulations, we may become subject to lawsuits and other liabilities or restrictions on our operations which could significantly reduce our net sales and cash flow and undermine the growth of our business.

Our operations are subject to various governmental regulations, including those governing:

  •   the service of food and alcoholic beverages;
 
  •   minimum wage regulations;
 
  •   employment;
 
  •   environmental protection; and
 
  •   human health and safety.

In addition, our facilities and products are subject to periodic inspection by federal, state, provincial and local authorities.

If we fail to comply with applicable laws and regulations, we could be subject to governmental and private civil remedies, including fines, damages, injunctions, recalls or seizures, as well as potential criminal sanctions. This could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. We may not be in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and we may not be able to comply with all future laws and regulations. Furthermore, additional federal, state or provincial legislation, or changes in regulatory implementation, may limit our activities in the future or significantly increase the cost of regulatory compliance.

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We are subject to litigation, which, if determined adversely, could be material.

We are, and may in the future be, subject to litigation which, if determined adversely to us, could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition. In May 2003 a purported class action was filed against us by a former employee at one of the California stadiums we serve alleging violations of local overtime wage, rest and meal period and related laws with respect to this employee and others purportedly similarly situated at any and all of the facilities we serve in California. The purported class action seeks compensatory, special and punitive damages in unspecified amounts, penalties under the applicable local laws and injunctions against the alleged illegal acts. While our evaluation of the allegations continues, this case and any future cases which may be filed against us could materially adversely affect us if we lose such cases and have to pay substantial damages, or if we settle such cases. In addition, this case and any future cases may materially and adversely affect our operations by increasing our litigation costs and insurance premiums and diverting our attention and resources to address such actions.

We may be subject to significant environmental liabilities.

Claims for environmental liabilities arising out of property contamination have been asserted against us from time to time, and in some cases such claims have been associated with businesses, including waste disposal and/or management businesses, related to entities we acquired and have been based on conduct that occurred prior to our acquisition of those entities. Recently, private corporations asserted a claim under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, or “CERCLA,” against us for contribution to address past and future remediation costs at a site in Illinois. The site allegedly was used by, among others, a waste disposal business purportedly related to a predecessor for which we allegedly are responsible. In addition, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, asserting authority under CERCLA, recently issued a unilateral administrative order concerning the same Illinois site naming approximately 75 entities as respondents, including the plaintiffs in the CERCLA lawsuit against us and the waste disposal business for which the plaintiffs allege we are responsible. Because these claims are in their early stages, we cannot predict at this time whether we will eventually be held liable at this site or whether such liability will be material. Furthermore, additional environmental liabilities relating to any of our former operations or any entities we have acquired could be identified and give rise to claims against us involving significant losses.

If we fail to remain competitive within our industry, we will not be able to maintain our clients or obtain new clients, which would materially adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and liquidity.

The recreational food service industry is highly fragmented and competitive, with several national and international food service providers as well as a large number of smaller independent businesses serving discrete local and regional markets and competing in distinct areas. Those smaller companies that lack a full-service capability (because, for example, they cannot cater for luxury suites at stadiums and arenas) often bid for contracts in conjunction with one of the other national or international food service companies that can offer those services.

We compete primarily based on the following factors:

  •   the ability to make capital investments;
 
 
  •   commission or management fee structures;
 
 
  •   service innovation;
 
 
  •   quality and breadth of products and services; and
 
 
  •   reputation within the industry.

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Some of our competitors may be prepared to accept less favorable financial returns than we are when bidding for contracts. A number of our competitors also have substantially greater financial and other resources than we do and some of them may have higher retention rates than we do. Furthermore, the fact that we have relatively more debt than some of our competitors could place us at a competitive disadvantage. We also face competition from regional and local service contractors, some of which are better established than we are within a specific geographic region. Existing or potential clients may also elect to “self operate” their food services, eliminating the opportunity for us to compete for the account.

An outbreak or escalation of any insurrection or armed conflict involving the United States or any other national or international calamity could significantly harm our business.

An outbreak or escalation of any insurrection or armed conflict involving the United States or any other national or international calamity could result in a decrease in attendance or the number of events at sports facilities, convention centers and other entertainment and recreational facilities, including our clients’ facilities, which could result in a significant decline in our net sales and operating income. For example, the events of September 11, 2001 had a significant negative impact on the attendance at sports facilities and convention centers we serve. We estimate that the impact of September 11, 2001 reduced our consolidated net sales by approximately 2% and our operating income by approximately 8% in fiscal 2001 from the level we would have expected absent those conditions.

The national and global responses to terrorist attacks, many of which responses are still being formulated, including other recent military, diplomatic and financial responses, and any possible reprisals as a consequence of those actions, may materially adversely affect us in ways we cannot predict at this time.

A terrorist attack on any facility which we serve, particularly large sports facilities, could significantly harm our business, and our contracts do not provide for the recovery by us of our costs in the event of a terrorist attack on a facility.

A terrorist attack on any of the facilities which we serve, particularly large sports facilities, could result in a decrease in attendance or the number of events at these facilities generally, which could result in a significant decline in our net sales and operating income. These material adverse effects could be long-lived, which could curtail recovery of previously routine business in the affected facility or in other facilities which we serve. If a sufficient number or proportion of our facilities were affected, the result could materially adversely affect our ability to make interest or dividend payments with respect to the IDSs. While our contracts that require us to make payments of required minimum commission or royalties generally provide for the suspension of our obligations in the event of a facility being closed or a force majeure event, including as a result of a terrorist attack, none of our contracts specifically provides for the recovery by us of costs we have already incurred in the event of a terrorist attack on a facility.

We may not be able to obtain insurance, or obtain insurance on commercially acceptable terms, which could result in a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.

If we fail to obtain insurance on commercially acceptable terms or at all, we may become subject to significant liabilities which could cause a significant decline in our operating income. In addition, depending on the insurance available in the market, we could be in default under a number of our contracts which could cause those contracts to be terminated. Termination of those contracts could cause a significant decline in our net sales and our operating income.

The events of September 11, 2001 have caused a significant increase in our insurance costs in connection with the recreational facilities where we provide services. In addition, there is a current trend toward higher rates in the insurance market. These costs may continue to increase significantly in the future.

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Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-looking Statements

Some of the statements under “Summary,” “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” “Business” and elsewhere in this prospectus may include forward-looking statements which reflect our current views with respect to future events and financial performance. Statements which include the words “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “project,” “anticipate” and similar statements of a future or forward-looking nature identify forward-looking statements for purposes of the federal securities laws or otherwise.

All forward-looking statements address matters that involve risks and uncertainties. Accordingly, there are or will be important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in these statements. We believe that these factors include the following:

  •   our high degree of leverage and significant debt service obligations;
 
  •   the risk of decreases in the level of attendance at events held at the facilities at which we provide our services and the level of spending on the services that we provide at those events;
 
  •   the risk of labor stoppages affecting sports teams at whose facilities we provide our services;
 
  •   the risk of sports facilities at which we provide services losing their sports team tenants;
 
  •   the risk that we may not be able to retain existing clients or obtain new clients;
 
  •   the highly competitive nature of the recreational food service industry;
 
  •   any future changes in management;
 
  •   the risk of weaker economic conditions within the United States;
 
  •   the risk of events similar to those of September 11, 2001 or an outbreak or escalation of any insurrection or armed conflict involving the United States or any other national or international calamity;
 
  •   the risk of increased litigation against us;
 
  •   general risks associated with the food service industry;
 
  •   any future changes in government regulation; and
 
  •   any changes in local government policies and practices regarding facility construction, taxes and financing.

We undertake no obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

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Use of Proceeds

We estimate that we will receive net proceeds from this offering of approximately $225.4 million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other estimated offering expenses payable by us. We will use these net proceeds, together with $65 million of borrowings under our new credit facility and cash and cash equivalents, which we refer to in the aggregate as the “aggregate cash sources” as follows:

  •   $241.2 million to repurchase all of VSA’s outstanding senior subordinated notes, to fund the cash collateral account and dividend/capex funding account required under the new credit facility, and to repay all outstanding borrowings under the existing credit facility;
 
  •   $1 million to pay certain members of our senior management the contingent bonuses described under “Management — Annual Bonus Plan;”
 
  •   $1 million to pay Lawrence E. Honig, our chief executive officer, the payment to which he is entitled under the terms of his employment agreement with us. Mr. Honig will use the after-tax proceeds from this payment to purchase IDSs in this offering in an amount equal to approximately $570,000; and
 
  •   any remaining aggregate cash sources, after deducting the Working Capital Adjustment, to repurchase 6,844,503 shares of our common stock from the existing equity investors. Assuming this offering and all related transactions described in this prospectus had been consummated on September 30, 2003, such remaining aggregate cash sources would have been $47.1 million, which amount will be increased to the extent of any decrease in the Working Capital Adjustment between September 30, 2003 and the pricing date (or decreased to the extent of any increase in the Working Capital Adjustment).

“Working Capital Adjustment” shall equal the sum of (A) $15 million, (B) the difference between (x) our Average Working Capital Deficit (as defined below) and (y) our working capital deficit on November 25, 2003, which we refer to as the “determination date,” and (C) the difference between $3.0 million and our actual capital expenditures during the period commencing on October 1, 2003 and ending on the determination date.

“Average Working Capital Deficit” shall equal the quotient obtained by dividing (A) the sum of our working capital deficits (calculated as the difference between (i) our total current assets, excluding cash and cash equivalents, and (ii) our total current liabilities, excluding short term debt) on (x) the determination date and (y) the last day of each fiscal month for the 11 month period ended October 28, 2003, by (B) 12.

If the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option in full, we will use all the net proceeds we receive from the sale of additional IDSs under the over-allotment option ($23.1 million) to repurchase an additional 2,707,331 shares of our common stock held by the existing equity investors.

Borrowings under the existing revolving credit facility bear interest at a variable rate, at our option, of either the U.S. Base Rate plus 200 basis points or LIBOR plus 300 basis points and become due and payable on December 3, 2004. Borrowings under the tranche B loan under the existing credit facility bear interest at a variable rate, at our option, of either the U.S. Base Rate plus 275 basis points or LIBOR plus 375 basis points and become due and payable on December 3, 2006. As of September 30, 2003, the borrowings under the existing revolving credit facility bore interest at a weighted average rate of 5.23% and the borrowings under the tranche B loan of the existing credit facility bore interest at a weighted average rate of 5.10%. VSA’s senior subordinated notes bear interest at 11 1/4% per year and mature on March 1, 2009.

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The table below sets forth our estimate of the sources and uses of funds required to effect the transactions described in this prospectus. The estimated sources and uses are based on an assumed closing date of September 30, 2003.

             
Sources

(In millions)
Cash and cash equivalents
  $ 27.2  
New credit facility:
       
 
Term facility
    65.0  
 
Revolving facility
     
IDSs offered hereby
    251.8  
     
 
   
Total sources of funds without exercise of the over-allotment option
  $ 344.0  
     
 
Additional IDSs offered hereby assuming exercise in full of the over-allotment option
  $ 25.2  
     
 
   
Total sources of funds assuming exercise of the over-allotment option in full
  $ 369.2  
     
 
Uses

(In millions)
Repayment of existing credit facility
  $ 114.5  
Purchase of VSA senior subordinated notes in the tender offer and consent solicitation (including accrued and unpaid interest)
    109.2  
Cash collateral account
    7.9  
Dividend/capex funding account
    9.5  
Additional cash, equal to the Working Capital Adjustment
    27.4  
Senior management contingent bonuses
    1.0  
Payment to chief executive officer pursuant to employment agreement
    1.0  
Fees and expenses
    26.3  
Repurchase of common stock held by existing equity investors.
    47.1  
     
 
   
Total uses of funds before exercise of the over-allotment option
  $ 344.0  
     
 
Additional proceeds to existing equity investors assuming exercise in full of the over-allotment option
  $ 23.1  
Additional funding of cash collateral account
    0.5  
Additional fees and expenses related to the over-allotment option
    1.5  
     
 
   
Total uses of funds assuming exercise of the over-allotment option in full
  $ 369.2  
     
 

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Dividend Policy

Upon the closing of this offering, our board of directors is expected to adopt a dividend policy pursuant to which, in the event and to the extent we have any available cash for distribution to the holders of shares of our common stock as of the end of any calendar month, and subject to applicable law, as described below, and the terms of the new credit facility, the indenture governing our subordinated notes and any other then outstanding indebtedness of ours, our board of directors will declare cash dividends on our common stock. The initial dividend rate is expected to be equal to $0.79 per share per annum, subject to adjustment. We will pay those dividends on or about the 20th day of each month.

If we have any remaining cash after the payment of dividends as contemplated above, our board of directors will, in its sole discretion, decide to use that cash to fund growth capital expenditures or acquisitions, repay indebtedness, pay additional dividends or for general corporate purposes.

The indenture governing our subordinated notes restricts our ability to declare and pay dividends on our common stock as follows:

  •   we may not pay dividends if such payment will exceed the quarterly base dividend level in any fiscal quarter; provided that if such payment is less than the quarterly base dividend level in any fiscal quarter, 50% of the difference between the aggregate amount of dividends actually paid and the quarterly base dividend level for such quarter will be available for the payment of dividends at a later date. The quarterly base dividend level for any given fiscal quarter shall equal 85% of our excess cash (as defined below) for the 12 month period ending on the last day of our then most recently ended fiscal quarter for which internal financial statements are available at the time such dividend is declared and paid divided by four (4). “Excess cash” shall mean with respect to any period, Adjusted EBITDA, as defined in the indenture, minus the sum of (i) cash interest expense and (ii) cash income tax expense, in each case, for such period;
 
  •   we may not pay any dividends if not permitted under any of our senior indebtedness;
 
  •   we may not pay any dividends while interest on the subordinated notes is being deferred or, after the end of any interest deferral, so long as any deferred interest has not been paid in full; and
 
  •   we may not pay any dividends if a default or event of default under the indenture has occurred and is continuing.

The new credit facility restricts our ability to declare and pay dividends on our common stock if and for so long as we do not meet the interest coverage ratio, total leverage ratio or senior leverage ratio financial levels specified in the new credit facility. If we fail to achieve any of these ratios for any month but resume compliance in a subsequent month and satisfy the other conditions specified in the new credit facility (including timely delivery of applicable financial statements), we may resume the payment of dividends. The new credit facility also restricts our ability to declare and pay dividends on our common stock if either a default or event of default under the new credit facility has occurred and is continuing or the payment of interest on our subordinated notes has been suspended or deferred interest on our subordinated notes has not been paid or if we have not maintained certain minimum balances in the cash collateral account. The new credit facility permits us to use up to 100% of the distributable cash, as defined in the new credit facility (plus withdrawals from the dividend/capex funding account) to fund dividends on our shares of common stock. During any period in which payment of dividends is suspended, the applicable amount of the distributable cash must be applied to mandatory prepayments of certain borrowings under the new credit facility. See “Description of Certain Indebtedness— New Credit Facility” for a complete description of this dividend restriction.

Our board of directors may, in its discretion, amend or repeal this dividend policy. Our board of directors may decrease the level of dividends provided for in this dividend policy or discontinue entirely the payment of dividends.

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Future dividends with respect to shares of our capital stock, if any, will depend on, among other things, our results of operations, cash requirements, financial condition, contractual restrictions, provisions of applicable law and other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant. Under Delaware law, our board of directors may declare dividends only to the extent of our “surplus” (which is defined as total assets at fair market value minus total liabilities, minus statutory capital), or if there is no surplus, out of our net profits for the then current and/or immediately preceding fiscal years.

We have not paid dividends in the past.

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Capitalization

The following table sets forth our cash and cash equivalents and capitalization as of September 30, 2003:

  •   on an actual basis, after giving effect to the stock split in connection with this offering; and
 
  •   on a pro forma as adjusted basis as if this offering, including the use of proceeds from this offering, the repayment of all outstanding borrowings under VSA’s existing credit facility and the tender offer and consent solicitation had occurred on that date and VSA had entered into the new credit facility on that date. For purposes of this presentation, we have assumed that 100% of VSA’s senior subordinated notes are purchased in the tender offer and consent solicitation for an aggregate consideration of $108.3 million.

                                               
As of September 30, 2003

Pro Forma Pro Forma as
as Adjusted Adjusted Assuming
Actual Assuming No Full Exercise
with Exercise of the of the
Pro Forma Over-allotment Over-allotment
Stock Split Adjustments Option Adjustments Option





(In thousands)
Cash and cash equivalents
  $ 27,205     $ 17,574     $ 44,779 (1)   $ 538     $ 45,317 (1)
     
     
     
     
     
 
Long-term debt, including current portion
                                       
 
Current maturities of long-term debt
  $ 1,150     $ (1,150 )   $     $       $  
 
Existing credit facility
    113,388       (113,388 )                    
 
New credit facility
          65,000       65,000               65,000  
 
11 1/4% senior subordinated notes of VSA
    100,000       (100,000 )                    
 
  % subordinated notes
          95,677       95,677       9,568       105,245  
     
             
             
 
   
Total long-term debt
    214,538               160,677               170,245  
Stockholders’ deficiency
                                       
 
Common stock, $0.01 par value per share(2)
    136       99       235       (10 )     225  
 
Additional paid-in capital
    67,345       93,413       160,758       (8,445 )     152,313  
 
Accumulated deficit
    (14,561 )     (10,075 )     (24,636 )             (24,636 )
 
Accumulated other comprehensive gain
    100               100               100  
 
Treasury stock(3)
    (49,500 )             (49,500 )             (49,500 )
 
Loans to related parties
    (1,242 )     1,242                      
     
             
             
 
   
Total stockholders’ equity
    2,278               86,957               78,502  
     
             
             
 
     
Total capitalization
  $ 216,816             $ 247,634             $ 248,747  
     
             
             
 

(1)  Cash and cash equivalents as adjusted includes: (i) the use of $27.4 million in cash and cash equivalents equal to the Working Capital Adjustment (as described under “Use of Proceeds”) and (ii) $7.9 million in the cash collateral account and $9.5 million in the dividend/capex funding account, each of which is pledged to secure obligations under the new credit facility. We are required to maintain minimum balances in the cash collateral account and we are restricted in the use of the amounts in such accounts. See “Description of Certain Indebtedness.”
(2)  Pro forma stock split authorized: 100.0 million shares actual and as adjusted (no exercise and full exercise); issued: 21.5 million shares actual, 37.9 million shares as adjusted (no exercise), 39.7 million shares as adjusted (full exercise); outstanding: 13.6 million shares actual, 23.6 million shares as adjusted (no exercise), 22.5 million shares as adjusted (full exercise).
(3)  Represents 7.9 million shares (pro forma for the stock split) at cost.

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Dilution

Dilution is the amount by which the portion of the offering price paid by the purchasers of the IDSs to be sold in the offering that is allocated to our shares of common stock represented by the IDSs exceeds the net tangible book value or deficiency per share of our common stock after the offering. Net tangible book value or deficiency per share of our common stock is determined at any date by subtracting our total liabilities from our total assets less our intangible assets and dividing the difference by the number of shares of common stock deemed to be outstanding at that date.

Our net tangible book deficiency as of September 30, 2003 was approximately $170.9 million, or $12.55 per share of common stock. After giving effect to our receipt and intended use of approximately $225.4 million of estimated net proceeds (after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses) from our sale of IDSs in this offering (including the repurchase for an assumed $47.1 million, or $70.2 million if the over-allotment option is exercised in full, of common stock from the existing equity investors), based on an assumed initial public offering price of $15.00 per IDS (the midpoint of the range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus), our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book deficiency as of September 30, 2003 would have been approximately $98.5 million, or $4.18 per share of common stock. This represents an immediate increase in net tangible book value of $8.37 per share of our common stock to existing stockholders and an immediate dilution of $13.48 per share of our common stock to new investors purchasing IDSs in this offering.

The following table illustrates this substantial and immediate dilution to new investors:

                   
Per Share of Per Share of Common Stock Assuming Full
Common Stock Exercise of the Over-Allotment Option


Portion of the assumed initial public offering price of $15.00 per IDS allocated to one share of common stock
  $ 9.30     $ 9.30  
 
Net tangible book value (deficiency) per share as of September 30, 2003
    (12.55 )     (12.55 )
 
Increase per share attributable to cash payments made by investors in this offering
    8.37       7.78  
     
     
 
 
Pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value (deficiency) after this offering
  $ (4.18 )   $ (4.77 )
     
     
 
Dilution in net tangible book value per share to new investors
  $ 13.48     $ 14.07  
     
     
 

The following table sets forth on a pro forma basis as of September 30, 2003, assuming no exercise of the over-allotment option:

  •   the total number of shares of our common stock owned by the existing equity investors and to be owned by the new investors, as represented by the IDSs to be sold in this offering;
 
  •   the total consideration paid by the existing equity investors and to be paid by the new investors purchasing IDSs in this offering; and
 
  •   the average price per share of common stock paid by existing equity investors (cash and stock) and to be paid by new investors purchasing IDSs in this offering:

                                           
Shares of Common Average Price
Stock Purchased Total Consideration Per Share of


Common
Number Percent Amount Percent Stock





Existing equity investors
    6,768,327       28.7 %   $ 8,940,088       5.4 %   $ 1.32  
New investors
    16,785,450       71.3 %     156,104,685       94.6 %     9.30  
     
     
     
     
         
 
Total
    23,553,777       100.0 %   $ 165,044,773       100.0 %        
     
     
     
     
         

47


 

Selected Historical Financial Information

The following table sets forth our selected consolidated financial information derived from our audited consolidated financial statements for each of the fiscal years ended December 29, 1998, December 28, 1999, January 2, 2001, January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2002, of which the financial statements for fiscal 2000, 2001 and 2002 are included elsewhere in this prospectus, and our unaudited consolidated financial statements for the thirty-nine weeks ended October 1, 2002 and September 30, 2003, which are included elsewhere in this prospectus.

The unaudited consolidated financial statements for the thirty-nine weeks ended October 1, 2002 and September 30, 2003 include all adjustments, consisting of normal recurring adjustments, which, in our opinion, are necessary for a fair presentation of the financial position and results of operations for these periods. Operating results for the thirty-nine weeks ended September 30, 2003 are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for the fifty-two week fiscal year ending December 30, 2003, primarily due to the seasonal nature of the business.

The information in the following table should be read together with our audited consolidated financial statements for fiscal 2000, 2001 and 2002 and the related notes, our unaudited consolidated financial statements for the thirty-nine weeks ended September 30, 2003 and October 1, 2002 and the related notes and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” all as included elsewhere in this prospectus. The figures in the following table reflect rounding adjustments.

48


 

                                                           
Thirty-nine Weeks Ended
Fiscal(1)

October 1, September 30,
1998(2) 1999 2000 2001 2002 2002 2003







(In millions, except per share data)
Statement of operations data:
                                                       
Net sales
  $ 283.4     $ 431.5     $ 522.5     $ 543.1     $ 577.2     $ 449.4     $ 484.3  
Cost of sales
    222.5       342.5       424.2       446.6       470.9       365.5       395.7  
Selling, general and administrative
    29.5       42.7       47.9       48.1       55.3       42.6       45.3  
Depreciation and amortization
    18.2       26.8       26.3       24.5       26.2       19.0       20.3  
Transaction related expenses
    3.1       1.5       1.1             0.6              
Contract related losses
    1.4       1.4       2.5       4.8       0.7       0.7       0.6  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
Operating income
    8.7       16.5       20.6       19.2       23.5       21.5       22.3  
 
Interest expense
    11.3       23.0       26.6       23.4       20.7       15.7       15.0  
 
Other income, net
    (0.4 )     (0.5 )     (0.5 )     (0.2 )     (1.5 )     (1.4 )      
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
Income (loss) before income taxes
    (2.2 )     (6.1 )     (5.5 )     (4.0 )     4.3       7.3       7.3  
Income tax provision (benefit)
    1.5       (1.5 )     (1.3 )     (0.4 )     (0.2 )     0.5       0.3  
Income (loss) before extraordinary item and cumulative effect of change in accounting principle
    (3.7 )     (4.5 )     (4.2 )     (3.6 )     4.5       6.8       7.0  
Extraordinary loss on debt extinguishment, net of taxes(3)
    (1.5 )     (0.9 )                              
Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle, net of taxes(4)
          (0.2 )                              
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
Net income (loss)(5)
    (5.2 )     (5.6 )     (4.2 )     (3.6 )     4.5       6.8       7.0  
Other comprehensive loss— foreign translation adjustment
    (0.1 )     (0.1 )     (0.1 )     (0.2 )                 0.5  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
Comprehensive income (loss)
  $ (5.3 )   $ (5.8 )   $ (4.3 )   $ (3.8 )   $ 4.5     $ 6.8     $ 7.5  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 

49


 

                                                           
Thirty-nine Weeks Ended
Fiscal(1)

October 1, September 30,
1998(2) 1999 2000 2001 2002 2002 2003







(In millions, except per share data)
Per share data:
                                                       
Income (loss) before extraordinary item and cumulative effect of change in accounting principle, net of taxes:
                                                       
 
Basic
  $ (8,807.23 )   $ (12,220.03 )   $ (12,708.54 )   $ (10,844.55 )   $ 13,541.17     $ 21,104.74     $ 20,344.48  
 
Diluted
  $ (8,807.23 )   $ (12,220.03 )   $ (12,708.54 )   $ (10,844.55 )   $ 13,541.17     $ 21,104.74     $ 20,344.48  
Net income (loss) per share:
                                                       
 
Basic
  $ (12,340.32 )   $ (15,273.67 )   $ (12,708.54 )   $ (10,844.55 )   $ 13,541.17     $ 21,104.74     $ 20,344.48  
 
Diluted
  $ (12,340.32 )   $ (15,273.67 )   $ (12,708.54 )   $ (10,844.55 )   $ 13,541.17     $ 21,104.74     $ 20,344.48  
Pro forma per share data:(10)
                                                       
Pro forma income (loss) before extraordinary item and cumulative effect of change in accounting principle, net of taxes:
                                                       
 
Basic
  $ (0.22 )   $ (0.30 )   $ (0.31 )   $ (0.26 )   $ 0.33     $ 0.50     $ 0.51  
 
Diluted
  $ (0.22 )   $ (0.30 )   $ (0.31 )   $ (0.26 )   $ 0.33     $ 0.50     $ 0.51  
Pro forma net income (loss) per share:
                                                       
 
Basic
  $ (0.30 )   $ (0.37 )   $ (0.31 )   $ (0.26 )   $ 0.33     $ 0.50     $ 0.51  
 
Diluted
  $ (0.30 )   $ (0.37 )   $ (0.31 )   $ (0.26 )   $ 0.33     $ 0.50     $ 0.51  
Cash flow data:
                                                       
Net cash provided by operating activities
  $ 2.5     $ 16.1     $ 22.7     $ 24.7     $ 38.6     $ 48.0     $ 45.4  
Net cash used in investing activities
  $ (5.3 )   $ (25.4 )   $ (12.9 )   $ (29.3 )   $ (45.0 )   $ (41.1 )   $ (19.8 )
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities
  $ 6.3     $ 12.8     $ (7.3 )   $ 5.0     $ 1.7     $ (11.5 )   $ (8.8 )
Other data:
                                                       
Maintenance capital expenditures(5)
  $ 4.6     $ 4.9     $ 8.3     $ 12.7     $ 31.2     $ 27.8     $ 6.2  
Growth capital expenditures(5)
    14.2       21.4       5.6       16.7       16.4       15.7       13.6  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
Aggregate capital expenditures(5)
  $ 18.8     $ 26.3     $ 13.9     $ 29.4     $ 47.6     $ 43.5     $ 19.8  
Ratio of earnings to fixed charges(6)
                            1.2       1.45       1.47  
Deficiency in the coverage of earnings to fixed charges(6)
  $ (2.2 )   $ (6.1 )   $ (5.5 )   $ (4.0 )                        

50


 

                                                         
December 29, December 28, January 2, January 1, December 31, October 1, September 30,
1998 1999 2001 2002 2002 2002 2003







(In millions)
Balance sheet data:
                                                       
Total assets
  $ 269.5     $ 278.6     $ 265.7     $ 265.9     $ 280.2     $ 285.9     $ 306.5  
Long-term debt (including current portion)
  $ 161.3     $ 224.0     $ 219.1     $ 224.6     $ 225.4     $ 210.7     $ 214.5  
                                                           
Thirty-nine Weeks Ended
Fiscal(1)

October 1, September 30,
1998(2) 1999 2000 2001 2002 2002 2003







(In millions)
EBITDA:
                                                       
Net income (loss)(7)
  $ (5.2 )   $ (5.6 )   $ (4.2 )   $ (3.6 )   $ 4.5     $ 6.8     $ 7.0  
Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle, net of taxes(4)
          0.2                                
Extraordinary loss on debt extinguishment, net of taxes(3)
    1.5       0.9                                
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
Income (loss) before extraordinary item and cumulative effect of change in accounting principle
    (3.7 )     (4.5 )     (4.2 )     (3.6 )     4.5       6.8       7.0  
Income tax provision (benefit)
    1.5       (1.5 )     (1.3 )     (0.4 )     (0.2 )     0.5       0.3  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
Income (loss) before income taxes
  $ (2.2 )   $ (6.1 )   $ (5.5 )   $ (4.0 )   $ 4.3     $ 7.3     $ 7.3  
Adjustments:
                                                       
 
Interest expense
    11.3       23.0       26.6       23.4       20.7       15.7       15.0  
 
Depreciation and amortization
    18.2       26.8       26.3       24.5       26.2       19.0       20.3  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
EBITDA(8)
  $ 27.3     $ 43.7     $ 47.4     $ 43.9     $ 51.2     $ 42.0     $ 42.7  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
Unusual item included in EBITDA:
                                                       
 
Return of bankruptcy funds to Service America(9)
                          $ 1.4     $ 1.4        

(1) We have adopted a 52-53 week period ending on the Tuesday closest to December 31 as our fiscal year. The 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002 fiscal years consisted of 52 weeks, and the 2000 fiscal year consisted of 53 weeks.
(2) We acquired Service America in 1998 and our results of operations for fiscal 1998 include the results of operations for Service America from the date of the acquisition in August 1998.
(3) For fiscal 1998, a $1.5 million extraordinary loss on debt extinguishment, net of taxes resulted from refinancing our secured credit facility; for fiscal 1999, a $0.9 million extraordinary loss on debt extinguishment resulted from the early retirement of a portion of the secured credit facility, net of taxes.
(4) For fiscal 1999, we adopted the provisions of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Statement of Position 98-5, Reporting on the Costs of Start-up Activities, which requires that costs of start-up activities be expensed as incurred. As a result, we recorded a charge of $0.2 million reflecting the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle, net of taxes.

51


 

(5) The sum of maintenance and growth capital expenditures equals the sum of contract rights acquired, net (purchase of contract rights) and the purchase of property and equipment, net for the relevant periods as displayed in the statement of cash flows, as follows:

                                                           
Thirty-nine
Weeks Ended
Fiscal(1)

October 1, September 30,
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2002 2003







(In millions)
Statement of cash flow data:
                                                       
 
Contract rights acquired, net (purchase of contract rights)
  $ 6.2     $ 15.9     $ 7.5     $ 21.3     $ 37.7     $ 35.9     $ 13.5  
 
Purchase of property and equipment, net
    12.6       10.4       6.4       8.1       9.9       7.6       6.3  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
Aggregate capital expenditures
  $ 18.8     $ 26.3     $ 13.9     $ 29.4     $ 47.6     $ 43.5     $ 19.8  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 

  Maintenance capital expenditures are capital expenditures made to secure renewals of our existing contracts and maintain these contracts following renewal. Growth capital expenditures are those made to secure new contracts and maintain these contracts during their initial term. Accordingly, growth capital expenditures in any given year consist of up-front capital investments in new contracts and additional committed investments in existing contracts that have never previously been renewed. We believe that the identification and separation of maintenance and growth capital expenditures are important factors in evaluating our financial results. While we strive to maintain our present level of EBITDA by securing renewals of our existing contracts, we cannot assure you that we will maintain our present level of EBITDA since we cannot predict the future financial requirements of our clients. Contracts may be renewed at significantly different commission rates and, thus, levels of EBITDA, depending on the clients’ financial requirements at the time of renewal. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations— Liquidity and Capital Resources.”
(6) For purposes of determining the ratio of earnings to fixed charges, earnings are defined as income (loss) before income taxes, extraordinary item and cumulative effect of change in accounting principle plus fixed charges. Fixed charges include interest expense on all indebtedness, amortization of deferred financing costs and one-third of rental expense on operating leases representing that portion of rental expense deemed to be attributable to interest. Where earnings are inadequate to cover fixed charges, the deficiency is reported.
(7) In accordance with Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 142, or SFAS 142, effective January 2, 2002, we discontinued the amortization of goodwill and trademarks and identified intangible assets which we believe have indefinite lives. Adjusted net income (loss) to give effect to SFAS 142 would have been $(3.9) million for fiscal 1998, $(3.1) million for fiscal 1999, $(1.8) million for fiscal 2000 and $(1.1) million for fiscal 2001.
(8) EBITDA is not a measure in accordance with GAAP. EBITDA is not intended to represent cash flows from operations as determined by GAAP and should not be used as an alternative to income (loss) before taxes or net income as an indicator of operating performance or to cash flows as a measure of liquidity. We believe that EBITDA is an important measure of the cash returned on our investment in capital expenditures under our contracts.
  “Adjusted EBITDA,” as defined in the indenture governing our subordinated notes, is determined as EBITDA, as adjusted for transaction related expenses, contract related losses, other non-cash charges, and the annual management fee paid to affiliates of the existing equity investors, less any non-cash credits. We present this discussion of Adjusted EBITDA because covenants in the indenture governing our subordinated notes contain ratios based on this measure. For example, our ability to incur additional debt and make restricted payments requires a ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to fixed charges of 2.0 to 1.0, except that we may incur certain debt and make certain restricted payments without regard to the ratio, including our ability to incur an unlimited amount of indebtedness in connection with the issuance of additional IDSs so long as the ratio of the aggregate principal amount of the additional subordinated notes to the number of the additional shares of our common stock will not exceed the equivalent ratio represented by the then existing IDSs.
 
  On a historical basis, we made the following adjustments to EBITDA to compute Adjusted EBITDA:

                                                           
Thirty-nine
Weeks Ended
Fiscal(1)

October 1, September 30,
1998(2) 1999 2000 2001 2002 2002 2003







(In millions, except ratios)
EBITDA
  $ 27.3     $ 43.7     $ 47.4     $ 43.9     $ 51.2     $ 42.0     $ 42.7  
Adjustments:
                                                       
 
Transaction related expenses
    3.1       1.5       1.1             0.6              
 
Contract related losses
    1.4       1.4       2.5       4.8       0.7       0.7       0.6  
 
Non-cash compensation
                0.3       0.1       0.6       0.5       0.1  
 
Management fees paid to affiliates of Blackstone and GE Capital
    0.3       0.4       0.4       0.4       0.4       0.3       0.3  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
Adjusted EBITDA
  $ 32.1     $ 47.1     $ 51.7     $ 49.2     $ 53.5     $ 43.5     $ 43.7  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
Unusual item included in EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA:
                                                       
 
Return of bankruptcy funds to Service America (see note 9 below)
                            1.4       1.4        
Ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to fixed charges
    2.98       2.19       2.06       2.24       2.77       2.98       3.13  

52


 

  Explanations of the adjustments are listed below:
  •   Transaction related expenses include:
  •   for fiscal 1998, $3.1 million of cash severance expenses paid to former employees and other expenses incurred in connection with the elimination of redundant personnel and office functions resulting from the business combination of Volume Services and Service America;
  •   for fiscal 1999, $1.5 million of cash expenses related to the elimination of redundant office functions of the Service America corporate office in connection with the business combination of Volume Services and Service America;
  •   for fiscal 2000, $1.1 million of cash non-recurring corporate costs consisting primarily of expenses incurred in connection with the analysis of a potential recapitalization and strategic investment opportunities; and
  •   for fiscal 2002, $0.6 million of acquisition related cash costs relating primarily to expenses incurred in connection with the structuring and evaluation of financing and recapitalization strategies; and
  •   Contract related losses include:
  •   for fiscal 1998, $1.4 million of non-cash charges related to the write-down to net realizable value of a contract that was terminated;
  •   for fiscal 1999, $1.4 million of non-cash charges related to the write-down of impaired assets for certain contracts where the estimated future cash flows from the contract were insufficient to cover the carrying cost of the related long-lived assets;
  •   for fiscal 2000, $1.5 million of non-cash charges related to the write-down of impaired assets for certain contracts where the estimated future cash flows from the contract were insufficient to cover the carrying cost of the related long-lived assets, $0.7 million of non-cash charges related to the write-off of assets related to litigation settlement and a non-recurring $0.3 million cash expense in related legal fees;
  •   for fiscal 2001, $4.8 million of non-cash charges related to the write-down of impaired assets for certain contracts where the estimated future cash flows from the contract were insufficient to cover the carrying cost of the related long-lived assets;
  •   for fiscal 2002, $0.7 million of non-cash charges related to the write-down of impaired assets for a contract which was terminated; and
  •   for the thirty-nine weeks ended October 1, 2002 and September 30, 2003, non-cash charges of $0.7 million and $0.6 million, respectively, were incurred related to the write-down of impaired assets for certain terminated and/or assigned contracts.
  •   Non-cash compensation expenses related to the revaluation of partnership units purchased by certain members of our management financed with nonrecourse loans include for fiscal 2000, 2001 and 2002, $0.3 million, $0.1 million and $0.6 million, respectively, and for the thirty-nine weeks ended October 1, 2002 and September 30, 2003, $0.5 million and $0.1 million, respectively.
  •   Management fees paid to affiliates of Blackstone and GE Capital include for fiscal 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002, $0.3 million, $0.4 million, $0.4 million, $0.4 million and $0.4 million, respectively, and $0.3 million for each of the thirty-nine weeks ended October 1, 2002 and September 30, 2003. The management fees are paid quarterly in arrears and will cease upon the closing of this offering.

    For purposes of calculating the ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to fixed charges, fixed charges includes interest expense (excluding amortization of deferred financing fees) plus capitalized interest, the earned discount or yield with respect to the sale of receivables and cash dividends on preferred stock. On a pro forma basis, for the thirty-nine weeks ended September 30, 2003, our ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to fixed charges under the indenture would have been 3.17 to 1.0.
  (9)  During fiscal 2002, Service America received approximately $1.4 million from funds previously set aside to satisfy creditors pursuant to a plan of reorganization approved in 1993.
(10)  Our board of directors will authorize a 40,920 to 1 split of our common stock to be effected in connection with the offering. Pro forma per share amounts are presented assuming this stock split took place prior to the periods presented.

53


 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition

and Results of Operations

General

Management’s discussion and analysis is a review of our results of operations and our liquidity and capital resources. The following discussion should be read in conjunction with “Selected Historical Financial Information” and the financial statements, including the related notes, appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. The following data have been prepared in accordance with GAAP.

Critical Accounting Policies

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect reported amounts of assets and liabilities, disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the financial statement date and reported amounts of revenues and expenses, including amounts that are susceptible to change. Our critical accounting policies include accounting methods and estimates underlying such financial statement preparation, as well as judgments around uncertainties affecting the application of those policies. In applying critical accounting policies, materially different amounts or results could be reported under different conditions or using different assumptions. We believe that our critical accounting policies, involving significant estimates, uncertainties and susceptibility to change, include the following:

  •   Recoverability of Property and Equipment, Contract Rights, Cost in Excess of Net Assets Acquired (Goodwill) and Other Intangible Assets. As of September 30, 2003, net property and equipment of $53.8 million and net contract rights of $103.6 million were recorded. In accordance with Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 144, we evaluate long-lived assets with definite lives for possible impairment when an event occurs which would indicate that its carrying amount may not be recoverable. The impairment analysis is made at the contract level and evaluates the net property and equipment as well as the contract rights related to that contract. The undiscounted future cash flows from a contract are compared to the carrying value of the related long-lived assets. If the undiscounted future cash flows are lower than the carrying value, an impairment charge is recorded. The amount of the impairment charge is equal to the difference between the balance of the long-lived assets and the future discounted cash flows related to the assets (using a rate based on our incremental borrowing rate). As we base our estimates of undiscounted future cash flows on past operating performance, including anticipated labor and other cost increases, and prevailing market conditions, we cannot assure you that our estimates are achievable. Different conditions or assumptions, if significantly negative or unfavorable, could have a material adverse effect on the outcome of our evaluation and our financial condition or future results of operations. Events that would trigger an evaluation at the contract level include the loss of a tenant team, intent to cease operations at a facility due to contract termination or other means, the bankruptcy of a client, discontinuation of a sports league or a significant increase in competition that could reduce the future profitability of the contract, among others. As of September 30, 2003, net goodwill of $46.5 million and other intangible assets (trademarks) of $17.0 million were recorded. In accordance with SFAS No. 142, on an annual basis, we test our indefinite-lived intangible assets (goodwill and trademarks) for impairment. Additionally, goodwill is tested between annual tests if an event occurs or circumstances change that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of a reporting unit below its carrying amount. We have determined that the reporting unit for testing the goodwill for impairment is VSAH. In performing the annual goodwill assessment, we compare the fair value of VSAH to its net asset carrying amount, including goodwill and trademarks. If the fair value of VSAH exceeds the carrying amount, then it is determined that goodwill is not impaired. Should the carrying amount exceed the fair value, then we would need to perform the second step in the impairment test to determine the amount of the goodwill write-off. Fair value for these tests is determined based upon a discounted cash flow model, using a rate based on our incremental borrowing rate. As we base our

54


 

  estimates of cash flows on past operating performance, including anticipated labor and other cost increases and prevailing market conditions, we cannot assure you that our estimates are achievable. Different conditions or assumptions, if significantly negative or unfavorable, could have a material adverse effect on the outcome of our evaluation and on our financial condition or future results of operations. In performing the annual trademark assessment, management compares the fair value of the intangible asset to its carrying value. Fair value is determined based on a discounted cash flow model, using a rate based on our incremental borrowing rate. If the carrying amount of the intangible asset exceeds its fair value, an impairment loss will be recognized for the excess amount. If the fair value is greater than the carrying amount, no further assessment is performed. We have performed our annual assessments of goodwill and trademarks on April 1, 2003 and determined that no impairment exists.
 
  •   Insurance. We have a high deductible insurance program for general liability, auto liability and workers’ compensation risk. We are required to estimate and accrue for the amount of losses that we expect to incur and will ultimately have to pay for under the deductible during the policy year. These amounts are recorded in cost of sales and selling, general and administrative expenses on the statement of operations and accrued liabilities and long-term liabilities on the balance sheet. Our estimates consider a number of factors, including historical experience and actuarial assessment of the liabilities for reported claims and claims incurred but not reported. While we use outside parties to assist us in making these estimates, it is difficult to provide assurance that the actual amounts may not be materially different than what we have recorded. In addition we are self-insured for employee medical benefits and related liabilities. Our liabilities are based on historical trends and claims filed and are estimated for claims incurred but not reported. While the liabilities represent management’s best estimate, actual results could differ significantly from those estimates.
 
  •   Deferred Income Taxes. We recognize deferred tax assets and liabilities based on the expected future tax consequences of temporary differences between the carrying amounts and the tax basis of assets and liabilities. Our primary deferred tax assets relate to net operating losses and credit carryovers. The realization of these deferred tax assets depends upon our ability to generate future income. If our results of operations are adversely affected, not all of our deferred tax assets, if any, may be realized.

Seasonality and Quarterly Results

Our net sales and operating results have varied, and are expected to continue to vary, from quarter to quarter (a quarter is comprised of thirteen or fourteen weeks), as a result of factors which include:

  •   seasonality of sporting and other events;
 
  •   unpredictability in the number, timing and type of new contracts;
 
  •   timing of contract expirations and special events; and
 
  •   level of attendance at the facilities which we serve.

Business at the principal types of facilities we serve is seasonal in nature. MLB and minor league baseball related sales are concentrated in the second and third quarters, the majority of NFL related activity occurs in the fourth quarter and convention centers and arenas generally host fewer events during the summer months. Results of operations for any particular quarter may not be indicative of results of operations for future periods.

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Set forth below are comparative net sales for the first three quarters of fiscal 2003 and by quarter for fiscal 2002, 2001 and 2000, as well as operating income (loss) and net income (loss), on an actual and per share basis (in thousands, except per share data):

                                                         
2003

Pro Forma Pro Forma
Basic and Basic and Basic and Basic and
Diluted Operating Diluted Operating Net Diluted Earnings Diluted Earnings
Operating Income (Loss) Income (Loss) Income (Loss) per (Loss) per
Sales Income (Loss) per Share per Share(1) (Loss) Share Share(1)







1st Quarter
  $ 96,900     $ (4,715 )   $ (14,201.81 )   $ (0.35 )   $ (6,545 )   $ (19,713.79 )   $ (0.48 )
2nd Quarter
  $ 172,733     $ 10,460     $ 31,506.02     $ 0.77     $ 2,876     $ 8,658.57     $ 0.21  
3rd Quarter
  $ 214,636     $ 16,583     $ 49,948.80     $ 1.22     $ 10,674     $ 32,159.95     $ 0.78  
                                                         
2002

Pro Forma Pro Forma
Basic and Basic and Basic and Basic and
Diluted Operating Diluted Operating Net Diluted Earnings Diluted Earnings
Operating Income (Loss) Income (Loss) Income (Loss) per (Loss) per
Sales Income (Loss) per Share per Share(1) (Loss) Share Share(1)







1st Quarter
  $ 87,840     $ (4,185 )   $ (12,605.42 )   $ (0.31 )   $ (6,870 )   $ (20,691.49 )   $ (0.50 )
2nd Quarter
  $ 166,421     $ 9,813     $ 29,557.23     $ 0.72     $ 3,841     $ 11,569.60     $ 0.28  
3rd Quarter
  $ 195,100     $ 15,892     $ 47,867.47     $ 1.17     $ 9,783     $ 29,466.29     $ 0.72  
4th Quarter
  $ 127,801     $ 1,975     $ 5,948.80     $ 0.15     $ (2,258 )   $ (6,803.23 )   $ (0.17 )
                                                         
2001

Pro Forma Pro Forma
Basic and Basic and Basic and Basic and
Diluted Operating Diluted Operating Net Diluted Earnings Diluted Earnings
Operating Income (Loss) Income (Loss) Income (Loss) per (Loss) per
Sales Income (Loss) per Share per Share(1) (Loss) Share Share(1)







1st Quarter
  $ 83,194     $ (4,107 )   $ (12,370.48 )   $ (0.30 )   $ (10,631 )   $ (32,021.07 )   $ (0.78 )
2nd Quarter
  $ 157,646     $ 8,117     $ 24,448.80     $ 0.60     $ 2,155     $ 6,487.58     $ 0.16  
3rd Quarter
  $ 177,559     $ 13,862     $ 41,753.01     $ 1.02     $ 8,399     $ 25,298.59     $ 0.62  
4th Quarter
  $ 124,714     $ 1,283     $ 3,864.46     $ 0.09     $ (3,523 )   $ (10,609.65 )   $ (0.26 )
                                                         
2000

Pro Forma Pro Forma
Basic and Basic and Basic and Basic and
Diluted Operating Diluted Operating Net Diluted Earnings Diluted Earnings
Operating Income (Loss) Income (Loss) Income (Loss) per (Loss) per
Sales Income (Loss) per Share per Share(1) (Loss) Share Share(1)







1st Quarter
  $ 80,120     $ (1,164 )   $ (3,506.02 )   $ (0.09 )   $ (7,842 )   $ (23,620.48 )   $ (0.58 )
2nd Quarter
  $ 143,637     $ 6,360     $ 19,156.63     $ 0.47     $ 2,047     $ 6,164.44     $ 0.15  
3rd Quarter
  $ 188,289     $ 14,934     $ 44,981.93     $ 1.10     $ 6,184     $ 16,628.44     $ 0.45  
4th Quarter
  $ 110,487     $ 454     $ 1,367.47     $ 0.03     $ (4,608 )   $ (13,880.94 )   $ (0.34 )


(1)  The pro forma basic and diluted operating income (loss) and basic and diluted earnings (loss) per share reflect a 40,920 to 1 split of the common stock.

Results of Operations

 
Thirty-nine Weeks Ended September 30, 2003 compared to the Thirty-nine Weeks Ended October 1, 2002

Net sales. Net sales of $484.3 million for the thirty-nine weeks ended September 30, 2003 increased by $34.9 million or 8% from $449.4 million in the prior year period. The increase was primarily due to new accounts, which generated net sales of $23.5 million partially offset by expired and/or terminated accounts, which decreased net sales by $10.7 million. Additionally, MLB related sales increased $9.1 million from the prior year period primarily attributable to an overall increase in attendance and per capita spending and two post-season games as compared to no post-season games in the prior year period. Furthermore, net

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sales at arenas increased $4.6 million, primarily as a result of National Hockey League playoff activity and the addition of a National Basketball Association tenant team at an existing client facility. The remaining improvement in net sales was primarily due to increased volume at various facilities where we provide our services.

Cost of sales. Cost of sales of $395.7 million for the thirty-nine weeks ended September 30, 2003 increased by $30.2 million from $365.5 million in the prior year period due primarily to the increase in sales volume. Cost of sales as a percentage of net sales increased by approximately 0.4% from the prior year period. The increase was primarily the result of higher commission costs related to higher commission rates paid to our largest client in connection with the renewal of that client’s contract and a change in the sales mix to client facilities with higher commission rates. These increases were partially offset by lower product costs as a percentage of net sales resulting from efficiencies achieved at certain operating facilities at which we operate.

Selling, general and administrative expenses. Selling, general and administrative expenses of $45.3 million in the thirty-nine weeks ended September 30, 2003 declined approximately 0.2% as a percentage of net sales from the prior year period. The decrease was due, in part, to approximately $0.8 million received in 2003 as reimbursement for assets that were previously written-off in connection with one of our clients that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy during 2001. In addition, efficiencies achieved at certain operating facilities resulted in a decline in selling, general and administrative expenses. These improvements were partially offset by higher corporate overhead expenses related to the addition of management positions during fiscal 2002 and approximately $0.4 million in non-recurring marketing and other expenses associated with the change in the tradename for our operating subsidiaries from Volume Services America to Centerplate. In fiscal 2003, we anticipate an increase in corporate overhead of 0.5%, as a percentage of net sales, as compared to fiscal 2002, primarily due to the addition of the management positions. However, as a result of these new positions, we expect to achieve improvements in operating income at the facilities at which we provide services.

Depreciation and amortization. Depreciation and amortization was $20.3 million for the thirty-nine weeks ended September 30, 2003, compared to $19.0 million in the prior year period. The increase was principally attributable to higher amortization expense primarily related to investments made beginning in the second quarter of fiscal 2002 for the renewal and/or acquisition of certain contracts.

Contract related losses. Contract related losses of $0.6 million recorded in the thirty-nine weeks ended September 30, 2003 reflect an impairment charge of approximately $0.2 million for the write-down of property and equipment for a contract which has been assigned to a third-party, and $0.4 million for the write-down of contract rights and other assets for certain terminated contracts. In the prior year period, contract related losses of $0.7 million reflect an impairment charge for the write-down of contract rights.

Operating income. Operating income increased approximately $0.8 million from the prior year period due to the factors described above.

Interest expense. Interest expense decreased by $0.6 million from the prior year period principally due to lower interest rates on the our variable rate debt, which were partially offset by an increase in borrowings.

Other income, net. During the first quarter of fiscal 2002, Service America received approximately $1.4 million in connection with funds previously set aside to satisfy creditors pursuant to a plan of reorganization approved in 1993. Under the plan of reorganization, Service America was required to deposit funds with a disbursing agent for the benefit of its creditors. Any funds which remained unclaimed by its creditors after a period of two years from the date of distribution were forfeited and all interest in those funds reverted back to Service America. Service America does not believe that it has any obligation to escheat such funds.

Income taxes. We have evaluated the available evidence about future taxable income and other possible sources of realization of deferred tax assets and based on our best current estimates believe that taxable

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income will be realized in fiscal 2003. In the thirty-nine weeks ended September 30, 2003, we have recorded a tax provision of $0.3 million in comparison to a tax provision of $0.6 million in the prior year period. As noted above, we changed our estimate of the effective tax rate for fiscal 2003 during the thirteen-week period ended September 30, 2003 from approximately 16.8% to 4.4%.
 
Fiscal 2002 Compared to Fiscal 2001

Net Sales. Net sales of $577.2 million during fiscal 2002 increased $34.1 million or approximately 6% from $543.1 million in fiscal 2001. Our sports facility accounts accounted for approximately $20.2 million of the increase, of which $10.5 million was related to NFL venues. Five additional NFL games were played in our clients’ facilities in fiscal 2002, including four games that had been postponed from fiscal 2001 due to the events of September 11, 2001, and Super Bowl XXXVI. Additionally, a slight increase of $0.8 million was generated at MLB venues due primarily to an increase in sales as a result of post-season activity, including the World Series. Sales at convention centers and other entertainment facilities increased $2.3 million and $6.2 million, respectively. In addition, newly acquired service contracts generated net sales of $4.6 million.

Cost of Sales. Cost of sales of $470.9 million for fiscal 2002 increased by $24.3 million from $446.6 million for fiscal 2001. The increase was due primarily to the increase in sales volume. Cost of sales as a percentage of net sales decreased by approximately 0.4% from fiscal 2001 to 81.6%. This decrease was due mainly to efficiencies associated with the greater sales volume.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses. Selling, general and administrative expenses of $55.3 million increased approximately 0.7% as a percentage of net sales as compared to fiscal 2001. The increase was primarily the result of higher insurance costs due to dramatic price increases in the insurance market post September 11, 2001, higher corporate overhead expenses related to the addition of management positions and an increase in professional fees. With respect to the insurance increase, we obtained estimates for the casualty insurance program (workers’ compensation, general liability, and automobile liability policies) from multiple insurance companies at the end of 2001. Due to increased rates across the insurance market in the wake of September 11, 2001, and after reviewing the results of the estimates obtained along with an independent actuarial analysis, it was our assessment that a high deductible program was more cost effective than a guaranteed cost (zero deductible) program.

Depreciation and Amortization. Depreciation and amortization was $26.2 million in fiscal 2002 compared to $24.5 million in fiscal 2001. The increase was principally attributable to higher amortization expense related to investments for the renewal and/or acquisition of certain contracts, partially offset by a decline in amortization as a result of the discontinuation of goodwill and trademark amortization ($2.5 million) in accordance with Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 142 Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets.

Transaction Related Expenses. Acquisition related costs of $0.6 million were incurred in fiscal 2002 relating primarily to expenses incurred in connection with the structuring and evaluation of financing and recapitalization strategies, including proposals for securities offerings that preceded the proposed offering of IDSs and the related refinancing of the existing credit facility and senior subordinated notes. No such expenses were incurred in 2001.

Contract Related Losses. Contract related losses of $0.7 million in fiscal 2002 reflected an impairment charge related to a write-down of contract rights for one contract. In fiscal 2001, contract related losses of $4.8 million reflected an impairment charge of $2.3 million for equipment, leasehold improvements and location contracts with respect to certain contracts. Most of the $2.3 million impairment charge related to two of our clients which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001. Additionally, $2.5 million in other assets— chiefly long-term receivables related to one of those clients— was written off.

Operating Income. Operating income increased approximately $4.3 million in fiscal 2002 as compared to fiscal 2001 due to the factors described above.

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Interest Expense. Interest expense decreased by $2.7 million from fiscal 2001 due primarily to lower interest rates on our variable rate debt.

Other Income, Net. During fiscal 2002, Service America received approximately $1.4 million in connection with funds set aside to satisfy creditors pursuant to a plan of reorganization approved in 1993. Under the plan of reorganization, Service America was required to deposit funds with a disbursing agent for the benefit of its creditors. Any funds which remained unclaimed by its creditors after a period of two years from the date of distribution were forfeited and all interest in those funds reverted back to Service America. Service America does not believe that it has any obligation to escheat such funds.

Income Taxes. Management has evaluated the available evidence about future taxable income and other possible sources of realization of deferred tax assets, and, based on its best current estimates, believes taxable income or benefit will be realized in fiscal 2002 and beyond. Accordingly, in fiscal 2002 we have reduced the valuation allowance by $1.3 million and recorded a tax benefit of approximately $0.2 million in comparison to the recognition of a benefit of $0.4 million in fiscal 2001.

 
Outlook

The continuing weak economy has had an adverse impact on the levels of attendance at some sports and many convention center facilities we serve and on the levels of spending at those convention center facilities. Looking forward, we expect economic conditions to continue to be a challenge to growth and profitability through the end of fiscal 2003.

The events of September 11, 2001 have caused a significant increase in our insurance costs in connection with the recreational facilities where we provide services. We expect that future insurance premiums will continue to increase and certain coverages, such as terrorist acts coverage, will no longer be available or will be meaningfully reduced.

 
Fiscal 2001 Compared to Fiscal 2000

Net Sales. In fiscal 2001, net sales increased 3.9% or $20.6 million as compared to fiscal 2000. The increase was primarily due to new accounts (approximately 5%) and an increase in MLB related sales (approximately 3%). We commenced operations at 17 new accounts during fiscal 2001 including one NFL stadium and six minor league baseball facilities generating additional net sales of $34.8 million. Partially offsetting this was the loss of $9.2 million in net sales associated with the closure of several accounts. Our increase in MLB related sales of $14.8 million was primarily driven by results at three accounts where the tenant teams had highly successful seasons resulting in higher attendance and per capita spending.

The increases were, in part, offset by a decline in NFL related sales of $6.5 million due primarily to four fewer post season NFL games in fiscal 2001 and the postponement of four NFL games until fiscal 2002 as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Additionally, at two of the NFL facilities we service, non-NFL related sales declined by approximately $4.9 million as a result of fewer concerts and other ancillary events. Sales at our convention center accounts, which were adversely impacted by the general economic slowdown and the events of September 11, 2001, declined $9.8 million. We estimate that the impact of September 11, 2001 directly reduced our consolidated net sales approximately 2% in fiscal 2001 from the level we would have expected absent such conditions.

Cost of Sales. Cost of sales as a percentage of net sales increased 1% from fiscal 2000. The primary components of the increase were higher commission costs associated with an increase in sales at accounts with higher commission rates and a change in the sales mix to products with higher commission structures at certain accounts.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses. Selling, general and administrative expenses, as a percentage of net sales, declined less than 1.0% as a result of effective cost controls.

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Depreciation and Amortization. Depreciation and amortization declined $1.8 million from fiscal 2000. The decrease was primarily due to a decline in amortization which was the result of the expiration of the initial contract term of certain service contracts.

Transaction Related Expenses. Non-recurring corporate costs of $1.1 million were incurred during fiscal 2000 relating primarily to expenses incurred in connection with the analysis of a potential recapitalization and strategic investment opportunities. No such expenses were incurred in 2001.

Contract Related Losses. Contract related losses of $4.8 million for fiscal 2001 reflected an impairment charge of $2.3 million for equipment, leasehold improvements and location contracts with respect to certain contracts under which we intend to continue performing. Most of the $2.3 million impairment charge related to two of our clients which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Additionally, we wrote off $2.5 million of other assets primarily representing long-term receivables related to one of those clients. We are currently still operating at the location; however, our ability to continue to operate at this account depends on the final outcome of the bankruptcy proceedings. We have approximately $600,000 in equipment and leasehold improvements recorded for this location. We are unable to predict the ultimate outcome or whether there will be additional losses related to this contract. Contract related losses of $2.5 million in the prior year period included an impairment charge of approximately $1.5 million relating to certain contracts which we continue to perform and a $0.7 million charge for the write-off of a client receivable and $0.3 million in related legal fees for a terminated service contract.

Operating Income. Operating income declined by $1.4 million from fiscal 2000, primarily due to the factors discussed above. We estimate that the impact of September 11, 2001, reduced our operating income approximately 8% in fiscal 2001 from the level we would have expected absent such conditions.

Interest Expense. Interest expense declined $3.1 million from fiscal 2000, chiefly associated with lower interest rates on our adjustable rate debt.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

For the thirty-nine weeks ended September 30, 2003, net cash provided by operating activities was $45.4 million compared to $48.0 million in the prior year period. The $2.6 million decline in cash provided from the prior year period was principally attributable to an increase in working capital in the current period. This primarily related to the timing and number of events at the facilities we serve resulting in higher accounts receivable and merchandise inventories recorded at September 30, 2003.

Net cash used in investing activities was $19.8 million for the thirty-nine weeks ended September 30, 2003 compared to $41.1 million in the prior year period reflecting a higher level of investment associated with renewals of existing contracts, including the renewal of the company’s largest client, in the prior year period.

Net cash used in financing activities was $8.8 million in the thirty-nine weeks ended September 30, 2003 as compared to $11.5 million in the prior year period. The decrease was principally due to lower net repayments of borrowings under our revolving credit facility to fund contract investment and working capital requirements in the current period. As of September 30, 2003, we had approximately $5.0 million in outstanding revolving loans as compared to no outstanding balances at October 1, 2002.

For fiscal 2002, net cash provided by operating activities was $38.6 million as compared to $24.7 million in fiscal 2001. The $13.9 million increase was principally attributable to a $8.1 million increase in net income, mainly as the result of the $4.3 million improvement in operating income, $2.7 million decline in interest expense and the recovery of $1.4 million in funds by Service America, as discussed above. Additionally, our working capital decreased as compared to the prior year period chiefly due to higher accrued commissions, insurance and legal fees.

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Net cash used in investing activities was $45.0 million in fiscal 2002 compared to $29.3 million in fiscal 2001, primarily reflecting a higher level of investment in contract rights and property and equipment associated with renewals of existing contracts in fiscal 2002.

Net cash provided by financing activities was $1.7 million in fiscal 2002 as compared to $5.0 million in fiscal 2001. As of December 31, 2002, $15.0 million in revolving loans were outstanding under our revolving credit facility as compared to $12.8 million at the end of fiscal 2001; however, the increase in net borrowings was only $2.2 million in fiscal 2002 versus $6.8 million in fiscal 2001. In addition, net cash provided by bank overdrafts increased by approximately $1.4 million in fiscal 2002 as compared to fiscal 2001.

At December 31, 2002, $43.7 million was available to be borrowed under our revolving credit facility. At that date, there were $15.0 million in outstanding borrowings and $16.3 million of outstanding, undrawn letters of credit reducing availability.

For fiscal 2001, net cash provided by operating activities was $24.7 million as compared to $22.7 million in fiscal 2000. The $2.0 million increase was primarily due to lower interest costs and a decline in working capital partially offset by a decrease in income from operations.

Net cash used in investing activities was $29.3 million in fiscal 2001 compared to $12.9 million in the prior year period. The $16.4 million increase in cash used in investing activities primarily reflected a higher level of investment in contract rights and property and equipment associated with new accounts in fiscal 2001.

Net cash provided by financing activities was $5.0 million in fiscal 2001 as compared to $7.3 million used in financing activities in fiscal 2000. The change primarily reflects net borrowings of $6.8 million under the old credit facility used primarily to finance capital investments as compared to the $3.5 million in net repayments in fiscal 2000. Additionally, our bank overdraft declined $0.5 million compared to $2.4 million in fiscal 2000.

The new credit facility will be comprised of a secured revolving credit facility in an aggregate principal amount of up to $50.0 million (less amounts reserved for letters of credit) and a term loan facility in the form of term note purchases in an aggregate principal amount of $65.0 million. Our revolving credit facility will have a 3-year maturity period and the senior secured notes will have a 4.5-year maturity period. We expect to use borrowings under the revolving credit facility for general corporate purposes, including working capital, capital expenditures, payment of dividends and letters of credit. Upon the closing of this offering, we expect to borrow $65.0 million under the new credit facility to fund the new credit facility cash collateral account and dividend/ capex funding account, and to pay for a portion of VSA’s senior subordinated notes accepted for purchase in the tender offer and consent solicitation. We expect that approximately $50.0 million will be available for borrowing (less amounts reserved for letters of credit).

The new credit facility will require that we meet certain financial tests, including, without limitation, the following tests: a minimum interest coverage ratio, a maximum net leverage ratio and a maximum net senior leverage ratio. Our new credit facility will contain customary covenants and restrictions, including, among others, limitations or prohibitions on declaring dividends and other distributions, redeeming and repurchasing our other indebtedness, loans and investments, additional indebtedness, liens, sale-leaseback transactions, capital expenditures, recapitalizations, mergers, acquisitions and asset sales and transactions with affiliates. In addition, our new credit facility will require us to maintain minimum balances in the cash collateral account and will limit our use of any additional balances in such account.

We are also often required to obtain performance bonds, bid bonds or letters of credit to secure our contractual obligations. As of September 30, 2003, we had requirements outstanding for performance bonds and letters of credit of $13.9 million and $19.3 million, respectively. Under the new credit facility, we will have an aggregate of $35.0 million available for letters of credit, subject to an overall borrowing limit of $50.0 million under that facility.

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Our capital expenditures can be categorized into two types: maintenance and growth. Maintenance capital expenditures are associated with securing renewals of our existing contracts and maintaining those contracts following renewal. Growth capital expenditures are those made in connection with securing new contracts and maintaining those contracts during their initial term. In both cases, particularly for sports facilities, capital expenditures are often required in the form of contract acquisition fees or up-front or committed future capital investment to help finance facility construction or renovation. This expenditure typically takes the form of investment in leasehold improvements and food service equipment and grants to owners or operators of facilities. We provide our historical maintenance and growth capital expenditures for each of the five fiscal years ended December 31, 2002 in “Selected Historical Financial Information.” The amount of maintenance capital expenditures in fiscal 2002, a total of $31.2 million, increased significantly due to the renewal of several large long-term contracts. We have historically financed our capital expenditures with a combination of cash from operating activities and borrowings under the revolving line of credit of the existing credit facility.

We believe that the identification and separation of maintenance and growth capital expenditures are important factors in evaluating our business results. While we strive to maintain our present levels of net sales and EBITDA by securing renewals of our existing contracts, we cannot assure you that we will maintain our present levels of net sales and EBITDA since we cannot predict the future financial requirements of our clients. Contracts may be renewed at significantly different commission rates, and thus levels of net sales and EBITDA, depending on the clients’ financial requirements at the time of renewal.

The amount of capital commitment required by us can vary significantly. The ability to make those expenditures is often an essential element of a successful bid on a new contract or renewal of an existing contract. The following table shows our net sales for fiscal 2002, which equalled $577.2 million, as allocated according to the expiration year of our contracts:

                                             
Contracts Expiring in:

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 and After






(In millions)
$ 79.3     $ 63.6     $ 63.1     $ 86.6     $ 68.9     $ 215.7  

Commission and management fee rates vary significantly among contracts based primarily upon the amount of capital that we invest, the type of facility involved, the term of the contract and the services provided by us. In general, within each client category, the level of capital investment and commission are related, such that the greater the capital investment that we make, the lower the commission we pay to the client. Our profit sharing contracts generally provide that we are reimbursed each year for the amortization of our capital investments prior to determining profits under the contract.

At the end of the contract term, all capital investments that we have made typically remain the property of the client, but our contracts generally provide that the client must reimburse us for any undepreciated or unamortized capital investments or fees made pursuant to the terms of the contract if the contract is terminated early, other than due to our default.

We believe that cash flow from operating activities, together with borrowings available under the new credit facility, will be sufficient to fund our currently anticipated capital investment requirements, interest and principal payment obligations, working capital requirements and anticipated dividend payments. In fiscal 2002 we made capital investments of $45.0 million, net of $2.3 million in reimbursement of book value under a contract that was terminated early. We have already committed approximately $17.7 million for growth capital expenditures in fiscal 2003. We are currently committed to fund aggregate capital investments of approximately $25.2 million and $3.8 million in 2003 and 2004, respectively. We expect that future maintenance capital expenditures will be financed through net cash provided by operating activities. We expect that future growth capital expenditures will be financed through borrowings under our new revolving credit facility, issuances of additional IDSs or other securities of ours, net cash provided by operating activities, other third party financing or a combination of these alternatives. We expect that as a result of the changes to both our capital structure (including the repayment of all outstanding borrowings

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under VSA’s existing credit facility, VSA’s entering into a new credit facility, the repurchase of VSA’s senior subordinated notes and issuance of the IDSs offered hereby) and our dividend policy discussed under “Dividend Policy,” we may be limited in our ability to grow EBITDA, and our related levels of growth capital expenditures, at rates as great as the relatively rapid EBITDA growth that we have experienced over the last several years. In particular, we may not be able to pursue future growth opportunities if third-party financing, including borrowings under our new credit facility or issuances by us of IDSs or other securities, is not available to us on favorable terms or at all.

Contractual Commitments

We have future obligations for debt repayments, future minimum rental and similar commitments under non-cancelable operating leases as well as contingent obligations related to outstanding letters of credit. These obligations as of September 30, 2003, without giving effect to this offering and the related transactions, are summarized below:

                                         
Less Than 1-3 4-5 More Than
Total 1 Year Years Years 5 Years





(In millions)
Long-term borrowings
  $ 214.5     $ 1.2     $ 113.3     $     $ 100.0  
Operating leases
    1.3       0.5       0.8              
Commissions and royalties
    38.9       8.3       18.7       4.9       7.0  
Other long-term obligations(1)
    14.2       6.7       7.2       0.3        
     
     
     
     
     
 
Total contractual obligations
  $ 268.9     $ 16.7     $ 140.0     $ 5.2     $ 107.0  
     
     
     
     
     
 

(1) Represents capital commitments in connection with several long-term concession contracts.
                                         
Payments Due by Period

Less Than 1-3 4-5 More Than
Other Commercial Commitments Total 1 Year Years Years 5 Years






Letters of credit
  $ 19.3     $ 19.3     $     $     $  

On a pro forma basis after giving effect to this offering, the expected use of proceeds and the new credit facility, we believe that our net cash provided by operating activities and borrowing capacity under the new credit facility will be sufficient to enable us to fund our liquidity needs for the foreseeable future. Should we be unable to borrow under the new credit facility, we would seek other sources of debt or equity funding. However, we cannot assure you that we will be successful in obtaining alternate sources of funding in sufficient amounts or on acceptable terms.

Management Bonuses

Pursuant to our bonus plan, in February 2003 we paid a total of approximately $1 million to our general managers and senior management personnel, expensed as cost of sales, with respect to our financial performance in fiscal 2002. This amount was the aggregate bonus amount available for bonuses regardless of the participants. As discussed under “Management— Director and Executive Compensation— Compensation of Executive Officers” and “—Annual Bonus Plan,” bonuses payable to our named executive officers of $400,000 earned for fiscal year 2002 financial performance were forfeited in exchange for a commitment that we pay to them contingent bonuses of up to $1 million in the aggregate upon our successful refinancing or similar transaction, currently anticipated to occur pursuant to this offering, but not limited to this offering. By forfeiting these bonuses, the named executive officers’ share of the original $1 million aggregate bonus amount inured to the benefit of the general managers and senior management personnel. Had the named executive officers not forfeited these bonuses, there would have been no increase in the amount of bonus expense included in cost of sales. These contingent bonuses will be paid with the proceeds of this offering and expensed as cost of sales when paid. Subject to the determination of

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our chief executive officer, our board of directors and our compensation committee to be implemented after this offering, we anticipate that, excluding the contingent bonuses, under the bonus plan in effect for 2003, the aggregate bonus amount to be expensed in 2003 is comparable to the amount expensed in 2002 for similar performance, including the payments to the named executive officers that were forfeited in 2002.

New Accounting Standards

In June 2002, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued SFAS No. 146, Accounting for Costs Associated with Exit or Disposal Activities. This statement addresses financial accounting and reporting for costs associated with exit or disposal activities and nullifies Emerging Issues Task Force Issue No. 94-3, Liability Recognition for Certain Employees Termination Benefits and Other Costs to Exit an Activity (Including Certain Costs Incurred in a Restructuring) and is effective for exit or disposal activities after December 31, 2002. The implementation of this standard did not have a material effect on our financial position or results of operations.

On November 25, 2002, the FASB issued Interpretation No. 45, Guarantor’s Accounting and Disclosure Requirements for Guarantees, Including Indirect Guarantees of Indebtedness of Others, which elaborates on the disclosures to be made by a guarantor about its obligations under certain guarantees issued. It also clarifies that a guarantor is required to recognize, at the inception of a guarantee, a liability for the fair value of the obligation undertaken in issuing the guarantee. The Interpretation expands on the accounting guidance of SFAS No. 5, Accounting for Contingencies, SFAS No. 57, Related Party Disclosures, and SFAS No. 107, Disclosures about Fair Value of Financial Instruments. The Interpretation also incorporates, without change, the provisions of FASB Interpretation No. 34, Disclosure of Indirect Guarantees of Indebtedness of Others, which it supersedes. The Interpretation does identify several situations where the recognition of a liability at inception for a guarantor’s obligation is not required. The initial recognition and measurement provisions of Interpretation No. 45 apply on a prospective basis to guarantees issued or modified after December 31, 2002, regardless of the guarantor’s fiscal year-end. The disclosures are effective for financial statements of interim or annual periods ending after December 15, 2002. The disclosure requirements, initial recognition and initial measurement provisions are currently effective and did not have a material effect on our financial position or results of operations.

On December 31, 2002, the FASB issued SFAS No. 148, Accounting for Stock-Based Compensation— Transition and Disclosure. SFAS No. 148 amends SFAS No. 123, Accounting for Stock-Based Compensation, to provide alternative methods of transition to SFAS No. 123’s fair value method of accounting for stock-based employee compensation. SFAS No. 148 also amends the disclosure provisions of SFAS No. 123 and APB Opinion No. 28, Interim Financial Reporting, to require disclosure in the summary of significant accounting policies of the effects of an entity’s accounting policy with respect to stock-based employee compensation on reported net income and earnings per share in annual and interim financial statements. While SFAS No. 148 does not amend SFAS No. 123 to require companies to account for employee stock options using the fair value method, the disclosure provisions of SFAS No. 148 are applicable to all companies with stock-based compensation, regardless of whether they account for that compensation using the fair value method of SFAS No. 123 or the intrinsic value method of APB Opinion No. 25, Accounting for Stock Issued to Employees. SFAS No. 148’s amendment of the transition and annual disclosure requirements of SFAS No. 123 are effective for fiscal years ending after December 15, 2002. The implementation of this standard did not have a material effect on our financial position or results of operations.

In January 2003, the FASB issued Interpretation No. 46, Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities, an Interpretation of Accounting Research Bulletin No. 51, Consolidated Financial Statements (“FIN 46”). This Interpretation applies immediately to variable interest entities created after January 31, 2003. In October 2003, certain provisions of FIN 46 were amended. FIN 46, as amended, applies to the first fiscal year or interim period ending after December 15, 2003, to those variable interest entities in which an enterprise holds a variable interest that it acquired before February 1, 2003. This Interpretation may be

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applied prospectively with a cumulative-effect adjustment as of the date on which it is first applied or by restating previously issued financial statements for one or more years with a cumulative-effect adjustment as of the beginning of the first year restated. We will evaluate the effect of this Interpretation on our financial position or results of operations after the FASB completes its deliberations.

In April 2003, the FASB issued SFAS No. 149, Amendment of Statement 133 on Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities. This statement amends and clarifies financial accounting and reporting for derivative instruments including certain derivatives embedded in other contracts. This statement is effective for contracts entered into or modified after June 30, 2003. The implementation of this standard is not expected to have a material effect on our financial position or results of operations.

In May 2003, the FASB issued SFAS No. 150, Accounting for Certain Financial Instruments with Characteristics of both Liabilities and Equity. SFAS No. 150 establishes standards for classification and measurement of certain financial instruments with characteristics of both liabilities and equity. This statement is effective for financial instruments entered into or modified after May 31, 2003, and otherwise is effective at the beginning of the first interim period after June 15, 2003. In October 2003, the FASB deferred the implementation of certain provisions of this standard indefinitely. The implementation of this standard did not have a material effect on our financial position or results of operations.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

                                                           
Fair Value
2003 2004 2005 2006 Thereafter Total 9/30/03







(Dollars in millions)
Long-term debt:
                                                       
 
Variable rate
  $ 0.3     $ 6.1     $ 1.2     $ 106.9     $     $ 125.3     $ 125.3  
 
Average interest rate
    5.23 %     5.23 %     5.23 %     5.23 %     5.23 %                
 
Fixed rate
  $     $     $     $     $ 100.0     $ 100.0     $ 98.6  
 
Average interest rate
    11.25 %     11.25 %     11.25 %     11.25 %     11.25 %                

As of September 30, 2003, we had $109,538,000 in term loans outstanding. Installments of the loan are due in consecutive quarterly installments on the last day of each fiscal quarter with 25% of the following annual amounts being paid on each installment date; $1,150,000 in each year from 2003 through 2005 and $106,950,000 due in 2006. As of September 30, 2003, we also had $5,000,000 outstanding in revolving loans on our revolving credit facility of our existing credit facility which matures on December 3, 2004. The weighted average variable rates are based on implied forward rates in the yield curve at the reporting date. The term loans and revolving loans noted above will be refinanced as of the closing date with the proceeds of this offering and our new credit facility. VSA also has senior subordinated notes outstanding in an aggregate principal amount of $100,000,000. These senior subordinated notes mature on March 1, 2009.

As of September 30, 2003, on a pro forma as adjusted basis after giving effect to this offering, including the use of proceeds from this offering, the repayment of all outstanding borrowings under VSA’s existing credit facility, the tender offer and consent solicitation and the borrowings under the new credit facility, as if those transactions had occurred on that date and VSA had entered into the new credit facility on that date, we would have had $160.7 million of fixed rate long-term debt, consisting of $95.7 million of the subordinated notes represented by the IDSs and $65.0 million of term loans, and no variable rate long-term debt, with up to $50.0 million of availability under the revolving credit facility (less amounts reserved for letters of credit). For additional information regarding the variable interest rates under the new credit facility, See “Description of Certain Indebtedness— New Credit Facility.”

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Business

Overview

We are a leading provider of food and beverage concessions, catering and merchandise services for sports facilities, convention centers and other entertainment facilities throughout the United States. Based on the number of facilities served, we are one of the largest providers of food and beverage services to a variety of recreational facilities in the United States and are:

  •   the second largest provider to NFL facilities (10 teams);
 
  •   the third largest provider to MLB facilities (6 teams);
 
  •   the largest provider to minor league baseball and spring training facilities (27 teams); and
 
  •   one of the largest providers to major convention centers (those with greater than approximately 300,000 square feet of exhibition space) (10 centers).

We have a large diversified client base, serving 128 facilities as of September 30, 2003. As of December 31, 2002, we served 129 facilities, with an average length of client relationship of over 15 years. Some of our major accounts by client category include:

  •   Yankee Stadium in New York City, representing approximately 8.6% of our net sales;
 
  •   the Louisiana Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints, representing approximately 3.5% of our net sales;
 
  •   the Seattle Mariners’ Safeco Field, representing approximately 5.3% of our net sales;
 
  •   the National Trade Centre in Toronto, Canada’s largest exhibit hall, representing approximately 0.7% of our net sales;
 
  •   the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre, representing approximately 1.1% of our net sales; and
 
  •   the Los Angeles Zoo, representing approximately 1.3% of our net sales.

Our contracts are typically long-term and exclusive. From 1999 through 2002, contracts came up for renewal that generated, on average, approximately 14.8% of our net sales for each year. During this period, we retained contracts up for renewal that generated, on average, approximately 85.3% of our net sales for each year, which together with the contracts that did not come up for renewal resulted in us retaining contracts that generated, on average, approximately 97.8% of our net sales for each year.

We have provided our services to several of the highest profile sporting and other events, including:

  •   24 World Series events;
 
  •   three U.S. Presidential Inaugural Balls;
 
  •   nine Super Bowls, including the 2003 Super Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium;
 
  •   eight NCAA Final Four Men’s Basketball Tournaments; and
 
  •   14 World Cup Soccer games.

On February 11, 2003, we announced that we changed the tradename for our operating businesses from Volume Services America to Centerplate.

Our Strengths

We believe that our competitive strengths should enable us to maintain our high retention rate and to secure attractive new contracts. The following is a list of new contracts we have been awarded or begun

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serving since the beginning of 1999 for major league (NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL) sports facilities and major convention centers:

  •   Louisiana Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints;
 
  •   Denver Broncos’ INVESCO Field at Mile High Stadium;
 
  •   The Coliseum, home of the Tennessee Titans;
 
  •   Seattle Mariners’ Safeco Field;
 
  •   Minnesota Wild’s Xcel Energy Center;
 
  •   San Francisco Giants’ Pacific Bell Park;
 
  •   Dallas Convention Center; and
 
  •   new Washington Convention Center.

Our strengths include the following:

A Leading Market Position. Based on the number of facilities served, we are one of the largest providers of food and beverage services to a variety of sports facilities and to major convention centers in the United States. We believe that our position as one of the market leaders increases the likelihood that we will be able to renew existing contracts and be invited to bid for new contracts to supply food and beverage services to recreational facilities. Furthermore, relative to smaller competitors, we benefit from our ability to make significant capital investments in clients’ facilities, which has become an important competitive factor in the bidding process for contracts to serve certain facilities, particularly sports facilities.

Diversified Client Base. We provide services at 128 facilities located across the United States and into Canada. The breakdown of facilities that we serve by primary client category is as follows: as of September 30, 2003, 68 sports facilities, 29 convention centers and 31 other entertainment facilities; and as of December 30, 2002, 66 sports facilities, 31 convention centers and 32 other entertainment facilities, generating approximately 65.9%, 21.8% and 12.3%, respectively, of our net sales for fiscal 2002. Within sports facilities, our client base is further diversified and includes contracts to provide services at ten NFL, six MLB, two NBA, one NHL and 27 minor league baseball and spring training facilities.

Exclusive, Long-Term Service Contracts with High Retention Rate. We typically provide services at our clients’ facilities pursuant to long-term contracts that grant us the exclusive right to provide certain food and beverage products and services and, under some contracts, merchandise products and other services within the facility. As of December 31, 2002, our contracts had an overall average, weighted by net sales generated by each contract, of approximately 6.3 years left to run before their scheduled expirations, representing approximately 7.9, 3.1 and 3.3 years for sports facilities, convention centers and other entertainment facilities, respectively. The non-weighted average was approximately 4.2 years left to run on our overall contracts, representing approximately 5.5, 2.8, and 2.8 years for sports facilities, convention centers and other entertainment facilities, respectively.

We typically renegotiate contracts for extension several months and, in some cases, years prior to their expiration. From 1999 through 2002, contracts came up for renewal that generated, on average, approximately 14.8% of our net sales for each year. During this period, we retained contracts up for renewal that generated, on average, approximately 85.3% of our net sales for each year, which together with the contracts that did not come up for renewal resulted in us retaining contracts that generated, on average, approximately 97.8% of our net sales for each year. As of December 31, 2002, we had been providing services to our clients’ facilities for an average of approximately 15.6 years. Four of our major accounts— Yankee Stadium in New York City, home of the Yankees, Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, home of the Chargers, Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, home of the Chiefs, and Kaufmann Field in Kansas City, home of the Royals— have been our accounts for more than 30 years.

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The following chart shows the number of our contracts scheduled to expire in the three years beginning in 2003 and which have not been renewed as of September 30, 2003, by year and by primary facility category, and the percentage of fiscal 2002 net sales attributable to the contracts expiring in each year.

                           
2003(1) 2004 2005



Facility Category
                       
 
Sports facilities
    4       6       5  
 
Convention centers
    1       4       7  
 
Other entertainment facilities
    8       4       9  
     
     
     
 
Total number of contracts
    13       14       21  
     
     
     
 
Percentage of fiscal 2002 net sales
    6.4 %     11.4 %     9.8 %

(1) In the first nine months of 2003, 19 contracts, representing 9.0% of fiscal 2002 net sales were scheduled to expire. Of these contracts, 16 contracts, representing 7.8% of fiscal 2002 net sales, have been renewed.

High-Quality, Full Service Capabilities. We believe that our expertise in catering and concession services, coupled with our reputation for high-quality food and beverage products and services and responsiveness to client needs, provide a competitive advantage when we bid for contracts. Our full service capability is particularly important given the trend in new sports facilities toward providing more premium seating and luxury suites that require high-quality catering services. We also believe that our expertise in designing and assisting in the planning of appealing and efficient food service facilities, including food courts, kitchens and permanent and portable concession stands, increases net sales and enhances our ability to obtain and retain clients. For example, we believe that our recognized reputation for service and food, combined with our innovative service offerings, were important factors in obtaining a contract extension at the San Diego Convention Center in 2001.

Experienced Management Team. Our chief executive officer and our six most senior vice presidents have an average of approximately 17 years of experience in the recreational food service industry. Our facility general managers have an average of approximately 10 years of experience as general managers with our company. We believe that this experience is of particular value in enabling us to evaluate the risks and benefits associated with potential new contracts, contract structures, product innovations and markets.

Strategic Direction and Growth Opportunities

Our goal is to strengthen and broaden our position as a leading provider of food and beverage concessions, catering and merchandise services for sports, convention and other recreational facilities. Our industry position and experience have enabled us to effectively evaluate and select opportunities for growth. Our strategies are designed to continue to improve the level of service to our existing clients and their fans and guests, to attract new clients on the strength of our reputation for quality products and services and to work responsively with our clients to expand into related markets. We intend to accomplish these goals by:

Further Penetrating the Mid-Size Account Market. We believe that we have greater potential to grow by obtaining new clients in the mid-size account market than in the major-league or large-city professional sports account markets, where we believe growth opportunities are more limited. Generally, the mid-size account market includes sporting and other recreational facilities, arenas, civic centers, convention centers and amphitheatres in medium- to small-cities. Part of this growth opportunity stems from the existence of more potential clients in the mid-size account category as compared to the major-league and large-city professional sports account category. Furthermore, we believe that the client service and types of contractual arrangements we offer will be attractive to the owners and operators of these kinds of facilities. We expect to involve our local general managers, who have first-hand experience with operational issues and local communities, in our sales efforts in this market.

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Extending our Suite and Club-Level Catering Services. Our experience is typically that cost savings and service efficiencies often result when one supplier, rather than separate suppliers, provides all the required concession services and suite and club-level catering services for a single facility. Although we provide suite and club-level catering at some of the sports facilities where we provide concessions— for example, Yankee Stadium, Safeco Field and ALLTEL Stadium— we do not provide catering services at all of them. We believe that we are capable of providing the quality and service levels that our clients expect for their suites and club-level seats, and we are actively seeking to be awarded the suite and club-level service contracts in the facilities in which we currently have only the concession rights as well as for prospective clients. In connection with this goal, we have appointed a vice president of catering and hired a corporate chef to reinforce and codify our expertise and commitment in this area.

Building our Facilities Management Business. We currently have two facility management accounts, including the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, South Carolina, and we desire to expand this area of our business. We believe that we can offer efficiencies to our clients by providing food and beverage services and facility management services in the same facility. Toward this end, we intend to build on our experience in facilities management and our expertise in operating and managing food and beverage concession services in order to more effectively bid on new facility management accounts.

Offering a Variety of Branded Products to our Clients. We are pursuing a strategy of offering a variety of high-quality, well-recognized branded products to our clients. Through our experience, we have learned that the careful management of prices, costs and consumer brand promotion and recognition can generate additional customer sales for the benefit of our clients and us. Toward this end, we have entered into and are seeking to enter into additional promotional and preferential pricing arrangements with owners of various branded products which would allow us to offer our clients competitively-priced products which have the brand recognition that should help generate additional customer sales.

Clients and Services

 
Overview

We provide a number of services to our clients. Our principal services include food and beverage concession and catering services at sports and other entertainment facilities, small- to large-scale banquet catering and food court operations at convention centers and in-facility restaurants and catering across the range of facilities that we serve.

We also provide merchandise and program sales services at many of the sports facilities that we serve. We are responsible for all personnel, inventory control, purchasing and food preparation requirements in connection with the provision of these services.

In addition, we provide full facility management services, which can include a variety of services such as event planning and marketing, maintenance, ticket distribution, program printing, advertising and licensing rights for the facility, and its suites and premium seats. Currently, we provide facility management services at two arenas.

We believe that we have built strong relationships with many of our clients. We often work closely with clients in designing or renovating the portion of the facilities where we provide our services. By using our in-house capabilities in conjunction with outside consultants, we have designed state-of-the-art concessions and restaurant facilities in, among other facilities, INVESCO Field at Mile High Stadium, home of the Denver Broncos, and Pacific Bell Park, home of the San Francisco Giants.

We also provide for our clients a dedicated central staff for equipment placement and construction design. Our design and construction capabilities are being used in a number of new and existing client facilities where we and the client believe there is an opportunity for additional revenue growth through better design.

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We assist some of our clients in marketing their facilities, as our net sales are directly affected by the number and quality of events attracted to these facilities. We also seek to build relationships with event sponsors in order to facilitate referrals of recurring events, such as annual trade shows. For fiscal 2002:

  •   our largest client, Yankee Stadium in New York City, accounted for approximately 8.6% of our net sales;
 
  •   our three largest clients together accounted for approximately 22.1% of our net sales;
 
  •   our 10 largest clients together accounted for approximately 38.6% of our net sales; and
 
  •   our 20 largest clients together accounted for approximately 52.2% of our net sales.

 
Sports Facilities

We currently have contracts to provide services, including food and beverage concessions and, in some cases, the selling of merchandise, at 68 sports facilities, including stadiums and arenas throughout the United States and into Canada. We also provide catering services for premium seating, luxury suites and in-stadium restaurants at 40 of these facilities. These facilities host sports teams as well as other forms of entertainment, such as concerts and other large civic events. These facilities may also host conventions, trade shows and meetings. The stadiums and arenas at which we provide our services seat from 7,500 to 102,000 persons and typically host sporting events such as NFL and college football games, MLB or minor league baseball games, NBA and college basketball games, NHL and minor league hockey games, concerts, ice shows and circuses. For fiscal 2002, sports facility contracts accounted for approximately 65.9% of our net sales.

Concession-style sales of food and beverages represent the majority of our business at sports facilities. Catering for luxury suites, premium concession services for premium seating and in-stadium restaurants are currently responsible for a significantly smaller portion of net sales at sports facilities, but have been gaining importance due to the general growth of premium seating as a proportion of total stadium and arena seating and to the general increase in demand for a variety of food and beverage offerings. Also, premium seating is important to our clients because of the significant net sales generated for those clients by purchasers of luxury seats and suites. Consequently, the ability to provide catering is an important factor when competing for contracts, and we expect it to become more important in the future. In addition to the provision of food and beverage catering and concession services, we sell team-licensed and other merchandise during events at 17 of these facilities. For example, we provide a wide range of merchandise services, including in-stadium stores and roving vendors, at almost all of the MLB facilities that we serve.

Our contracts for sports facilities are typically for terms ranging from five to 20 years. As of December 31, 2002, the existing sports facility contracts had a per contract net sales weighted average remaining life of approximately 7.9 years or a non-weighted average of approximately 5.5 years. In general, stadium and arena contracts require a larger up-front or committed future capital investment than contracts for convention centers and other entertainment facilities and typically have a longer contract term. In addition, some sports facility contracts require greater capital investment than others, and we typically receive a more favorable commission structure at facilities where we have made larger capital investments.

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The following chart lists all our major league sports facility tenants as of September 30, 2003:

                                 
Length of
Seating Capacity Relationship
Facility Name Location Sports Team Tenant (Sport) (Years)





ALLTEL Stadium Florida
    Jacksonville, FL       Jacksonville Jaguars       73,000(NFL)       8.3  
Arrowhead Stadium
    Kansas City, MO       Kansas City Chiefs       79,000(NFL)       31.5  
FedEx Field
    Landover, MD       Washington Redskins       80,000(NFL)       6.3  
HHH Metrodome
    Minneapolis, MN       Minnesota Vikings       64,000(NFL)       21.8  
              Minnesota Twins       44,000(MLB)       21.8  
INVESCO Field at Mile High Stadium
    Denver, CO       Denver Broncos       76,000(NFL)       2.7  
Kaufmann Field
    Kansas City, MO       Kansas City Royals       40,600(MLB)       31.5  
Louisiana Superdome
    New Orleans, LA       New Orleans Saints       70,054(NFL)       4.6  
New Orleans Arena
    New Orleans, LA       New Orleans Hornets       18,500(NBA)       4.6 (1)
Pacific Bell Park
    San Francisco, CA       San Francisco Giants       42,000(MLB)       10.5 (2)
Palace of Auburn Hills
    Auburn Hills, MI       Detroit Pistons       21,000(NBA)       15.1  
Qualcomm Stadium
    San Diego, CA       San Diego Chargers       71,400(NFL)       36.4  
RCA Dome
    Indianapolis, IN       Indianapolis Colts       60,000(NFL)       20.6  
Safeco Field
    Seattle, WA       Seattle Mariners       47,145(MLB)       5.8 (3)
San Francisco Stadium at Candlestick Point
    San Francisco, CA       San Francisco 49ers       68,000(NFL)       10.5  
The Coliseum
    Nashville, TN       Tennessee Titans       68,500(NFL)       4.7  
Tropicana Field
    St. Petersburg, FL       Tampa Bay Devil Rays       48,500(MLB)       5.5  
Xcel Energy Center
    St. Paul, MN       Minnesota Wild       18,064(NHL)       3.0  
Yankee Stadium
    New York, NY       New York Yankees       55,000(MLB)       39.5  

(1) Represents length of relationship with respect to the New Orleans Arena. The New Orleans Hornets’ 2002-2003 season is its first at the arena.
(2) Includes length of client relationship with the San Francisco Giants with respect to its former stadium, known first as Candlestick Park (1993-1999) and later as 3COM Park (1999-2000).
(3) Includes length of client relationship prior to the opening of the stadium, during which time we helped design, plan and procure numerous food beverage outlets and equipment. The stadium opened after the all-star break during the 1999 MLB season.
 
Convention Centers

Based on the number of facilities served, we are one of the largest providers of food and beverage services to major convention centers— those with greater than approximately 300,000 square feet of exhibition space— in the United States. We have contracts to provide services to 29 convention centers, including 10 major convention centers such as the San Diego Convention Center, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City and the National Trade Centre in Toronto. For fiscal 2002, convention center contracts accounted for approximately 21.8% of our net sales.

The services that we provide at convention centers typically include:

  •   catering services;
 
  •   providing food court operations;
 
  •   assisting in planning events; and
 
  •   marketing clients’ facilities.

Catering services consist primarily of providing large-scale banquet services to functions held in the facilities’ ballrooms and banquet halls. We are equipped to tailor our services for small groups to groups of several thousand persons at the facility. To cater meals at certain facilities for larger groups, we may draw, as needed, on the services of chefs, event managers and other employees throughout the region in which

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the facility is located. At trade shows and consumer exhibitions, we frequently provide smaller-scale catering services to meetings, exhibitions and trade show booths. In operating food courts at convention centers, we typically provide concession sales services from several different locations, which sell a variety of specialty foods and beverages, including nationally-branded, franchised food and beverage products.

Our contracts with convention centers are typically for terms ranging from two to five years. As of December 31, 2002, the existing convention center contracts had a per contract net sales weighted average remaining life of approximately 3.1 years or a non-weighted average of approximately 2.8 years. In general, convention center contracts are for a shorter contract term than contracts for sports facilities, but typically require less up-front or committed future capital investment. We typically receive a more favorable commission structure at facilities where we have made larger capital investments.

The following chart lists alphabetically our top eight contracts within the convention center category in terms of the fiscal 2002 net sales generated by those contracts and the length of our relationship as of September 30, 2003:

                         
Length of
Size (Approx. Relationship
Facility Name Location Sq. Ft.)(1) (Years)




Colorado Convention Center
    Denver, CO       300,000       13.8  
Indiana Convention Center
    Indianapolis, IN       403,700       20.6  
Jacob K. Javits Center
    New York, NY       814,400       16.7  
Kentucky Fair & Expo Center
    Louisville, KY       1,068,050       20.3  
San Diego Convention Center
    San Diego, CA       616,363       10.6  
San Jose Convention Center
    San Jose, CA       200,000       14.8  
Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Center— BC Place Stadium
    Vancouver, BC       357,809       16.3  
Washington DC Convention Center
    Washington, DC       381,000       12.7  

(1) Source: Tradeshow Week’s Major Exhibit Hall Directory 2002.
 
Other Entertainment Facilities

We have contracts to provide a wide range of services to 31 other entertainment facilities located throughout the United States. Such facilities include horse racing tracks, music amphitheaters, motor speedways, skiing facilities and zoos.

While the services that we provide can vary widely depending on the type of facility concerned, we primarily provide concession services at zoos and music amphitheaters, high-end concession services at music amphitheaters, and in-facility restaurants, concession services, food court operations and catering services at horse racing tracks. For fiscal 2002, contracts to serve these other entertainment facilities accounted for approximately 12.3% of our net sales.

The duration, level of capital investment required and commission or management fee structure of the contracts for these other entertainment facilities vary from facility to facility. We typically receive a more favorable commission structure at facilities where we have made larger capital investments. As of December 31, 2002, our contracts to serve these other entertainment facilities had a per contract net sales weighted average remaining life of approximately 3.3 years or a non-weighted average of approximately 2.8 years.

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The following chart lists alphabetically our top six contracts within the other entertainment facilities category in terms of the fiscal 2002 net sales generated by those contracts and the length of our relationship as of September 30, 2003:

                 
Length of
Relationship
Facility Name Location Venue Type (Years)




DTE Energy Music Theatre
  Auburn Hills, MI   Amphitheater     12.2  
Los Angeles Zoo
  Los Angeles, CA   Zoo     6.0  
National Hot Rod Association (Atlanta Dragway, Gateway International Raceway, Indianapolis Raceway Park and National Trail Raceway Park)
  GA, FL, IN, CA   Motor Speedways     5.7  
New York Racing Association (Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetracks and Saratoga Race Course)
  NY   Horse Tracks     7.9  
San Francisco Zoo
  San Francisco, CA   Zoo     3.7  
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
  Irvine, CA   Amphitheater     21.7 (1)

(1) Our relationship with the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre will end in November 2004.

Client Contracts

We typically enter into one of three types of contracts with our clients:

  •   profit and loss contracts;
 
  •   profit sharing contracts; and
 
  •   management fee contracts.

Each of our contracts falls into one of these three categories; however, any particular contract may contain elements of any of the other types as well as other features unique to that contract.

We draw on our substantial operational and financial experience in attempting to structure contracts to our benefit, including a mix of up-front fees, required capital investment and ongoing commissions to our customers. We try to include contract terms that we believe will achieve our preferred rate of return and cash-flow. For example, some of our contracts contain a guarantee of performance by the client for levels of minimum attendance and/or levels of net sales. Also, many of our contracts have step-scale commission rates, reducing the effect of potential decreases in cash-flow. In addition, most of our contracts require our client to return to us any unamortized capital investment and any up-front fees, if the contract is cancelled before its scheduled termination, other than due to breach by us.

 
Profit and Loss Contracts

Under profit and loss contracts, we receive all of the net sales and bear all of the expenses from the provision of services at a facility. These expenses include commissions paid to the client, which are typically calculated as a fixed or variable percentage of various categories of sales. While we benefit from greater upside potential with profit and loss contracts, as we are entitled to retain all profits from the provision of our services at a facility after paying expenses, including commissions to the client, we are responsible for all associated costs and therefore we are also responsible for any losses incurred. See “Risk Factors— Risks Relating to Our Business and the Industry— The pricing and termination provisions of our contracts may constrain our ability to recover costs and to make a profit on our contracts.” We consequently bear greater risk with a profit and loss contract than with a profit sharing or management fee contract. In order to achieve our anticipated level of profitability on a profit and loss contract, we must

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carefully control our operating expenses and obtain price increases commensurate with our cost increases. As of September 30, 2003, we served 99 facilities under profit and loss contracts. For fiscal 2002, we served 101 facilities under profit and loss contracts, which accounted for approximately 77.2% of our net sales.

Some of our profit and loss contracts contain minimum guaranteed commissions or equivalent payments to the client in connection with our right to provide services within the particular facility, regardless of the level of sales at the facility or whether a profit is being generated at the facility. These guaranteed payments are often structured as a fixed dollar amount, frequently increasing over the life of the contract, or as a fixed per capita amount, generally on an escalating scale based on event attendance or per capita spending levels.

 
Profit Sharing Contracts

Profit sharing contracts are generally profit and loss contracts with the feature that the commission paid to the client is in whole or in part a specified percentage of the profits generated by our concessions operation at the relevant facility. In calculating profit for those purposes, expenses include commissions payable to the client that are not based on profits. These commissions are typically calculated as a fixed or variable percentage of various categories of sales. In addition, under certain profit sharing contracts, we receive a fixed fee prior to the determination of profits under the contract. As of September 30, 2003, we served 27 facilities under profit sharing contracts. For fiscal 2002, we served 27 facilities under profit sharing contracts, which accounted for approximately 22.3% of our net sales.

 
Management Fee Contracts

Under our management fee contracts, we receive a management fee, calculated as a fixed dollar amount and/or a fixed or variable percentage of various categories of sales. In addition, our management fee contracts entitle us to receive incentive fees based upon our performance under the contract, as measured by factors such as net sales or operating costs. We are reimbursed for all of our on-site expenses under these contracts. The benefit of this type of contract is that we do not bear the risks associated with the provision of our services at the facility. However, as a result of this reduced risk, we also have reduced upside potential, as we are entitled to receive only a management fee, and any incentive fees provided for in the contract, and do not share in any profits. As of September 30, 2003, we served two facilities under management fee contracts. For fiscal 2002, we served one facility under a management fee contract, which accounted for approximately 0.5% of our net sales.

 
Additional Contract Features

Although the contracts generally fall within one of the three types discussed above, we often include in our contracts a variety of ways to meet our needs and the needs of a particular client. These features include:

  •   step-scale commissions, in which our commission payment to a client will vary according to sales performance;
 
  •   minimum attendance thresholds, in which a client will refund a portion of the commissions that it receives from us if a minimum attendance level is not reached at the facility; and
 
  •   merchandise inventory guarantees, under which we return certain unsold inventory to the client without charge to us.

These features represent our efforts to tailor our contracts to best suit a particular client opportunity and reflect our experience with comparable facilities, sensitivity analyses of economic assumptions, competitor analyses and general market research.

Most of our contracts limit our ability to raise prices on the food, beverages and merchandise we sell within the particular facility without the client’s consent. However, some of the contracts contain pricing

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restrictions that allow us to raise our prices without the client’s consent if we are able to demonstrate that prices on similar items at specified benchmark facilities have increased.

The length of contracts that we enter into with clients varies. Contracts in connection with sports facilities generally require the highest capital investments but have correspondingly longer terms, typically five to 20 years. Convention center contracts generally require lower capital investments and have usual terms of two to five years. While our contracts are generally terminable only in limited circumstances, some of our contracts give the client the right to terminate the contract with or without cause on little or no notice. However, most of our contracts require our client to return to us any unamortized capital investment and any up-front fees, if the contract is cancelled before its scheduled termination, other than due to breach by us.

History

We, including our subsidiaries and their predecessors, have been in operation for over 35 years. We were formed on November 21, 1995 under the laws of the State of Delaware. In August 1998, through our wholly owned subsidiary, VSA, the parent company of VSI, then one of the leading suppliers of food and beverage services to sports facilities in the United States, we acquired Service America, then one of the leading suppliers of food and beverage services to convention centers in the United States. This acquisition allowed us to enter the convention center market with a significant presence in major convention centers and resulted in us having a substantially more diversified client base and revenue stream business.

Growth in the Industry

Sports Facilities. Growth in the sports facilities category of the recreational food service industry in recent years has come primarily from new facility construction, increased per capita spending on new facilities and premium seating. During the 1990s, a substantial number of NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL facilities were built, stemming in part from the addition of 19 new major league franchises during that period. According to Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal of March 11-17, 2002, between 1999 and 2001, 49 sports facilities and 1,819 luxury suites at sports facilities were constructed. This building trend continued in 2002, with an estimated $7.8 billion (in total project cost) of sports facilities under construction, according to Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal of March 4-10, 2002.

Newer sports facilities, whether as a result of new construction or refurbishing, tend to experience higher levels of per capita spending on food, beverages and merchandise by attendees of events at those facilities, because newer facilities typically have more points of sale for concessions and more premium seating, full-service restaurants, sports clubs and retail shops as compared to older facilities. Current and near-future facility construction results from planning commenced several years ago. Based on available data, management believes that the growth for stadiums and arenas for major league sports teams and in major cities may be slowing. However, according to Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal of May 28-June 3, 2001, growth is strong for college and minor league sports venues.

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The following graph shows the historical attendance at NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL events in the United States and Canada between 1996 and 2002:

(Professional Sport Attendance Graph)

(Professional Sport Attendance Graph)

         
U.S. and Canada Major Professional Sport
Attendance (1)

1996
    112265  
1997
    116081  
1998
    123342  
1999
    116483  
2000
    127995  
2001
    128914  
2002
    126270  


(1) Source: The graph above was completed using data from public sources available from or published by the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL.

Convention Centers. In recent years there has also been a significant expansion of existing and construction of new convention centers, which has created new opportunities for food service providers. According to Tradeshow Week’s Major Exhibit Hall Directory of 1995 and 2002, the total exhibit space in U.S. and Canadian exhibit halls increased approximately 23% from 1991 (54.8 million square feet) through 2001 (67.6 million square feet). This growth is attributed in part to two primary forces:

  •   the increasing number and size of conventions and trade shows; and
 
  •   user demand for more specialized or purpose-built facilities and the need for more advanced telecommunication and technological infrastructure.

According to Tradeshow Week 200’s analysis of April 2002 (which represents the 200 largest U.S. tradeshows), overall professional attendance at tradeshows increased approximately 10% from 1991 (3.9 million) through 2001 (4.3 million). However, recent weak economic conditions and the events of September 11, 2001 have caused a decline in attendance at many convention center facilities we serve, and this decline may continue in the future.

Other Entertainment Facilities. We believe that the market for other entertainment facilities will develop in the next several years in a manner consistent with the development of sports and sports-related facilities. We believe that if we are to obtain growth in this segment, such growth will have to come by obtaining contracts for businesses that are now held by competitors or provided internally by potential clients.

Sales and Marketing

Our chief executive officer determines the direction of our sales and marketing efforts, aided by a senior vice president— sales administration, who heads their implementation and coordinates the efforts of one director of sales.

Our primary sales goal is to secure renewals of existing contracts and the addition of new contracts. To this end, we utilize an internal tracking system, trade publications and other industry sources, including our on-site general managers, to identify information about both new and expiring contracts in the recreational food service industry.

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As a result of many years of experience in the industry, we have developed relationships with a wide variety of participants in the industry, including: the general managers of public and private facilities; league and team owners; event sponsors; and a network of consultants whom facility owners often hire to formulate bid specifications.

In addition, members of our management team maintain memberships in various industry trade associations. Substantially all of our clients and potential clients in publicly controlled facilities are members of these trade groups.

Competition

 
Competitors

The recreational food service industry is highly fragmented and competitive, with several national and international food service providers as well as a large number of smaller independent businesses serving discrete local and regional markets and competing in distinct areas. Those companies that lack a full-service capability because, for example, they cannot cater to luxury suites at stadiums and arenas, often bid for contracts in conjunction with one of the other national or international food service companies that can offer such services.

We compete for contracts against a variety of food service providers. However, our major competitors are other national and international food service providers, including ARAMARK Corporation (which includes Fine Host Corporation), Delaware North Corporation, Compass Group plc and Levy Restaurants (which is partially owned by Compass Group plc). We also face competition from regional and local service contractors, some of which are better established within a specific geographic region. Existing or potential clients may also elect to “self operate” their food services, eliminating the opportunity for us to compete for the account.

We compete primarily to provide concession, catering and other related services at recreational facilities. Our competitors often operate more narrowly, for example, in catering only, or more broadly, e.g., in food services in other kinds of facilities and in other services altogether.

We compete for facility management contracts with Spectacor Management Group (which is a joint venture between ARAMARK Corporation and Hyatt Hotels Inc.) and Global Spectrum, which together manage most privately-managed facilities. In addition, many facilities are managed internally, either by the facility owner or by the owner of the team that plays at the facility or by local service providers.

 
Competition for Contracts

Contracts are generally gained and renewed through a competitive bidding process. We selectively bid on contracts to provide services at both privately owned and publicly controlled facilities. The privately negotiated transactions are generally competitive in nature, with several other large national competitors submitting proposals. Contracts for publicly controlled facilities are generally awarded pursuant to a request-for-proposal process. Successful bidding on contracts for such publicly controlled facilities often requires a long-term effort focused on building relationships in the community in which the venue is located. We compete primarily on the following factors:

  •   the ability to make capital investments;
 
  •   reputation within the industry;
 
  •   commission or management fee structure;
 
  •   service innovation; and
 
  •   quality and breadth of products and services.

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Some of our competitors may be prepared to accept less favorable financial returns than we are when bidding for contracts. A number of our competitors also have substantially greater financial and other resources.

We do not believe that the debt level contemplated by this offering will have a material effect on our ability to compete. We currently operate with a debt level that is similar to that contemplated by this offering, and we have not encountered competitive difficulties because of our existing debt obligations. However, economic downturns and other future events could make it more difficult for us to withstand competitive pressures from any of our competitors which do not have comparable levels of indebtedness.

Suppliers

To supply our operations, we have a national distribution contract with SYSCO Corporation as well as contracts with the manufacturers of many of the products that are distributed by SYSCO. We do not believe that we are substantially dependent on our contact with SYSCO. We believe that if the SYSCO contract were terminated or not renewed, we could obtain comparably-priced alternative distribution services of these products from the national competitors of SYSCO, such as US Foodservice and independent distributors that have entered into a national alliance such as Distributor Marketing Alliance and Uni-Pro, or from the network of local suppliers discussed below from which we are currently purchasing some of our food, beverage and disposable non-alcoholic products.

We also have a number of national purchasing programs with major product suppliers that enable us to receive discounted pricing on certain items. The purchase of other items, the most significant of which are alcoholic beverages that must, by law, be purchased in-state, is handled on a local basis.

In instances where a contract with a particular client requires us to use a specific branded product for which we do not have a purchasing program or distribution contract, or which results in our bearing additional costs, the client will typically be required to pay any excess cost associated with the use of the brand name product through reduced commission rates for such products.

We generally purchase any equipment that we require directly from the manufacturer. We typically obtain several bids when filling our food service equipment requirements.

Additionally, we have a number of local, regional and national subcontractors who provide food, beverages or other services at our and our client’s behest, and from whom we collect a portion of revenue, depending upon contractual arrangements with the subcontractor and the client.

Controls

Since a large portion of our business is transacted in cash, principally food and beverage concessions and food court operation sales, we have stringent inventory and cash controls in place. We typically record inventory levels before and after each event to determine if the sales recorded match the decline in inventory. The process is typically completed within hours of conclusion of the event and any discrepancy can generally be traced to either specific points of sale or control processes set up throughout the facility. We also run yield reports on food supplies on a monthly basis to determine if there is any significant difference between inventory and sales.

Employees

As of September 30, 2003, we had approximately 1,600 full-time employees. Of these, approximately 500 provide on-site administrative support and supervision at the facilities we serve, approximately 1,000 provide a variety of services (for example, food preparation, warehousing and merchandise sales) at those facilities, and approximately 100 provide management and staff support at the corporate and regional levels. During fiscal 2002, we had approximately 27,000 employees who were part-time or hired on an

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event-by-event basis. The number of part-time employees at any point in time varies significantly due to the seasonal nature of the business.

As of September 30, 2003, approximately 40% of our employees, including full and part-time employees, were covered by collective bargaining agreements with several different unions. We have not experienced any significant interruptions or curtailments of operations due to disputes with our employees, and we consider our labor relations to be good. We have hired, and expect to continue to hire, a large number of qualified, temporary workers at particular events.

Seasonality of Operations

Our sales and operating results have varied, and are expected to continue to vary, from quarter to quarter, as a result of factors that include:

  •   seasonality of sporting and other events;
 
  •   unpredictability in the number, timing and type of new contracts;
 
  •   timing of contract expirations and special events; and
 
  •   level of attendance at the facilities which we serve.

Business at the principal types of facilities that we serve is seasonal in nature. MLB and minor league baseball-related sales are concentrated in the second and third quarters, the majority of NFL-related activity occurs in the fourth quarter and convention centers and arenas generally host fewer events during the summer months. Consequently, our results of operations for the first quarter are typically substantially lower than in other quarters, and results of operations for the third quarter are typically higher than in other quarters.

Regulatory Matters

Our operations are subject to various governmental regulations, such as those governing:

  •   the service of food and alcoholic beverages;
 
  •   minimum wage regulations;
 
  •   employment;
 
  •   environmental protection; and
 
  •   human health and safety.

In addition, our facilities and products are subject to periodic inspection by federal, state, provincial and local authorities. The cost of regulatory compliance is subject to additions to or changes in federal, state or provincial legislation, or changes in regulatory implementation. If we fail to comply with applicable laws, we could be subject to civil remedies, including fines, injunctions, recalls, or seizures, as well as potential criminal sanctions.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or the FDA, regulates and inspects our kitchens in the United States. Every U.S. commercial kitchen must meet the FDA’s minimum standards relating to the handling, preparation and delivery of food, including requirements relating to the temperature of food, the cleanliness of the kitchen and the hygiene of its personnel. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulates food safety in Canada, applying similar standards to those required by the FDA. We are also subject to various state, provincial, local and federal laws regarding the disposition of property and leftover foodstuffs. The cost of compliance with FDA regulations is subject to additions to or changes in FDA regulations.

We serve alcoholic beverages at many facilities, and are subject to the “dram-shop” statutes of the states and provinces in which we serve alcoholic beverages. “Dram-shop” statutes generally provide that serving alcohol to an intoxicated or minor patron is a violation of law. In most states and provinces, if one of our

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employees sells alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated or minor patron, we may be liable to third parties for the acts of the patron. We sponsor regular training programs in cooperation with state and provincial authorities to minimize the likelihood of serving alcoholic beverages to intoxicated or minor patrons, and we maintain general liability insurance that includes liquor liability coverage.

We are also subject to licensing with respect to the sale of alcoholic beverages in the states and provinces in which we serve alcoholic beverages. Failure to receive or retain, or the suspension of, liquor licenses or permits would interrupt or terminate our ability to serve alcoholic beverages at those locations. A few of our contracts require us to pay liquidated damages during any period in which our liquor license for the relevant facility is suspended and most contracts are subject to termination in the event that we lose our liquor license for the relevant facility.

Environmental Matters

Laws and regulations concerning the discharge of pollutants into the air and water, the handling and disposal of hazardous materials, the investigation and remediation of property contamination and other aspects of environmental protection are in effect wherever we operate. Our current operations do not involve material costs to comply with such laws and regulations; and they have not given rise to, and are not expected to give rise to, material liabilities under these laws and regulations for investigation or remediation of contamination.

Claims for environmental liabilities arising out of property contamination have been asserted against us and our predecessors from time to time, and in some cases such claims have been associated with businesses, including waste disposal and/or management businesses, related to entities we acquired and have been based on conduct that occurred prior to our acquisition of those entities. Several such claims were resolved during the 1990s in bankruptcy proceedings involving some of our predecessors. More recently, private corporations asserted a claim under CERCLA against us for contribution to address past and future remediation costs at a site in Illinois. The site allegedly was used by, among others, a waste disposal business related to a predecessor for which we allegedly are responsible. In addition, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, asserting authority under CERCLA, recently issued a unilateral administrative order concerning the same Illinois site naming approximately 75 entities as respondents, including the plaintiffs in the CERCLA lawsuit against us and the waste disposal business for which the plaintiffs allege we are responsible. We believe that we have valid defenses (including discharge in bankruptcy related to certain bankruptcy proceedings filed in the 1990s) to any claimed liability at this site and further believe that our potential liability, if any, is not likely to be significant. However, because these claims are in their early stages, we cannot predict at this time whether we will eventually be held liable at this site or whether such liability will be material. Furthermore, additional environmental liabilities relating to any of our former operations or any entities we have acquired could be identified and give rise to claims against us involving significant losses.

Properties

We lease our corporate headquarters of approximately 20,000 square feet in Spartanburg, South Carolina and approximately 3,500 square feet in Stamford, Connecticut.

We currently provide our services at 128 client facilities, all of which are owned or leased by our clients. The contracts with our clients generally permit us to use certain areas within the facility to perform our administrative functions and fulfill our warehousing needs, as well as provide food and beverage services.

Intellectual Property

We have the trademarks, trade names and licenses that are necessary for the operation of our business as we currently conduct it. We do not consider our trademarks, trade names or licenses to be material to the operation of our business.

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Litigation

We are from time to time involved in various legal proceedings incidental to the conduct of our business. In May 2003, a purported class action entitled Holden v. Volume Services America, Inc. et al. was filed against us in the Superior Court of California for the County of Orange by a former employee at one of the California stadiums we serve alleging violations of local overtime wage, rest and meal period and related laws with respect to this employee and others purportedly similarly situated at any and all of the facilities we serve in California. We have removed the case to the United States District Court for the Central District of California. The purported class action seeks compensatory, special and punitive damages in unspecified amounts, penalties under the applicable local laws and injunctions against the alleged illegal acts. We are in the process of evaluating this case and, while our review is preliminary, we believe that our business practices are, and were during the period alleged, in compliance with the law. We intend to vigorously defend this case. However, due to the early stage of this case and our evaluation, we cannot predict the outcome of this case and, if an ultimate ruling is made against us, whether such ruling would have a material effect on us.

Except for the case described above, in our opinion, after considering a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the current status of any currently pending proceeding (including any settlement discussions), views of retained counsel, the nature of the litigation, our prior experience and the amounts that we have accrued for known contingencies, the ultimate disposition of any currently pending proceeding will not have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.

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Management

Directors and Executive Officers

The following table sets forth the names and positions of our current directors and executive officers, as well as our nominees for our board of directors pending closing of this offering, and their ages as of September 30, 2003.

Prior to the closing of this offering, we expect to restructure our board of directors and appoint Felix P. Chee, Paul Hornung, Michael A. Wadsworth and David M. Williams as directors, subject to the closing of this offering, and Lawrence E. Honig as chairman of the board. Messrs. Chee, Hornung, Wadsworth and Williams have consented to serve as directors. David Blitzer and Howard A. Lipson intend to resign as directors upon the closing of this offering. See “—Composition of the Board After the Offering” below.

             
Name Age Position



Lawrence E. Honig
    55     Chief Executive Officer and Director
David Blitzer
    34     Director
Howard A. Lipson
    39     Director
Peter F. Wallace
    28     Director
Felix P. Chee
    57     Director nominee
Paul Hornung
    67     Director nominee
Michael A. Wadsworth
    60     Director nominee
David M. Williams
    61     Director nominee
Kenneth R. Frick
    47     Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Janet L. Steinmayer
    48     Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

Lawrence E. Honig (Spartanburg, South Carolina) has served as our chief executive officer and director since April 2002. From February 2000 until April 2001, Mr. Honig served as managing director at eHatchery LLC, an early-stage facilitator for internet-based start-up companies. From January 1998 to July 1999, Mr. Honig was chairman, president and chief executive officer of Edison Brothers Stores, Inc., a specialty retailer, also serving as a director from September 1997 to March 1999 (Edison Brothers Stores, Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection in March 1999). He has previously served as president and chief executive officer of Federated Systems Group, a division of Federated Department Stores. From 1982 to 1992, Mr. Honig was executive vice president and then vice chairman and a member of the board of The May Department Stores Company. Previously, he was a principal of McKinsey & Company, Inc., an international consulting firm.

David Blitzer (New York, New York) is a member of our board of directors. Since January 2000, Mr. Blitzer has been a senior managing director of Blackstone, a global investment and advisory firm, which he joined in 1991. He has been one of our directors since 1995.

Howard A. Lipson (Chappaqua, New York) is a member of our board of directors. Mr. Lipson is a senior managing director of Blackstone, which he joined in April 1988. He has been one of our directors since December 1995. Prior to joining Blackstone, Mr. Lipson was a member of the Mergers and Acquisitions Group of Salomon Brothers Inc. He currently serves on the board of directors of Allied Waste Industries, Inc., Mega Bloks Inc., Columbia House Holdings Inc., and Universal City Development Partners, Ltd. and is a member of the Advisory Committee of Graham Packaging Holdings Company.

Peter F. Wallace (New York, New York) is a member of our board of directors. Mr. Wallace is an associate at Blackstone, which he joined in July 1997 as an analyst and became an associate in January 2001. He has been one of our directors since October 1999.

Felix P. Chee (Oakville, Ontario) is a nominee to our board of directors. Mr. Chee has been vice president of business affairs at the University of Toronto since October 2001. From 1997 to 2001

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Mr. Chee held the positions of executive vice president and chief investment officer at Manulife Financial, senior vice president, corporate finance at Ontario Hydro Corporation and senior investment officer of the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group. Mr. Chee has acted as director for the Manulife Bank of Canada and as a member of the board of Governors for York University. Mr. Chee currently is a director of McLelland and Stewart Limited, The University of Toronto Press Limited, The University of Toronto Innovation Foundation, MaRS and the University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation. He is also a director of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.

Paul Hornung (Louisville, Kentucky) is a nominee to our board of directors. Mr. Hornung is the president of Paul Hornung Enterprises and Paul Hornung Real Estate, Inc. He is also the owner of Golden Foods/ Golden Brands soybean refinery and a part owner of the Lyles Mall Shopping Center and Americana Apartments. Mr. Hornung has over 30 years of experience in radio and television, including owning and producing “The Paul Hornung Sports Showcase,” which was a national cable television show from 1988 to 2001. Mr. Hornung also works for Westwood One as a radio analyst for Notre Dame Football. Mr. Hornung was a professional football player in the NFL, playing for the Green Bay Packers from 1957 to 1967, and won the Heisman Trophy in 1956. He is also a member of the board of directors of ESPN Classic.

Michael A. Wadsworth (Toronto, Ontario) is a nominee to our board of directors. Mr. Wadsworth has been a member of the Stitt Feld Handy Group, an international advisory firm in conflict resolution, since 2000. From 1995 until 2000 he served as director of athletics at the University of Notre Dame and from 1989 until 1994 he served as Canadian ambassador to Ireland. He has performed senior executive roles in industry internationally, the most recent of which was as senior vice president, U.S. Operations at Crown Life Insurance Co. He practiced law as a trial and appellate counsel in Canada until 1981. He has been a director of Jordan Telecommunication Products and AFM Hospitality Corporation and is currently a director of CHC Helicopter Corporation. He has also served as a director of a number of charitable and public service organizations.

David M. Williams (Toronto, Ontario) is a nominee to our board of directors. Mr. Williams has served as the president and chief executive officer of the Ontario Workplace Safety & Insurance Board from 1998 until June 2003. Prior to that he held the position of executive vice president at George Weston Limited and has held numerous positions with Loblaw Companies Ltd., including executive vice president, chief financial officer and president of National Grocers Ltd. Mr. Williams is a director of the Toronto Hydro Corp. and Toronto Hydro Energy Services Inc. He is also a trustee for the Canadian Apartment Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (CAP REIT). He is a former member of the board of governors for the Electronic Commerce Council of Canada. Mr. Williams is a certified general accountant.

Kenneth R. Frick (Campobello, South Carolina) is our executive vice president and chief financial officer. Mr. Frick has served as our chief financial officer since August 1998 and as chief financial officer of Volume Services since December 1995. He served as our vice president from August 1998 to December 2000, when he became executive vice president. Mr. Frick has 18 years of experience in the recreational food service industry, 14 of them with Volume Services. Prior to becoming chief financial officer of Volume Services in 1995, Mr. Frick was the controller for Volume Services for two years, and for seven years was assistant controller and Southeast Regional Controller of Volume Services. Mr. Frick is a certified public accountant.

Janet L. Steinmayer (Old Greenwich, Connecticut) is our executive vice president, general counsel and secretary. Ms. Steinmayer has been our general counsel and secretary since August 1998. She served as our vice president from August 1998 to December 2000, when she became executive vice president. Ms. Steinmayer has been corporate vice president, general counsel and secretary of Service America since November 1993. From 1992 to 1993, she was senior vice president— external affairs and general counsel of Trans World Airlines, Inc., or TWA (TWA filed for bankruptcy protection in January 1992). From April 1990 to 1991, she served as vice president— law, deputy general counsel and corporate secretary at TWA.

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Ms. Steinmayer was a partner at the Connecticut law firm of Levett, Rockwood & Sanders, P.C. from 1988 to 1990.

Composition of the Board After the Offering

Prior to the closing of the offering, we intend to appoint Messrs. Chee, Hornung, Wadsworth and Williams to our board of directors and each of them has consented to so serve. Their appointment will be subject to the closing of the offering. In addition, we expect that Messrs. Blitzer and Lipson will resign as directors and that Mr. Honig will be appointed chairman of our board.

Pursuant to our restated certificate of incorporation, our board of directors will be divided into three classes. The members of each class will serve for a staggered, three-year term. Upon the expiration of the term of a class of directors, directors in that class will be elected for three-year terms at the annual meeting of stockholders in the year in which their term expires. We currently anticipate that the classes will be comprised as follows:

  •   Class I Directors. Paul Hornung and David M. Williams will be Class I directors whose terms will expire at the 2004 annual meeting of stockholders;
 
  •   Class II Directors. Lawrence E. Honig and Michael A. Wadsworth will be Class II directors whose terms will expire at the 2005 annual meeting of stockholders; and
 
  •   Class III Directors. Felix P. Chee and Peter F. Wallace will be Class III directors whose terms will expire at the 2006 annual meeting of stockholders.

Any additional directorships resulting from an increase in the number of directors will be distributed among the three classes so that, as nearly as possible, each class will consist of one-third of our directors. This classification of our board of directors may have the effect of delaying or preventing changes in control of the company.

Committees of the Board

The standing committees of our board of directors will consist of an audit committee, a compensation committee and a corporate governance committee.

 
Audit Committee

The principal duties and responsibilities of our audit committee will be as follows:

  •   to monitor our financial reporting process and internal control system;
 
  •   to appoint and replace our independent outside auditors from time to time, determine their compensation and other terms of engagement and oversee their work;
 
  •   to oversee the performance of our internal audit function; and
 
  •   to oversee our compliance with legal, ethical and regulatory matters.

The audit committee will have the power to investigate any matter brought to its attention within the scope of its duties. It will also have the authority to retain counsel and advisors to fulfill its responsibilities and duties.

We plan to appoint three independent members of our board to the audit committee upon completion of this offering.

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Compensation Committee

The principal duties and responsibilities of the compensation committee will be as follows:

  •   to provide oversight on the development and implementation of the compensation policies, strategies, plans and programs for our key employees and outside directors and disclosure relating to these matters;
 
  •   to review and approve the compensation of our chief executive officer and the other executive officers of us and our subsidiaries; and
 
  •   to provide oversight concerning selection of officers, management succession planning, performance of individual executives and related matters.

We plan to appoint two independent members of our board to the compensation committee upon completion of this offering.

 
Corporate Governance Committee

The principal duties and responsibilities of the corporate governance committee will be as follows:

  •   to establish criteria for board and committee membership and recommend to our board of directors proposed nominees for election to the board of directors and for membership on committees of the board of directors;
 
  •   to make recommendations regarding proposals submitted by our shareholders; and
 
  •   to make recommendations to our board of directors regarding corporate governance matters and practices.

We plan to appoint three independent members to the committee on corporate governance upon completion of this offering.

Director and Executive Compensation

 
Compensation of Directors

Initial compensation for our directors who are not also employed by us or our subsidiaries will be $30,000 per director per year and $1,000 per director for attending meetings in person ($500 if by telephone) of the board of directors and $500 per director for attending committee meetings of the board of directors in person ($250 if by telephone). A committee chair will receive an additional $500 for attending a committee meeting in person ($250 if by telephone). Directors will also be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses for attending board and committee meetings.

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Compensation of Executive Officers

The following table sets forth information with respect to the compensation of our chief executive officer and the named executive officers for services in all capacities for us in the years indicated:

Summary Compensation Table

                                           
Annual Compensation

Other Annual All Other
Year Salary Bonus(1) Compensation(2) Compensation(3)





Lawrence E. Honig
    2002     $ 315,000                 $ 52,331 (5)
 
Chief Executive Officer(4)
                                       
John T. Dee
    2002     $ 465,000     $ 43,500           $ 120,173 (6)
 
Chief Executive Officer
    2001     $ 465,000     $ 133,580           $ 107,983  
 
and Chairman(4)
    2000     $ 465,000     $ 187,700           $ 5,912  
Kenneth R. Frick
    2002     $ 225,000                 $ 10,798 (7)
 
Executive Vice President and
    2001     $ 214,558     $ 58,070           $ 8,538  
 
Chief Financial Officer
    2000     $ 204,750     $ 88,200           $ 2,370  
Janet L. Steinmayer
    2002     $ 278,654                 $ 890 (8)
 
Executive Vice President,
    2001     $ 237,751     $ 61,140           $ 261  
 
General Counsel and Secretary
    2000     $ 247,000     $ 94,700           $ 236  


(1) Bonuses are made pursuant to VSA’s bonus plan for general managers and senior management personnel. Under the plan, the payment of the executive officers’ bonuses for 2002 was contingent on VSA’s financial performance in 2002. The bonus amounts paid to each named executive officer do not reflect the full amount of the annual bonus that each named executive officer would have received as a 2002 bonus payment. At our board of directors’ request, the named executive officers agreed to forfeit all or a portion of their 2002 bonus in exchange for a commitment that we will pay bonuses (the sum of which, in the aggregate, will not exceed $1,000,000) upon our successful refinancing or other similar transaction, currently anticipated to occur pursuant to this offering, but not limited to this offering. If such refinancing or other similar transaction is not completed, these contingent bonuses will not be paid. Mr. Dee forfeited $106,500 out of a possible $150,000 declared by our board; Mr. Honig forfeited $150,000, the full amount declared by our board; Mr. Frick forfeited $69,750, the full amount declared by our board; and Ms. Steinmayer forfeited $73,750, the full amount declared by our board. For additional information, see “—Annual Bonus Plan.”
(2) Perquisites and other personal benefits did not exceed the lesser of $50,000 or 10% of the total salary and bonus of any named executive officer for the years shown.
(3) Service America has historically maintained split dollar life insurance policies for certain of its named executive officers and other executives. In light of recent changes in the law, Service America has determined not to pay the premiums due for 2003 and is taking appropriate actions to provide alternatives to these arrangements.
(4) On April 15, 2002, Mr. Dee resigned as chief executive officer. On April 15, 2002, Lawrence E. Honig entered into an employment agreement with us to serve as chief executive officer. His annual base salary is $450,000. Mr. Dee resigned as Chairman for health reasons on August 28, 2003 and passed away in September 2003.
(5) Amount includes $49,822 in relocation benefits and $2,509 in insurance premiums.
(6) Amount includes $117,423 in insurance premiums, including $13,400 in split dollar life insurance premiums, and $2,750 in VSA’s contributions under its 401(k) plan.
(7) Amount includes $2,750 in VSA’s contributions under its 401(k) plan and $8,047 in insurance premiums.
(8) Amount includes $890 in insurance premiums.
 
Management Employment and Severance Agreements

We have entered into the following agreements with our directors and executive officers:

Agreement with Mr. Honig. On April 15, 2002, VSAH entered into an employment agreement with Mr. Honig. The agreement provides that Mr. Honig will be employed by VSAH as Chief Executive Officer until April 14, 2004, subject to automatic one-year extensions of the term of his agreement and his employment with VSAH, unless earlier terminated. The agreement may be terminated by either party at any time for any reason, provided that Mr. Honig gives us 60 days advance written notice of his resignation, or by us for cause or by Mr. Honig for good reason. As defined in the agreement, a

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termination for cause includes termination by us due to breach of the agreement by Mr. Honig after notice and without cure, willful misconduct by Mr. Honig and the commission of a felony by Mr. Honig. Termination by Mr. Honig for good reason includes termination due to breach of the agreement by us. Mr. Honig’s base salary under the agreement is $450,000, subject to increases at the discretion of the board. Mr. Honig is also eligible to earn an annual bonus pursuant to our bonus plan, targeted to be at least 50% of Mr. Honig’s base salary.

Mr. Honig is also entitled to participate in all employee benefits plans maintained by us, except the split dollar life insurance program, and other benefits. In the case of termination by VSAH without cause or by Mr. Honig for good reason, Mr. Honig will receive his annual base salary and continued benefits for the longer of (x) the date of his termination through April 15, 2004 or (y) one year following the date of his termination, plus any accrued but unpaid bonus amounts. During and for two years after Mr. Honig’s employment, Mr. Honig has agreed that, without our written consent, he will not:

  •   carry on, be engaged in, or have any financial interest in any business that competes with our business; or
 
  •   solicit any person who was employed by us during the 12 months preceding such solicitation.

Under the terms of the agreement, Mr. Honig was to be granted options to purchase a number of shares of our common stock pursuant to a long-term equity incentive plan that was to be implemented within 180 days after the date of the agreement. In the event of certain corporate transactions such as this offering, we had guaranteed that these options would have a value equal to $1 million. Because we never implemented a long-term equity incentive plan and therefore never granted Mr. Honig these options, we have amended the agreement to provide that we will pay him the $1 million guaranteed option value to which he was originally entitled upon the closing of this offering.

Agreement with Mr. Dee. On August 28, 2003, VSAH entered into a separation agreement with John Dee, pursuant to which, effective as of August 28, 2003, due to health reasons, Mr. Dee resigned from his employment with VSAH, from his position as chairman of the Board of Directors of VSAH, and from his positions as an employee, officer and/or director of all VSAH’s subsidiaries and affiliates. Mr. Dee passed away in September 2003. Pursuant to the agreement, we will provide separation payments to Mr. Dee’s estate at a rate of $232,500 per year from August 25, 2003 through August 24, 2005. Mr. Dee’s estate will remain eligible to receive his contingent bonus if and when the contingent bonuses described in “— Annual Bonus Plan” are paid to other executive officers.

Agreement with Mr. Frick. On November 17, 1995, VSI entered into an employment agreement with Mr. Frick. The agreement provides that Mr. Frick will be employed by VSI as Chief Financial Officer until he resigns or is dismissed by VSI for or without cause. We may terminate the agreement for cause if, among other things, Mr. Frick commits a felony, is grossly negligent in the performance of his duties or breaches any material provision of the agreement. Mr. Frick’s annual base salary under the contract is $225,000, subject to annual review by VSI’s chief executive officer. Mr. Frick is also entitled to receive an annual bonus pursuant to any management incentive compensation plan established by VSI. In the case of termination of employment due to resignation, Mr. Frick will receive his salary up to the 30th day following his resignation and any accrued but unpaid bonus amounts. In the case of termination without cause by VSI, Mr. Frick will receive a one-time payment of two times his annual base salary plus any accrued but unpaid bonus amounts. During and for two years after his employment, Mr. Frick has agreed not to:

  •   solicit employees of VSI to cease such employment without the written consent of VSI; or
 
  •   have any involvement in any capacity in any contract concessions business similar to that of VSI in those states in the United States in which VSI does business and over which Mr. Frick has had supervisory responsibility.

Agreement with Ms. Steinmayer. On September 29, 1998, VSAH entered into an employment agreement with Ms. Steinmayer. The agreement provides that Ms. Steinmayer will be employed by VSAH as Vice

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President, General Counsel and Secretary at an annual base salary of $210,000, plus $250 per hour for each hour that she works in excess of 24 hours per week, until the agreement is terminated by VSAH for or without cause, or by Ms. Steinmayer with or without good reason. As defined in the agreement, a termination for cause includes termination by us due to breach of the agreement and willful misconduct by Ms. Steinmayer, and termination for good reason includes termination due to breach of the agreement by us and termination by Ms. Steinmayer within six months of a change of control of VSAH. Ms. Steinmayer is entitled to an annual bonus at the discretion of our board of directors and to participate in any executive bonus plan and all employee benefits plans maintained by us. In the case of a termination by VSAH without cause or by Ms. Steinmayer for good reason, Ms. Steinmayer will receive a one-time payment of an amount equal to two times her annual compensation in the one-year period prior to the date of termination, plus ancillary employee benefits. During and for two years after Ms. Steinmayer’s employment, she has agreed that, without our prior written consent, she will not:

  •   have any involvement in any enterprise which provides food services, as defined in the agreement, in any of the states in the United States in which we operate; or
 
  •   solicit any of our employees to leave their employment.

Savings Plan

We sponsor the Volume Services America Retirement and Savings 401(k) Plan, a tax-qualified plan in which our employees who have reached age 21 and have completed one year of service are eligible to participate. The following employees are not eligible to participate in our 401(k) plan:

  •   employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement;
 
  •   nonresident aliens; and
 
  •   leased employees.

Subject to applicable limits imposed on tax-qualified plans, participants in our 401(k) plan may elect to make pre-tax contributions of up to 16% of their compensation each year. We make matching contributions equal to 25% of a participant’s contributions, up to the first 6% of the participant’s earnings. Our 401(k) plan also allows us, in the discretion of our board of directors, to make additional matching contributions of up to a total of 50% of a participant’s contributions, up to the first 6% of the participant’s earnings. Participants become 100% vested with respect to matching contributions after two years of service with us.

Deferred Compensation Plan

We also sponsor the Volume Services America Deferred Compensation Plan, a non-tax-qualified plan in which employees may participate if such employees are:

  •   members of a select group of highly compensated or management employees; or
 
  •   selected by the plan’s administrative committee as participants.

Our Deferred Compensation Plan allows participants to elect to make pre-tax deferrals of a portion of their annual base salary and bonuses, subject to maximum and minimum percentage or dollar amount limitations determined by the plan’s administrative committee, the members of which are selected by our board of directors. The Deferred Compensation Plan allows us, in the discretion of the administrative committee, to make matching contributions with respect to participants who elect to defer a portion of their annual base salary. A participant’s deferrals and matching contributions, if any, are credited to a bookkeeping account and accrue earnings and losses as if held in certain investments selected by the participant. Our Deferred Compensation Plan is unfunded, and participants are unsecured general creditors of VSA as to their accounts.

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Annual Bonus Plan

We maintain a bonus plan whereby general managers and senior management personnel qualify for incentive payments in the event that we exceed certain financial performance targets, based on attaining specified levels of EBITDA, determined on an annual basis.

Each year, we will establish a target level of EBITDA for the company as a whole and for each area, region and unit. Employees will be eligible to earn a percentage of their base salary, which percentage is set by us and varies by management level, if these target levels of EBITDA are met or exceeded. Employees with responsibilities that relate to the company as a whole will have their bonuses determined based solely on the target EBITDA for the company, while employees with regional responsibilities will have their bonuses determined based in part on the target EBITDA level for their area or region. Individual awards are paid to participants in lump sums as soon as practicable after the end of the fiscal year, subject to withholding of applicable federal, state and local taxes. Our CEO and board of directors have the right to adjust or eliminate any incentive payment that would otherwise be earned under the bonus plan based on such factors as they may determine in their sole discretion. Our CEO and board of directors may also amend or cancel the bonus plan at any time for any reason.

In February 2003, our CEO, with the approval of the board of directors, authorized bonus amounts for fiscal year 2002 for most of our management and contingent bonuses for certain members of our senior management. The bonus amounts are contingent upon the successful refinancing or other similar extraordinary transaction of us, currently anticipated to occur through this offering, but a successful refinancing or other similar transaction is not limited to this offering. There is no time limit on when the refinancing or similar transaction must occur, but the bonuses are contingent on such successful refinancing or transaction and will be paid from the proceeds of such refinancing or similar transaction. Under the contingent bonus arrangement, the following individuals or estates are eligible to receive the following amounts, provided that the aggregate amount of bonuses payable under these 2002 contingent bonuses would be no greater than $1 million: Mr. Honig: $375,000; Mr. Dee’s estate: $266,250; Mr. Frick: $174,375; and Ms. Steinmayer: $184,375.

Long-Term Incentive Plan

Our executive officers and other senior employees to be identified by the compensation committee of our board of directors (the “compensation committee”) will be eligible to participate in our Long-Term Incentive Plan (the “LTIP”). The purpose of the LTIP will be to strengthen the mutuality of interests between the LTIP participants and holders of IDSs. The LTIP will be administered by our compensation committee, which shall have the power to, among other things, determine (1) those individuals who will participate in the LTIP, (2) the level of participation of each participant in the incentive pool, (3) the conditions that must be satisfied in order for the participants to vest in their allocated incentive pool amounts (including establishing specified performance targets that must be achieved in order for the pool to be created and amounts to be allocated to the participants) and (4) other conditions that the participants must satisfy in order to receive payment of their allocated amounts. Under the LTIP, the maximum amount (in dollars or value, if payments are made in property) that any one participant can receive in respect of a three-year period is $2 million. The LTIP is an unfunded plan.

Under the LTIP, participants will be eligible to receive certain amounts, initially credited to accounts created for them on our books and records as a percentage of an incentive pool. The incentive pool will be established if and to the extent that the amount by which the aggregate annual per IDS distributions, which includes both interest and dividend payments (the “Distributions per IDS”), exceed a minimum per IDS distributable cash threshold amount (determined without regard to distributions under the LTIP) (the “Base Distributions per IDS”) and achieve a target per IDS distributable cash threshold amount (the “Target Distributions per IDS”) for each of fiscal 2004, 2005 and 2006. Generally, the amounts credited to the participants’ accounts will be paid at the end of this multi-year performance period in the form of IDSs and/or cash, in the compensation committee’s discretion.

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Currently, the Base Distributions per IDS target is anticipated to be set at $1.56 per IDS and the Target Distributions per IDS is anticipated to be set at $1.6575 per IDS. If the Target Distributions per IDS are achieved for fiscal 2004, then the compensation committee would most likely establish a reserve for the incentive pool. The amount of the incentive pool reserve will be recommended to be 20% of the aggregate Distributions per IDS in excess of the aggregate Base Distributions per IDS.

The compensation committee has the power to amend or terminate the LTIP at any time, which includes the power to adjust the Distributions per IDS targets and/or amounts to be allocated to participants in respect of each fiscal year occurring during the applicable performance period.

We intend for the LTIP to be a performance-based compensation arrangement within the meaning of Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code, in order to ensure the full deductibility of all payments made under the LTIP to our executive officers and other senior employees whose compensation could otherwise be subject to the limitations on deductibility under Section 162(m).

Compensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation

The compensation levels of our executive officers are currently determined by our CEO and our board of directors. After completion of this offering, our board of directors will form a compensation committee which will determine executive officer compensation as described under “—Committees of the Board.”

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Principal Stockholders

The following table shows information regarding the beneficial ownership of shares of our common stock before and after the completion of this offering and shows the number of and percentage owned by:

  •   each person who is known by us to own beneficially more than 5% of either class of our capital stock;
 
  •   each member of our board of directors;
 
  •   each of our named executive officers;
 
  •   each of our nominees to our board of directors; and
 
  •   all members of our board of directors and our executive officers as a group.

Except as indicated in the footnotes to this table, each person has sole voting and investment power with respect to all shares attributable to such person.

                                                 
Shares
Shares Beneficially
Beneficially Owned
Owned After This
After This Offering
Shares Offering Assuming Full
Beneficially Assuming No Exercise of the
Owned Exercise of the Over-allotment
Prior to This Over-allotment Option on the
Offering Option Closing Day



Name of Beneficial Owner Number % Number % Number %







(Share numbers in thousands)
Blackstone(1)
    8,671       63.7       4,311       18.3       2,587       11.5  
GE Capital(2)
    4,942       36.3       2,457       10.4       1,474       6.5  
Kenneth R. Frick(1)(3)(4)
    572       4.2       315       1.3       202       0.9  
David Blitzer(1)
                                   
Lawrence E. Honig(3)(4)
                38       0.2       38       0.2  
Howard A. Lipson(1)