|AECOM filed this Form 10-Q on 02/06/2019|
Our failure to meet contractual schedule or performance requirements that we have guaranteed could adversely affect our operating results.
In some circumstances, we can incur liquidated or other damages if we do not achieve project completion by a scheduled date. If we or an entity for which we have provided a guarantee subsequently fails to complete the project as scheduled and the matter cannot be satisfactorily resolved with the client, we may be responsible for cost impacts to the client resulting from any delay or the cost to complete the project. Our costs generally increase from schedule delays and/or could exceed our projections for a particular project. In addition, project performance can be affected by a number of factors beyond our control, including unavoidable delays from governmental inaction, public opposition, inability to obtain financing, weather conditions, unavailability of vendor materials, changes in the project scope of services requested by our clients, industrial accidents, environmental hazards, labor disruptions and other factors. Material performance problems for existing and future contracts could cause actual results of operations to differ from those anticipated by us and also could cause us to suffer damage to our reputation within our industry and client base.
We may not be able to maintain adequate surety and financial capacity necessary for us to successfully bid on and win contracts.
In line with industry practice, we are often required to provide surety bonds, standby letters of credit or corporate guarantees to our clients that indemnify the customer should our affiliate fail to perform its obligations under the terms of a contract. As of December 31, 2018 and September 30, 2018, we were contingently liable for $5.6 billion and $5.3 billion, respectively, in issued surety bonds primarily to support project execution and we had outstanding letters of credit totaling $537.0 million and $515.1 million, respectively. A surety may issue a performance or payment bond to guarantee to the client that our affiliate will perform under the terms of a contract. If our affiliate fails to perform under the terms of the contract, then the client may demand that the surety or another corporate affiliate provide the contracted services. In addition, we would typically have obligations to indemnify the surety for any loss incurred in connection with the bond. If a surety bond or a letter of credit is required for a particular project and we are unable to obtain an appropriate surety bond or letter of credit, we may not be able to pursue that project, which in turn could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
We conduct a portion of our operations through joint venture entities, over which we may have limited control.
Approximately 15% of our fiscal 2018 revenue was derived from our operations through joint ventures or similar partnership arrangements, where control may be shared with unaffiliated third parties. As with most joint venture arrangements, differences in views among the joint venture participants may result in delayed decisions or disputes. We also cannot control the actions of our joint venture partners and we typically have joint and several liability with our joint venture partners under the applicable contracts for joint venture projects. These factors could potentially adversely impact the business and operations of a joint venture and, in turn, our business and operations.
Operating through joint ventures in which we are minority holders results in us having limited control over many decisions made with respect to projects and internal controls relating to projects. Sales of our services provided to our unconsolidated joint ventures were approximately 2% of our fiscal 2018 revenue. We generally do not have control of these unconsolidated joint ventures. These joint ventures may not be subject to the same requirements regarding internal controls and internal control over financial reporting that we follow. As a result, internal control problems may arise with respect to these joint ventures, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations and could also affect our reputation in the industries we serve.
We participate in joint ventures where we provide guarantees and may be adversely impacted by the failure of the joint venture or its participants to fulfill their obligations.
We have investments in and commitments to joint ventures with unrelated parties, including in connection with construction services, government services, and the investment activities of ACAP. For example, real estate and infrastructure joint ventures are inherently risky and may result in future losses since real estate markets are impacted by economic trends and government policies that we do not control. These joint ventures from time to time may borrow money to help finance their activities and in some circumstances, we are required to provide guarantees of obligations of our affiliated entities. In addition, in connection with the investment activities of ACAP, we provide guarantees of obligations, including guarantees for completion of projects, repayment of debt, environmental indemnity obligations and other lender required guarantees. If these entities are not able to honor their obligations under the guarantees, we may be required to expend additional resources or suffer losses, which could be significant.