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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

Form 10-K

(Mark One)

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended July 31, 2022

or

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from         to         

Commission file numbers: 001-11331, 000-50182, 333-06693-02 and 000-50183

Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.

Ferrellgas, L.P.

Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp.

Ferrellgas Finance Corp.

(Exact name of registrants as specified in their charters)

Delaware

Delaware

Delaware

Delaware

(States or other jurisdictions of incorporation or organization)

    

43-1698480

43-1698481

43-1742520

14-1866671

(I.R.S. Employer Identification Nos.)

One Liberty Plaza

Liberty, Missouri

(Address of principal executive office)

 

64068

(Zip Code)

Registrants’ telephone number, including area code:

(816792-1600

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

    

Trading Symbol

    

Name of each exchange on which registered

N/A

N/A

N/A

Securities registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act:

None.

Indicate by check mark if the registrants are well-known seasoned issuers, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.: Yes  No 

Ferrellgas, L.P., Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp. and Ferrellgas Finance Corp.: Yes  No 

Indicate by check mark if the registrants are not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes  No 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrants (1) have filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrants were required to file such reports), and (2) have been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes  No 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrants have submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrants were required to submit such files). Yes  No 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.:

 

 

 

Large Accelerated Filer  

Accelerated Filer  

Non-accelerated Filer  

Smaller Reporting Company  

Emerging Growth Company  

Ferrellgas, L.P., Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp. and Ferrellgas Finance Corp.:

Large Accelerated Filer  

Accelerated Filer  

Non-accelerated Filer  

Smaller Reporting Company  

Emerging Growth Company  

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrants are shell companies (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).

Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. and Ferrellgas, L.P. Yes  No 

Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp. and Ferrellgas Finance Corp. Yes  No 

The aggregate market value as of January 31, 2022, of Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.’s common units held by nonaffiliates of Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., based on the reported closing price of such units on the OTC Pink Market on such date, was approximately $59,054,417. There is no aggregate market value of the common equity of Ferrellgas, L.P., Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp. and Ferrellgas Finance Corp. as their common equity is not sold or traded.

At August 31, 2022, the registrants had common units or shares of common stock outstanding as follows:

Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.

    

4,857,605

    

Class A Units

1,300,000

Class B Units

Ferrellgas, L.P.

 

n/a

 

n/a

Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp.

 

1,000

 

Common Stock

Ferrellgas Finance Corp.

 

1,000

 

Common Stock

Documents Incorporated by Reference: None

EACH OF FERRELLGAS PARTNERS FINANCE CORP. AND FERRELLGAS FINANCE CORP. MEET THE CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN GENERAL INSTRUCTION I(1)(A) AND (B) OF FORM 10-K AND ARE THEREFORE, FILING THIS FORM 10-K WITH THE REDUCED DISCLOSURE FORMAT WITH RESPECT TO EACH SUCH REGISTRANT.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

This report combines the annual reports on Form 10-K for the year ended July 31, 2022 of Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. together with its consolidated subsidiaries, including Ferrellgas, L.P., Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp., and Ferrellgas Finance Corp. Unless stated otherwise or the context otherwise requires, references to “Ferrellgas Partners” refers to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. itself, without its consolidated subsidiaries. References to the “operating partnership” mean Ferrellgas, L.P., together (except where the context indicates otherwise) with its consolidated subsidiaries, including Ferrellgas Finance Corp. The terms “us,” “we,” “our,” “ours,” “consolidated,” the “Company” or “Ferrellgas” refer to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. together with its consolidated subsidiaries, including Ferrellgas, L.P., Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp. and Ferrellgas Finance Corp., except when used in connection with “Class A Units” or Class B Units,” in which case these terms refer to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. without its consolidated subsidiaries.

Ferrellgas Partners is a publicly traded Delaware limited partnership formed in 1994 and is primarily engaged in the retail distribution of propane and related equipment sales. Our Class A Units are traded on the OTC Pink Market under the symbol “FPGR.” The operating partnership was formed on April 22, 1994, and accounts for substantially all of our consolidated assets, sales and operating earnings, except for interest expense related to the Ferrellgas Partners Notes during the relevant historical periods.

Ferrellgas Partners is a holding entity that conducts no operations and has two direct subsidiaries, the operating partnership and Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp. Our activities are primarily conducted through the operating partnership. Ferrellgas Partners and the Preferred Unitholders are the only limited partners of the operating partnership. Ferrellgas, Inc. is the sole general partner of Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership and, excluding the economic interests attributable to the Class B Units and the Preferred Units, owns an approximate 1% general partner economic interest in each, and, therefore, an effective 2% general partner economic interest in the operating partnership. Excluding the economic interests attributable to the Preferred Units, Ferrellgas Partners owns an approximate 99% limited partner interest in the operating partnership.

Our general partner performs all management functions for us. The parent company of our general partner, Ferrell Companies, currently beneficially owns approximately 23.4% of our outstanding Class A Units. Ferrell Companies is owned 100% by an employee stock ownership trust.

We believe that combining the annual reports on Form 10-K for these entities provides the following benefits:

enhances investors’ understanding of Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership by enabling investors to view the business as a whole in the same manner that management views and operates the business;
eliminates duplicative disclosure and provides a more streamlined and readable presentation, since a substantial portion of the disclosure applies to both Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership; and
creates time and cost efficiencies through the preparation of a combined presentation.

To help investors understand the differences between Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership, this report provides separate consolidated financial statements for Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership. Noncontrolling interests, Class A Units, Class B Units, shareholders' equity (deficit) and partners' capital (deficit) are the main areas of difference between the consolidated financial statements of Ferrellgas Partners and those of the operating partnership. A single set of notes to consolidated financial statements is presented that includes separate discussions for Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership, when applicable. A combined Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations section is also included that presents combined information and discrete information related to each entity, as applicable.

In order to highlight the differences between Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership, this report includes the following sections that provide separate financial information for Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership:

consolidated financial statements; and
certain accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements, which denote “Ferrellgas Partners” and “The operating partnership” in sections where applicable.  

2

FERRELLGAS PARTNERS, L.P.

FERRELLGAS, L.P.

FERRELLGAS PARTNERS FINANCE CORP.

FERRELLGAS FINANCE CORP.

For the fiscal year ended July 31, 2022

FORM 10-K ANNUAL REPORT

Table of Contents

    

Page

PART I

4

ITEM

1.

BUSINESS

6

ITEM

1A.

RISK FACTORS

16

ITEM

1B.

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

31

ITEM

2.

PROPERTIES

32

ITEM

3.

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

33

ITEM

4.

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

33

PART II

33

ITEM

5.

MARKET FOR REGISTRANTS’ COMMON EQUITY, RELATED UNITHOLDER AND STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

33

ITEM

6.

RESERVED

34

ITEM

7.

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

34

ITEM

7A.

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

53

ITEM

8.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

55

ITEM

9.

CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

55

ITEM

9A.

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

55

ITEM

9B.

OTHER INFORMATION

56

PART III

58

ITEM

10.

DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

58

ITEM

11.

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

65

ITEM

12.

SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED UNITHOLDER MATTERS

70

ITEM

13.

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE

71

ITEM

14.

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING FEES AND SERVICES

73

PART IV

E-1

ITEM

15.

EXHIBITS, FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

E-1

ITEM

16.

FORM 10-K SUMMARY

E-8

3

PART I

References and Defined Terms

In this Annual Report on Form 10-K:

“us,” “we,” “our,” “ours,” “consolidated,” the “Company” or “Ferrellgas” are references to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. together with its consolidated subsidiaries, including Ferrellgas, L.P., Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp. and Ferrellgas Finance Corp., except when used in connection with “Class A Units” or “Class B Units,” in which case these terms refer to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. without its consolidated subsidiaries;
“Ferrellgas Partners” refers to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. itself, without its consolidated subsidiaries;
the “operating partnership” refers to Ferrellgas, L.P., together (except where the context indicates otherwise) with its consolidated subsidiaries, including Ferrellgas Finance Corp.;
our “general partner” refers to Ferrellgas, Inc.;
“Ferrell Companies” refers to Ferrell Companies, Inc., the sole shareholder of our general partner;
“Board of Directors” or “Board” refers to the board of directors of our general partner, except where the context indicates otherwise;
“GAAP” refers to accounting principles generally accepted in the United States;
“retail sales” refers to Propane and other gas liquid sales: Retail — Sales to End Users or the volume of propane sold primarily to our residential, industrial/commercial and agricultural customers;
“wholesale sales” refers to Propane and other gas liquid sales: Wholesale — Sales to Resellers or the volume of propane sold primarily to our portable tank exchange customers and bulk propane sold to wholesale customers;
“other gas sales” refers to Propane and other gas liquid sales: Other Gas Sales or the volume of bulk propane sold to other third-party propane distributors or marketers and the volume of refined fuel sold;
“propane sales volume” refers to the volume of propane sold to our retail sales and wholesale sales customers;
“Class A Units” refers to the Class A Units of Ferrellgas Partners, one of which was issued for every twenty of Ferrellgas Partners’ then-outstanding common units in a 1-for-20 reverse unit split effected on March 30, 2021;
“Class B Units” refers to the Class B Units of Ferrellgas Partners;
“Preferred Units” refers to the Senior Preferred Units of the operating partnership;
“Unitholders” or “unitholders” refers to holders of Class A Units, holders of Class B Units or holders of Preferred Units, as indicated or as the context requires for each such reference; and
references to any fiscal year are to the fiscal year ended or ending on July 31 of the applicable year.

Also, the following terms that are used throughout this Annual Report on Form 10-K are defined in Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”:

Amended Ferrellgas Partners LPA
Amended OpCo LPA
Credit Agreement
Credit Facility
Effective Date
Ferrellgas Partners Notes
OpCo LPA Amendment
OpCo Notes

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Forward-looking Statements

Statements included in this report include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are identified as any statement that does not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements often use words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend,” “plan,” “projection,” “forecast,” “strategy,” “position,” “continue,” “estimate,” “expect,” “may,” “will,” or the negative of those terms or other variations of them or comparable terminology. These statements often discuss plans, strategies, events or developments that we expect or anticipate will or may occur in the future and are based upon the beliefs and assumptions of our management and on the information currently available to them. In particular, statements, express or implied, concerning our future operating results or financial position or our ability to generate sales, income or cash flow are forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. You should not put undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by these forward-looking statements. Many of the factors that will affect our future results are beyond our ability to control or predict. Some of the risk factors that may affect our business, financial condition or results of operations include:

the effect of weather conditions on the demand for propane;
the prices of wholesale propane, motor fuel and crude oil;
disruptions to the supply of propane;
competition from other industry participants and other energy sources;
energy efficiency and technology advances;
significant delays in the collection of accounts or notes receivable;
customer, counterparty, supplier or vendor defaults;
changes in demand for, and production of, hydrocarbon products;
increased trucking and rail regulations;
inherent operating and litigation risks in gathering, transporting, handling and storing propane;
our inability to complete acquisitions or to successfully integrate acquired operations;
costs of complying with, or liabilities imposed under, environmental, health and safety laws;
the impact of pending and future legal proceedings;
the interruption, disruption, failure or malfunction of our information technology systems including due to cyber-attack;
the impact of changes in tax law that could adversely affect the tax treatment of Ferrellgas Partners for federal income tax purposes;
economic and political instability, particularly in areas of the world tied to the energy industry;
disruptions in the capital and credit markets; and
access to available capital to meet our operating and debt service requirements.

When considering any forward-looking statement, you should also keep in mind the risk factors set forth in “Item 1A. Risk Factors.” Any of these risks could impair our business, financial condition or results of operations. Any such impairment may affect our ability to make distributions to our unitholders or pay interest on the principal of any of our debt securities. In addition, the trading price of our securities could decline as a result of any such impairment.

Except for our ongoing obligations to disclose material information as required by federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements or risk factors after the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

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ITEM 1.    BUSINESS.

Overview

Ferrellgas Partners is a publicly traded Delaware limited partnership formed in 1994 and is primarily engaged in the retail distribution of propane and related equipment sales. Our Class A Units are traded on the OTC Pink Market under the symbol “FPGR”.

Ferrellgas Partners is a holding entity that conducts no operations and has two direct subsidiaries, the operating partnership and Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp. Our activities are primarily conducted through the operating partnership. Ferrellgas Partners and the Preferred Unitholders are the only limited partners of the operating partnership. Ferrellgas, Inc. is the sole general partner of Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership and, excluding the economic interests attributable to the Class B Units and the Preferred Units, owns an approximate 1% general partner economic interest in each, and, therefore, an effective 2% general partner economic interest in the operating partnership. Excluding the economic interests attributable to the Preferred Units, Ferrellgas Partners owns an approximate 99% limited partner interest in the operating partnership. For information regarding the economic and other terms of the Class B Units and the Preferred Units, see Note J – Equity (Deficit) and Note I – Preferred units – to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere herein.

Our general partner performs all management functions for us. The parent company of our general partner, Ferrell Companies, currently beneficially owns approximately 23.4% of our outstanding Class A Units. Ferrell Companies is owned 100% by an employee stock ownership trust.

The operating partnership was formed on April 22, 1994, and accounts for substantially all of our consolidated assets, sales and operating earnings, except for interest expense related to the Ferrellgas Partners Notes during the relevant historical periods.

Business

We are a leading distributor of propane and related equipment and supplies to customers in the United States. We believe that we are the second largest retail marketer of propane in the United States as measured by the volume of our retail sales in fiscal 2022 and a leading national provider of propane by portable tank exchange.

We serve residential, industrial/commercial, portable tank exchange, agricultural, wholesale and other customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Our operations primarily include the distribution and sale of propane and related equipment and supplies with concentrations in the Midwest, Southeast, Southwest and Northwest regions of the United States. Sales from propane distribution are generated principally from transporting propane purchased from third parties to propane distribution locations and then to tanks on customers’ premises or to portable propane tanks delivered to nationwide and local retailers. Sales from portable tank exchanges, nationally branded under the name Blue Rhino, are generated primarily through a network of partnership-owned distribution outlets and to a lesser extent through independently-owned distribution outlets. Our market areas for our residential and agricultural customers are generally rural while our market areas for our industrial/commercial and portable tank exchange customers are generally urban.

In the residential and industrial/commercial markets, propane is primarily used for space heating, water heating, cooking and other propane fueled appliances. In the portable tank exchange market, propane is used primarily for outdoor cooking using gas grills. In the agricultural market, propane is primarily used for crop drying, space heating, irrigation and weed control. In addition, propane is used for a variety of industrial applications, including as an engine fuel burned in the internal combustion engines of vehicles and forklifts and as a heating or energy source in manufacturing and drying processes.

A substantial majority of our gross margin from propane and other gas liquids sales is derived from the distribution and sale of propane and related risk management activities. Our gross margin from the retail distribution of propane is primarily based on the cents-per-gallon difference between the sales price we charge our customers and our costs to purchase and deliver propane to our propane distribution locations.

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The distribution of propane to residential customers generally involves large numbers of small volume deliveries. Our retail deliveries of propane are typically transported from our retail propane distribution locations to our customers by our fleet of bulk delivery trucks, which are generally fitted with tanks ranging in size from 2,600 to 3,500 gallons. Propane storage tanks located on our customers’ premises are then filled from these bulk delivery trucks. We also deliver propane to our industrial/commercial and portable tank exchange customers using our fleet of portable tank and portable tank exchange delivery trucks, truck tractors and portable tank exchange delivery trailers.

We track “Propane sales volumes,” “Revenues – Propane and other gas liquids sales” and “Gross Margin – Propane and other gas liquids sales” by customer; however, we are not able to specifically allocate operating and other costs by customer in a manner that would determine their specific profitability with a high degree of accuracy. The wholesale propane price per gallon is subject to various market conditions, including inflation, and may fluctuate based on changes in demand, supply and other energy commodity prices, primarily crude oil and natural gas, as propane prices tend to correlate with the fluctuations of these underlying commodities.

As of July 31, 2022, approximately 69% of our residential customers utilize our equipment, while the remainder own their tanks. Our rental terms and the fire safety regulations in some states require rented bulk tanks to be filled only by the propane supplier owning the tank. The cost and inconvenience of switching bulk tanks helps minimize a customer’s tendency to switch suppliers of propane on the basis of minor variations in price, helping us minimize customer loss.

In addition, we lease tanks to some of our independent distributors involved with our delivery of propane for portable tank exchanges. Our owned and independent distributors provide portable tank exchange customers with a national delivery presence that is generally not available from most of our competitors.

In our past three fiscal years, our total annual propane sales volumes in gallons were:

In our past three fiscal years, our total annual propane sales volumes in gallons were:

Propane

sales volumes

Fiscal year ended

    

(in millions)

July 31, 2022

831

July 31, 2021

860

July 31, 2020

874

In fiscal 2022, no one customer accounted for 10% or more of our consolidated revenues.

We utilize marketing programs targeting both new and existing customers by emphasizing:

our efficiency in delivering propane to customers;
our employee training and safety programs;
our enhanced customer service, facilitated by our technology platform and our 24 hours a day, seven days a week emergency retail customer call support capabilities; and
our national distributor network for our commercial and portable tank exchange customers.

Some of our propane distribution locations also conduct the retail sale of propane appliances and related parts and fittings, as well as other retail propane related services and consumer products.

Our other activities in our propane operations and related equipment sales segment include the following:

the sale of refined fuels, and
common carrier services.

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Effect of Weather and Seasonality

Weather conditions have a significant impact on demand for propane for heating purposes during the months of November through March (the “winter heating season”). Accordingly, the volume of propane used by our customers for this purpose is directly affected by the severity of the winter weather in the regions we serve and can vary substantially from year to year. In any given region, sustained warmer-than-normal temperatures in the winter heating season will tend to result in reduced propane usage, while sustained colder-than-normal temperatures in the winter heating season will tend to result in greater usage. Although there is a strong correlation between weather and customer usage, general economic conditions in the United States and the wholesale price of propane can also significantly impact this correlation. Additionally, there is a natural time lag between the onset of cold weather and increased sales to customers. If the United States were to experience a cooling trend, we could expect nationwide demand for propane for heating purposes to increase which could lead to greater sales, income and cash flow. Conversely, if the United States were to experience a continued warming trend, we could expect nationwide demand for propane for heating purposes to decrease which could lead to a reduction in our sales, income and cash flow as well as impact our ability to maintain compliance with our debt covenants.

The market for propane is seasonal because of increased demand during the winter heating season primarily for the purpose of providing heating in residential and commercial buildings. Consequently, sales and operating profits are concentrated in our second and third fiscal quarters, which are during the winter heating season. However, our propane by portable tank exchange business experiences higher volumes in the spring and summer, which include the majority of the grilling season. These volumes add to our operating profits during our first and fourth fiscal quarters due to those counter-seasonal business activities. These sales also provide us the ability to better utilize our seasonal resources at our propane distribution locations. Other factors affecting our results of operations include competitive conditions, volatility in energy commodity prices, timing of acquisitions and general economic conditions in the United States.

We use information on temperatures to understand how our results of operations are affected by temperatures that are warmer or colder than normal. We define “normal” temperatures based on a 10-year average of information published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Based on this information we calculate a ratio of actual heating degree days to normal heating degree days. Heating degree days are a general indicator of weather impacting propane usage. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for weather trends compared to the prior fiscal year as well as to normal heating degree days.

We believe that our broad geographic distribution helps us reduce exposure to regional weather and economic patterns. During times of colder-than-normal winter weather, we have been able to take advantage of our large, efficient distribution network to avoid supply disruptions, thereby providing us a competitive advantage in the markets we serve.

Risk Management Activities – Commodity Price Risk

We employ risk management activities that attempt to mitigate price risks related to the purchase, storage, transport and sale of propane generally in the contract and spot markets from major domestic energy companies on a short-term basis. We attempt to mitigate these price risks through the use of financial derivative instruments and forward propane purchase and sales contracts. We enter into propane sales commitments with a portion of our customers that provide for a contracted price agreement for a specified period of time. These commitments can expose us to product price risk if not immediately hedged with an offsetting propane purchase commitment.

Our risk management strategy involves taking positions in the forward or financial markets that are equal and opposite to our positions in the physical products market in order to minimize the risk of financial loss from an adverse price change. This risk management strategy is successful when our gains or losses in the physical product markets are offset by our losses or gains in the forward or financial markets. Our propane related financial derivatives are designated as cash flow hedges.

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Our risk management activities may include the use of financial derivative instruments including, but not limited to, futures, swaps, and options to seek protection from adverse price movements and to minimize potential losses. We enter into these financial derivative instruments primarily with brokers who are clearing members with the Intercontinental Exchange or the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and, to a lesser extent, directly with third parties in the over-the-counter market. We also enter into forward propane purchase and sales contracts with counterparties. These forward contracts qualify for the normal purchase normal sales exception within GAAP and are therefore not recorded on our financial statements until settled.

Through our supply procurement activities, we purchase propane primarily from energy companies. Supplies of propane from these sources have traditionally been readily available, although no assurance can be given that they will be readily available in the future. We may purchase and store inventories of propane to avoid delivery interruptions during the periods of increased demand and to take advantage of favorable commodity prices. As a result of our ability to buy large volumes of propane and utilize our national distribution system, we believe we are in a position to achieve product cost savings and avoid shortages during periods of tight supply to an extent not generally available to other propane distributors. During fiscal 2022, ten suppliers accounted for approximately 51% of our total propane purchases. Because there are numerous alternative suppliers available, we do not believe it is reasonably possible that this supplier concentration could cause a near-term severe impact on our ability to procure propane, though propane prices could be affected; however, if supplies were interrupted or difficulties in obtaining alternative transportation were to arise, the cost of procuring replacement supplies may materially increase. These transactions are accounted for at cost in “Cost of sales – propane and other gas liquids sales” in our consolidated statements of operations.

A portion of our propane inventory is purchased under supply contracts that typically have a one-year term and a price that fluctuates based on spot market prices. In order to limit overall price risk, we will enter into fixed price over-the-counter propane forward and/or swap contracts that generally have terms of less than 36 months. We may also use options to hedge a portion of our forecasted purchases, which generally do not exceed 36 months in the future. Executing our price risk management strategy includes regularly issuing letters of credit and posting cash collateral.

We also incur risks related to the price and availability of propane during periods of much colder-than-normal weather, temporary supply shortages concentrated in certain geographic regions and commodity price distortions between geographic regions. We attempt to mitigate these risks through our transportation activities by utilizing our transport truck and railroad tank car fleet to distribute propane between supply or storage locations and propane distribution locations. The propane we sell to our customers is generally transported from gas processing plants and refineries, pipeline terminals and storage facilities to propane distribution locations or storage facilities by our leased railroad tank cars, our owned or leased highway transport trucks, common carriers, or owner-operated transport trucks.

Risk Management Activities – Transportation Fuel Price Risk

From time to time, we employ risk management activities that attempt to mitigate price risks related to the purchase of gasoline and diesel fuel for use in the transport of propane from supply or storage locations and from retail fueling stations. When employed, we attempt to mitigate these price risks through the use of financial derivative instruments.

When employed, our risk management strategy involves taking positions in the financial markets that are not more than the forecasted purchases of fuel for our internal use in both the supply and retail propane delivery fleet in order to minimize the risk of decreased earnings from an adverse price change. This risk management strategy locks in our purchase price and is successful when our gains or losses in the physical product markets are offset by our losses or gains in the financial markets. Our transport fuel financial derivatives are not designated as cash flow hedges.

Industry

Natural gas liquids are derived from petroleum products and are sold in compressed or liquefied form. Propane, the predominant natural gas liquid, is typically extracted from natural gas or separated during crude oil refining. Although propane is gaseous at normal pressures, it is compressed into liquid form at relatively low pressures for storage and transportation. Propane is a clean-burning energy source, recognized for its transportability and ease of use relative to alternative forms of stand-alone energy sources.

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Based upon industry publications propane accounts for approximately 4% of energy consumption in the United States, a level which has remained relatively constant for the past two decades. Propane competes primarily with natural gas, electricity and fuel oil as an energy source principally on the basis of price, availability and portability. Propane serves as an alternative to natural gas in rural and urban areas where natural gas is unavailable or portability of product is required. Propane is generally more expensive than natural gas on an equivalent British Thermal Unit (“BTU”) basis in locations served by natural gas, although propane is often sold in such areas as a standby fuel for use during peak demands and during interruption in natural gas service. The expansion of natural gas into traditional propane markets has historically been inhibited by the capital costs required to expand distribution and pipeline systems. Although the extension of natural gas pipelines tends to displace propane distribution in the neighborhoods affected, we believe that new opportunities for propane sales arise as more geographically remote neighborhoods are developed.

Propane has historically been less expensive to use than electricity for space heating, water heating and cooking and competes effectively with electricity in the parts of the country where propane is less expensive than electricity on an equivalent BTU basis. Although propane is similar to fuel oil in application, market demand and price, propane and fuel oil have generally developed their own distinct geographic markets. Because residential furnaces and appliances that burn propane will not operate on fuel oil, a conversion from one fuel to the other requires the installation of new equipment. Residential propane customers will have an incentive to switch to fuel oil only if fuel oil becomes significantly less expensive than propane. Conversely, we may be unable to expand our retail customer base in areas where fuel oil is widely used, particularly the northeast United States, unless propane becomes significantly less expensive than fuel oil. However, many industrial customers who use propane as a heating fuel have the capacity to switch to other fuels, such as fuel oil, on the basis of availability or minor variations in price.

Competition

In addition to competing with marketers of other fuels, we compete with other companies engaged in the propane distribution business. Competition within the propane distribution industry stems from two types of participants: the larger, multi-state marketers, including farmers’ cooperatives, and the smaller, local independent marketers, including rural electric cooperatives. Based on our propane sales volumes in fiscal 2022, we believe that we are the second largest retail marketer of propane in the United States and a leading national provider of propane by portable tank exchange.

Most of our retail propane distribution locations compete with three or more marketers or distributors, primarily on the basis of reliability of service and responsiveness to customer needs, safety and price. Each retail distribution outlet operates in its own competitive environment because propane marketers typically reside in close proximity to their customers to lower the cost of providing service.

Business Strategy

Our business strategy includes the following:

expand our market share through disciplined acquisitions and organic growth, as accretive opportunities become available;
capitalize on our national presence and economies of scale; and
maximize operating efficiencies through utilization of our technology platform.

Expand our market share through disciplined acquisitions and organic growth, as accretive opportunities become available

We expect to continue the expansion of our propane customer base through both the acquisition of other propane distributors and through organic growth. We intend to concentrate on propane acquisition activities in geographical areas within or adjacent to our existing operating areas, and on a selected basis in areas that broaden our geographic coverage. We also intend to focus on acquisitions that can be efficiently combined with our existing propane operations to provide an attractive return on investment after taking into account the economies of scale and cost savings we anticipate will result from those combinations.

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Our goal is to improve the operations and profitability of our propane operations and related equipment sales segment by integrating best practices and leveraging our established national organization and technology platforms to help reduce costs and enhance customer service. We believe that our enhanced operational synergies, improved customer service and ability to better track the financial performance of operations provide us a distinct competitive advantage and better analysis as we consider future opportunities.

We believe that we are positioned to successfully compete for growth opportunities within and outside of our existing operating regions. Our efforts will focus on adding density to our existing customer base, providing propane and complementary services to national accounts and providing other product offerings to existing customer relationships. This continued expansion will give us new growth opportunities by leveraging the capabilities of our operating platforms.

Capitalize on our national presence and economies of scale

We believe our national presence of 795 propane distribution locations in the United States as of July 31, 2022 gives us advantages over our smaller competitors. These advantages include economies of scale in areas such as:

product procurement;
transportation;
fleet purchases;
propane customer administration; and
general administration.

We believe that our national presence allows us to be one of the few propane distributors that can competitively serve industrial/commercial and portable tank exchange customers on a nationwide basis, including the ability to serve such propane customers through leading home-improvement centers, mass merchants and hardware, grocery and convenience stores. In addition, we believe that our national presence provides us opportunities to make acquisitions of other propane distribution companies whose operations overlap with ours, providing economies of scale and significant cost savings in these markets.

We also believe that investments in technology similar to ours require both a large scale and a national presence, in order to generate sustainable operational savings to produce a sufficient return on investment. For these reasons, we believe our national presence and economies of scale provide us with an on-going competitive advantage.

Maximize operating efficiencies through utilization of our technology platform

We believe our significant investments in technology give us a competitive advantage to operate more efficiently and effectively at a lower cost compared to most of our competitors. We do not believe that many of our smaller competitors will be able to justify similar investments in the near term. Our technology advantage has resulted from significant investments made in our retail propane distribution operating platform together with our state-of-the-art tank exchange operating platform.

Our technology platform allows us to efficiently route and schedule our customer deliveries, customer administration and operational workflow for the retail sale and delivery of bulk propane. Our service centers are staffed to provide oversight and management to multiple distribution locations, referred to as service units. We operate a retail distribution network, including portable tank exchange operations, using a structure of 49 service centers and 795 service units as of July 31, 2022. The service unit locations utilize hand-held computers and cellular or satellite technology to communicate with management personnel who are typically located at the associated service center. We believe this structure and our technology platform allow us to more efficiently route and schedule customer deliveries and significantly reduce the need for daily on-site management.

The efficiencies gained from operating our technology platform allow us to consolidate our management teams at fewer locations, quickly adjust the sales prices to our customers and manage our personnel and vehicle costs more effectively to meet customer demand.

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Our customer support capabilities allow us to accept emergency customer calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These combined capabilities provide us cost savings while improving customer service by reducing customer inconvenience associated with multiple, unnecessary deliveries.

Governmental Regulation - Environmental and Safety Matters

Our operations are subject to various federal, state and local environmental, health, safety and transportation laws and regulations governing the storage, distribution and transportation of propane. However, propane is not currently subject to any price or allocation regulation and has not been defined by any federal environmental law as an environmentally hazardous substance.

In connection with all acquisitions of propane distribution businesses that involve the purchase of real property, we conduct a due diligence investigation to attempt to determine whether any substance other than propane has been sold from, stored on or otherwise come into contact with any such real property prior to its purchase. At a minimum, due diligence includes questioning the sellers, obtaining representations and warranties concerning the sellers’ compliance with environmental laws and visual inspections of the real property. Nevertheless, if hazardous substances are discovered on or under these properties, we may be responsible for removing or remediating the previously disposed substances. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, as amended, which we refer to as CERCLA or the “Superfund” law, and analogous state laws, generally impose liability, without regard to fault or legality of the original conduct, on classes of persons that are considered to be responsible for the release of a “hazardous substance” into the environment. These persons include the current owner or operator of a contaminated facility, a former owner or operator of the facility at the time of contamination, and those persons that disposed or arranged for the disposal of the hazardous substance at the facility. Under CERCLA and comparable state statutes, persons deemed “responsible parties” are subject to strict liability that, in some circumstances, may be joint and several for the costs of removing or remediating previously disposed wastes (including wastes disposed of or released by prior owners or operators) or property contamination (including groundwater contamination), for damage to natural resources and for the costs of certain health studies. In addition, it is not uncommon for neighboring landowners and other third parties to file claims for personal injury and property damage allegedly caused by the hazardous substances released into the environment. Therefore, governmental agencies or third parties may seek to hold us responsible under CERCLA and comparable state statutes for all or part of the costs to clean up sites at which such hazardous substances may have been released.

With respect to the sale and distribution of propane, we are subject to regulations promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) under its Hazard Communication Standard (“HCS”), which requires preparation and maintenance of safety data sheets, hazard labeling on products, and other worker protections. In 2012, OSHA promulgated new hazard communications requirements designed to align U.S. HCS standards with those of other countries under a Globally Harmonized System. These hazard labeling and communication changes, which took effect in June 2015, required us and other propane manufacturers and distributors to revise and update our consumer and compliance materials.

With respect to the transportation of propane by truck, we are subject to regulations promulgated under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act. These regulations cover the transportation of flammable materials and are administered by the United States Department of Transportation (“DOT”). The National Fire Protection Association Pamphlet No. 58 establishes a national standard for the safe handling and storage of propane. Those rules and procedures have been adopted by us and serve as the industry standard by the states in which we operate.

We believe that we are in material compliance with all governmental regulations and industry standards applicable to environmental and safety matters.

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Governmental Regulation - Climate Change Legislation

There continues to be concern, both nationally and internationally, about climate change and the contribution of greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions, most notably carbon dioxide, to global warming. Because propane is considered a clean alternative fuel under the federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, we anticipate that this will provide us with a competitive advantage over other sources of energy, such as fuel oil and coal, to the extent new climate change regulations become effective. At the same time, increased regulation of GHG emissions, especially in the transportation sector, could impose significant additional costs on us, our suppliers and our customers. In recent years, there has been an increase in state initiatives aimed at regulating GHG emissions. For example, the California Environmental Protection Agency established a Cap & Trade program that requires certain covered entities, including propane distribution companies, to purchase allowances to compensate for the GHG emissions created by their business operations or obtain qualifying offset credits. The impact of new legislation and regulations will depend on a number of factors, including (i) which industry sectors would be impacted, (ii) the timing of required compliance, (iii) the overall GHG emissions cap level, (iv) the allocation of emission allowances to specific sources, and (v) the costs and opportunities associated with compliance.

Human Capital Management

Ferrellgas’ employees are managed by our general partner pursuant to our partnership agreement. Our general partner’s employees are its greatest resource and an integral component to Ferrellgas’ operations. Their health, safety and well-being is a priority for us. We provide competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits, and regularly benchmark our programs to the market. Our commitment to allowing employees in eligible roles to work from home serves to solidify our position as an employer of choice in today’s marketplace. As a matrix organization, in which resources are balanced between both project groups and functional groups, open and frequent communication and teamwork among people throughout Ferrellgas allow us to innovate and support our mission to Fuel Life Simply. Under the Ferrellgas’ Employee Stock Ownership Plan (the “ESOP”), employee-owners have a vested interest in our performance through serving our customers.

Employees

At July 31, 2022, our general partner had 3,919 full-time employees in the following areas:

Propane field operations

    

3,542

Centralized corporate functions

 

377

Total

 

3,919

Less than one percent of these employees are represented by an aggregate of four different local labor unions, which are all affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Our general partner has not experienced any significant work stoppages or other labor problems.

Diversity and Inclusion

We treat each other with respect and value each individual’s unique perspective and background. We are committed to a culture where everyone belongs and diversity and inclusion drives business results. Diversity of management is crucial to our ongoing success to manage our business. As of July 31, 2022, females and ethnic groups represented the following:

    

Ferrellgas

Overall

    

Ferrellgas

Leadership (1)

Females

19.6%

25.4%

Ethnic groups

 

20.6%

9.3%

Total

 

37.6%

31.7%

(1)Represents all management levels.

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Safety

Safety is a part of everything we do. Safety is a priority for our employees, our customers and the public. We follow rules and regulations applicable to the sale and distribution of propane, including those from OSHA and the DOT. The Ferrellgas Safety Program is designed to ensure operations at our facilities adhere to established protocols and safety standards.

Employee Recognition and Community Involvement

Ferrellgas Flame Awards is a peer-to-peer recognition program. Employees receive awards for achievement in the areas of customer service, safety, innovation and leadership.

Employees have the opportunity to participate in numerous volunteer efforts as we strive to give back to the communities we serve. These initiatives include:

Operation BBQ Relief, an organization which serves communities impacted by natural disasters, supports victims and first responders throughout the United States by supplying the propane to fuel industrial-sized smokers in addition to Blue Rhino tanks;
a partnership with the International Rhino Foundation, a global wildlife conservation organization, draws attention to conservation efforts; and
providing resources for a positive long-term environmental effort in the celebration of Earth Day which ranged from planting trees to hosting battery and plastic recycling drives to multiple community service activities.

Training and Development

We believe in investing in our people through coaching, Touchbase Tuesday calls, and frequent roundtables. Ferrellgas University offers online courses available to all employees. Our summer internship program and a rotational Management Development Program (“MDP”) also allow us to build a pipeline of diverse talent. MDP trainees gain broad hands-on experience with our brands, processes and operations to prepare for leadership positions in Ferrellgas.

Trademarks and Service Marks

We market our goods and services under various trademarks and trade names, which we own or have a right to use. Those trademarks and trade names include marks or pending marks before the United States Patent and Trademark Office such as Ferrellgas, Ferrell North America, Ferrellmeter, and Fuel Life Simply. Our general partner has an option to purchase for a nominal value the trade names “Ferrellgas” and “Ferrell North America” and the trademark “Ferrellmeter” that it contributed to us during 1994, if it is removed as our general partner other than “for cause.” If our general partner ceases to serve as our general partner for any reason other than “for cause,” it will have the option to purchase our other trade names and trademarks from us for fair market value.

We believe that the Blue Rhino mark and Blue Rhino’s other trademarks and service marks are an important part of our consistent growth in the tank exchange category. Included in the registered and pending trademarks and service marks are the designations Blue Rhino®, Blue Rhino & Design®, Rhino Design®, Drop, Swap and Go®, Take-A-Tank®, Grab Life by the HornSM, and It’s Not Just Propane. It’s Blue Rhino®.

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Businesses of Other Subsidiaries

Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp. is a Delaware corporation formed in 1996 and is our wholly-owned subsidiary. Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp. (the “Partners Finance Corp.”) has nominal assets, has no employees other than officers and does not conduct any operations but has previously served and may in the future serve as a co-issuer and co-obligor for debt securities issued by Ferrellgas Partners. Institutional investors that might otherwise be limited in their ability to invest in debt securities of Ferrellgas Partners because it is a partnership may be able to invest in debt securities of Ferrellgas Partners because the Partners Finance Corp. acts as a co-issuer and co-obligor. Because of its structure and pursuant to the reduced disclosure format, a discussion of the results of operations, liquidity and capital resources of the Partners Finance Corp. is not presented in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. See Note B – Contingencies and Commitments – to the Partners Finance Corp.’s financial statements for a discussion of the debt securities with respect to which the Partners Finance Corp. has served as a co-issuer and co-obligor. As of July 31, 2022, Ferrellgas Partners had no debt securities outstanding, and the Partners Finance Corp. therefore was not liable as co-issuer for any such debt securities.

Ferrellgas Finance Corp. (the “Finance Corp.”) is a Delaware corporation formed in 2003 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the operating partnership. The Finance Corp. has nominal assets, has no employees other than officers and does not conduct any operations, but serves as a co-issuer and co-obligor for debt securities of the operating partnership. Institutional investors that might otherwise be limited in their ability to invest in debt securities of the operating partnership because it is a partnership may be able to invest in debt securities of the operating partnership because the Finance Corp. acts as a co-issuer and co-obligor. Because of its structure and pursuant to the reduced disclosure format, a discussion of the results of operations, liquidity and capital resources of the Finance Corp. is not presented in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. See Note B – Contingencies and commitments – to the Finance Corp.’s financial statements for a discussion of the debt securities with respect to which the Finance Corp. has served and is serving as a co-issuer and co-obligor.

Prior to the Effective Date, we had agreements to transfer, on an ongoing basis, a portion of our trade accounts receivable through Ferrellgas Receivables, LLC, a consolidated and wholly-owned, qualifying special purpose subsidiary of the operating partnership that maintained an accounts receivable securitization facility. We retained servicing responsibilities for transferred accounts receivable but had no other continuing involvement with the transferred receivables. The accounts receivable securitization facility was terminated as of the Effective Date. See Note F – Accounts and notes receivable, net – to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere herein for more information.

Available Information

We file annual, quarterly and current reports and other information with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). You may read and download our SEC filings over the Internet from several commercial document retrieval services as well as at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Our SEC filings are also available on our website at www.ferrellgas.com at no cost as soon as reasonably practicable after our electronic filing or furnishing thereof with the SEC. Please note that any Internet addresses provided in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be hyperlinks. No information found and/or provided at such Internet addresses is intended or deemed to be incorporated by reference herein.

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ITEM 1A.   RISK FACTORS.

Risks Related to our Business and Industry

Weather conditions, including warm winters, dry or warm weather in the harvest season and poor weather in the grilling season, may reduce the demand for propane, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows, financial condition or liquidity.

Weather conditions have a significant impact on the demand for propane for heating, agricultural, and recreational grilling purposes. Many of our customers rely heavily on propane as a heating fuel. Accordingly, our sales volumes of propane are highest during the five-month winter-heating season of November through March and are directly affected by the temperatures during these months. During fiscal 2022, approximately 56% of our propane sales volume was attributable to sales during the winter-heating season. Actual weather conditions can vary substantially from year to year, which may significantly affect our financial performance or condition. Furthermore, variations in weather in one or more regions in which we operate can significantly affect our total propane sales volume and therefore our financial performance or condition. The agricultural demand for propane is also affected by weather, as dry or warm weather during the harvest season may reduce the demand for propane used in some crop drying applications.

Sales from portable tank exchanges experience higher volumes in the spring and summer, which includes the majority of the grilling season. Sustained periods of poor weather, particularly in the grilling season, can negatively affect our portable tank exchange revenues. In addition, poor weather may reduce consumers’ propensity to purchase and use grills and other propane-fueled appliances thereby reducing demand for portable tank exchange.

Sudden and sharp increases in wholesale propane prices may not be completely passed on to our customers, especially those with which we have contracted pricing arrangements. These contracted pricing arrangements will adversely affect our profit margins if they are not immediately hedged with an offsetting propane purchase commitment and wholesale propane prices do increase. Conversely, sudden and sharp decreases in wholesale propane prices may result in our customers’ not fulfilling obligations under contracted pricing arrangements entered into with us. Customer defaults under these higher sales price arrangements may adversely affect our profit margins.

Gross margin from the retail distribution of propane is primarily based on the cents-per-gallon difference between the sales price we charge our customers and our costs to purchase and deliver propane to our propane distribution locations. Because our profitability is sensitive to changes in wholesale supply costs, we will be adversely affected if we cannot pass on increases in the cost of propane to our customers. We enter into propane sales commitments with a portion of our customers that provide for a contracted price agreement for a specified period of time. A certain percentage of that exposure is hedged with an offsetting propane purchase commitment.

The wholesale propane price per gallon is subject to various market conditions and may fluctuate based on changes in demand, supply and other energy commodity prices. Propane prices tend to partially correlate with crude oil and natural gas prices. Heightened levels of uncertainty related to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, in particular, may lead to additional economic sanctions by the U.S. and the international community and could further disrupt financial and commodities markets. We employ risk management activities that attempt to mitigate risks related to the purchasing, storing, transporting and selling of propane. However, sudden and sharp increases in wholesale propane prices cannot be passed on to customers with which we have contracted pricing arrangements. Therefore, we are exposed to the risk of increased wholesale propane prices and reduced profit margins on the percentage of our contractual commitments that are not immediately hedged with an offsetting propane purchase commitment. If we were to experience sudden and sharp propane price decreases, our customers may not fulfill their obligations to purchase propane from us at their previously contracted price per gallon, and we may not be able to sell the related hedged or fixed price propane at a profitable sales price per gallon in the then-current pricing environment.

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We compete with other businesses to attract and retain qualified employees, and labor shortages and increased labor costs could adversely affect our business.

Our continued success depends on our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel in all areas of our business. We compete with other businesses to attract and retain qualified employees and a tight labor market may cause our labor costs to increase. The pandemic adds challenges in recruiting employees who may be hesitant to work in particular environments or without additional accommodations. A shortage of qualified employees may require us to enhance wage and benefits packages in order to compete effectively in the hiring and retention of employees, increase overtime or hire more expensive temporary employees. No assurance can be given that our labor costs will not increase, or that such increases can be recovered through increased prices charged to customers.

We are dependent on our principal suppliers, which increases the risks from an interruption in supply and transportation.

Through our supply procurement activities, we purchased approximately 51% of our propane from ten suppliers during fiscal 2022. During extended periods of colder-than-normal weather, these suppliers or other suppliers in one or more of the areas in which we operate could temporarily run out of propane, necessitating the transportation of propane by truck, rail car or other means from other areas. If supplies from these sources were interrupted, certain suppliers were to default or difficulties in alternative transportation were to arise, the cost of procuring replacement supplies and transporting those supplies from alternative locations might be materially higher and, at least on a short-term basis, our margins could be reduced.

Our failure or our counterparties’ failure to perform on obligations under commodity derivative and financial derivative contracts and increased costs associated with such contracts could materially affect our liquidity, cash flows and results of operations.

Volatility in the oil and gas commodities sector for an extended period of time or intense volatility in the near term could impair our or our counterparties’ ability to meet margin calls, which could cause us or our counterparties to default on commodity and financial derivative contracts. This could have a material adverse effect on our financial position or liquidity or on our ability to procure product at acceptable prices or at all and could increase our costs to procure product.

Legislation and rulemaking associated with parties to derivatives transactions may increase our cost of using derivative instruments to hedge risks associated with our business or may reduce the availability of such instruments or the creditworthiness of derivatives counterparties available to us. While costs imposed directly on us due to regulatory requirements for derivatives such as reporting, recordkeeping and electing the end-user exception from mandatory clearing, are relatively minor, costs imposed upon our counterparties may increase the cost of our doing business in the derivatives markets to the extent such costs are passed on to us.

Hurricanes and other natural disasters could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Hurricanes and other natural disasters can potentially destroy numerous business structures and homes and, if occurring in the Gulf Coast region of the United States, could disrupt the supply chain for oil and gas products. Disruptions in supply could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flow. Damage and higher prices caused by hurricanes and other natural disasters could also have an adverse effect on our financial condition due to the impact on the financial condition of our customers. To the extent the frequency or magnitude of significant weather events and natural disasters increases, the resulting increase in disruptions also could have adverse impacts on our business on both the supply and demand side and therefore adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

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Epidemic diseases, such as COVID-19, or similar public health crises, illnesses or pandemics, could adversely affect our operations and financial condition.

COVID-19, and variants thereof, continues to evolve and impact the economy of the United States and other countries around the world. Throughout the pandemic, we have used initiatives to minimize the risk and impact of COVID-19 on our employees and customers such as using staggered start times for drivers, sanitizing company vehicles prior to the start of each shift, using hand sanitizer in vehicles and company offices, and other best practices set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Any of the foregoing events or other consequences of public health epidemics may increase our operating expenses and reduce the efficiency of our operations and may have further adverse impacts on U.S. and global economic conditions, including a renewed slowdown in the U.S. economy, which could decrease demand for our products and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

The propane distribution business is highly competitive, and competition may negatively affect our sales volumes and therefore our results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and liquidity.

Our profitability is affected by the competition for customers among all of the participants in the propane distribution business. We compete with a number of large national and regional firms and several thousand small independent firms. Because of the relatively low barriers to entry into the propane market, there is the potential for small independent propane distributors, as well as other companies not previously engaged in propane distribution, to compete with us. Some rural electric cooperatives and fuel oil distributors have expanded their businesses to include propane distribution. As a result, we are subject to the risk of additional competition in the future. Some of our competitors may have greater financial resources or lower costs than we do. Should a competitor attempt to increase market share by reducing prices, our operating margins and customer base may be negatively impacted. Generally, warmer-than-normal weather and increasing wholesale fuel prices further intensify competition.

The propane distribution industry is a mature one, which may limit our growth.

The propane distribution industry is a mature one. We foresee no growth or a small decline in total national demand for propane in the near future. Year-to-year industry volumes are primarily impacted by fluctuations in temperatures and economic conditions. Our ability to grow our sales volumes within the propane distribution industry is primarily dependent upon our ability to acquire other propane distributors and integrate those acquisitions into our operations and upon the success of our marketing efforts to acquire new customers organically. If we are unable to compete effectively in the propane distribution business, we may lose existing customers or fail to acquire new customers.

We may not be successful in making acquisitions, and any acquisitions we make may not result in achievement of our anticipated results. In either case, this failure would potentially limit our growth, limit our ability to compete and impair our results of operations and financial condition.

We have historically expanded our business through acquisitions. We regularly consider and evaluate opportunities to acquire propane distributors. We may choose to finance these acquisitions through internal cash flow, external borrowings or the issuance of additional Class A Units or other securities. We have substantial competition for acquisitions, and, although we believe there are numerous potential large and small acquisition candidates in our industry, there can be no assurance that we will be able to make any acquisitions on favorable terms or at all. There is also a risk we will not be able to successfully integrate acquired operations or achieve any expected cost savings or other synergies. We may also assume or become subject to known or unknown liabilities, including environmental liabilities, and we may not be protected against any such liabilities by indemnification from the sellers or insurance. There is no assurance that any acquisitions made will not be dilutive to our earnings and distributions and that any additional equity we issue as consideration for an acquisition will not be dilutive to our unitholders or any additional debt we incur to finance an acquisition will not affect the operating partnership’s ability to make distributions to Ferrellgas Partners or service our existing debt.

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Our operations, capital expenditures and financial results may be affected by regulatory changes and/or market responses to global climate change, including competition from other energy sources in response to such changes.

There continues to be concern, both nationally and internationally, about climate change and the contribution of greenhouse gases (“GHG”) emissions, most notably carbon dioxide, to global warming. Because propane is considered a clean alternative fuel under the federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, we anticipate that this will provide us with a competitive advantage over other sources of energy, such as fuel oil and coal, as new climate change laws and regulations become effective. At the same time, increased regulation of GHG emissions, especially in the transportation sector, could impose significant additional costs on us, our suppliers and our customers. Numerous proposals have been made and are likely to continue to be made at the national, regional and state levels of government to monitor and limit GHG emissions. These efforts include cap-and-trade programs, carbon taxes, GHG reporting and tracking programs and regulations that limit GHG emissions from certain sources. The impact of new legislation and regulations will depend on a number of factors, including (i) which industry sectors would be impacted, (ii) the timing of required compliance, (iii) the overall GHG emissions cap level, (iv) the allocation of emission allowances to specific sources, and (v) the costs and opportunities associated with compliance. At this time, we cannot predict the effect that climate change regulation may have on our business, financial condition or operations in the future.

Furthermore, increasing concentrations of GHGs in the Earth’s atmosphere may produce climate changes that have significant physical effects, such as volatility in seasonal temperatures and increased frequency and severity of storms, floods and other climatic events. To the extent weather conditions are affected by climate change or demand is impacted by regulations associated with climate change, customers’ energy use could increase or decrease depending on the duration and magnitude of the changes, leading either to increased investment or decreased revenues.

Propane competes with other sources of energy, some of which can be less costly for equivalent energy value and which also may become more prevalent in response to climate change regulation and other factors. See “Item I. Business – Industry” for additional information on our competition for customers against suppliers of electricity, natural gas and fuel oil.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) has determined that carbon dioxide and other GHGs are regulated pollutants under the Clean Air Act. In June 2019, the EPA replaced the Clean Power Plan with the Affordable Clean Energy rule. In January 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) vacated the Affordable Clean Energy rule and remanded the question to the EPA to consider a new regulatory framework to replace the Affordable Clean Energy rule, thereby allowing the incoming administration to implement standards for emissions from the power sector. In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the D.C. Circuit’s decision on the Affordable Clean Energy rule and remanded the case back to the D.C. Circuit. On August 16, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the “Inflation Reduction Act”). The Inflation Reduction Act contains hundreds of billions of dollars in incentives for the development of renewable energy, clean hydrogen, clean fuels, electric vehicles and supporting infrastructure and carbon capture and sequestration, amongst other provisions. These incentives could further accelerate the transition of the U.S. economy away from the use of fossil fuels towards lower- or zero-carbon emissions alternatives and impact demand for propane. Propane competes with electricity, among other alternative fuels, and to the extent the cost of production and delivery is reduced for electricity and other alternative fuel sources with which we compete, we may experience reduced demand for our propane. The ultimate impact on propane demand and our business is uncertain and may change as implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act moves forward. We cannot predict the effect that the development of alternative energy sources and related laws might have on our financial position or results of operations.

Economic and political conditions may harm the energy business disproportionately to other industries.

Deteriorating regional and global economic and political conditions, including U.S. sanctions on Iran oil exports and conflict, unrest and economic instability in oil producing countries and regions, may cause significant disruptions to commerce throughout the world. If those disruptions occur in areas of the world which are tied to the energy industry, such as the Middle East, it is most likely that our industry will be either affected first or affected to a greater extent than other industries. These conditions or disruptions may impair our ability to effectively market or acquire propane or impair our ability to raise equity or debt capital for acquisitions, capital expenditures or ongoing operations.

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We are subject to operating and litigation risks, and related costs or liabilities may not be covered by insurance.

We are subject to all operating hazards and risks normally incidental to the handling, storing and delivering of combustible liquids such as propane. These operations face an inherent risk of exposure to general liability claims in the event that they result in injury or destruction of property. As a result, we have been, and are likely to be, a defendant in various legal proceedings arising in the ordinary course of business. Our insurance policies do not cover all losses, costs or liabilities that we may experience, and insurance companies that currently insure companies in our industry or in the energy industry generally may cease to do so or substantially increase premiums. Although we maintain insurance policies with insurers in such amounts and with such coverages and deductibles as we believe are reasonable and prudent, we cannot guarantee that such insurance will be adequate to protect us from all material expenses related to potential future claims for personal injury and property damage or that such levels of insurance will be available in the future at economical prices.

A significant increase in motor fuel prices may adversely affect our profits.

Motor fuel is a significant operating expense for us in connection with the purchase and delivery of propane to our customers. The price and supply of motor fuel is unpredictable and fluctuates based on events we cannot control, such as geopolitical developments, including impacts from Russian military actions in Ukraine, supply and demand for oil, gas, and refined fuels, actions by oil and gas producers, actions by motor fuel refiners, conflict, unrest or economic instability in oil producing countries and regions, regional production patterns and weather conditions. We may not be able to pass any increases in motor fuel prices on to our customers. As a result, any increases in these prices may adversely affect our profitability and competitiveness.

If we are unable to protect our information technology systems against service interruption, misappropriation of data, or breaches of security resulting from cyber security attacks or other events, or we encounter other unforeseen difficulties in the operation of our information technology systems, our operations could be disrupted, our business and reputation may suffer, and our internal controls could be adversely affected.

In the ordinary course of business, we rely on information technology systems, including the Internet and third-party hosted services, to support a variety of business processes and activities and to store sensitive data, including (i) intellectual property, (ii) our proprietary business information and that of our suppliers and business partners, (iii) personally identifiable information of our customers and employees, and (iv) data with respect to invoicing and the collection of payments, accounting, procurement, and supply chain activities. In addition, we rely on our information technology systems to process financial information and results of operations for internal reporting purposes and to comply with financial reporting, legal, and tax requirements. Despite our security measures, our information technology systems may be vulnerable to attacks by hackers or breached due to employee error, malfeasance, sabotage, or other disruptions.

The efficient execution of our business is dependent upon the proper functioning of our internal systems, and we depend on our management information systems to process orders, manage inventory, manage accounts receivable collections, maintain distributor and customer information, maintain cost-efficient operations and assist in delivering propane on a timely basis. In addition, our staff of management information systems professionals relies heavily on the support of several key personnel and vendors. Any disruption in the operation of those management information systems, including a cyber-security breach or loss of employees knowledgeable about the operation of such systems, termination of our relationship with one or more of these key vendors or failure to continue to modify and upgrade such systems effectively as our business expands could negatively affect our business, financial condition or reputation.

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We may incur significant costs in order to comply with privacy and data security laws and regulations, and any failure to comply with such laws and regulations could result in significant penalties or other liabilities or costs.

There are numerous laws and regulations regarding privacy and the storage, sharing, use, processing, transfer, disclosure and protection of personal data, the scope of which is changing, subject to differing interpretations, and may be inconsistent between jurisdictions. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), which came into effect on January 1, 2020, limits how we may collect and use personal data, in addition to imposing severe statutory damages and providing consumers with a private right of action for certain data breaches. The California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”) which amends and expands the CCPA, including providing consumers with additional rights with respect to their personal data, and establishes a regulatory agency dedicated to enforcing compliance, will come into effect on January 1, 2023. Other states, including Virginia, Colorado, Utah and Connecticut, have also enacted or have similar privacy legislation pending, which would be effective in 2023. The effects of the CCPA and CPRA and other states’ data privacy laws are potentially far-reaching, and may require us to modify our data processing practices and policies and incur substantial compliance-related costs and expenses. It remains unclear how various provisions will be interpreted and enforced. Data privacy laws and their interpretations continue to develop and may be inconsistent from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Non-compliance with these laws could result in penalties or significant legal liability. Although we take reasonable efforts to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, there can be no assurance that we will not be subject to regulatory action, including fines, in the event of an incident. We or our third-party service providers could be adversely affected if legislation or regulations are expanded to require changes in our or our third-party service providers’ business practices or if governing jurisdictions interpret or implement their legislation or regulations in ways that negatively affect our or our third-party service providers’ business, results of operations or financial condition.

The conduct of our business may infringe the intellectual property rights of others, which may cause us to incur unexpected costs and place restrictions on our operations.

We cannot be certain that the conduct of our business will not infringe the intellectual property rights of others. We may be subject to legal proceedings and claims in the ordinary course of our business, including claims of alleged infringement of intellectual property rights of third parties by us or our customers in connection with the conduct of our business. Any such claims, whether or not meritorious, could result in costly litigation and divert the efforts of our management and personnel. Moreover, should we be found liable for infringement, we may be required to enter into licensing agreements (if available on acceptable terms or at all) or to pay damages and to cease making or selling certain products or services. Any of the foregoing could cause us to incur significant costs and negatively affect our business, financial condition, or reputation.

We may incur significant costs in order to comply with environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, and any failure to comply with such laws and regulations could result in significant penalties or other liabilities or costs.

Our operations are subject to stringent federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to protection of the environment or human health and safety. Compliance with current and future environmental laws and regulations may increase our overall cost of business, including our capital costs to construct, maintain and upgrade equipment and facilities. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations may result in the assessment of significant administrative, civil and criminal penalties, the imposition of investigatory and remedial liabilities, and even the issuance of injunctions that may restrict or prohibit some or all of our operations. Such laws and regulations are subject to change and we cannot provide assurance that the cost of compliance or the consequences of any failure to comply will not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.

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Risks Inherent in an Investment in our Class A or Class B Units or our Debt Securities and Other Risks Related to Our Capital Structure and Financing Arrangements

If we are unable to access the financing markets, including through our Credit Facility, it may adversely impact our business and liquidity.

Market conditions may impact our ability to access the financing markets on terms acceptable to us or at all. In addition, there are limitations on our ability to utilize fully all commitments under our Credit Facility. Availability under our Credit Facility is determined by reference to a borrowing base comprised of a combination of accounts receivable and propane inventory that fluctuates over time and the borrowing base may be further reduced by discretionary actions of the administrative agent under the Credit Facility. See Note H – Debt to the consolidated financial statements for details. If we are unable to access the financing markets, including through our Credit Facility, we would be required to use cash on hand to fund operations and repay outstanding debt. There is no assurance that we will be able to generate sufficient cash to fund our operations and repay or refinance such debt.

Our substantial indebtedness and other financial obligations could impair our financial condition and our ability to satisfy our obligations and we may be forced to take other actions to satisfy our obligations under our indebtedness, which may not be successful.

We have substantial indebtedness and other financial obligations. Our ability to make scheduled payments on or refinance our debt obligations depends on our financial condition and operating performance, which are subject to prevailing economic and competitive conditions and to certain financial, business, legislative, regulatory and other factors beyond our control. We may be unable to maintain a level of cash flows from operating activities sufficient to permit us to pay the principal, premium, if any, and interest on our indebtedness. See Note H – Debt to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere herein for more detail. Our long-term debt obligations do not contain any sinking fund provisions, but require aggregate principal payments, without premium, as disclosed in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Liquidity and Capital Resources-Material Cash Requirements.”

If our cash flows and capital resources are insufficient to fund our debt service obligations, we could face substantial liquidity problems and could be forced to reduce or delay investments and capital expenditures or to dispose of material assets or operations, seek additional debt or equity capital or restructure or refinance our indebtedness. We may not be able to effect any such alternative measures, if necessary, on commercially reasonable terms or at all and, even if successful, those alternative actions may not allow us to meet our scheduled debt service obligations. Our ability to enter leasing transactions at favorable terms could also be impacted. The Indentures, the Credit Agreement and the OpCo LPA Amendment restrict our ability to dispose of assets and use the proceeds from those dispositions and may also restrict our ability to raise debt or equity capital to be used to repay other indebtedness when it becomes due. We may not be able to consummate those dispositions or obtain proceeds in an amount sufficient to meet any debt service obligations then due. For more detail, see Note H – Debt and Note I – Preferred units to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere herein.

A lowering or withdrawal of the ratings assigned to our debt securities by rating agencies may increase our future borrowing costs and reduce our access to capital.

The operating partnership has a corporate rating of B1 from Moody’s Investors Service (“Moody’s”). Our senior unsecured notes were assigned a B2 rating by Moody’s. Any rating assigned could be lowered or withdrawn entirely by a rating agency if, in that rating agency’s judgment, future circumstances relating to the basis of the rating, such as adverse changes, so warrant. Consequently, real or anticipated changes in our credit ratings will generally affect the market value of our debt securities. Any future lowering of our ratings likely would make it more difficult or more expensive for us to obtain additional debt financing. If any credit rating initially assigned to the OpCo Notes or other debt securities is subsequently lowered or withdrawn for any reason, you may not be able to resell such debt securities without a substantial discount.

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Restrictive covenants in the Indentures, the Credit Agreement and the agreements governing our other future indebtedness and other financial obligations may reduce our operating flexibility and ability to make cash distributions to holders of Class A Units and Class B Units. The Indentures, the Credit Agreement and the OpCo LPA Amendment contain important exceptions to the covenants.

The Indentures and the Credit Agreement contain, and any agreement that will govern debt incurred by us in the future may contain, various covenants that limit our ability to take certain actions as described in Note H – Debt to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere herein. These covenants also limit the ability of the operating partnership to make distributions to Ferrellgas Partners and therefore effectively limit the ability of Ferrellgas Partners to make distributions to its Class A Unitholders and Class B Unitholders. See Note I – Preferred units for a discussion of limitations related to distributions.

The Indentures and the Credit Agreement contain important exceptions to the covenants, including the covenants that restrict our ability to sell assets and make restricted payments. For example, the Indentures initially permit the operating partnership to make $60 million plus the amount of the operating partnership’s Available Cash from Operating Surplus (as defined in the Indentures) for the preceding fiscal quarter (so long as the operating partnership’s fixed coverage ratio is at least 1.75x) or $25 million (if the operating partnership’s fixed coverage ratio is below 1.75x) plus an additional $25 million, in each case, of restricted payments for any purpose, subject to compliance with applicable conditions, as well as to make additional restricted payments for specified purposes. Furthermore, we may utilize exceptions to sell assets and such asset sales may be on unfavorable terms.

The operating partnership issued $700.0 million aggregate initial liquidation preference of Preferred Units, the terms of which restrict us from undertaking certain actions while such Preferred Units are outstanding.

The Preferred Units are entitled to quarterly distributions in cash or payment in kind and are redeemable at the option of the operating partnership at any time, or at the option of the holders no earlier than ten years after the Effective Date, subject to the terms as described in more detail under Note I – Preferred units to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere herein.

For so long as at least 20% of the Preferred Units initially issued (without any adjustment for new Preferred Units issued as payment in kind) remain outstanding, holders of the Preferred Units have the right, voting as a separate class, to designate one director onto the board of the general partner, which may not exceed nine directors.

For so long as at least $35.0 million aggregate liquidation preference of Preferred Units remain outstanding, the partnership agreements of Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership limit certain actions, unless agreed by holders of at least 1/3 of the outstanding Preferred Units. Accordingly, the holders of the Preferred Units will have significant influence with respect to our management, business plans and policies. The interests of holders of the Preferred Units may conflict with our interests or the interests of our debtholders or securityholders.

Additionally, upon the occurrence of certain “change of control” transactions, the holders of the Preferred Units will have the option to require the redemption of all or a portion of the Preferred Units in cash in an amount equal to the redemption price; and such a “change of control” will also trigger a “change of control” under the Indentures.

In the event that no Class B Units are outstanding and the outstanding amount of Preferred Units is greater than $233.3 million after the tenth anniversary of the Effective Date, to the extent the operating partnership fails to redeem all the outstanding Preferred Units, holders of at least 1/3 of the outstanding Preferred Units will have the right to appoint a majority of the members of the board of directors of the general partner and initiate a sale of the operating partnership. These restrictions may limit our flexibility to pursue strategic opportunities.

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We may be unable to repurchase the OpCo Notes or repay or repurchase other debt or other securities upon a change of control.

Upon the occurrence of a “change of control” under the Indentures, we or a third party will be required to make a change of control offer to repurchase the OpCo Notes at 101% of their principal amount, plus accrued and unpaid interest. Additionally, a change of control under the Credit Facility constitutes an event of default that permits the lenders to accelerate the maturity of borrowings under the Credit Agreement and terminate their commitments to lend thereunder. We may not have the financial resources to purchase the OpCo Notes, particularly if a change of control event triggers a similar repurchase requirement for, or results in the acceleration of, other indebtedness, including under our Credit Facility. In addition, the Preferred Units have similar change of control provisions which require us to offer to redeem the Preferred Units at a price equal to the then-current liquidation preference per unit, plus accrued and unpaid distributions. These restrictions could prevent us from satisfying our obligations to purchase such securities unless we are able to refinance the indebtedness or obtain waivers or consents from the holders thereof. Our failure to pay the change of control purchase price or repay borrowings when due would allow the holders to declare such indebtedness be immediately due and payable. The exercise by the holders of our indebtedness under the OpCo Notes or the Credit Agreement of their right to require us to repurchase or repay such indebtedness upon a change of control could cause a default under the agreements governing our other indebtedness or other securities, including future agreements, even if the change of control itself does not, due to the financial effect of such repurchases on us. In the event a repurchase or repayment is required at a time when we are prohibited from purchasing or repaying such indebtedness, we could attempt to refinance the indebtedness that contains such prohibitions. If we do not obtain a consent or repay such indebtedness, our failure to purchase or repay such indebtedness would constitute an event of default which could, in turn, constitute a default under our other indebtedness. Finally, our ability to pay cash to the holders of such indebtedness upon a change of control may be limited by our then existing financial resources.

We may not be able to clearly establish when a sale of all or substantially all of the assets has occurred under New York law.

One of the events that may constitute a change of control is a sale of all or substantially all our assets. The meaning of “substantially all” varies according to the facts and circumstances of the subject transaction and has no clearly established meaning under New York law, which governs the Indentures and the Credit Agreement. This ambiguity as to when a sale of substantially all of our assets has occurred may result in uncertainty regarding whether a change of control has occurred and whether an obligation to offer to repurchase or repay under the Indentures or the Credit Agreement has been triggered.

Our Class A Units are no longer listed on the New York Stock Exchange and are instead traded on the OTC Pink Market. The OTC Pink Market has less liquidity than the NYSE and unitholders may face limited availability of market quotations for our Class A Units, reduced liquidity for the trading of our Class A Units and potentially lower trading prices for our Class A Units.

We expect our Class A Units to be quoted on the OTC Pink Market for the foreseeable future. Unitholders may face limited availability of market quotations for our Class A Units, reduced liquidity for the trading of our Class A Units and potentially lower trading prices for our Class A Units. In addition, we could experience a decreased ability to issue additional securities and obtain additional financing in the future, and it could impair our ability to provide equity incentives to our employees. There can be no assurance that the trading market for our Class A Units will improve in the future or that any improvement will be sustained.

There may be no active trading market for our debt securities, which may limit a holder’s ability to sell our debt securities.

The OpCo Notes are not, and we do not expect any debt securities we may issue in the future to be, listed on any securities exchange quoted through any automated quotation system. An established market for our debt securities may not develop, or if one does develop, it may not be maintained. We cannot assure a debt holder that a liquid market for the debt securities will develop, or that the holder will be able to sell its debt securities or receive a specific price upon any sale of its debt securities. If a public market for our debt securities did develop, the debt securities could trade at prices that may be higher or lower than their principal amount or purchase price, depending on many factors.

24

Subject to certain restrictions, Ferrellgas Partners may dilute existing interests of unitholders by selling additional limited partner interests. Ferrellgas Partners may also dilute existing Class A Units by converting Class B Units to Class A Units.

The partnership agreement of Ferrellgas Partners generally allows Ferrellgas Partners to issue additional limited partner interests and other equity securities, subject to consent by holders of the Requisite Class B Units (defined as (a) if the holder that initially holds a majority of the Class B Units (the “Initial Class B Majority Holder”) holds at least 50% of the Class B Units, holders of at least 50% of the outstanding Class B Units or (b) if the Initial Class B Majority Holder holds less than 50% of the Class B Units, holders of at least one-third of the outstanding Class B Units). When Ferrellgas Partners issues additional equity securities, a unitholder’s proportionate partnership interest in such class will decrease. Such an issuance could negatively affect the amount of cash distributed to unitholders and the market price of such units. The issuance of additional units will also diminish the relative voting strength of the previously outstanding class of units. In addition, Ferrellgas Partners may issue preferred or other securities that could have a preferred right to distributions or other priority economic terms, which could negatively affect the value of our outstanding units. See Note J – Equity (Deficit) to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere herein for more information related to the Class B units.

If Ferrellgas Partners is permitted to make and makes distributions to its partners, while any Class B Units remain outstanding, Class B Unitholders collectively will receive at least approximately 85.7% of the aggregate amount of each such distribution and may receive up to 100% of any such distribution. Accordingly, while any Class B Units remain outstanding, Class A Unitholders may not receive any distributions and, in any case, will not receive collectively more than approximately 14.1% of any distribution.

See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources” for information on partnership distributions pursuant to the Amended Ferrellgas Partners LPA. For additional discussion of the terms of the Class B Units, see Note J – Equity (Deficit) – in the notes to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere herein. Although the general partner has not made any decisions or adopted any policy with respect to the allocation of future distributions by Ferrellgas Partners to its partners, the general partner may determine that it is advisable to pay more than the minimum amount of any distribution, up to 100% of the amount of such distribution, to Class B Unitholders.

Risks Arising from Our Partnership Structure and Relationship with Our General Partner

Ferrellgas Partners is a holding entity and has no material operations or assets, other than its ownership stake in the operating partnership and Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp. Accordingly, Ferrellgas Partners is dependent on distributions from the operating partnership to service its obligations and pay distributions to its unitholders. These distributions are not guaranteed and are subject to significant limitations.

Ferrellgas Partners is a holding entity for our subsidiaries, including the operating partnership. Ferrellgas Partners has no material operations and only limited assets. Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp. is Ferrellgas Partners’ wholly-owned finance subsidiary, acts only as a co-obligor on its debt securities, if any, conducts no business and has nominal assets. Accordingly, Ferrellgas Partners is dependent on cash distributions from the operating partnership and its subsidiaries to service any obligations of Ferrellgas Partners and pay distributions to its unitholders.

Unitholders have limited voting rights; our general partner manages and operates us, thereby generally precluding the participation of our unitholders in operational decisions.

Our general partner manages and operates us. Unlike the holders of common stock in a corporation, our unitholders generally have only limited voting rights on matters affecting our business. Holders of Ferrellgas Partners’ Class B Units and the operating partnership’s Preferred Units have certain additional voting rights focused on their respective distribution rights or preferences and their respective protective covenants and other rights under the partnership agreements of Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership. Amendments to the agreement of limited partnership of Ferrellgas Partners may be proposed only by or with the consent of our general partner. Proposed amendments must generally be approved by holders of at least a majority of Ferrellgas Partners’ outstanding Class A Units and, in certain cases, holders of Ferrellgas Partners’ Class B Units and the operating partnership’s Preferred Units.

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Class A Unitholders will have no right to elect our general partner or the directors of our general partner on an annual or other continuing basis. See Note J – Equity (Deficit) to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere herein for Board rights related to the Class B Units. Under certain circumstances, holders of the Preferred Units may have the right to appoint a majority of the Board of Directors of our general partner ten years after the Effective Date. See Note I – Preferred units to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere herein.

Our general partner may not be removed except pursuant to the vote of the holders of at least 66 2/3% of the outstanding units entitled to vote thereon, which includes the Class A Units owned by our general partner and its affiliates and upon the election of a successor general partner by the vote of the holders of not less than a majority of the outstanding Class A Units entitled to vote; provided that holders of the Class B Units will have the right to remove the general partner under certain circumstances.

Unitholders may not have limited liability in specified circumstances and may be liable for the return of distributions.

The limitations on the liability of holders of limited partner interests for the obligations of a limited partnership have not been clearly established in some states. The limited partners could be held liable in some circumstances for our obligations to the same extent as a general partner if it were determined that we had been conducting business in any state without compliance with the applicable limited partnership statute.  

In addition, under some circumstances a unitholder may be liable to us for the amount of a distribution for a period of three years from the date of the distribution. Unitholders will not be liable for assessments in addition to their initial capital investment in our Class A Units. Under Delaware law, we may not make a distribution to our unitholders if the distribution causes all our liabilities to exceed the fair value of our assets. Liabilities to partners on account of their partnership interests and liabilities for which recourse is limited to specific property are not counted for purposes of determining whether a distribution is permitted. Delaware law provides that a limited partner who receives such a distribution and knew at the time of the distribution that the distribution violated the Delaware law will be liable to the limited partnership for the distribution amount for three years from the distribution date. Under Delaware law, an assignee that becomes a substituted limited partner of a limited partnership is liable for the obligations of the assignor to make contributions to the partnership. However, such an assignee is not obligated for liabilities unknown to that assignee at the time such assignee became a limited partner if the liabilities could not be determined from the partnership agreements.

Tax Risks

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) could challenge our classification as a partnership for federal income tax purposes, which, if successful, would result in our being treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes. Additionally, changes in federal or state laws could subject us to entity-level taxation. Either of these events would substantially reduce the cash available for distribution to our unitholders.

We believe that, under current law, we have been and will continue to be classified as a partnership for federal income tax purposes; however, we have not requested, and do not plan to request, a ruling from the IRS with respect to our treatment as a partnership for federal income tax purposes. One of the requirements for such classification is that at least 90% of our gross income for each taxable year has been and will be “qualifying income” within the meaning of Section 7704 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Internal Revenue Code”). Whether we will continue to be classified as a partnership depends in part on our ability to meet this qualifying income test in the future.

If we were classified as a corporation for federal income tax purposes, we would pay tax on our income at corporate rates, currently a maximum of 21% at the federal level, and we would probably pay additional state income taxes as well. In addition, distributions would generally be taxable to the recipient as corporate dividends and no income, gains, losses or deductions would flow through to our unitholders. Because a tax would be imposed upon us at the entity level as a corporation, the cash available for distribution to our unitholders would be substantially reduced. Therefore, treatment of us as a corporation would result in a material reduction in the anticipated cash flow and after-tax return to our unitholders and thus would likely result in a substantial reduction in the value of our units.

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The tax treatment of publicly traded partnerships could be subject to potential legislative, judicial or administrative changes and differing interpretations, possibly on a retroactive basis.

The present U.S. federal income tax treatment of publicly traded partnerships, including us, may be modified by administrative or judicial interpretation or legislative action at any time. Any modification to the U.S. federal income tax laws and interpretations thereof may or may not be applied retroactively and could make it more difficult or impossible to meet the exception for us to be treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes that is not taxable as a corporation, affect or cause us to change our business activities, affect the tax considerations of an investment in us and change the character or treatment of portions of our income. Any such changes could cause us to be treated as an association taxable as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes and thereby subject us to entity-level income taxes, which would cause a material reduction in our anticipated cash flows and adversely affect the value of our units.

A successful IRS contest of the federal income tax positions we take may reduce the market value of our units and the costs of any contest will be borne by us and therefore indirectly by our unitholders and our general partner.

The IRS may adopt positions that differ from those expressed herein or from the positions we take. It may be necessary to resort to administrative or court proceedings in an effort to sustain some or all of the positions we take, and some or all of these positions ultimately may not be sustained. Any successful IRS contest may materially reduce the market value of our units and the prices at which our units trade. In addition, our costs of any contest with the IRS will be borne by us and therefore indirectly by our unitholders and our general partner.

Unitholders may be required to pay taxes on their share of our taxable income even if they do not receive cash distributions from us.

Unitholders may be required to pay federal income taxes and, in some cases, state and local income taxes on their share of our taxable income, including our taxable income associated with a disposition of property or cancellation of debt, whether or not they receive any cash distributions from us. Unless we are able to pay and actually pay cash distributions on our Class A Units, Class A Unitholders will not receive any cash from us to cover any such tax liabilities, and, if we do pay cash distributions in the future, such cash distributions may not be equal to unitholders’ share of our taxable income or even equal to the actual tax liability which results from that income.

We continue to pursue a strategy to normalize our capital structure. As part of this strategy, we may engage in transactions that could have significant adverse tax consequences to our unitholders. For example, we may sell some of our assets and use the proceeds to fund capital expenditures or a redemption or conversion of our Class B Units or Preferred Units rather than distributing the proceeds to our unitholders, and some or all of our unitholders may be allocated substantial taxable income and gain resulting from the sale without receiving a cash distribution. We may also engage in transactions to reduce our existing debt or debt service costs, such as debt exchanges, debt repurchases, or modifications of our existing debt, that could result in cancellation of indebtedness income, or other income, being allocated to our unitholders as taxable income. This may cause a unitholder to be allocated taxable income with respect to our units with no corresponding distribution of cash to fund the payment of the unitholder’s resulting tax liability. The ultimate effect of any such allocations will depend on the unitholder’s individual tax position with respect to its units. Unitholders are encouraged to consult their tax advisors with respect to the consequences to them of this income.

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Our unitholders may be subject to limitations on their ability to deduct interest expense incurred by us.

In general, our Class A Unitholders are entitled to a deduction for the interest we have paid or accrued on indebtedness properly allocable to our business during our taxable year. However, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the “Tax Act”), for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, the deductibility of net interest expense is limited to the sum of our business interest income and 30% (or 50% for 2020, as amended by the CARES Act) of our “adjusted taxable income”. For tax years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2022, the Tax Act calculates adjusted taxable income using an EBITDA-based calculation. For tax years beginning January 1, 2022 and thereafter, the calculation of adjusted taxable income will not add back depreciation or amortization. Any business interest expense disallowed at the partnership level is then generally carried forward and may be deducted in a succeeding taxable year by a unitholder, in accordance with the unitholder’s applicable tax laws. These limitations might cause interest expense to be deducted by our unitholders in a later period than recognized in the GAAP financial statements.

There are limits on the deductibility of losses.

In the case of unitholders subject to the passive loss rules (generally, individuals, closely held corporations and regulated investment companies), any losses generated by us will only be available to offset our future income and cannot be used to offset income from other activities, including passive activities or investments. Unused losses may be deducted when the unitholder disposes of its entire investment in us in a fully taxable transaction with an unrelated party. A unitholder’s share of our net passive income may be offset by unused losses carried over from prior years, but not by losses from other passive activities, including losses from other publicly-traded partnerships.

Tax gain or loss on the disposition of our Class A Units could be different than expected.

If a unitholder sells its Class A Units, the unitholder will recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the amount realized and its tax basis in those Class A Units. Prior distributions in excess of the total net taxable income the unitholder was allocated for a Class A Unit, which decreased its tax basis in that Class A Unit, will, in effect, become taxable income to the unitholder if the Class A Unit is sold at a price greater than its tax basis in that Class A Unit, even if the price received is less than its original cost. A substantial portion of the amount realized, whether or not representing a gain, will likely be ordinary income to that unitholder. Should the IRS successfully contest certain positions we take, a selling unitholder could recognize more gain on the sale of units than would be the case under those positions, without the benefit of decreased taxable income in prior years. In addition, if a unitholder sells its units, the unitholder may incur a tax liability in excess of the amount of cash that unitholder receives from the sale.

Tax-exempt entities, regulated investment companies, and foreign persons face unique tax issues from owning Class A Units that may result in additional tax liability or reporting requirements for them.

An investment in Class A Units by tax-exempt entities, such as employee benefit plans, individual retirement accounts, regulated investment companies, generally known as mutual funds, and non-U.S. persons, raises issues unique to them. For example, virtually all of our income allocated to organizations exempt from federal income tax, including individual retirement accounts and other retirement plans, will be unrelated business taxable income and thus will be taxable to them. Net income from a “qualified publicly-traded partnership” is qualifying income for a regulated investment company, or mutual fund. However, no more than 25% of the value of a regulated investment company’s total assets may be invested in the securities of one or more qualified publicly-traded partnerships. We expect to be treated as a qualified publicly-traded partnership. Distributions, if any, made to non-U.S. persons will be reduced by withholding taxes, at the highest effective tax rate applicable to individuals, and non-U.S. persons will be required to file federal income tax returns and generally pay tax on their share of our taxable income.

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Reporting of partnership tax information is complicated and subject to audits; we cannot guarantee conformity to IRS requirements. As a result of investing in our units, a unitholder will likely be subject to state and local taxes and return filing requirements in jurisdictions in which it is not domiciled. Additionally, unitholders may have negative tax consequences if we default on our debt or sell assets.

We will furnish each unitholder with a Schedule K-1 that sets forth that unitholder’s allocable share of income, gains, losses and deductions. In preparing these schedules, we will use various accounting and reporting conventions and adopt various depreciation and amortization methods. We cannot guarantee that these schedules will yield a result that conforms to statutory or regulatory requirements or to administrative pronouncements of the IRS. If any of the information on these schedules is successfully challenged by the IRS, the character and amount of items of income, gain, loss or deduction previously reported by unitholders might change, and unitholders might be required to adjust their tax liability for prior years and incur interest and penalties with respect to those adjustments.

We may be audited by the IRS and tax adjustments could be made. The rights of a unitholder owning less than a 1% interest in us to participate in the income tax audit process are very limited. Further, any adjustments in our tax returns may lead to adjustments in unitholders’ tax returns and may lead to audits of unitholders’ tax returns and adjustments of items unrelated to us. A unitholder will bear the cost of any expenses incurred in connection with an examination of its personal tax return.

Pursuant to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, if the IRS makes audit adjustments to our income tax returns for tax years beginning after 2017, it may collect any resulting taxes (including any applicable penalties and interest) directly from us. We will generally have the ability to shift any such tax liability to our general partner and our unitholders in accordance with their interests in us during the year under audit, but there can be no assurance that we will be able to do so under all circumstances. If we are required to make payments of taxes, penalties and interest resulting from audit adjustments, our cash available for distribution to our unitholders might be substantially reduced.

In addition to federal income taxes, unitholders will likely be subject to other taxes, such as state and local taxes, unincorporated business taxes and estate, inheritance or intangible taxes that are imposed by the various jurisdictions in which we do business or own property. A unitholder will likely be required to file state and local income tax returns and pay state and local income taxes in some or all of the various jurisdictions in which we do business or own property and may be subject to penalties for failure to comply with those requirements. We currently conduct business in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. It is each unitholder’s responsibility to file all required federal, state and local tax returns.

If we default on any of our debt, the holders will have the right to sue us for non-payment. That action could cause an investment loss and negative tax consequences for our unitholders through the realization of taxable income by unitholders without a corresponding cash distribution. Likewise, if we were to dispose of assets and realize a taxable gain while there is substantial debt outstanding and proceeds of the sale were applied to the debt, our unitholders could have increased taxable income without a corresponding cash distribution.

A unitholder whose Class A Units are the subject of a securities loan (e.g., a loan to a “short seller” to cover a short sale of Class A Units) may be deemed to have disposed of those Class A Units. If so, the unitholder would no longer be treated for tax purposes as a partner with respect to those Class A Units during the period of the loan and may recognize gain or loss from the disposition.

Because there are no specific rules governing the U.S. federal income tax consequences of loaning a partnership interest, a unitholder whose Class A Units are the subject of a securities loan may be deemed to have disposed of the loaned units. In that case, the unitholder may no longer be treated for tax purposes as a partner with respect to those Class A Units during the period of the loan and the unitholder may recognize gain or loss from such disposition. Moreover, during the period of the loan, any of our income, gain, loss or deduction with respect to those Class A Units may not be reportable by the unitholder and any cash distributions received by the unitholder as to those Class A Units could be fully taxable as ordinary income. Unitholders desiring to assure their status as partners and avoid the risk of gain recognition from a loan to a short seller should modify any applicable brokerage account agreements to prohibit their brokers from borrowing their Class A Units.

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Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of interest could arise as a result of the relationships between us, on the one hand, and our general partner and its affiliates, on the other. The directors and officers of our general partner have fiduciary duties to manage our general partner in a manner beneficial to our general partner and its stockholder. At the same time, our general partner has a contractual good faith duty of care to manage us in a manner the general partner reasonably believes to be in, or not inconsistent with, our best interests. The contractual duties of our general partner to us and our unitholders, therefore, may conflict with the fiduciary duties of the directors and officers of our general partner to our general partner and its stockholder.

Matters in which, and reasons that, such conflicts of interest may arise include:

we do not have any employees and rely solely on employees of our general partner and its affiliates;
under the terms of the partnership agreements of Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership, we must reimburse our general partner and its affiliates for costs incurred in managing and operating us, including costs incurred in providing employees to the operating partnership and rendering corporate staff and support services to us;
our general partner is not restricted from causing us to pay it or its affiliates for any services rendered on terms that are fair and reasonable to us or causing us to enter into additional contractual arrangements with any of such entities;
neither the partnership agreements of Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership nor any of the other agreements, contracts and arrangements between us, on the one hand, and our general partner and its affiliates, on the other, are or will be the result of arm’s-length negotiations;
whenever possible, our general partner limits our liability under contractual arrangements to all or a portion of our assets, with the other party thereto having no recourse against our general partner or its assets;
the partnership agreements of Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership permit our general partner to make these limitations even if we could have obtained more favorable terms if our general partner had not limited its liability;
any agreements between us and our general partner or its affiliates will not grant to our unitholders, separate and apart from us, the right to enforce the obligations of our general partner or such affiliates in favor of us; therefore, our general partner will be primarily responsible for enforcing those obligations against itself or such affiliates;
our general partner may exercise its limited right to call for and purchase Class A Units as provided in the partnership agreement of Ferrellgas Partners or assign that right to one of its affiliates or to us;
our partnership agreements provide that it will not constitute a breach of our general partner’s fiduciary duties to us for its affiliates to engage in activities of the type conducted by us, other than retail propane sales to end users in the continental United States in the manner engaged in by our general partner immediately prior to our initial public offering, even if these activities are in direct competition with us;
our general partner and its affiliates have no obligation to present business opportunities to us;
our general partner selects the attorneys, accountants and others who perform services for us, and these persons may also perform services for our general partner and its affiliates; however, our general partner is authorized to retain separate counsel for us or our unitholders, depending on the nature of the conflict that arises; and
James E. Ferrell is the Chief Executive Officer and President of our general partner and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of our general partner. Mr. Ferrell also owns other companies with whom we may, from time to time, conduct transactions in the ordinary course of our business. Mr. Ferrell’s ownership of these entities may conflict with his duties as an officer or director of our general partner, including with respect to our relationship and conduct of business with any of Mr. Ferrell’s companies.

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Fiduciary Responsibilities

Unless otherwise provided for in a partnership agreement, Delaware law generally requires a general partner of a Delaware limited partnership to adhere to fiduciary duty standards under which it owes its limited partners the highest duties of good faith, fairness and loyalty and which generally prohibit the general partner from taking any action or engaging in any transaction as to which it has a conflict of interest. The partnership agreements of both Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership, as permitted by Delaware law, unconditionally eliminate the default fiduciary duty standards and require the general partner to adhere to the contractual good faith duty of care set forth in those agreements. Specifically, the general partner need only take actions that it, as general partner, reasonably believes to be in, or not inconsistent with, the best interest of Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership. Thus, neither the general partner nor Ferrellgas Partners owes traditional fiduciary duties to the unitholders.

The partnership agreements of Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership expressly permit our general partner to resolve conflicts of interest between itself or its affiliates, on the one hand, and us or our unitholders, on the other, and to consider, in resolving such conflicts of interest, the interests of other parties in addition to the interests of our unitholders. In addition, the partnership agreement of Ferrellgas Partners provides that a purchaser of Class A Units is deemed to have consented to specified conflicts of interest and actions of our general partner and its affiliates that might otherwise be prohibited, including those described above, and to have agreed that such conflicts of interest and actions do not constitute a breach by our general partner of any duty stated or implied by law or equity. Our general partner will not be in breach of its obligations under the partnership agreements of Ferrellgas Partners or the operating partnership or its duties to us or our unitholders if the resolution of such conflict is fair and reasonable to us. Under the partnership agreements, any conflict of interest and any resolution thereof will conclusively be deemed fair and reasonable to us if it is (i) approved by the audit committee of our general partner, or (ii) on terms no less favorable to us than those generally being provided to or available from unrelated third parties or (iii) fair to us, taking into account the totality of the relationships between the parties involved (including other transactions that may be particularly favorable or advantageous to us). The latitude given in the partnership agreements to our general partner in resolving conflicts of interest may significantly limit the ability of a unitholder to challenge what might, in the absence of the partnership agreement provisions eliminating default fiduciary duties be a breach of fiduciary duty.

The partnership agreements of Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership expressly limit the liability of our general partner by providing that our general partner, its affiliates and their respective officers and directors will not be liable for monetary damages to us, our unitholders or assignees thereof for errors of judgment or for any acts or omissions if our general partner and such other persons acted in good faith. In addition, we are required to indemnify our general partner, its affiliates and their respective officers, directors, employees, agents and trustees to the fullest extent permitted by law against liabilities, costs and expenses incurred by our general partner or such other persons if our general partner or such persons acted in good faith and in a manner it or they reasonably believed to be in, or (in the case of a person other than our general partner) not opposed to, the best interests of us and, with respect to any criminal proceedings, had no reasonable cause to believe the conduct was unlawful.

ITEM 1B.   UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS.

None.

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ITEM 2.      PROPERTIES.

We own or lease the following transportation equipment at July 31, 2022:

    

% Owned

    

% Leased

    

Approximate Total

Truck tractors

 

45

%  

55

%  

110

Propane transport trailers

 

100

%  

%  

170

Portable tank delivery trucks

 

37

%  

63

%  

640

Portable tank exchange delivery trailers

 

90

%  

10

%  

310

Bulk propane delivery trucks

 

46

%  

54

%  

1,500

Pickup and service trucks

 

56

%  

44

%  

960

Passenger vehicles

 

38

%  

62

%  

160

Other trailers

 

100

%  

%  

200

Railroad tank cars

 

%  

100

%  

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The propane transport trailers have an average capacity of approximately 10,000 gallons. The bulk propane delivery trucks are generally fitted with tanks ranging in size from 2,600 to 3,500 gallons. Each railroad tank car has a capacity of approximately 30,000 gallons.

We typically manage our propane distribution locations using a structure where one location, referred to as a service center, is staffed to provide oversight and management to multiple distribution locations, referred to as service units. At July 31, 2022, our propane distribution locations were comprised of 49 service centers and 795 service units. The service unit locations utilize hand-held computers and cellular or satellite technology to communicate with management typically located in the associated service center. We believe this structure together with our technology platform allows us to more efficiently route and schedule customer deliveries and significantly reduces the need for daily on-site management.

We also distributed propane for portable tank exchanges from 128 company-owned distributors and 4 independently-owned distributors at July 31, 2022. In addition, we had 12 company-owned portable tank exchange production facilities at July 31, 2022.

We owned approximately 48.1 million gallons of propane storage capacity at our propane distribution locations at July 31, 2022. We owned our land and buildings in the local markets of approximately 63% of our operating locations and leased the remaining facilities on terms customary in the industry at July 31, 2022.

We owned approximately 0.8 million propane tanks at July 31, 2022, most of which are located on customer property and rented to those customers. We also owned approximately 4.5 million portable propane cylinders at July 31, 2022, most of which are used by us to deliver propane to our portable tank exchange customers and to deliver propane to our industrial/commercial customers.

At July 31, 2022, we leased approximately 41.7 million gallons of propane storage capacity located at underground storage facilities and pipelines at various locations around the United States.

At July 31, 2022, we leased 54,691 square feet of office space at our corporate headquarters in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

We believe that we have satisfactory title to or valid rights to use all of our material properties. Although some of those properties may be subject to liabilities and leases, liens for taxes not yet currently due and payable and immaterial encumbrances, easements and restrictions, we do not believe that any such burdens will materially interfere with the continued use of such properties in our business. We believe that we have obtained, or are in the process of obtaining, all required material approvals. These approvals include authorizations, orders, licenses, permits, franchises, consents of, registrations, qualifications and filings with, the various state and local governmental and regulatory authorities which relate to our ownership of properties to our operations.

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ITEM 3.     LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.

For information regarding legal proceedings, see Note P – Contingencies and commitments - to the consolidated financial statements appearing in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. 

ITEM 4.      MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES.

Not applicable.

PART II

ITEM 5.       MARKET FOR REGISTRANTS’ COMMON EQUITY, RELATED UNITHOLDER AND STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES.

Market Information for Ferrellgas Partners

Our Class A Units represent limited partner interests in Ferrellgas Partners and are listed and traded on the OTC Pink Market under the symbol “FGPR.” Any over-the-counter market quotations reflect inter-dealer prices, without retail mark-up, mark-down or commission, and may not necessarily represent actual transactions.

As of August 31, 2022, we had 363 Class A Unitholders of record. That Class A Unitholder figure does not include a substantially greater number of holders who are “street name” or beneficial holders and whose units are held of record by banks, brokers, and other institutions.

Distributions by Ferrellgas Partners

We have not paid any cash distributions to Class A Unitholders or the general partner during fiscal 2022, 2021 or 2020. Ferrellgas Partners made aggregate cash distributions of approximately $100.0 million to its Class B Unitholders during the year ended July 31, 2022.

For a discussion of considerations related to distributions by Ferrellgas Partners, including the requirements for and limitations on distributions under our partnership agreements and the agreements governing our indebtedness, see Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Liquidity and Capital Resources – Financing Activities – Distributions.”

Recent Sales of Unregistered Equity Securities

There were none during fiscal 2022.

Purchases of Equity Securities

There were none during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022.

Ferrellgas Partners Tax Matters

Ferrellgas Partners is a master limited partnership and thus not subject to federal income taxes. Instead, our Class A and Class B Unitholders are required to report for income tax purposes their allocable share of our income, gains, losses, deductions and credits, regardless of whether we make distributions to our Unitholders. Accordingly, each Unitholder should consult its own tax advisor in analyzing the federal, state, and local tax consequences applicable to its ownership or disposition of our Class A and Class B Units. Ferrellgas Partners reports its tax information on a calendar year basis, while financial reporting is based on a fiscal year ending July 31.

33

Common Equity of Other Registrants

There is no established public trading market for the common equity of the operating partnership, Partners Finance Corp. or Finance Corp. Our general partner owns all of the general partner interest, and Ferrellgas Partners owns all of the limited partner interest (other than the limited partner interests represented by the Preferred Units), in the operating partnership. All of the common equity of Partners Finance Corp. is held by Ferrellgas Partners and all of the common equity of Finance Corp. is held by the operating partnership. There are no equity securities of the operating partnership, Partners Finance Corp. or Finance Corp. authorized for issuance under any equity compensation plan. During fiscal 2022, there were no issuances of equity securities of the operating partnership, Partners Finance Corp. or Finance Corp.

Neither Partners Finance Corp. nor Finance Corp. declared or paid any cash dividends on its common equity during fiscal 2022, 2021 or 2020. For information regarding distributions by the operating partnership to its partners see Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources – Financing Activities – Distributions” and Note I – Preferred units and Note J– Equity (Deficit) – in the notes to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere herein.

Equity Compensation Plan Information

None.

ITEM 6.      RESERVED.

ITEM 7.       MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.

Overview

Our management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations relates to Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership.

Ferrellgas Partners is a holding entity that conducts no operations and has two direct subsidiaries, the operating partnership and Partners Finance Corp. Both Partners Finance Corp. and Finance Corp. have nominal assets, do not conduct any operations and have no employees other than officers. Our activities are primarily conducted through the operating partnership. Partners Finance Corp. has served as co-issuer and co-obligor for debt securities of Ferrellgas Partners, while Finance Corp., a subsidiary of the operating partnership, serves as co-issuer and co-obligor for debt securities of the operating partnership. Accordingly, and due to the reduced disclosure format, a discussion of the results of operations, liquidity and capital resources of Partners Finance Corp. and Finance Corp. is not presented in this section.

The following is a discussion of our historical financial condition and results of operations and should be read in conjunction with our audited historical consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes thereto included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

The discussions set forth in the “Results of Operations” and “Liquidity and Capital Resources” sections generally refer to Ferrellgas Partners and its consolidated subsidiaries. However, in these discussions there existed two material differences between Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership:

Ferrellgas Partners had outstanding $357.0 million aggregate principal amount of 8.625% senior unsecured notes due June 2020 (the “Ferrellgas Partners Notes”) and, accordingly, had interest expense that the operating partnership did not have. On March 30, 2021 (the “Effective Date”), by operation of the Second Amended Prepackaged Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization of Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. and Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp. confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, the Ferrellgas Partners Notes were discharged and cancelled.

34

On January 8, 2021, Ferrellgas Partners entered into a term loan credit agreement with the operating partnership, pursuant to which the operating partnership extended to Ferrellgas Partners an unsecured, non-amortizing term loan in the aggregate principal amount of $19.9 million. The term loan, which had a maturity date of July 1, 2022, bore interest at a rate of 20% per annum, and all interest on the term loan was added to the outstanding principal amount. During July 2021, Ferrellgas Partners made an optional prepayment of $9.0 million principal amount on the term loan. On May 16, 2022, Ferrellgas Partners repaid the operating partnership the full amount of the term loan of $15.3 million, which represented the outstanding principal and accrued interest. Additionally, Ferrellgas Partners paid the operating partnership $3.9 million for separate intercompany receivables related to expense incurred from the 2021 debt transactions.

Recent Developments

COVID-19

COVID-19, and variants thereof, which has been declared by the World Health Organization as a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” continues to evolve and impact the economy of the United States and other countries around the world. We are continuing to assess the impact that COVID-19 may have on our results of operations and financial condition and cannot at this time accurately predict what effects these conditions will have on our operations and sales due to uncertainties relating to the ultimate geographic spread of the virus, the severity of the disease, the duration of the outbreak and the length of the travel restrictions and business closures imposed by governments in different jurisdictions. Additionally, initiatives we have implemented or may implement to slow and/or reduce the impact of COVID-19, such as using staggered start times for drivers, may increase our operating expenses and reduce the efficiency of our operations.

How We Evaluate Our Operations

We evaluate our overall business performance based primarily on a metric we refer to as “Adjusted EBITDA,” which is not defined by GAAP and should not be considered an alternative to earnings measures defined by GAAP. We do not utilize depreciation, depletion and amortization expense in our key measures because we focus our performance management on cash flow generation and our revenue generating assets have long useful lives. For the definition of Adjusted EBITDA and a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net earnings (loss) attributable to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., the most directly comparable GAAP measure, see the subheading “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below.

Propane operations and related equipment sales

Based on our propane sales volumes in fiscal 2022, we believe that we are the second largest retail marketer of propane in the United States and a leading national provider of propane by portable tank exchange. We serve residential, industrial/commercial, portable tank exchange, agricultural, wholesale and other customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Our operations primarily include the retail distribution and sale of propane and related equipment and supplies with concentrations in the Midwest, Southeast, Southwest and Northwest regions of the United States.

We use information on temperatures to understand how our results of operations are affected by temperatures that are warmer or colder than normal. Normal temperatures computed by us are the average of the last 10 years of information published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Based on this information we calculate a ratio of actual heating degree days to normal heating degree days. Heating degree days are a general indicator of weather impacting propane usage.

35

Weather conditions have a significant impact on demand for propane for heating purposes primarily during the months of November through March (the “winter heating season”). Accordingly, the volume of propane used by our customers for this purpose is directly affected by the severity of the winter weather in the regions we serve and can vary substantially from year to year. In any given region, sustained warmer-than-normal temperatures will tend to result in reduced propane usage, while sustained colder-than-normal temperatures will tend to result in greater usage. Although there is a strong correlation between weather and customer usage, general economic conditions in the United States and the wholesale price of propane can have a significant impact on this correlation. Additionally, there is a natural time lag between the onset of cold weather and increased sales to customers. If the United States were to experience a cooling trend, we could expect nationwide demand for propane to increase which could lead to greater sales, income and liquidity availability. Conversely, if the United States were to experience a continued warming trend, we could expect nationwide demand for propane for heating purposes to decrease which could lead to a reduction in our sales, income and liquidity availability as well as impact our ability to maintain compliance with our debt covenants.

We employ risk management activities that attempt to mitigate price risks related to the purchase, storage, transport and sale of propane generally in the contract and spot markets from major domestic energy companies. We attempt to mitigate these price risks through the use of financial derivative instruments and forward propane purchase and sales contracts. We enter into propane sales commitments with a portion of our customers that provide for a contracted price agreement for a specified period of time. These commitments can expose us to product price risk if not immediately hedged with an offsetting propane purchase commitment.

Our open financial derivative propane purchase commitments are designated as hedges primarily for fiscal 2022 and 2023 sales commitments and, as of July 31, 2022, we have experienced net mark-to-market gains of approximately $38.3 million. Because these financial derivative purchase commitments qualify for hedge accounting treatment, the resulting asset, liability and related mark-to-market gains or losses are recorded on the consolidated balance sheets as “Prepaid expenses and other current assets,” "Other assets, net," “Other current liabilities,” "Other liabilities" and “Accumulated other comprehensive income,” respectively, until settled. Upon settlement, realized gains or losses on these contracts will be reclassified to “Cost of sales-propane and other gas liquid sales” in the consolidated statements of operations as the underlying inventory is sold. These financial derivative purchase commitment net gains are expected to be offset by increased margins on propane sales commitments that qualify for the normal purchase normal sale exception. At July 31, 2022, we estimate 82% of currently open financial derivative purchase commitments, the related propane sales commitments and the resulting gross margin will be realized into earnings during the next twelve months.

Summary Discussion of Results of Operations:

For the years ended July 31, 2022 and 2021

During fiscal 2022, we recognized net earnings attributable to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. of $148.0 million, compared to a net loss attributable to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. of $68.4 million during fiscal 2021. This increase was primarily driven by $104.8 million in “Loss on extinguishment of debt” and $10.4 million of “Reorganization expense – professional fees,” both of which were recorded in the prior year period. The remainder of the increase was attributable to a $68.4 million increase in “Gross margin,” a decrease of $73.5 million in “Interest expense,” an $8.4 million increase in “(Gain) loss on asset sales and disposals” and a $7.3 million decrease in “General and administrative expense.” These increases were partially offset by a $54.8 million increase in “Operating expenses – personnel, vehicle, plant and other.”  

The increase in gross margin consists of a $57.0 million increase in “Gross margin – Propane and other gas liquid sales” and an $11.4 million increase in “Gross margin – Other.”  

“Interest expense” for Ferrellgas Partners decreased $73.5 million primarily due to (i) a decrease in interest on the Ferrellgas Partners Notes and (ii) lower interest expense in 2022 as a result of the March 30, 2021 refinancing transactions.

Distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors increased to $226.8 million in fiscal 2022 compared to $135.7 million in fiscal 2021. This increase of $91.1 million was primarily due to a $60.8 million decrease in net cash interest expense, a $22.0 million increase in our Adjusted EBITDA and a $9.1 million decrease in maintenance capital expenditures.  

36

Distributable cash flow excess decreased to $57.0 million in fiscal 2022 as compared to $108.9 million in fiscal 2021, primarily due to $100.0 million in distributions paid to Class B unitholders in fiscal 2022 and a $41.3 million increase in distributions accrued or paid to preferred unitholders, partially offset by the $91.1 million increase in distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors noted above.

Consolidated Results of Operations

Year ended July 31, 

(amounts in thousands)

    

 

2022

    

2021

    

Total revenues

$

2,114,540

$

1,754,310

Total cost of sales

 

1,186,513

 

894,664

Operating expense - personnel, vehicle, plant and other

 

520,603

 

465,816

Depreciation and amortization expense

 

89,897

 

85,382

General and administrative expense

 

52,780

 

60,065

Operating expense - equipment lease expense

 

23,094

 

27,062

Non-cash employee stock ownership plan compensation charge

 

3,170

 

3,215

(Gain) loss on asset sales and disposals

 

(6,618)

 

1,831

Operating income

 

245,101

 

216,275

Interest expense

 

(100,093)

 

(173,616)

Loss on extinguishment of debt

(104,834)

Other income, net

 

4,833

 

4,246

Reorganization expense - professional fees

(10,443)

Earnings (loss) before income taxes

 

149,841

 

(68,372)

Income tax expense

 

981

 

741

Net earnings (loss)

 

148,860

 

(69,113)

Net earnings (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interest

 

867

 

(702)

Net earnings (loss) attributable to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.

$

147,993

$

(68,411)

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

In this Annual Report we present the following non-GAAP financial measures: Adjusted EBITDA, Distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors, Distributable cash flow attributable to Class A and B Unitholders, and Distributable cash flow excess.

Adjusted EBITDA. Adjusted EBITDA for Ferrellgas Partners is calculated as net earnings (loss) attributable to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., plus the sum of the following: income tax expense, interest expense, depreciation and amortization expense, non-cash employee stock ownership plan compensation charge, loss on extinguishment of debt, (gain) loss on asset sales and disposals, other income, net, reorganization expense – professional fees, severance costs, legal fees and settlements related to non-core businesses, provision for doubtful accounts related to non-core businesses, and net earnings (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interest. Management believes the presentation of this measure is relevant and useful because it allows investors to view the partnership’s performance in a manner similar to the method management uses, adjusted for items management believes make it easier to compare its results with other companies that have different financing and capital structures. Adjusted EBITDA, as management defines it, may not be comparable to similarly titled measurements used by other companies. Items added into our calculation of Adjusted EBITDA that will not occur on a continuing basis may have associated cash payments. This method of calculating Adjusted EBITDA should be viewed in conjunction with measurements that are computed in accordance with GAAP.

37

Distributable Cash Flow Attributable to Equity Investors. Distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors is calculated as Adjusted EBITDA minus net cash interest expense, maintenance capital expenditures and cash paid for income taxes, plus proceeds from certain asset sales. Management considers distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors a meaningful measure of Ferrellgas’ ability to declare and pay quarterly distributions to equity investors, including holders of the operating partnership’s Preferred Units. Distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors, as management defines it, may not be comparable to similarly titled measurements used by other companies. Items added into our calculation of distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors that will not occur on a continuing basis may have associated cash payments. Distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors should be viewed in conjunction with measurements that are computed in accordance with GAAP.

Distributable Cash Flow Attributable to Class A and B Unitholders. Distributable cash flow attributable to Class A and B Unitholders is calculated as Distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors minus distributions accrued or paid to Preferred Unitholders and distributable cash flow attributable to general partner and noncontrolling interest. Management considers Distributable cash flow attributable to Class A and B Unitholders a meaningful measure of the partnership’s ability to declare and pay quarterly distributions to Class A and B Unitholders. Distributable cash flow attributable to Class A and B Unitholders, as management defines it, may not be comparable to similarly titled measurements used by other companies. Items added into our calculation of distributable cash flow attributable to Class A and B Unitholders that will not occur on a continuing basis may have associated cash payments. Distributable cash flow attributable to Class A and B Unitholders should be viewed in conjunction with measurements that are computed in accordance with GAAP.

Distributable Cash Flow Excess. Distributable cash flow excess is calculated as Distributable cash flow attributable to Class A and B unitholders minus Distributions paid to Class A and B unitholders. Distributable cash flow excess, if any, is retained to establish reserves, to reduce debt, to fund capital expenditures and for other partnership purposes, and any shortage is funded from previously established reserves, cash on hand or borrowings under our Credit Facility or, previously, under our terminated accounts receivable securitization facility. Management considers Distributable cash flow excess a meaningful measure of the partnership’s ability to effectuate those purposes. Distributable cash flow excess, as management defines it, may not be comparable to similarly titled measurements used by other companies. Items added into our calculation of distributable cash flow excess that will not occur on a continuing basis may have associated cash payments. Distributable cash flow excess should be viewed in conjunction with measurements that are computed in accordance with GAAP.

38

The following table reconciles Adjusted EBITDA, Distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors, Distributable cash flow attributable to Class A and B Unitholders and Distributable cash flow excess to Net earnings (loss) attributable to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., the most directly comparable GAAP measure, for the fiscal years indicated:

Year ended July 31, 

(amounts in thousands)

2022

2021

Net earnings (loss) attributable to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.

$

147,993

$

(68,411)

Income tax expense

 

981

 

741

Interest expense

 

100,093

 

173,616

Depreciation and amortization expense

 

89,897

 

85,382

EBITDA

 

338,964

 

191,328

Non-cash employee stock ownership plan compensation charge

 

3,170

 

3,215

Loss on extinguishment of debt

 

 

104,834

(Gain) loss on asset sales and disposals

 

(6,618)

 

1,831

Other income, net

 

(4,833)

 

(4,246)

Reorganization expense - professional fees

10,443

Severance costs

578

1,761

Legal fees and settlements related to non-core businesses

7,938

10,129

Provision for doubtful accounts related to non-core businesses

(500)

Net earnings (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interest

 

867

 

(702)

Adjusted EBITDA

 

340,066

 

318,093

Net cash interest expense (a)

 

(99,366)

 

(160,153)

Maintenance capital expenditures (b)

 

(17,019)

 

(26,168)

Cash paid for income taxes

 

(1,018)

 

(706)

Proceeds from certain asset sales

 

4,113

 

4,588

Distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors

 

226,776

 

135,654

Less: Distributions accrued or paid to preferred unitholders

65,287

24,024

Distributable cash flow attributable to general partner and non-controlling interest

 

(4,536)

 

(2,713)

Distributable cash flow attributable to Class A and B unitholders

 

156,953

 

108,917

Less: Distributions paid to Class A and B unitholders (c)

 

99,996

 

Distributable cash flow excess

$

56,957

$

108,917

(a)Net cash interest expense is the sum of interest expense less non-cash interest expense and other income, net. This amount includes interest expense related to the terminated accounts receivable securitization facility.
(b)Maintenance capital expenditures include capitalized expenditures for betterment and replacement of property, plant and equipment, and may from time to time include the purchase of assets that are typically leased.
(c)The Company did not pay any distributions to Class A unitholders during fiscal 2022 or 2021.

39

Operating Results for the years ended July 31, 2022 and 2021

Propane operations and related equipment sales

The following table summarizes propane sales volumes and Adjusted EBITDA results for the fiscal years indicated:

    

2022

    

2021

    

Increase (Decrease)

 

As of July 31, 

Retail customers

672,507

699,603

(27,096)

(4)

%

Tank exchange selling locations

61,505

61,550

(45)

(0)

%

(amounts in thousands)

Year ended July 31, 

Propane sales volumes (gallons):

 

 

  

 

  

    

  

Retail - Sales to End Users

 

624,316

 

632,057

 

(7,741)

 

(1)

%

Wholesale - Sales to Resellers

 

206,516

 

228,025

 

(21,509)

 

(9)

%

 

830,832

 

860,082

 

(29,250)

 

(3)

%

Revenues -

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

Propane and other gas liquids sales:

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

Retail - Sales to End Users

$

1,446,857

$

1,123,956

$

322,901

 

29

%

Wholesale - Sales to Resellers

 

549,058

 

516,599

 

32,459

 

6

%

Other Gas Sales (a)

 

21,964

 

28,297

 

(6,333)

 

(22)

%

Other (b)

 

96,661

 

85,458

 

11,203

 

13

%

Propane and related equipment revenues

$

2,114,540

$

1,754,310

$

360,230

 

21

%

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

Gross Margin -

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

Propane and other gas liquids sales gross margin: (c)

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

Retail - Sales to End Users (a)

$

613,026

$

543,859

$

69,167

 

13

%

Wholesale - Sales to Resellers (a)

 

230,849

 

243,057

 

(12,208)

 

(5)

%

Other (b)

 

84,152

 

72,730

 

11,422

 

16

%

Propane and related equipment gross profit

$

928,027

$

859,646

$

68,381

 

8

%

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

Operating, general and administrative expense (d)

$

573,383

$

525,881

$

47,502

 

9

%

Operating expense - equipment lease expense

 

23,094

 

27,062

 

(3,968)

 

(15)

%

 

  

 

 

  

 

  

Operating income

$

245,101

$

216,275

$

28,826

 

13

%

Depreciation and amortization expense

 

89,897

 

85,382

 

4,515

 

5

%

Non-cash employee stock ownership plan compensation charge

3,170

3,215

(45)

(1)

%

(Gain) loss on asset sales and disposals

 

(6,618)

 

1,831

 

(8,449)

 

NM

Legal fees and settlements related to non-core businesses

 

7,938

 

10,129

 

(2,191)

(22)

%

Provision for doubtful accounts related to non-core businesses

 

 

(500)

 

500

(100)

%

Severance costs

578

 

1,761

 

(1,183)

(67)

%

Adjusted EBITDA

$

340,066

$

318,093

$

21,973

 

7

%

NM - Not meaningful

(a)Gross margin for “Other Gas Sales” is allocated to Gross margin “Retail - Sales to End Users” and “Wholesale - Sales to Resellers” based on the volumes in each respective category.
(b)“Other” primarily includes various customer fee income and to a lesser extent appliance and material sales.
(c)Gross margin from “Propane and other gas liquids sales” represents “Revenues - Propane and other gas liquids sales” less “Cost of sales - Propane and other gas liquids sales” and does not include depreciation and amortization.
(d)“Operating, general and administrative expense” above includes both the “Operating expense – personnel, vehicle, plant and other” and “General and administrative expense” captions in the consolidated statement of operations.

40

Propane sales volumes during fiscal 2022 decreased 3%, or 29.3 million gallons, compared to fiscal 2021. This decrease was largely attributable to decreased sales to tank exchange customers and other wholesale customers. Retail volume was relatively flat with 624.3 million gallons sold in fiscal 2022 compared to 632.1 million gallons sold in fiscal 2021.

Weather in the more highly concentrated geographic areas we serve for fiscal 2022 was approximately 5% warmer than normal and 4.9% warmer than fiscal 2021, which we believe was the primary factor for the decreases in retail and other wholesale customer propane sales during the year.

Our wholesale sales price per gallon partially correlates to the change in the wholesale market price of propane. The wholesale market price at major supply points in Mt. Belvieu, Texas during fiscal 2022 averaged 64% more than fiscal 2021, while at the Conway, Kansas major supply point prices averaged 66% more than fiscal 2021. The wholesale market price at Mt. Belvieu, Texas averaged $1.25 and $0.76 per gallon during fiscal 2022 and fiscal 2021, respectively, while the wholesale market price at Conway, Kansas averaged $1.23 and $0.74 per gallon during fiscal 2022 and fiscal 2021, respectively. This increase in the wholesale cost of propane contributed to our increase in sales price per gallon and therefore revenues.

Revenues

Retail sales increased $322.9 million or 29% in fiscal 2022 compared to fiscal 2021. This increase resulted primarily from an increase in sales price per gallon. Revenues from retail customers saw increases in all areas, with significant increases noted in our industrial/commercial, residential and agricultural customer bases.

Wholesale sales increased $32.5 million or 6% in fiscal 2022 compared to fiscal 2021. This increase in sales was primarily due to an increase in sales price per gallon, as discussed above, and was partially offset by a decline in gallons sold to wholesale customers due to warmer weather in fiscal 2022 compared to fiscal 2021.

Other gas sales decreased $6.3 million or 22% in fiscal 2022 compared to fiscal 2021 primarily due to the volume decrease noted above.

Other revenues increased $11.2 million or 13% in fiscal 2022 compared to fiscal 2021 primarily due to increased miscellaneous fees billed to customers and increased tank rental income.

Gross margin - Propane and other gas liquids sales

Gross margin increased $57.0 million primarily due to increased retail gross margin of $69.2 million, which was driven by an increase in sales price per gallon, partially offset by a decrease of $12.2 million in wholesales gross margin, which was primarily driven by the declines in volume noted above. See above discussion.

Gross margin - other

Gross margin increased $11.4 million in fiscal 2022 compared to fiscal 2021, primarily due to increased miscellaneous fees billed to customers and increased tank rental income.

Operating income

Operating income increased $28.8 million primarily due to a $57.0 million increase in "Gross margin - Propane and other gas liquid sales" and an $11.4 million increase in “Gross margin – other,” both as discussed above. Other positive factors contributing to the increase in operating income were an $8.4 million increase in “(Gain) loss on asset sales and disposals” and a $4.0 million decrease in “Operating expense – equipment lease expense.” These increases were partially offset by a $47.5 million increase in “Operating, general and administrative expense” and a $4.5 million increase in “Depreciation and amortization expense.”

41

The $8.4 million increase in “(Gain) loss on asset sales and disposals primarily related to the derecognition of a lease liability and the related asset of a non-core business. The $4.0 million decrease in “Operating expense – equipment lease expense” was due to our entering into more finance leases instead of operating leases, resulting in less lease expense and greater interest expense and amortization expense.

“Operating, general and administrative expense” increased due to a $54.8 million increase in “Operating expense – personnel, vehicle, plant and other,” partially offset by a $7.3 million decrease in “General and administrative expense.” The increase in “Operating expense – personnel, vehicle, plant and other” was primarily due to increases of $20.5 million in vehicle repairs and maintenance and fuel costs, $19.4 million in selling and other costs and $14.9 million in personnel costs. The decrease in “General and administrative expense” was primarily due to a $3.5 million decrease in personnel expense and a $3.5 million decrease in legal costs associated with non-core business.

The $4.5 million increase in “Depreciation and amortization expense” primarily relates to an increase in depreciation related to “Tanks, cylinders and customer equipment.” See Note E – Supplemental financial statement information in the notes to consolidated financial statements for more information. The cost for tanks, cylinders and related components has risen due to increases in the price of steel. In addition, these assets have shorter depreciable lives which increase the amount of depreciation expense recognized during the period.

Adjusted EBITDA

Adjusted EBITDA increased $22.0 million or 7% due to the $28.8 million increase in operating income and a $4.5 million increase in “Depreciation and amortization expense,” both as discussed above, partially offset by an $8.4 million increase in “(Gain) loss on asset sales and disposals,” a $2.2 million decrease in legal fees and settlements related to non-core businesses and a $1.2 million decrease for nonrecurring severance costs.

Adjusted EBITDA increased $34.7 million primarily due to a $36.4 million increase in "Gross margin - Propane and other gas liquid sales" and a $4.9 million increase in “Gross margin – other”, both as discussed above, partially offset by a $7.1 million increase in “Operating, general and administrative expense”. “Operating, general and administrative expense” increased due to a $9.4 million increase in “Operating expense – personnel, vehicle, plant and other,” partially offset by a $2.3 million decrease in “General and administrative expense”. “Operating expense – personnel, vehicle, plant and other” increased primarily due to a $12.7 million increase in field personnel costs, a $1.5 million increase related to acquisitions made in the last twelve months, a $1.5 million increase in plant and office costs, a $1.1 million increase in selling expenses and a $1.1 million increase in personnel incentives, partially offset by a $1.4 million decrease in vehicle fuel costs. “General and administrative expense” remained unchanged, primarily due to a $3.2 million decrease in legal costs offset by a $2.3 million increase in personnel incentives and a $0.9 million increase in other corporate costs.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

General

Our primary sources of liquidity and capital resources are cash flows from operating activities, our Credit Facility and funds received from sales of debt and equity securities. On the Effective Date, the operating partnership, the general partner and certain of the operating partnership’s subsidiaries entered into a credit agreement (the “Credit Agreement”), which provides for a four-year revolving credit facility (the “Credit Facility”) in an aggregate principal amount of up to $350.0 million, including a sublimit not to exceed $200.0 million for the issuance of letters of credit. For additional discussion, see Note H – Debt in the notes to our consolidated financial statements.

As of July 31, 2022, our total liquidity was $401.0 million, which was comprised of $147.5 million in unrestricted cash and $253.5 million of availability under our Credit Facility. These sources of liquidity and short-term capital resources are intended to fund our working capital requirements, acquisitions and capital expenditures. As of July 31, 2022, letters of credit outstanding totaled $87.6 million. Our access to long-term capital resources, to the extent needed to refinance debt or for other purposes, may be affected by our ability to access the capital markets, covenants in our debt agreements and other financial obligations, unforeseen demands on cash, or other events beyond our control.

As of July 31, 2022, we had $11.2 million of restricted cash for a cash deposit made with the administrative agent under our prior senior secured credit facility that was terminated in April 2020.

Our working capital requirements are subject to, among other things, the price of propane, delays in the collection of receivables, volatility in energy commodity prices, liquidity imposed by insurance providers, downgrades in our credit ratings, decreased trade credit, significant acquisitions, the weather, customer retention and purchasing patterns and other changes in the demand for propane. Relatively colder weather or higher propane prices during the winter heating season are factors that could significantly increase our working capital requirements.

42

Our ability to satisfy our obligations is dependent upon our future performance, which will be subject to prevailing weather, economic, financial and business conditions and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. Due to the seasonality of the retail propane distribution business, a significant portion of our propane operations and related products cash flows from operations is generated during the winter heating season. Our net cash provided by operating activities primarily reflects earnings from our business activities adjusted for depreciation and amortization and changes in our working capital accounts. Historically, we generate significantly lower net cash from operating activities in our first and fourth fiscal quarters as compared to the second and third fiscal quarters due to the seasonality of our propane operations and related equipment sales operations.

During periods of high volatility, our risk management activities may expose us to the risk of counterparty margin calls in amounts greater than we have the capacity to fund. Likewise, our counterparties may not be able to fulfill their margin calls from us or may default on the settlement of positions with us.

We believe that the liquidity available from cash flows from operating activities, unrestricted cash and the Credit Facility will be sufficient to meet our capital expenditure, working capital and letter of credit requirements for the foreseeable future.

Distributable Cash Flow

Distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors is reconciled to net earnings (loss) attributable to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., the most directly comparable GAAP measure, in this Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations –Non-GAAP Financial Measures" above. A comparison of distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors to cash distributions accrued or paid to equity investors for the year ended July 31, 2022 to the year ended July 31, 2021 is as follows (in thousands):

    

Distributable

    

Cash reserves

    

Cash distributions

    

cash flow attributable

approved by our

accrued or paid to

DCF

to equity investors

 General Partner

equity investors

ratio (a)

Year ended July 31, 2022

$

226,776

$

161,489

$

65,287

3.5x

Year ended July 31, 2021

135,654

111,630

24,024

5.6x

Increase

$

91,122

$

49,859

$

41,263

2.2x

(a)DCF ratio is calculated as Distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors divided by Cash distributions accrued or paid to equity investors.

For fiscal 2022, Distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors increased $91.1 million compared to fiscal 2021, primarily due to a $60.8 million decrease in net cash interest expense, a $22.0 million increase in Adjusted EBITDA and a $9.1 million decrease in maintenance capital expenditures.

Quarterly distributions aggregating to $63.4 million were paid in cash to holders of Preferred Units during the year ended July 31, 2022. This included $0.9 million of Additional Amounts (as defined in Note I – Preferred units) payable to certain holders of Preferred Units related to the side letters outlined in the OpCo LPA Amendment. As of July 31, 2022, the Quarterly Distribution accrued was $17.5 million with $15.4 million paid in cash to holders of Preferred Units on August 15, 2022. The remaining Quarterly Distribution accrual of $2.1 million represents Additional Amounts payable to certain holders of Preferred Units pursuant to the side letters.

As of April 30, 2021, the Quarterly Distribution accrued was $8.0 million, reflecting a prorated distribution amount for the period from the Effective Date to April 30, and the Quarterly Distribution in that amount was paid in cash to holders of Preferred Units on May 17, 2021. As of July 31, 2021, the aggregate Quarterly Distribution and Additional Amounts accrued was $16.0 million, and $15.7 million of that amount was paid in cash to holders of Preferred Units on August 16, 2021.

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We did not pay any cash distributions to our Class A Unitholders or the general partner during fiscal 2022 or fiscal 2021. Ferrellgas Partners made aggregate cash distributions of approximately $100.0 million to its Class B Unitholders during the year ended July 31, 2022. See Note R – Net loss per unitholders’ interest for additional information. Thus, cash reserves, which we utilize to meet future anticipated expenditures, were $161.5 million and $111.6 million, respectively, for the years ended July 31, 2022 and 2021.

Operating Activities

Ferrellgas Partners

Fiscal 2022 v Fiscal 2021

Net cash provided by operating activities was $160.5 million for fiscal 2022, compared to net cash provided by operating activities of $206.4 million for fiscal 2021. The decrease in cash provided by operating activities was primarily due to a $123.8 million increase in requirements for other current liabilities, a $31.7 million outflow associated with other assets and liabilities, and a $3.9 million increase in working capital requirements. These changes were partially offset by a $106.8 million increase in cash flow from operations, a decrease of $14.3 million in requirements for prepaid expenses and a $7.7 million decrease in accrued interest expense related to the timing and nature of the March 2021 restructuring transactions.

The $123.8 million increase related to other current liabilities was primarily driven by changes in the broker margin deposit liability. The increase in working capital requirements for fiscal 2022 compared to fiscal 2021 was primarily due to an $11.1 million increase in inventory requirements and a $4.6 million increase in requirements for accounts payable. These increases were partially offset by a decrease of $11.8 million in requirements for accounts and notes receivable, net.

The increase in cash flow from operations was primarily due to a decrease in “Interest expense” of $73.5 million, a $68.4 million increase in gross profit, an $8.4 million gain on asset sales and disposals, a $7.3 million decrease in “General and administrative expense” and a $4.0 million decrease in “Operating expense – equipment lease expense.” These changes were partially offset by an increase in “Operating expense - personnel, vehicle, plant and other” of $54.8 million.

The operating partnership

Fiscal 2022 v Fiscal 2021

Net cash provided by operating activities was $179.7 million for fiscal 2022, compared to net cash provided by operating activities of $217.0 million for fiscal 2021. This decrease in net cash provided by operating activities was primarily due to a $123.6 million increase in requirements for other current liabilities, a $12.5 million outflow associated with other assets and liabilities, a $6.0 million increase in accrued interest expense related to the timing and nature of the March 2021 restructuring transactions, and a $3.9 million increase in working capital requirements.  These changes were partially offset by an $82.3 million increase in cash flow from operations and a decrease of $14.3 million in requirements for prepaid expenses.

The $123.6 million increase related to other current liabilities was primarily driven by changes in the broker margin deposit liability. The increase in working capital requirements for fiscal 2022 compared to fiscal 2021 was primarily due to an $11.1 million increase in inventory requirements and a $4.6 million increase in requirements for accounts payable. These increases were partially offset by a decrease of $11.8 million in requirements for accounts and notes receivable, net.

The increase in cash flow from operations was primarily due to a $68.4 million increase in gross profit, a net decrease in “Interest expense” of $59.8 million, an $8.4 million gain on asset sales and disposals, a $7.0 million decrease in “General and administrative expense” and a $4.0 million decrease in “Operating expense – equipment lease expense.” These increases were partially offset by an increase in “Operating expense - personnel, vehicle, plant and other” of $54.8 million and a $4.5 million increase in depreciation and amortization expense.

44

Investing Activities

Ferrellgas Partners

Capital Requirements

Our business requires continual investments to upgrade or enhance existing operations and to ensure compliance with safety and environmental regulations. Capital expenditures for our business consist primarily of:

Maintenance capital expenditures. These capital expenditures include expenditures for betterment and replacement of property, plant and equipment, and may from time to time include the purchase of assets that are typically leased, rather than to generate incremental distributable cash flow. Examples of maintenance capital expenditures include a routine replacement of a worn-out asset or replacement of major vehicle components; and
Growth capital expenditures. These expenditures are undertaken primarily to generate incremental distributable cash flow. Examples include expenditures for purchases of both bulk and portable propane tanks and other equipment to facilitate expansion of our customer base and operating capacity.

Fiscal 2022 v Fiscal 2021

Net cash used in investing activities was $111.8 million for fiscal 2022, compared to net cash used in investing activities of $61.0 million for fiscal 2021. This increase in net cash used in investing activities was primarily due to a $35.8 million increase in “Capital expenditures” and a $13.1 million increase in "Business acquisitions, net of cash acquired," partially offset by a $2.4 million decrease in “Proceeds from sale of assets.”

The increase in "Capital expenditures" during fiscal 2022 was primarily due to increases related to growth capital expenditures. The Company had three acquisitions in fiscal 2022 compared to one in fiscal 2021.

Due to the mature nature of our operations we do not anticipate significant fluctuations in maintenance capital expenditures, with the exception of future decisions regarding lease versus buy financing options. However, future fluctuations in growth capital expenditures could occur due to the opportunistic nature of these projects.

The operating partnership

The investing activities discussed above also apply to the operating partnership, other than the net activity of the term loan credit agreement with Ferrellgas Partners described below under “—Disclosures about Effects of Transactions with Related Parties.”

Financing Activities

Ferrellgas Partners

Fiscal 2022 v Fiscal 2021

Net cash used in financing activities was $171.9 million for fiscal 2022, compared to net cash used in financing activities of $197.3 million for fiscal 2021. This decrease in cash flow used in financing activities was primarily due to financing costs related to fiscal 2021 debt transactions (as discussed further in Note H – Debt), partially offset by $100.0 million in fiscal 2022 distributions to Class B unitholders and an increase of $55.3 million in preferred unit distributions.

Letters of credit outstanding at July 31, 2022 and July 31, 2021 totaled $87.6 million and $107.7 million, respectively, and were used to secure insurance arrangements, product purchases and commodity hedges. As of July 31, 2022, we had available borrowing capacity under our Credit Facility of $253.5 million.

45

Distributions

Partnership distributions

The Sixth Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. (the “Amended Ferrellgas Partners LPA”) requires Ferrellgas Partners to make quarterly cash distributions of all of its “available cash”. Available cash is defined in the Amended Ferrellgas Partners LPA as, generally, the sum of Ferrellgas’ Partners cash receipts less consolidated cash disbursements and net changes in reserves established by our general partner for future requirements. In general, the amount of Ferrellgas Partners’ available cash depends primarily on whether and the extent to which Ferrellgas Partners receives cash distributions from the operating partnership, as such distributions generally would be Ferrellgas Partners’ only significant cash receipts.

The Fifth Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Ferrellgas, L.P. (the “Amended OpCo LPA”), which amended and restated in its entirety the Fourth Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Ferrellgas L.P., and a First Amendment to the Amended OpCo LPA (the “OpCo LPA Amendment”), sets forth the preferences, rights, privileges and other terms of the Preferred Units.

Pursuant to the Amended Ferrellgas Partners LPA, while any Class B Units remain outstanding, any distributions by Ferrellgas Partners to its partners must be made such that the ratio of (i) the amount of distributions made to holders of Class B Units to (ii) the amount of distributions made to holders of Class A Units and the general partner is not less than 6:1. The Amended Ferrellgas Partners LPA permits Ferrellgas Partners, in the general partner’s discretion, to make distributions to the Class B Unitholders in a greater proportion than the minimum 6:1 ratio, including paying 100% of any such distribution Class B Unitholders. The Class B Units will not be convertible into Class A Units until Class B Unitholders receive distributions in the aggregate amount of $357.0 million (which was the outstanding principal amount of the Ferrellgas Partners Notes), and the rate at which Class B Units will convert into Class A Units increases annually. Additionally, the price at which Ferrellgas Partners may redeem the Class B Units during the first five years after the Effective Date is based on the Class B Unitholders’ receipt of a specified internal rate of return in respect of their Class B Units. This specified internal rate of return in respect of the Class B Units is 15.85%, but that amount increases under certain circumstances, including if the operating partnership paid distributions on the Preferred Units in-kind rather than in cash for a certain number of quarters. Accordingly, distributing cash to the Class B Unitholders in a greater proportion than the minimum 6:1 ratio could result in the Class B Units becoming convertible into Class A Units more quickly or at a lower conversion rate or reduce the redemption price for the Class B Units. For additional discussion of the terms of the Class B Units, see Note J – Equity (Deficit) in the notes to our consolidated financial statements.

For these reasons, although the general partner has not made any decisions or adopted any policy with respect to the allocation of future distributions by Ferrellgas Partners to its partners, the general partner may determine that it is advisable to pay more than the minimum amount of any distribution, up to 100% of the amount of such distribution, to Class B Unitholders. On October 8, 2021 and July 8, 2022, Ferrellgas Partners made cash distributions aggregating in total to approximately $100.0 million entirely to the Class B Unitholders, without making any distribution to Class A Unitholders and the general partner. See “Risk Factors—Risks Inherent in an Investment in our Class A or Class B Units or our Debt Securities and Other Risks Related to Our Capital Structure and Financing Arrangements—If Ferrellgas Partners is permitted to make and makes distributions to its partners, while any Class B Units remain outstanding, Class B Unitholders collectively will receive at least approximately 85.7% of the aggregate amount of each such distribution and may receive up to 100% of any such distribution. Accordingly, while any Class B Units remain outstanding, Class A Unitholders may not receive any distributions and, in any case, will not receive collectively more than approximately 14.1% of any distribution.”

46

The ability of Ferrellgas Partners to make cash distributions to its Class A Unitholders and Class B Unitholders is dependent on the receipt by Ferrellgas Partners of cash distributions from the operating partnership. For so long as any Preferred Units remain outstanding, the amount of cash that otherwise would be available for distribution by the operating partnership to Ferrellgas Partners will be reduced by the amount of cash distributions and other payments made by the operating partnership in respect of the Preferred Units, including payments to redeem Preferred Units. Further, the indentures governing the $650.0 million aggregate principal amount of 5.375% senior notes due 2026 (the “2026 Notes”) and $825.0 million aggregate principal amount of 5.875% senior notes due 2029 (the “2029 Notes” and, together with the 2026 Notes, the “OpCo Notes”), the Credit Agreement and the OpCo LPA Amendment governing the Preferred Units contain covenants that limit the ability of the operating partnership to make distributions to Ferrellgas Partners and therefore effectively limit the ability of Ferrellgas Partners to make distributions to its Class A Unitholders and Class B Unitholders. See Note H – Debt and Note I – Preferred units for a discussion of these limitations. See also “Risk Factors— Risks Inherent in an Investment in our Class A or Class B Units or our Debt Securities and Other Risks Related to Our Capital Structure and Financing Arrangements - Our ability to make cash distributions to holders of Class A Units and Class B Units is dependent on the receipt by Ferrellgas Partners of cash distributions from the operating partnership, which are limited by our obligations under the Indentures, the Credit Agreement and the OpCo LPA Amendment and may be limited by a variety of other factors. Accordingly, we may be unable to make cash distributions to holders of Class A Units and Class B Units.”

Preferred unit distributions

Pursuant to the OpCo LPA Amendment, the operating partnership is required to pay to the holders of each Preferred Unit a cumulative, quarterly distribution (the "Quarterly Distribution") at the Distribution Rate (as defined below) on the unit purchase price of such Preferred Unit, which is $1,000 per unit.

"Distribution Rate" means, for the first five years after March 30, 2021, a rate per annum equal to 8.956%, with certain increases in the Distribution Rate on each of the 5th, 6th and 7th anniversaries of March 30, 2021, subject to a maximum rate of 11.125% and certain other adjustments and exceptions.

The Quarterly Distribution may be paid in cash or, at the election of the operating partnership "in kind" through the issuance of additional Preferred Units ("PIK Units") at the quarterly Distribution Rate plus an applicable premium that escalates each year from 75 bps to 300 bps so long as the Preferred Units remain outstanding. In the event the operating partnership fails to make any Quarterly Distribution in cash, such Quarterly Distribution will automatically be paid in PIK Units.

The Distribution Rate on the Preferred Units will increase upon violation of certain protective provisions for the benefit of Preferred Unit holders notwithstanding the cap mentioned above.

Quarterly distributions aggregating to $63.4 million were paid in cash to holders of Preferred Units during fiscal 2022. This included $0.9 million of Additional Amounts payable to certain holders of Preferred Units related to the side letters outlined in the OpCo LPA Amendment. As of July 31, 2022, the Quarterly Distribution accrued was $17.5 million with $15.4 million paid in cash to holders of Preferred Units on August 15, 2022. The remaining Quarterly Distribution accrual of $2.1 million represents Additional Amounts payable to certain holders of Preferred Units pursuant to side letters.

During fiscal 2021, Quarterly Distributions paid to holders of the Preferred Units totaled $8.0 million. As of July 31, 2021, an additional aggregate Quarterly Distribution and Additional Amounts was accrued for $16.0 million, and $15.7 million of that amount was paid in cash to holders of Preferred Units on August 16, 2021.

47

Preferred unit tax distributions

For any quarter in which the operating partnership makes a Quarterly Distribution in PIK Units in lieu of cash, it shall make a subsequent cash tax distribution for such quarter in an amount equal to the (i) the lesser of (x) 25% and (y) the highest combined federal, state and local tax rate applicable for corporations organized in New York, multiplied by (ii) the excess (if any) of (A) one-fourth (1/4th) of the estimated taxable income to be allocated to the holders of Preferred Units for the year in which the Quarterly Tax Payment Date (which refers to certain specified dates that next follow a Quarterly Distribution date on which PIK Units were issued) occurs, over (B) any cash paid on the Quarterly Distribution date immediately preceding the Quarterly Tax Payment Date on which a quarterly tax amount would otherwise be paid (such amount, the "Tax Distribution"). Tax Distributions are treated as advances against, and reduce, future cash distributions for any reason, including payments in redemption of Preferred Units or PIK Units, or payments to the holders in their capacity as such pursuant to any side letter or other agreement.

Cash distributions paid

On October 8, 2021 and July 8, 2022, Ferrellgas Partners paid cash distributions to holders of the Class B Units in the amount of $38.46 per Class B Unit or approximately $100.0 million in the aggregate for fiscal 2022. As permitted by the Amended Ferrellgas LPA as described above, Ferrellgas Partners made this distribution solely to Class B Unitholders without any contemporaneous distribution to Class A Unitholders and the general partner. Ferrellgas Partners did not pay any cash distributions to its Class A or Class B Unitholders during fiscal 2021 or fiscal 2020.

The operating partnership paid cash distributions during fiscal 2022 and fiscal 2021 in respect to its Preferred Units as discussed above under “—Preferred unit distributions.”

The operating partnership paid cash distributions to Ferrellgas Partners of approximately $100.0 million in the aggregate during fiscal 2022, which Ferrellgas Partners used to make the October 8, 2021 and July 8, 2022 distributions to Class B Unitholders described above.

The operating partnership

The financing activities discussed above also apply to the operating partnership except for distributions by Ferrellgas Partners, fees paid in connection with the Class B Unit exchange and other amounts related to the Ferrellgas Partners Notes, and proceeds received by Ferrellgas Partners pursuant to the term loan credit agreement described below under “—Disclosures about Effects of Transactions with Related Parties.”

Disclosures about Effects of Transactions with Related Parties

We have no employees and are managed and controlled by our general partner. Pursuant to our partnership agreements, our general partner is entitled to reimbursement for all direct and indirect expenses incurred or payments it makes on our behalf, and all other necessary or appropriate expenses allocable to us or otherwise reasonably incurred by our general partner in connection with operating our business. These reimbursable costs, which totaled $304.3 million for fiscal 2022, include operating expenses such as compensation and benefits paid to employees of our general partner who perform services on our behalf as well as related general and administrative expenses.

48

Term loan credit agreement between Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership

As discussed in Note O – Transactions with related parties in the notes to the consolidated financial statements of the operating partnership, on January 8, 2021 Ferrellgas Partners entered into a term loan credit agreement with the operating partnership, pursuant to which the operating partnership extended to Ferrellgas Partners an unsecured, non-amortizing term loan in the aggregate principal amount of $19.9 million. The term loan bore interest at a rate of 20% per annum, and all interest on the term loan was added to the outstanding principal amount of the term loan. The term loan was scheduled to mature on July 1, 2022. During July 2021, Ferrellgas Partners made an optional prepayment of $9.0 million principal amount of the term loan. On May 16, 2022, Ferrellgas Partners repaid the operating partnership the full amount of the term loan of $15.3 million, which represented the outstanding principal and accrued interest. Additionally, Ferrellgas Partners paid the operating partnership $3.9 million for separate intercompany receivables related to expenses incurred during the 2021 debt transactions.

Related party Class A Unitholders

Related party Class A Unitholder information consisted of the following:

    

    

Distributions

Class A Unit

(in thousands)

ownership at

paid during the year ended

July 31, 2022

July 31, 2022

Ferrell Companies (1)

 

1,126,468

$

FCI Trading Corp. (2)

 

9,784

 

Ferrell Propane, Inc. (3)

 

2,560

 

James E. Ferrell (4)

 

238,172

 

(1)Ferrell Companies is the owner of the general partner and is an approximate 23% direct owner of Class A Units and thus a related party. Ferrell Companies also beneficially owns 9,784 and 2,560 Class A Units held by FCI Trading Corp. (“FCI Trading”) and Ferrell Propane, Inc. (“Ferrell Propane”), respectively, bringing Ferrell Companies’ beneficial ownership to 23.4% at July 31, 2022.
(2)FCI Trading is an affiliate of the general partner and thus a related party.
(3)Ferrell Propane is controlled by the general partner and thus a related party.
(4)James E. Ferrell is the Chief Executive Officer and President of our general partner; and is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of our general partner and a related party. JEF Capital Management owns 237,942 of these Class A Units and is owned by the James E. Ferrell Revocable Trust Two and other family trusts, all of which James E. Ferrell and/or his family members are trustees and beneficiaries. James E. Ferrell holds all voting common stock of JEF Capital Management. The remaining 230 Class A Units are held by Ferrell Resources Holdings, Inc., which is wholly-owned by the James E. Ferrell Revocable Trust One, for which James E. Ferrell is the trustee and sole beneficiary.

49

Material Cash Requirements

The following table summarizes our future material cash requirements as of July 31, 2022:

Payment or settlement due by fiscal year

(in thousands)

2023

2024-2025

2026-2027

Thereafter

Total

Long-term debt, including current portion (1)

 

$

1,517

$

1,764

$

650,535

$

826,188

$

1,480,004

Fixed rate interest obligations (2)

83,406

166,812

131,875

96,938

479,031

Operating lease obligations (3)

28,487