Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Commitments and Contingencies

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Commitments and Contingencies
6 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 2015
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Commitments and Contingencies
11. COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES:

Investments in Affiliates and Other Entities

As described in Note 9, Quanta holds investments in certain joint ventures with third parties for the purpose of providing infrastructure services under certain customer contracts. Losses incurred by these joint ventures are generally shared ratably based on the percentage ownership of the joint venture members. However, each member of the joint venture typically is jointly and severally liable for all of the obligations of the joint venture under the contract with the customer, and therefore can be liable for full performance of the contract with the customer. In circumstances where Quanta’s participation in a joint venture qualifies as a general partnership, the joint venture partners are jointly and severally liable for all of the obligations of the joint venture, including obligations owed to the customer or any other person or entity. Quanta is not aware of circumstances that would lead to future claims against it for material amounts in connection with these joint and several liabilities.

In the joint venture arrangements entered into by Quanta, typically each joint venturer indemnifies the other party for any liabilities incurred in excess of the liabilities such other party is obligated to bear under the respective joint venture agreement. It is possible, however, that Quanta could be required to pay or perform obligations in excess of its share if the other joint venturer failed or refused to pay or perform its share of the obligations. Quanta is not aware of circumstances that would lead to future claims against it for material amounts that would not be indemnified.

 

During the fourth quarter of 2014, a limited partnership in which Quanta is a partner was selected for an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) electric transmission project to construct approximately 500 kilometers of transmission line and two 500 kV substations. Quanta will provide turnkey EPC services for the entire project. As of June 30, 2015, Quanta had outstanding capital commitments associated with investments in an unconsolidated affiliate related to this project as follows (in thousands):

 

     Capital
Commitments
 

Year Ending December 31 —

  

Remainder of 2015

   $ 3,326   

2016

     8,534   

2017 (1)

     34,345   

2018

     —     

2019

     25,357   

Thereafter

     —     
  

 

 

 

Total capital commitments associated with investments in unconsolidated affiliated related to an EPC electrical transmission project

   $ 71,562   
  

 

 

 

 

(1) 

This amount excludes a return of capital from an unconsolidated affiliate of approximately $45.3 million that is anticipated in August 2017.

Additionally, as of June 30, 2015, Quanta had outstanding capital commitments associated with investments in unconsolidated affiliates related to planned midstream infrastructure projects of approximately $8.7 million, $0.2 million of which is expected to be paid in the third quarter of 2015. Quanta is unable to determine the exact timing of the remaining $8.5 million of these capital commitments but anticipates them to be paid by June 1, 2017.

Leases

Quanta leases certain land, buildings and equipment under non-cancelable lease agreements, including related party leases. The terms of these agreements vary from lease to lease, including some with renewal options and escalation clauses. The following schedule shows the future minimum lease payments under these leases as of June 30, 2015 (in thousands):

 

     Operating
Leases
 

Year Ending December 31 —

  

Remainder of 2015

   $ 44,682   

2016

     60,654   

2017

     47,767   

2018

     34,649   

2019

     18,608   

Thereafter

     26,055   
  

 

 

 

Total minimum lease payments

   $ 232,415   
  

 

 

 

 

Rent expense related to operating leases was approximately $50.9 million and $42.6 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015 and 2014 and approximately $100.2 million and $77.2 million for the six months ended June 30, 2015 and 2014.

Quanta has guaranteed the residual value on certain of its equipment operating leases. Quanta has agreed to pay any difference between this residual value and the fair market value of the underlying asset at the date of termination of the leases. At June 30, 2015, the maximum guaranteed residual value was approximately $469.4 million. Quanta believes that no significant payments will be made as a result of the difference between the fair market value of the leased equipment and the guaranteed residual value. However, there can be no assurance that significant payments will not be required in the future.

Committed Capital Expenditures

Quanta has capital commitments for the expansion of its vehicle fleet in order to accommodate manufacturer lead times on certain types of vehicles. As of June 30, 2015, production orders for approximately $6.3 million had been issued with delivery dates expected to occur throughout the remainder of 2015. Although Quanta has committed to purchase these vehicles at the time of their delivery, Quanta intends that these orders will be assigned to third party leasing companies and made available to Quanta under certain of its master equipment lease agreements, thereby releasing Quanta from its capital commitments.

Legal Proceedings

Quanta is from time to time party to various lawsuits, claims and other legal proceedings that arise in the ordinary course of business. These actions typically seek, among other things, compensation for alleged personal injury, breach of contract and/or property damages, employment-related damages, punitive damages, civil penalties or other losses, or injunctive or declaratory relief. With respect to all such lawsuits, claims and proceedings, Quanta records a reserve when it is probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of loss can be reasonably estimated. In addition, Quanta discloses matters for which management believes a material loss is at least reasonably possible. Except as otherwise stated below, none of these proceedings, separately or in the aggregate, are expected to have a material adverse effect on Quanta’s consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows. In all instances, management has assessed the matter based on current information and made a judgment concerning its potential outcome, giving due consideration to the nature of the claim, the amount and nature of damages sought and the probability of success. Management’s judgment may prove materially inaccurate, and such judgment is made subject to the known uncertainties of litigation.

Lorenzo Benton v. Telecom Network Specialists, Inc., et al. In June 2006, plaintiff Lorenzo Benton filed a class action complaint in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, alleging various wage and hour violations against Telecom Network Specialists (TNS), a former subsidiary of Quanta. Benton seeks to represent a class of workers that includes all persons who worked on TNS projects between June 2002 and the present, including individuals that TNS retained through 29 staffing agencies. An amended complaint was filed in August 2007, naming two additional class representatives, one of whom has since settled directly with his employer. The plaintiffs’ motion for class certification was heard and denied in May 2012. The plaintiffs appealed the denial of class certification, and in October 2013, the California Court of Appeal reversed the denial and remanded the case to the trial court for reconsideration. In November 2013, TNS filed a petition for review with the Supreme Court of California, which was denied. The parties attended mediation in December 2014, however, there was no resolution. In March 2015, the plaintiffs filed their motion for class certification in the remanded proceeding. The plaintiffs seek approximately $16 million for class damages and $5 million in attorneys’ fees. Quanta retained any liability associated with this matter following its sale of TNS in December 2012.

Additionally, in November 2007, TNS filed cross complaints for indemnity against the staffing agencies, which employed many of the individuals in the putative class. In December 2012, the trial court heard cross-motions for summary judgment filed by TNS and the staffing agencies pertaining to TNS’s demand for indemnity. The court denied TNS’s motion and granted the motions filed by the staffing agencies. TNS appealed the court’s ruling, and in April 2015, the California Appellate Court reversed the trial court’s decision, vacated its award of attorneys’ fees, and instructed the trial court to reconsider its earlier ruling on TNS’s indemnity claims. At this time, Quanta does not believe this matter will have a material adverse effect on its consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

SEC Notice. On March 10, 2014, the SEC notified Quanta of an inquiry into certain aspects of Quanta’s activities in certain foreign jurisdictions, including South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. The SEC also requested that Quanta take necessary steps to preserve and retain categories of relevant documents, including those pertaining to Quanta’s U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance program. The SEC has not alleged any violations of law by Quanta or its employees. Quanta has complied with the preservation request and is cooperating with the SEC.

Sunrise Powerlink Arbitration. On April 21, 2010, PAR Electrical Contractors, Inc. (PAR), one of Quanta’s wholly owned subsidiaries, entered into a contract with San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) to construct a 117-mile electrical transmission line in Imperial and San Diego Counties, California, known as the Sunrise Powerlink project. In October 2013, Quanta initiated arbitration proceedings against SDG&E alleging breach of contract and seeking compensation for additional costs incurred on the project. SDG&E filed a counterclaim for breach of contract seeking damages for PAR’s alleged untimely performance. In December 2014, the parties reached an agreement to dismiss the arbitration. The settlement terms provided for a cash payment by SDG&E to PAR in the amount of $65 million, representing the final amount to compensate PAR for substantially all of the unpaid portion of PAR’s costs incurred on the project. In January 2015, payment was received and the arbitration was dismissed.

For additional information regarding other pending legal proceedings, see Collective Bargaining Agreements in this Note 11.

Concentrations of Credit Risk

Quanta is subject to concentrations of credit risk related primarily to its cash and cash equivalents and accounts receivable, including amounts related to unbilled accounts receivable and costs and estimated earnings in excess of billings on uncompleted contracts. Substantially all of Quanta’s cash investments are managed by what it believes to be high credit quality financial institutions. In accordance with Quanta’s investment policies, these institutions are authorized to invest this cash in a diversified portfolio of what Quanta believes to be high quality investments, which consist primarily of interest-bearing demand deposits, money market mutual funds and investment grade commercial paper with original maturities of three months or less. Although Quanta does not currently believe the principal amount of these investments is subject to any material risk of loss, changes in economic conditions could impact the interest income Quanta receives from these investments. In addition, Quanta grants credit under normal payment terms, generally without collateral, to its customers, which include electric power and oil and gas companies, governmental entities, general contractors, and builders, owners and managers of commercial and industrial properties located primarily in the United States, Canada and Australia. Consequently, Quanta is subject to potential credit risk related to changes in business and economic factors throughout the United States, Canada and Australia, which may be heightened as a result of uncertain economic and financial market conditions that have existed in recent years. However, Quanta generally has certain statutory lien rights with respect to services provided. Historically, some of Quanta’s customers have experienced significant financial difficulties, and others may experience financial difficulties in the future. These difficulties expose Quanta to increased risk related to collectability of billed and unbilled receivables and costs and estimated earnings in excess of billings on uncompleted contracts for services Quanta has performed.

No customers represented 10% or more of Quanta’s revenues for the three and six months ended June 30, 2015 and 2014, and no customers represented 10% or more of Quanta’s consolidated net position as of June 30, 2015 or December 31, 2014.

Self-Insurance

As discussed in Note 2, Quanta is insured for employer’s liability, general liability, auto liability and workers’ compensation claims. As of June 30, 2015 and December 31, 2014, the gross amount accrued for insurance claims totaled $177.0 million and $170.2 million with $144.1 million and $130.8 million considered to be long-term and included in other non-current liabilities. Related insurance recoveries/receivables as of June 30, 2015 and December 31, 2014 were $10.1 million and $9.1 million, of which $0.5 million and $0.8 million were included in prepaid expenses and other current assets and $9.6 million and $8.3 million were included in other assets, net.

Letters of Credit

Certain of Quanta’s vendors require letters of credit to ensure reimbursement for amounts they are disbursing on its behalf, such as to beneficiaries under its self-funded insurance programs. In addition, from time to time, certain customers require Quanta to post letters of credit to ensure payment to its subcontractors and vendors and to guarantee performance under its contracts. Such letters of credit are generally issued by a bank or similar financial institution, typically pursuant to Quanta’s credit facility. Each letter of credit commits the issuer to pay specified amounts to the holder of the letter of credit if the holder demonstrates that Quanta has failed to perform specified actions. If this were to occur, Quanta would be required to reimburse the issuer of the letter of credit. Depending on the circumstances of such a reimbursement, Quanta may also be required to record a charge to earnings for the reimbursement. Quanta does not believe that it is likely that any material claims will be made under a letter of credit in the foreseeable future.

As of June 30, 2015, Quanta had $324.7 million in outstanding letters of credit and bank guarantees under its credit facility to secure its casualty insurance program and various contractual commitments. These are irrevocable stand-by letters of credit with maturities generally expiring at various times throughout 2015 and 2016. Upon maturity, it is expected that the majority of the letters of credit related to the casualty insurance program will be renewed for subsequent one-year periods.

Performance Bonds and Parent Guarantees

In certain circumstances, Quanta is required to provide performance bonds in connection with its contractual commitments. Quanta has indemnified its sureties for any expenses paid out under these performance bonds. These performance bonds expire at various times ranging from mechanical completion of the related projects to a period extending beyond contract completion in certain circumstances, and as such a determination of maximum potential amounts outstanding requires the use of certain estimates and assumptions. Such amounts can also fluctuate from period to period based upon the mix and level of Quanta’s bonded operating activity. As of June 30, 2015, the total amount of outstanding performance bonds was estimated to be approximately $2.7 billion. Quanta’s estimated maximum exposure as it relates to the value of the performance bonds outstanding is lowered on each bonded project as the cost to complete is reduced, and each of its commitments under the performance bonds generally extinguishes concurrently with the expiration of its related contractual obligation. The estimated cost to complete these bonded projects was approximately $744 million as of June 30, 2015.

Quanta, from time to time, guarantees the obligations of its wholly owned subsidiaries, including obligations under certain contracts with customers, certain lease obligations and, in some states, obligations in connection with obtaining contractors’ licenses. Quanta is not aware of any material obligations for performance or payment asserted against it under any of these guarantees.

Employment Agreements

Quanta has various employment agreements with certain executives and other employees, which provide for compensation and certain other benefits and for severance payments under certain circumstances. Certain employment agreements also contain clauses that become effective upon a change of control of Quanta. Quanta may be obligated to pay certain amounts to such employees upon the occurrence of any of the defined events in the various employment agreements.

Collective Bargaining Agreements

Some of Quanta’s operating units are parties to various collective bargaining agreements with unions that represent certain of their employees. The collective bargaining agreements expire at various times and have typically been renegotiated and renewed on terms similar to those in the expiring agreements. From time to time, Quanta is a party to grievance actions based on claims arising out of the collective bargaining agreements. The agreements require the operating units to pay specified wages, provide certain benefits to their union employees and contribute certain amounts to multi-employer pension plans and employee benefit trusts. Quanta’s multi-employer pension plan contribution rates generally are specified in the collective bargaining agreements (usually on an annual basis), and contributions are made to the plans on a “pay-as-you-go” basis based on its union employee payrolls. The location and number of union employees that Quanta employs at any given time and the plans in which they may participate vary depending on the projects Quanta has ongoing at any time and the need for union resources in connection with those projects. Therefore, Quanta is unable to accurately predict its union employee payroll and the amount of the resulting multi-employer pension plan contribution obligation for future periods.

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) also added special funding and operational rules generally applicable to plan years beginning after 2007 for multi-employer plans that are classified as “endangered,” “seriously endangered” or “critical” status based on multiple factors (including, for example, the plan’s funded percentage, cash flow position and whether it is projected to experience a minimum funding deficiency). Plans in these classifications must adopt measures to improve their funded status through a funding improvement or rehabilitation plan, as applicable, which may require additional contributions from employers (which may take the form of a surcharge on benefit contributions) and/or modifications to retiree benefits. Certain plans to which Quanta contributes or may contribute in the future are in “endangered,” “seriously endangered” or “critical” status. The amount of additional funds, if any, that Quanta may be obligated to contribute to these plans in the future cannot be estimated due to uncertainty of the future levels of work that require the specific use of union employees covered by these plans, as well as the future contribution levels and possible surcharges on contributions applicable to these plans.

Quanta may be subject to additional liabilities imposed by law as a result of its participation in multi-employer defined benefit pension plans. For example, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended by the Multi-Employer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980, imposes certain liabilities upon an employer who is a contributor to a multi-employer pension plan if the employer withdraws from the plan or the plan is terminated or experiences a mass withdrawal. These liabilities include an allocable share of the unfunded vested benefits in the plan for all plan participants, not merely the benefits payable to a contributing employer’s own retirees. As a result, participating employers may bear a higher proportion of liability for unfunded vested benefits if other participating employers cease to contribute or withdraw, with the reallocation of liability being more acute in cases when a withdrawn employer is insolvent or otherwise fails to pay its withdrawal liability. Other than as described below, Quanta is not aware of any material amounts of withdrawal liability that have been incurred as a result of a withdrawal by any of Quanta’s operating units from any multi-employer defined benefit pension plans.

In the fourth quarter of 2011, Quanta recorded a partial withdrawal liability of approximately $32.6 million related to the withdrawal by certain Quanta subsidiaries from the Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Plan (the Central States Plan). The partial withdrawal liability recognized by Quanta was based on estimates received from the Central States Plan during 2011 for a complete withdrawal by all Quanta companies participating in the Central States Plan. The withdrawal followed an amendment to a collective bargaining agreement with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (Teamsters) that eliminated obligations to contribute to the Central States Plan, which is in critical status and is significantly underfunded as to its vested benefit obligations. The amendment was negotiated by the Pipe Line Contractors Association (PLCA) on behalf of its members, which include the Quanta subsidiaries that withdrew from the Central States Plan. Quanta believed that withdrawing from the Central States Plan in the fourth quarter of 2011 was advantageous because it limited Quanta’s exposure to increased liabilities from a future withdrawal if the underfunded status of the Central States Plan deteriorates further. Quanta and other PLCA members now contribute to a different multi-employer pension plan on behalf of Teamsters employees.

The Central States Plan asserted that the withdrawal of the PLCA members was not effective in 2011, although Quanta believed at that time that a legally effective withdrawal had occurred during the fourth quarter of 2011. Although the federal district court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, ruled that the withdrawal of the PLCA members was not effective in 2011, the PLCA appealed the decision, and the outcome of that appeal remains uncertain. Certain other Quanta subsidiaries continued participation in the Central States Plan, and Quanta believes that it subsequently effected a complete withdrawal as of December 30, 2012.

In December 2013, the Central States Plan filed separate lawsuits against two of Quanta’s subsidiaries. In the first lawsuit, the Central States Plan alleged that a Quanta subsidiary elected to participate in the Central States Plan pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement under which it participates. The subsidiary argued that no such election was made and that any payments made by the subsidiary to the Central States Plan were made in error. In July 2014, the parties reached an agreement to settle the lawsuit, and on July 16, 2014, the court dismissed the case with prejudice.

In the second lawsuit, the Central States Plan alleged that contributions made by another Quanta subsidiary, Infrasource Construction LLC (Infrasource), to a new industry fund that was created after Quanta withdrew from the Central States Plan should have been made to the Central States Plan. This arguably would have extended the date of withdrawal for this subsidiary to at least the end of 2013. Infrasource disputed these allegations on the basis that it has properly paid contributions to the new industry fund based on the terms of the collective bargaining agreement under which it participates. The parties both moved for summary judgment, and in March 2015 the court granted Infrasource’s motion, denied the Central States Plan’s motion, and entered judgment in favor of Infrasource. The Central States Plan filed a notice of appeal in April 2015.

In March 2014, one of the Quanta subsidiaries was notified of a joint grievance committee decision relating to a separate grievance matter concluding that the Quanta subsidiary should have hired Teamsters under a specific collective bargaining agreement to perform certain jobs. This matter was subsequently resolved with the Teamsters, effectively resulting in an award of wages and benefits (including pension contributions) to the two Teamsters employees under an alternate collective bargaining agreement that is not related to the Central States Plan. In addition, in March 2014, the Central States Plan provided revised estimates indicating that the withdrawal liability based on certain withdrawal scenarios from 2011 through 2014 could range between $40.1 million and $55.4 million. In July 2014, the Central States Plan provided Quanta with a Notice and Demand of partial withdrawal liability for certain Quanta entities in the amount of $39.6 million. Quanta continues to dispute the total withdrawal liability owed to the Central States Plan. However, Quanta began to make monthly payments associated with this Notice and Demand in the third quarter of 2014 while the parties continue the related process to determine the final withdrawal liability. The amount owed upon resolution of this matter will be reduced by these monthly payments made.

The ultimate liability associated with the complete withdrawal of Quanta’s subsidiaries from the Central States Plan will depend on various factors, including interpretations of the terms of the collective bargaining agreements under which the subsidiaries participated and whether exemptions from withdrawal liability applicable to construction industry employers will be available. Based on the previous estimates of liability associated with a complete withdrawal from the Central States Plan, and allowing for the exclusion of amounts believed by management to have been improperly included in such estimate, Quanta will seek to challenge and further negotiate the amount owed in connection with this matter. However, Quanta recorded an adjustment to cost of services during the three months ended March 31, 2014 to increase the recognized withdrawal liability to an amount within the range communicated to Quanta by the Central States Plan. Quanta believes that the range of reasonable possible loss associated with the Central States Plan is up to $55.4 million. Given the unknown nature of some of the factors mentioned above, the final withdrawal liability cannot yet be determined with certainty. Accordingly, it is reasonably possible that the amount owed upon final resolution of these matters could be materially higher than the liability Quanta has recognized through June 30, 2015.

On October 9, 2013, Quanta acquired a company that experienced a complete withdrawal from the Central States Plan prior to the date of acquisition. The Central States Plan issued a Notice and Demand dated March 13, 2013 to the acquired company for a withdrawal liability in the total amount of $6.9 million payable in installments. Based on legal arguments, the acquired company took the position that the amount of withdrawal liability payable to the Central States Plan as a result of its complete withdrawal was $4.8 million, of which approximately $2.6 million remained outstanding as of June 30, 2015. The acquired company and Quanta have taken steps to challenge the amount of the assessment by the Central States Plan; however, payments in accordance with the terms of the Central States Plan’s demand letter are required to be made while the dispute is ongoing. Approximately $2.1 million of the purchase price was deposited into an escrow account on October 9, 2013 to fund any withdrawal obligation in excess of the $4.8 million initially demanded. Accordingly, the acquired company’s withdrawal from the Central States Plan is not expected to have a material impact on Quanta’s financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

 

Indemnities

Quanta generally indemnifies its customers for the services it provides under its contracts, as well as other specified liabilities, which may subject Quanta to indemnity claims and liabilities and related litigation. Additionally, in connection with certain acquisitions and dispositions, Quanta has indemnified various parties against specified liabilities that those parties might incur in the future. The indemnities under acquisition or disposition agreements are usually contingent upon the other party incurring liabilities that reach specified thresholds. As of June 30, 2015, except as otherwise set forth above in Legal Proceedings, Quanta does not believe any material liabilities for claims exist against it in connection with any of these indemnity obligations.

In the normal course of Quanta’s acquisition transactions, Quanta obtains rights to indemnification from the sellers or former owners of acquired companies for certain risks, liabilities and obligations arising from their prior operations, such as performance, operational, safety, workforce or tax issues, some of which Quanta may not have discovered during due diligence. However, the indemnities may not cover all of Quanta’s exposure for such pre-acquisition matters, as the indemnities under acquisition agreements are usually contingent upon Quanta incurring liabilities that reach specified thresholds, and the indemnitors may be unwilling or unable to pay the amounts owed to Quanta. Quanta is currently in the process of identifying certain pre-acquisition obligations associated with non-U.S. payroll taxes that may be due from a business acquired by Quanta in 2013. As of June 30, 2015, Quanta has recorded $11.4 million as its best estimate of the pre-acquisition tax obligations and a corresponding indemnification asset, as management expects to recover from the indemnity counterparties any amounts that Quanta may be required to pay in connection with any such obligations.