Helicopter company’s deal to mean less oil exposure
The Houston aviation services company Bristow Group is acquiring Columbia Helicopters in a $560 million deal that will reduce its exposure to the volatile oil and gas market.
Oil and gas services, such as ferrying workers to and from offshore oil rigs, account for most of Bristow’s business. Columbia, headquartered in Aurora, Ore., provides heavy-lift helicopter services that move construction and other large equipment, as well as maintenance, repair and overhaul services.
“The acquisition will diversify our revenue by geography and end-market, deepen our position with the U.S. government and enable us to pursue global government contract opportunities that would not be available to either standalone company,” Jonathan Baliff, CEO of Bristow Group, said in the news release.
The combined company will have a more diversified fleet, with 304 operating aircraft, a more varied customer base and an expanded market, particularly in the U.S. government sector. Columbia will remain headquartered in Aurora, Ore. Bristow will remain in Houston.
Bristow on Friday said it lost $144.2 million, or $4.03 per share in the three-month period ending in September, compared to a net loss of $31.2 million during the same period last year. The loss was mainly due to Bristow paying more for its H225 helicopters and Eastern Airways assets than what it can currently make in the market.
Bristow also announced that Baliff will retire in the coming months. Baliff, who joined Bristow as its chief financial officer in 2010, was named CEO in 2014.
Thomas Amonett, vice chairman of the board, will serve as interim president until a CEO search is conducted.
Houstonbased Bristow Group’s deal to buy Columbia Helicopters will bring it a more varied customer base.