Bristow Helicopters gets heavier
Bristow Helicopters is to acquire US heavy-lift specialist Columbia Helicopters at a cost of $560 million. Aurora, Oregon-based Columbia was founded in 1957 and operates a fleet of 21 twin-rotor Vertol 107s and Boeing CH-234/CH-47DS, providing heavy lift services, primarily to the US military and government customers.
The acquisition “will provide both companies with immediate operational and financial benefits,” soon-to-retire Bristow Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Baliff said. “With this transformative $560 million dollar transaction we’re creating the leading global diversified industrial aviation service company... virtually defining what that means. These are two highly complementary businesses with a shared focus on world-class safety, reliability, client service and solutions.”
Columbia will continue to operate as a separate subsidiary of Bristow, with its own board and operational and management structure, and its helicopters will retain their Columbia colour schemes, but Bristow expects to open up new markets for them through its Air Operator Certificates and facilities in more than ten countries worldwide, Baliff said. “[We can] pre-position them actively to working in firefighting or other government work, or in onshore oil and gas. We’ve got the facilities and the AOCS to be able to do that.”
Columbia Helicopters’ rôles include firefighting