September 4, 2012
Bristow to acquire assets and minority equity interest in Cougar Helicopters of Canada
Bristow Group, a leading provider of helicopter services to the worldwide offshore energy industry, and Cougar Helicopters, the largest offshore energy and search and rescue (SAR) helicopter service provider in Canada, jointly announced that Bristow has entered into a definitive agreement with Cougar’s parent VIH Aviation Group and various VIHAG affiliates to acquire a minority interest in Cougar and certain aircraft and facilities used by Cougar in its operations. Cougar’s operations are primarily focused on serving the offshore oil and gas industry off Canada’s Atlantic coast and in the Arctic. Privately-owned VIHAG of British Columbia is a leading helicopter service provider in Canada. Bristow’s investment will be $250m with a three-year earn-out of up to an additional $40m based upon Cougar achieving agreed performance targets. The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2012, subject to the approval by the Canadian Transportation Agency and the completion of an interim $250m, 364-day term loan facility. The operating assets being purchased include eight Sikorsky S-92 helicopters and state-of-the-art helicopter passenger, maintenance and SAR facilities located in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador and Halifax, Nova Scotia. The purchased aircraft and facilities will be leased by Bristow to Cougar on a long-term basis.