Bristow files for bankruptcy

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Bristow has voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, claiming debts of US$1.885bn against assets of $2.86bn.

The aviation services provider intends to use the proceedings to restructure and strengthen its balance sheet and achieve a more sustainable debt profile, while continuing to provide aviation services to its global clients. All of Bristow’s businesses are operating as usual and are anticipated to continue to do so for the duration of the Chapter 11 process.

Bristow’s non-US entities are not included in the Chapter 11 filings.

L. Don Miller, president and CEO of Bristow Group, said, “After working diligently with our advisors on a thorough review of strategic financial alternatives, the board of directors and management concluded that the best path forward for Bristow and its stakeholders is to seek Chapter 11 protection.

“This process will allow us to strengthen our balance sheet, achieve a lower and more sustainable debt level and emerge as a stronger company.”

“For clients, it is business as usual at Bristow, and our team will stay focused on delivering safe, reliable and professional services around the globe throughout the process and beyond. We expect to execute a prompt and efficient reorganization, and to emerge from this restructuring process as a stronger company that is an even better business partner, employer and trusted service provider.”

Bristow has filed customary motions with the Bankruptcy Court seeking a variety of ‘first-day’ relief for the filing entities, including authority to pay employee wages and benefits, vendors and suppliers in the ordinary course for goods and services provided after the petition date.

Senior secured noteholders made a US$75m term loan to Bristow Group prior to the court filing and provided a commitment for a further $75 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing that would be available upon court approval. The financing package provides Bristow with capital that enables it to fund its global operations and make continued investments in safety and reliability during the Chapter 11 reorganization proceedings.

Bristow Group, BHNA Holdings, Bristow Alaska, Bristow Helicopters, Bristow US Leasing, Bristow US, BriLog Leasing and Bristow Equipment Leasing are included in the filing.

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