Bristow merges with Era to create giant of the sky

HELICOPTER charter companies Bristow Group and Era Group, have officially merged, a move that will create a larger, financially stronger business.
Bristow merges with Era to create giant of the sky Bristow merges with Era to create giant of the sky Bristow merges with Era to create giant of the sky Bristow merges with Era to create giant of the sky Bristow merges with Era to create giant of the sky

Paul Hunt

Senior Journalist: Oil & Gas, Policy.

Paul Hunt

The monolithic air service will retain the name Bristow Group, and will continue to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "VTOL." 

Plans for the merger have been in the works for many months, well before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Under the all-scrip agreement, the two companies planned to diversify their market and create a "financially stronger, publicly traded company" while growing their presence in key geographic regions.

Bristow will continue its current charters for offshore workers across the North West Shelf in Western Australia and to the south in the Bass Strait in southern Australia.

The new combined company will also include Airnorth - an Australian regional charter service that services the onshore energy and mining industries in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. 

Newly appointed chief executive Chris Bradshaw said the company would focus on Australian markets as well as industries in the Americas and Europe. 

"The combination brings long-overdue consolidation in the industry, better prepares us to navigate today's market challenges, and ensures we remain the global leader in helicopter services," Bradshaw said. 

The decision to merge came after a precarious period for Bristow Group, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2019.

The combined company will hold an unparalleled fleet of more than 300 industry aircraft and remain headquartered in Houston, US. 

Bristow is expected to achieve pro forma annual revenues of approximately US$1.5 billion and run-rate adjusted EBITDA of approximately $240 million.

It will also save around $34 million through the elimination of corporate expenses and efficiencies by merging.

The reverse triangular merger saw each share of legacy Bristow common stock converted into 0.5 shares of Era common stock. Legacy Bristow shareholders own 77% of the equity of the new company, and legacy Era shareholders own 23% of the equity of the combined company.

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