First Reserve plans $529m IPO for CHC Helicopter

CHC Group plans to raise $529 million in an initial public offering.
Eurocopter EC225 flying over St. John's Newfoundland coast in Canada (Credit: Paul Daly)

The Eurocopter EC225 is one of many aircraft operated by CHC Helicopter (Photo: Paul Daly).

CHC Group Ltd., the world’s largest commercial operator of medium and heavy helicopters, has announced that it expects to raise up to $529 million in an initial public offering.

The company will offer 29.4 million shares, priced between $16 and $18 each. CHC says it will use the funds to “repay certain CHC Helicopter debt and for general corporate purposes.”

CHC Group, headquartered in Canada, was acquired by First Reserve, the biggest private equity investor in the energy industry, in a 2008 deal worth $1.5 billion.

The company plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “HELI” and the public offering will see First Reserve’s stake in CHC drop to 61.3 per cent, valuing the company at $1.37 billion at the top end of the expected price range.

JP Morgan, Barclays and UBS Investment Bank are lead underwriters for the offering.

CHC operates more than 250 heavy and medium helicopters that are used to transport workers to offshore drilling rigs and to carry-out search and rescue missions. Its fleet includes numerous helicopter models manufactured by AgustaWestland, Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) and Sikorsky.

In December 2013, CHC Helicopter agreed a helicopter leasing deal valued at over $200 million with Waypoint Leasing for 13 medium and heavy helicopters, including the Sikorsky S-92 and AgustaWestland AW139 aircraft.

Terry Spruce

Terry is Senior News Editor and writes for both Corporate Jet Investor and Helicopter Investor. He is also responsible for our helicopter guides. Terry has been an aviation enthusiast since the early 1970s. He is a lapsed Private Pilot and ex-Piper Cherokee owner. He has flown a number of light aircraft and is comfortable sitting in the co-pilot's seat or the back of any aircraft. Before moving to journalism he was a banker for 20 years. You can contact him at: or follow him on twitter @Terry_Spruce

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