Ultimate Aviation to acquire Offshore Helicopter Services UK
Passenger and air cargo specialist Ultimate Aviation Group has finalised a deal to purchase Offshore Helicopter Services UK (OHS UK) from CHC Helicopter Group (CHC).
The Johannesburg-based company expects the deal to complete in the first quarter of 2023, subject to closing conditions and final approval from the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). A sale and purchase agreement was signed on December 30th 2022, under which CHC agreed to sell OHS UK to Ultimate Aviation.
Shaun Roseveare, CEO, Ultimate Aviation, promised the integration of OHS UK into Ultimate Aviation would be seamless for customers, who could continue to expect the same high level of service from both companies. “This acquisition marks an exciting new chapter for Ultimate Aviation and we are looking forward to continue offering our customers the best services possible and expanding our reach to new regions,” said Roseveare.
David Balevic, president and CEO, CHC said: “While we remain disappointed with the CMA’s decision and believe it was based on several fundamental misconceptions, we are glad to be close to completing this process through the sale of OHS UK to Ultimate Aviation. CHC’s talented team will continue to deliver outstanding levels of service and safety, quality and innovation, through our existing UK business.”
Reacting to the CMA decision last July, Clark McGinn, principal, Uplifting Advice told Helicopter Investor he was: “Amazed, shocked then quite angry.” The ruling was an illogical and uncommercial decision that will harm the potential to rebuild overall profitability for the crew-change helicopter market, he said.
OHS UK has served the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry for more than 40 years. The company operates a fleet of Airbus H175, Sikorsky S92 and Leonardo AW139 helicopters from their main operating bases in Aberdeen and Sumburgh, Scotland for various customers in the North Sea.
CHC acquired OHS UK from Babcock International in 2021, along with Babcock’s offshore oil and gas operations in Denmark and Australia. But after a CMA investigation, the authority ruled in August 2022 that CHC must divest itself of OHS UK. An auction of the UK operator followed the CMA’s decision.