Ultimate Aviation completes acquisition of OHS


Passenger and air cargo specialist Ultimate Aviation Group has finalised its deal to purchase Offshore Helicopter Services UK (OHS UK) from CHC Helicopter Group (CHC).

The acquisition is effective immediately and OHS will continue to operate under its current name with the team  remaining intact.

Shaun Roseveare, CEO, Ultimate Aviation said the acquisition marked an exciting new chapter for its business and looked forward to expanding the company’s reach into Europe. “The energy sector as a whole has faced significant challenges in recent years and OHS has not been immune to this,” said Roseveare.

But with “steadier market dynamics” now emerging the companies believe they are poised for significant growth. “With more operational freedom to react to changes in the market, OHS and Ultimate will work together to look at opportunities, apply operational excellence and develop new capabilities in order to secure a successful future for the group,” said Roseveare. The 18-month UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) approvals process had proved challenging. “But the business has now come out of the process stronger with a clear road map ahead,” he said.

Paul Kelsall, MD, OHS said backed by Ultimate Aviation’s support, extensive network and client base, OHS is set to expand and improve its services, while maintaining its company culture, values and commitment to clients.

“Operating as an independent business working alongside the Ultimate Aviation Group we will be in a strong position to put in place a strategy and vision that suits our market and allows us to grow,” said Kelsall.

OHS UK was acquired by CHC from Babcock International Group plc in 2021, along with Babcock’s offshore oil and gas operations in Denmark and Australia. But after a CMA Phase 2 investigation, in August 2022 the CMA ruled that CHC should sell the  OHS UK business. Following an auction, on December  30th, 2022, CHC signed a sale and purchase agreement to sell OHS UK to Ultimate Aviation Group.

Commenting earlier this year, 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.”

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.

Meanwhile, the price of oil has climbed by more than 5% to reach $86 a barrel, after the world’s largest producers revealed their intention to cut production. The Opec+ group of major producers, which includes Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Russia, said they would cut production by around 1m barrels a day. This represents about 3.7% of global demand.

Shaun Roseveare, CEO, Ultimate Aviation said the CMA approvals process had proved challenging. “But the business has now come out of the process stronger with a clear road map ahead,” he added.