HNZ Group agrees to be acquired by CEO and sell offshore operations to PHI


HNZ Group is proposing to sell all of its outstanding shares to Don Wall, its president and CEO, for $188.8 million. Louisana-based operator PHI would buy HNZ’s Pacific offshore business from Wall as part of the agreement.

Subject to final approval, Wall will acquire all of the Canadian operator’s issued and outstanding stock, valued at CAD$242.4 million ($188.8 million), through a wholly-owned acquisition company. Following this, PHI will acquire HNZ’s offshore operations in New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.

HNZ, which provides international helicopter services for various operations including offshore and onshore oil and gas, mineral exploration, and military services, will retain its operations in the US and Antarctica.

PHI currently operates a fleet of more than 230 aircraft in 85 different locations globally, predominately in the offshore oil and gas and medical services sector.

“This transaction provides significant value and liquidity for our shareholders, as well as continuity and opportunity for our employees,” said Wall. “I look forward to continuing the operations of the Corporation in Canada, the US and Antarctica, where we will continue our brand as a well-known and respected industry participant, with an excellent safety record and reputation for providing performance excellence, innovative thinking and efficient customer service.”

The arrangement has been unanimously approved by HNZ and PHI boards, and is now awaiting court and shareholder approval.

Larry Pollock, chairman of the board of directors of HNZ Group, said: “We are pleased with the strategic review process that has led to this important transaction, which we believe to be in the best interests of the Corporation and its shareholders.”

PHI and HNZ Group entered into a joint venture in 2016 to provide offshore transport for an INPEX offshore oil and gas contract, which began on 1 April. HNZ provided four Sikorsky S-92s alongside PHI’s existing fleet.

“This acquisition is an important part of our plan to diversify our services and international footprint,” said Al A. Gonsoulin, chairman and CEO of PHI. “It is rare to be able to acquire a segment of a company with whom you have such a strong working relationship as well as deep professional and personal regard. Together, PHI and HNZ bring a unique approach and skill to the discerning international customer. We look forward to what this will mean for our company and for those we serve.”