Bristow sells flight academy operations

Bristow Caribbean

Bristow has sold all of its flight academy operations in Titusville, Florida, and Minden, Nevada, to help improve its returns, liquidity and credit quality during a down market.

The group sold 100% of its interest in Bristow Academy, including all training facilities, helicopters and related personnel, on 1 November to an undisclosed buyer. They announced the transaction last week.

The sale price is a minimum of $1.5 million to be received over a maximum of four years, with potential consideration based on the Academy’s financial performance, Bristow said in its second quarter results.

Don Miller, senior vice president and CFO at Bristow Group, said in the investor call: “The sale of Bristow Academy is an example of the type of difficult decision we are prepared to action quickly to achieve our goal of becoming earnings and free cash flow positive in the next 12 to 24 months. And after this successful first half, we have the confidence we can do it but we also know we are evaluating existing businesses, which do not currently fit the new Bristow if their cost structures cannot be reduced.”

Read more: Bristow releases second quarter results

The sale resulted in a $6.5 million hit on its asset figures for the quarter, including a loss on disposal on assets on its condensed consolidated statement of operations for the last three to six months.

Training of Bristow flight crews for ongoing commercial operations will be unaffected by the sale. Rating and recurrent pilot training for these operations will continue at Bristow’s flight-simulator facilities in Aberdeen, Scotland, and New Iberia, Louisiana.

Following this sale, no “non-core assets” outside of the group’s key focus of oil and gas, SAR and fixed wing remain part of Bristow.

“Historic” downturn

The sale was made during an “historic oil and gas downturn”, said Jonathan Baliff, president and CEO of Bristow Group.

Despite the downturn, Bristow saw a year-on-year increase in revenue for its oil and gas services. It saw its operating revenue increase 2.3% from $238,233 million to $243,754 million for the three months ended 30 September.

Bristow partly attributes the year-on-year increase to an uptake in operating revenue for its oil and gas operations in the Europe Caspian, Asia Pacific and Americas regions.