Bristow announces late Q3 results, cancels Columbia deal and announces CEO’s retirement on same day

Bristow Caribbean

Bristow Caribbean

Long considered a star of the offshore helicopter market until oil prices collapsed in August 2016, Bristow Group announced on 11 February the late filing of its Q3 results due to financial reporting concerns, the retirement of its CEO and the termination of its Columbia Helicopters deal.

The lessor has informed the Securities and Exchange Commission that it will be late filing its 2019 third-quarter results for the period ended 31 December 2018 after management identified “material weakness” in its internal financial reporting controls, according to a company press release.

Inadequate monitoring control processes regarding non-financial covenants in secured financing and lease agreements caused this “material weakness” meaning Bristow now considers its financial reporting “ineffective” since 31 March 2018.

Bristow states it is specifically evaluating whether certain debt balances should be reclassified from long-term to short-term in those financial statements and if lenders can offer related waivers.

Bristow adds that following these evaluations, there may be a resulting assessment of it its ability to continue as a going concern.

The firm says it will file its final Q3 2019 fiscal year results no later than 19 February, after which it will hold an investor call. The firm will not be commenting further until then.

The firm did release preliminary Q3 2019 results, posting a net loss of $85.9 million for the December 2018 quarter compared to a net loss of $8.3 million for the December 2017 quarter

Additionally, Bristow confirmed that chief executive Jonathan Baliff will retire on 28 February when he will also resign from the Bristow Board of Directors. Baliff’s retirement was announced in November 2018. Thomas Amonett, the vice-chairman of the board of directors, has been appointed to serve as the interim president of the company while a new chief is sought.

Bristow has also mutually agreed to terminate its deal to buy Columbia Helicopters. As part of the cancellation, Bristow has paid $20 million to Columbia.