Bristow gains extension for late Q3 results, avoids loan defaults


Bristow AgustaWestland AW139

Oil-and-gas helicopter operator Bristow Group has managed to secure an extension until 15 April to file its delayed third-quarter results for 31 December 2018.

The extra time for Bristow to file came after two of its creditors – PK Airfinance and Macquarrie – agreed to grant the firm a grace period on 15 March, a stock exchange filing from the operator shows.

Bristow would have been in default of loan agreements thanks to a failure to file its third-quarter results had the waiver not been granted.

The PK Airfinance waiver relates to a July 2017 term loan, while the Macquarrie waiver is connected to a February 2017 loan, the filing shows.

Bristow has been struggling to file its third-quarter results since identifying “material weaknesses” in its internal accounting processes, a matter first disclosed on 11 February.

The concerns over internal control deficiencies have been detailed as relating to helicopter engines not being matched or returned to pledged or leased helicopter airframes within specified periods, as required under secured-financing and helicopter-lease agreements.

However, only nine helicopter engines under three agreements are still of concern, with previous related issues fixed before December 31 2018, Bristow stated in its 19 February SEC filing. Waivers for non-compliance on these nine engines have been secured, the operator added.

Due to its tardiness in filing its results, a number of corporate law firms are investigating the operator for securities fraud and are trying to recruit shareholders for class actions.

Bristow’s share price closed at $1.18 a share on 19 March, a considerable distance from its 52-week high of $18.91.

Prior to announcing that its third-quarter results would be late, Bristow had been trading for roughly $3 a share over the beginning of 2019.

So far, 2019 has proved challenging for the larger oil-and-gas helicopter operator market, with Bristow struggling to get its accounts in order while PHI recently filed for Chapter 11.