Bristow pushes 10-Q deadline, considers bankruptcy


Bristow AgustaWestland AW139



Bristow Group has pushed back its 10-Q filing deadline and is considering US Chapter 11 bankruptcy – according to a recent SEC Filing.

The offshore helicopter operator has racked up significant debt and has been targeted for several class-action law suits off the back of potentially misreporting its Q3 figures. Shareholders are wary, and this wariness is reflected in Bristow’s all-time-low share price.

In a recent SEC Filing, the group announced that it is considering “several financial alternatives” to address its liquidity and to restructure its substantial debt. The alternative mentioned was to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

The report reads:

“We have engaged financial and legal advisors to assist us in, among other things, analyzing various strategic financial alternatives to address our liquidity and capital structure, including strategic financial alternatives to restructure our indebtedness.

“We and certain of our subsidiaries may elect to implement such a transaction through Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code (“Chapter 11”) in order to obtain court approval of such transactions and to facilitate the stakeholder approvals necessary to implement such transactions.”

Shortly after this announcement, the group’s stock price fell by almost a half, falling from $1.06 per share on 15 April to $0.62 at yesterday’s close.

Filing for Chapter 11 could result in shares of existing common stock to be cancelled. The group suggests that this could result in a limited recovery for secured noteholders and creditors.

On top of this, Bristow is facing some high-interest repayment obligations in the coming years. Because of this, it is considering implementing a grace period of up to 30 days to stave off making a $12.5 million interest payment on its 6.25% senior unsecured notes set to mature in 2022.

Bristow President and CEO Don Miller said: “Bristow is working diligently with its financial and legal advisors to best position the company for the future, both financially and operationally. 

“The steps we are announcing today will afford us additional time to continue our efforts to complete our financial reporting process and address our capital structure.  Most importantly, we are, as always, focused on continuity of service in a safe, reliable and professional manner for our valued employees, clients and passengers, as we continue to navigate a challenging market.”

The group has been hit particularly hard over the past year. Like every oil and gas operator, it is feeling the impact of the oil and gas downturn, but this is not the only problem facing the group – far from it.

Bristow announced it would be diversifying its fleet away from oil and gas with the acquisition of heavy-lift operator Columbia Helicopters last year for $560 million. The acquisition was delayed in January this year and was cancelled in February.

That same month, Bristow became the target for several law firms investigating the company and its officers’ possible violations of Federal securities laws.