Bristow files for Chapter 11


Bristow AgustaWestland AW139

Bristow AgustaWestland AW139

Bristow Group voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas on 11 May.

The oil-and-gas helicopter operator says it intends to use the proceedings to restructure and strengthen its balance sheet and achieve a more-sustainable debt profile.

Bristow states that its businesses will operate normally throughout the bankruptcy. Only the group’s United States legal entities  and two of its Cayman Islands subsidiaries are affected by the Chapter 11; other non-US entities including those holding Bristow’s non-U.S. air operating certificates (“AOCs”), are not included in the Chapter 11 filings, Bristow states.

The following eight entities are included in the filing: Bristow Group Inc., BHNA Holdings Inc., Bristow Alaska Inc., Bristow Helicopters Inc., Bristow U.S. Leasing LLC, Bristow U.S. LLC, BriLog Leasing Ltd. and Bristow Equipment Leasing Ltd.

L. Don Miller, president and chief of Bristow said: “After working diligently with our advisors on a thorough review of strategic financial alternatives, the Board of Directors and management concluded that the best path forward for Bristow and its stakeholders is to seek Chapter 11 protection. This process will allow us to strengthen our balance sheet, achieve a lower and more sustainable debt level and emerge as a stronger company. We have the support of the overwhelming majority of our parent company senior secured noteholders, with whom we have entered into a Restructuring Support Agreement that will help to de-lever our balance sheet, and we are actively working with other important stakeholders as we enter this process.”

“Bristow remains steadfast in its commitment to safety and providing exceptional client service during the Chapter 11 process. For clients, it is business as usual at Bristow, and our talented team will stay focused on delivering safe, reliable and professional services around the globe throughout the process and beyond. We expect to execute a prompt and efficient reorganization, and to emerge from this restructuring process as a stronger company that is an even better business partner, employer and trusted service provider,” he added.

In addition to the Chapter 11 filing, certain senior secured noteholders made a $75 million term loan to Bristow prior to the Court filing and provided a commitment for a further $75 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing that will be available upon Court approval.