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Offshore helicopter giant created with Bristow, Era merger

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Bristow Group Inc. and Era Group Inc. (NYSE:ERA) announced Friday that they entered into a definitive agreement to combine the two companies in an all-stock transaction, creating a financially stronger company with enhanced size and diversification.

The combined company, which will be named Bristow, will strengthen its global leadership position with significant operations throughout the Americas, Nigeria, Norway, the United Kingdom and Australia for offshore aviation transportation and search and rescue solutions.

The new organization will offer a broader range of world-class, efficient solutions through enhanced fleet size and diversity, continuing to invest in new technology and safety features to meet the evolving needs of new and existing oil and gas customers and governmental agencies.

“We believe this merger will create substantial value for the stakeholders of both companies,” said Chris Bradshaw, President and CEO of Era. “The identified cost synergies are significant and, combined with the strong pro forma balance sheet and absence of capital commitments, support robust free cash flow generation. This merger achieves more efficient absorption of the significant fixed costs required to run an air carrier and better positions the combined company to manage industry challenges.”

“Bristow and Era share complementary cultures built on an unwavering commitment to safety and quality through experienced, well-trained trained pilots, mechanics, engineers and support staff,” said L. Don Miller, President and CEO of Bristow. “Merging these two companies will further build on that culture to create an even stronger, more integrated industry leader.”

Bristow emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October having ditched around $900 million of debt in the process.

On February 19, 2018, Bristow announced that it had secured a multi-year contract to provide helicopter offshore crew change and search and rescue (SAR) services to support ExxonMobil in Guyana. The five-year deal, which is a renewal of an existing contract, commenced on January 1, 2018.

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