Bristow Group Inc. on May 11 announced that it has voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. Bristow states that it intends to use the proceedings to restructure and that it anticipates operating in normal course for the duration of the Chapter 11 process.
The Chapter 11 filings pertain to six of Bristow’s legal entities in the United States and two of its Cayman Islands subsidiaries, including: 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.
Bristow’s other non-U.S. entities, including those holding Bristow’s non-U.S. air operating certificates (AOCs), are not included in the Chapter 11 filings.
“This [Chapter 11] process will allow us to strengthen our balance sheet, achieve a lower and more sustainable debt level and emerge as a stronger company,” said Don Miller, president and COE of Bristow Group. “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.”
In addition to executing the Restructuring Support Agreement, Bristow explains certain senior secured noteholders made a $75 million term loan to the company prior to the court filing, and provided a commitment for a further $75 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing that would be available upon court approval. Bristow explains the financing package provides it with capital to fund its global operations and make continued investments in safety and reliability during the Chapter 11 reorganization.
“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,” said Miller, who also thanked Bristow employees for their commitment as the company moves through the protection process.