UK engineering company Babcock International has entered into a conditional agreement to buy emergency and search-and-rescue aircraft operator Avincis Group for £920 million ($1.52 billion) from previous owners World Helicopters.
Avincis provides aerial (helicopter and fixed wing) emergency services for mission critical operations such as medical emergency, civil protection, search and rescue, coast and fishing surveillance, fire fighting as well as transportation for off-shore oil and gas facilities.
James Drummond, Chief Executive of Avincis, said: “Babcock is a great strategic and cultural fit for Avincis. We provide vital, complex and life-saving services for our customers, and both share a commitment to operational excellence and the highest standards of safety. Avincis’ global business has grown significantly over the past few years, and joining forces with Babcock will allow the strengthened group to access new markets and customers, and build on an already impressive order intake.”
Babcock intends to fund the proposed acquisition through a fully underwritten rights issue of its existing ordinary shares. Completion of the proposed acquisition is conditional, amongst other things, on shareholder approval of the aquisitionas well as applicable antitrust approvals. Babcock will also assume Avincis’s net debt of £705m.
“The proposed acquisition of Avincis meets Babcock’s strategic objectives as it brings into the Babcock group a market-leading business, delivering mission critical services and complex engineering support to blue-chip customers in multiple geographies,” said Peter Rogers, Chief Executive of Babcock. “Avincis already has a strong growth platform and its combination with Babcock will generate even greater expansion opportunities and value creation for Babcock’s shareholders.”
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