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Bristow To Buy Columbia Helicopters For $560 Mln; CEO Jonathan Baliff To Retire

Bristow Group Inc. (BRS), a provider of global industrial aviation services, said that it agreed to combine with privately-held Columbia Helicopters, Inc. for $560 million. Columbia will be designated as an unrestricted subsidiary under the Columbia name and air operating certificate.

Bristow Group also announced the upcoming retirement of Jonathan Baliff, Chief Executive Officer of Bristow Group, in the coming months. Thomas Amonett, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bristow, has been appointed to serve as the interim President of the Company during the CEO transition process.

Bristow noted that the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee of the Board of Directors is leading the search for a new CEO, with input from the Board of Directors and the support of an executive search firm.

Baliff will resign from the Board of Directors concurrently with the effectiveness of his retirement.

The senior management of the Company will report directly to Mr. Amonett, who will work closely with Thomas Knudson, Chairman of the Board of Directors, to oversee operations. Mr. Baliff will continue to report to the Board of Directors.

As per the terms of the agreement, Bristow will acquire 100% of the equity interests of Columbia for $560 million from the Lematta family and current management.
Columbia will be designated as an unrestricted subsidiary and will be fully consolidated on the Bristow financial statements upon transaction close.
Jonathan Baliff will serve on the Columbia Board of Directors as a representative of Bristow upon close of the transaction.

The transaction is expected to close prior to December 31, 2018 and is subject to customary closing conditions including the expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, the satisfaction of certain additional conditions relating to regulatory matters, the receipt of certain designated consents, and other customary closing conditions.

Bristow will remain headquartered in Houston, Texas. Columbia will remain headquartered in Aurora, Oregon.

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