Law firms announce investigations of Bristow Group

At least six securities litigation firms are looking into whether Bristow Group and its officers and directors violated federal securities laws.

A Bristow S-92 helicopter
Bristow stated on Feb. 11 that it was evaluating whether certain debt balances should be reclassified from long-term to short-term, and “the resulting impact on the assessment of the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.” Bristow Photo
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Block & Leviton, Howard G. Smith, Glancy Prongay & Murray, Bragar Eagel & Squire, Kirby McInerney, and Levi & Korsinsky have all issued press releases announcing their investigations and encouraging investors to contact them with questions or relevant information.

In announcing its preliminary third quarter results on Feb. 11, Bristow disclosed that it did not have adequate monitoring control processes in place related to certain of its secured financing and lease agreements, and that as a result, the company’s “internal control over financial reporting was ineffective at March 31, 2018 and the reporting periods thereafter.” Bristow said it was evaluating whether these inadequate controls resulted in a misstatement in the company’s financial reports, including its last annual report.

The same day, Bristow announced a quarterly loss of $0.57 per share, as well as the termination of its $560 million agreement to acquire Columbia Helicopters. Bristow’s stock price had already tumbled after the acquisition was announced on Nov. 9, from over $10 per share to a low of $2.09 per share on Dec. 26. After the Feb. 11 announcement, it dropped even further, closing at $1.84 per share on Feb. 12 on unusually heavy trading volume.

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At the close of business on Feb. 15, Bristow’s share price sat at just $1.32 — a precipitous drop from its peak of over $80 in 2013 and 2014.

Bristow did not immediately respond to a request from Vertical for comment. On Feb. 19, the company issued a press release providing more details about its deficient monitoring control processes that were delaying filing of its Form 10-Q quarterly report with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which it explained were related to the removal of certain engines from pledged or leased airframes.

“At this time, the company is not aware of any non-compliance with the non-financial covenants in its secured financing and helicopter lease agreements that has not been waived or previously cured, other than non-compliance resulting from the failure to timely file the Form 10-Q. The company has not detected any indications of accounting irregularities or impropriety in this process,” the press release stated, adding that Bristow would not be commenting further until the Form 10-Q has been filed.

This story has been updated with details from Bristow’s Feb. 19 press release.

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