Canadian Helicopters Limited receives $8 million term loan

Crown Capital Partners Inc., which provides growth capital to successful mid-market companies, announced on Dec. 29, 2017, the closing of an $8 million term loan with Canadian Helicopters Limited — which is part of the HNZ Group of Companies, an international provider of helicopter transportation and related support services.

Canadian Helicopters owns and operates 91 light, medium, and heavy lift helicopters.
Canadian Helicopters owns and operates 91 light, medium, and heavy lift helicopters. Canadian Helicopters Photo
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Canadian Helicopters is the largest helicopter transportation services company in Canada with a network of 11 strategically located fixed bases to support operations throughout the country.

In addition to charter services, Canadian Helicopters provides flight training and helicopter repair and maintenance services. Its customers include the U.S. Department of Defense (North Warning System), Canadian Department of National Defense, Federal Government of Canada, Nova Scotia Department of Health, and Bell Helicopter.

On Oct. 31, 2017, HNZ and PHI, Inc. announced an arrangement agreement pursuant to which Don Wall, HNZ’s president and CEO, will acquire all the issued and outstanding shares of HNZ. As part of the arrangement, PHI will acquire the portion of HNZ’s offshore business conducted in New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea, and Don Wall will retain Canadian Helicopters (the onshore operations).

Total onshore revenues for the three- and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2017 were $29.2 million and $57.4 million, respectively.

“We’re pleased to support Don and his team in the acquisition of Canadian Helicopters,” said Chris Johnson, Crown’s president and CEO. “This is a very well-established operation with a solid reputation for safety and quality of service. The business is underpinned by multi-year contracts with blue-chip clients and a large fleet of owned helicopters. Going forward, the company is well-positioned to benefit from improving commodity markets and an increase in the usage of helicopters for disaster relief efforts.”

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“Crown’s financing solution was the ideal complement to our senior facility,” said Wall. “The Crown team understood our business quickly and was able to get us a commitment in less than two weeks.”

The agreement provides for an $8 million term loan to Canadian Helicopters by Crown Capital Fund IV, LP, an investment fund managed by Crown and in which Crown holds a 36.5 percent interest.

The term loan bears a fixed interest rate of 10 percent per annum, matures in 60 months, and includes a bonus feature based on the growth in Canadian Helicopters’ enterprise value. Canadian Helicopters has also arranged for a $75 million, three-year senior credit facility led by Canadian Western Bank.

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