Long known as the world’s lone operator of the heavy-lift S-64, Erickson Air-Crane announced yesterday that it has rebranded as Erickson Incorporated, reflecting the company’s recent acquisitions and newly diversified portfolio.
Erickson Air-Crane’s acquisition of Evergreen Helicopters earlier this year is drawing fire from at least law firms representing the former’s shareholders. On March 20, Erickson announced it had agreed to acquire Evergreen for $250 million.
The FAA is proposing to supersede an airworthiness directive for the Sikorsky S-64E (type certificate currently held by Erickson Air-Crane). It requires inspecting and reworking the main gearbox second-stage lower planetary plate.
Erickson Air Crane is buying Evergreen Helicopters for $250 million, as well as Air Amazonia from Brazilian oil and gas exploration company HRT for $65 to $75 million. Both deals are expected to close in the second quarter and will boost Erickson’s current $180 million annual revenues to a projected $430 million.
Erickson Air-Crane has executed a binding term sheet to acquire the Air Amazonia aerial services business from Brazilian oil and gas exploration and production firm HRT Partcipacoes em Petroleo. The move supersedes a non-binding letter of intent Erickson submitted in September 2012.
Erickson Air-Crane has entered into a non-binding letter of intent to acquire 14 helicopters and associated personnel and assets from HRT Participacoes em Petroleo (HRT). The deal requires Erickson Air-Crane to provide operational services, including both cargo and passenger transport, to HRT in the Amazon under a three-year renewable contract. Erickson traditionally had focused its efforts on building, selling, servicing and operating heavy-lift S-64 Aircranes. Erickson CEO Udo Rieder said the agreement provides “an excellent path to diversification and growth.”
Erickson Air-Crane posted a 10.9-percent drop to $37.9 million in second-quarter revenue from the same period in 2011, but said it still had a $228.1 million backlog. The company holds the TC for the S-64 Aircrane. It builds, services and sells the heavy-lift helicopter to third parties, and also operates its own fleet of 17. Erickson reported strong revenues from fire-fighting and construction activities but noted a drop-off in logging operations.
Erickson Air-Crane and Stilwell Baker Inc. (SBI) have jointly developed and certified a modernized automatic flight control system (AFCS) for the Sikorsky S-64F heavy-lift helicopter, using an unusual reversal of the all-digital approach to avionics. Erickson has contracted with SBI for the latter to supply production AFCS hardware to equp the 16 S-64s in the Erickson fleet.
Erickson Air-Crane (Booth No. 459) and a consortium of Chinese aviation companies have signed a deal for up to five S-64F Air-Cranes. The companies signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) yesterday at Heli-Expo 2011.
Erickson Air Crane was called in to drop snow on the Vancouver winter games after a week of rain and unusually warm weather melted the white stuff at some elevations below 4,000 feet. Erickson has been using one of its S-64 Air Cranes to move 13,000-pound loads of snow to cover bare ground at several area ski and snowboard venues, including Cypress Mountain and Mount Black.
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