CHC Helicopter set to price IPO
The private equity cycle, that typically starts with the privatization of an existing public company and typically ends with the company being taken public again, is playing out once again with a former well known Canadian name, CHC Helicopter. headquartered global energy focused private equity firm in a $1.5 billion transaction in 2008, is set to price its initial pubic offering.
CHC Group plans to price each share between US$16 $18 a share. Given that 29.4 million shares are being offered, the IPO for the Va vans shoes ncouver based company, is expected to raise between US$470.4 million and $529.2 million.
If those three firms decide to exercise the 4.4 million share over allotment option, the offering could end up being US$70.4 US$79.2 million larger. Investors should have little difficulty remembering the symbol: the company will trade as HELI.
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CHC has a long history. It started on Canada’s west coast as a fixed wing charter company and within a few years was the world’s largest commercial helicopter company. In 1987 Newfoundland’s Craig Dobbin acquired control and the head off vans shoes ice moved to the island province. As a public company, CHC had a complicated structure with three classes of shares (multiple voting, subordinate voting and ordinary) and a series of subsidiaries operating all over the world.
In a 1997 prospectus it described vans shoes itself as providing “a variety of services to its helicopter operations customers.” In Canada, its light, medium and heavy helicopters were used primarily for forestry (mainly reforestation, logging and fire fighting), emergency medical services, construction, and mining exploration and production. Internationally, its helicopters were primarily used to support offshore oil and gas activities by transporting people and cargo. In mid 1997 it owned or leased 219 helicopters.
At the time of its upcoming IPO, it operated 238 aircraft in about 30 countries: Australia, Brazil, Holland, Norway and the United Kingdom were home to major operating units.
As a public company, the former CHC was busy. One key change occurred in June 2000 when it proposed a management buy out of its two Canadian divisions. Five months later, the $137 million sale of its Canadian on shore helicopter operations was completed: CHC was left with a 45% stake while management and an equity investor (a Quebec labour sponsored fund) held the rest.
transaction completes the final component of CHC strategy to position CHC as an oil and gas services company, it said at the time, noting that 75% of CHC revenue came from the offshore oil and gas industry.
In February 2008, CHC announced the $1.5 billion sale to First Reserve Corp. Holders of all share classes received the same cash consideration, of $32.68 a share. The sale came about 18 months afte vans shoes r the death of Craig Dobbin. At that time, CHC owned or leased 257 helicopters while total revenue was $1.3 billion.
The private equity cycle is also being played out with another Canadian name, Intrawest. Late last year, Fortress Investment Group, which took Intrawest private in 2006, announced plans to take Intrawest Resort Holdings public via a $100 million offering. But there one major difference between the Intrawest that was taken private and the Intrawest that is now being spun out: Whistler Blackcomb, one of its former core holdings, was taken public in 2010. Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and BofA Merrill are handling the sale.