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MD: "Bringing Back an American Legacy"

By James T. McKenna | May 3, 2007

In another of its hyperbolic pronouncements, MD Helicopters says that "like a phoenix rising from the ashes," it is "an evolving American success story" that has achieved its primary goal of "bringing back an American legacy." Two years after the Mesa, Ariz. manufacturer was taken over by the New York distressed-debt investment firm Patriarch Partners, MD Chairman and CEO Lynn Tilton says "MD is a strong, viable company with a core of world-class operational talent, and a product line that customers love." The enigmatic Tilton, who heads Patriarch, reports MD has delivered 10 aircraft this year and is ramping up to deliver 33 more by year's end--about what company officials said two months ago at Heli-Expo. That was before Tilton dumped top executives, including MD’s president of less than four months, Chuck Vehlow, and David Oglesbee, head of marketing since Tilton took over. Tilton’s statement said MD "continues to exceed major milestones and to execute on unique strategies." She decried "an industry rumor mill that works overtime" (without citing specific rumors), adding that "the fact is that MD’s operational improvements have exceeded my expectations." Before she cut loose her top executives in March, she had said she was "very, very happy" with them. For related news

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