Commercial, Military

CHC Fleet Expansion Raises Financing Concern

By James T. McKenna | January 9, 2008

Offshore, Search and Rescue

A leading credit-rating service has cut its rating for CHC Helicopter Corp., citing the Richmond, British Columbia-based company’s means of financing its fleet expansion. Moody’s lowered its rating on CHC’s $400-million debt to "negative" from "stable.” While the company’s fleet expansion "is in response to strong customer demand driven by the deepwater development trends," a senior Moody’s analyst, Pete Speer, said, "CHC has funded these capital expenditures almost exclusively with lease financing and revolver borrowings." Moody’s said CHC has purchased 43 heavy and medium helicopters since its fiscal year ended Apr. 30, 2006, increasing its fleet size 10 percent. As of last Oct. 31, the company had 85 helicopters on order for delivery through 2012. For related news

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