Commercial, Public Service

Erickson Eyes ‘Strategic Alternatives’ Amid Slump

By James T. McKenna | June 10, 2016

Erickson Inc. is investigating options for its current operations, organization and financing in the face of a two-year slump in its business.

The Portland, Oregon, provider of aviation services around the world has replaced its CFO with an airline industry veteran "specifically skilled in debt refinancing and restructuring" and turnarounds.

Erickson also has hired an international investment bank, Imperial Capital LLC, that specializes in arranging debt and equity financing for aerospace and defense clients and advising them on mergers, acquisitions and restructuring. 


Given its financial performance, Erickson said in announcing the CFO move, President/CEO Jeff Roberts and the board of directors "felt it was an appropriate time to bring in an executive with a specialized skill set focused on the current needs of the business." David Lancelot is to start as CFO June 13, succeeding Erik Struik, who joined Erickson in September 2013. 

Erickson has been increasing its manufacturing and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) business, with revenue jumping from about $12.27 million in 2013 to roughly $31.48 million last year. That was helped by Erickson's assumption of product support responsibilities for Bell Helicopters 214B and 214ST models in 2015. 

But manufacturing and MRO makes up about 20% of the company's business. Its commercial aviation and defense and security activities have slumped as oil and gas support operations around the world declined and the U.S. has scaled back military missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Erickson reported a profit of about $9.87 million in 2013, the year it acquired Air Amazonia in Brazil and Evergreen Helicopters, with its U.S. Defense Dept. contracts. But it lost about $10.23 million in 2014 and $86.63 last year. 

The company's net loss in this year's first quarter shrunk to about $26 million from roughly $75 million in the same period last year. "Revenue for our services continues to be disappointing as we were unable to replace certain defense, and oil and gas contracts we had last year," Roberts said May 5. (Erickson's year-over-year revenue for the quarter fell $19.3 million.)

Erickson said Lancelot's “notable career achievements include raising hundreds of millions of dollars in public equity, financing billions of dollars’ worth of aircraft and successfully executing the turnaround of a low-cost airline.” He has served as CFO of the U.S. carrier Spirit Airlines.

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