Babcock sells Aberdeen-based helicopter business employing 500 staff

Babcock International has sold its Aberdeen-headquartered oil and gas aviation business which employs more than 500 people.

CHC Group, one of the world’s top helicopter services and maintenance, repair and overhaul providers, said it had entered into a conditional agreement for the acquisition of the aviation business. Financial details have not been disclosed.

The business provides offshore oil and gas crew transportation services in the UK, Denmark and Australia. It operates some 30 aircraft across its three locations.

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The deal, which is subject to pre-closing conditions, is expected to complete in the second quarter of 2021. CHC will seek clearances for the transaction from competition authorities in the UK and Australia, though completion is not conditional upon such clearances being received, the firm stressed.

The business provides offshore oil and gas crew transportation services in the UK, Denmark and Australia. It is headquartered in Aberdeen, above, employs over 500 people and operates around 30 aircraft across its three locations.

In January, Babcock said trading in the third quarter saw a continuation of trends seen in the first half of the year, with weakness in its civil aviation businesses and a negative impact from Covid-19.

Underlying revenue in the nine months in the year to date was just under £3.4 billion, down 3 per cent on a year earlier excluding disposals and foreign exchange movements.

Underlying operating profit in the nine months was £202 million, down 34 per cent, with a negative impact from civil nuclear insourcing, Covid-19 and civil aviation.

Chief executive David Lockwood said: “While trading in the third quarter has continued to reflect the challenges of the first half and there remain a number of near-term uncertainties, the fundamental strengths of the group and the opportunities ahead give us confidence for future years.”

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