Macfarlanes advises CHC Helicopter on the sale of Offshore Helicopter Services UK to Ultimate Aviation

17 January 2023

Macfarlanes is advising CHC Helicopter Group, the global helicopter company specialising in transportation and search and rescue operations, in addition to maintenance and overhaul services, on its sale of Offshore Helicopter Services UK (OHS UK) to Ultimate Aviation Group, a South African headquartered international aviation business. CHC will retain its existing UK offshore oil and gas aviation business, operated through CHC Scotia.

OHS UK was acquired by CHC from FTSE 250 company Babcock International Group plc in 2021, along with Babcock’s offshore oil and gas operations in Denmark and Australia. Following a Phase 2 investigation by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the CMA determined in August 2022 that CHC would be required to divest OHS UK, and an auction process was undertaken by Macfarlanes and AlixPartners for this purpose. A sale and purchase agreement was signed on 30 December 2022 under which CHC agreed to sell OHS UK to Ultimate Aviation Group.

The transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions, including the final approval of the sale by the CMA, and is expected to complete in the first calendar quarter of 2023.

The Macfarlanes team is being led by corporate and M&A partner Tom Rose, with competition expertise provided by partners Tom Usher and Christophe Humpe, and commercial advice from senior associate Martha Campbell.

The team also includes corporate and M&A associates Andrew Wheelhouse, Luis Soares De Sousa, Bryony Foley and Rhian Edwards, competition associates Rachel Carter and Eleni Papadopoulos, commercial senior associate Mark Cusack and associate Ellie McCleery, and tax partner Jeremy Moncrieff and associate Matthew Parsons.