LONDON, ON, Jan. 30 /CNW/ - David Taylor, President & C.E.O. of Discovery
Air Inc. (TSX: DA.A) is pleased to announce that Discovery Air has entered
into an Interim Agreement to purchase all of the issued and outstanding shares
of VIH Aviation Group Ltd. and its affiliate, YYJ FBO Services Ltd. ("VIH").
VIH operates a fleet of over 60 helicopters with a head office in Victoria,
Mr. Taylor stated, "I am very pleased that Discovery Air was able to
bring VIH and Great Slave Helicopters together. These two titans of the
Canadian helicopter industry represent a powerful new force in the industry."
Great Slave Helicopters Ltd. ("GSHL"), a subsidiary of Discovery Air, operates
a fleet of 70 light and medium VFR helicopters and dominates the northern and
central Canadian markets. VIH primarily operates a fleet of heavy and IMC
capable helicopters in the coastal regions of Canada. Ken Norie, VIH's owner
and President, said "I have known Adam Bembridge, GSHL's President, for over
20 years and am looking forward to working with him to capitalize on the many
synergies between our two companies."
When asked about the size of the VIH acquisition, Mr. Taylor said
"VIH effectively doubles the size of Discovery Air's annual revenues and
earnings. VIH has an excellent reputation in the helicopter industry which is
in large part due to its dedicated long-standing employees who will continue
to be a valuable asset to VIH and the Discovery Air team going forward."
The completion of the acquisition of VIH is subject to a number of
conditions, including receipt of all necessary regulatory and other approvals.
The Interim Agreement sets out a purchase price of $50 million cash,
65 million Class A common shares of Discovery Air and an option to purchase
2 million Class A common shares of Discovery Air for $2.00 over 10 years. The
purchase price is subject to adjustment based on VIH's adjusted consolidated
EBITDA as at December 31, 2006.
Based on unaudited figures at the year ending December 31, 2006, VIH had
revenues of over $125 million with approximately $10 million net income and
EBITDA of approximately $26 million. VIH's total assets at the end of 2006
were in excess of $145 million.
Discovery Air's goal is to consolidate the fragmented Canadian niche
aviation industry to realize synergies and economies of scale, thereby
creating a profitable and diversified company able to deliver safe,
professional air service to clients in selected niche markets.
Discovery Air's Class A common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange
under the symbol DA.A.
On behalf of the Board of Directors: David R. Taylor, President & C.E.O.
For further information:
For further information: Wade MacBain, Director of Investor Relations,
Phone: (519) 913-2204, ext. 358, Toll-free: 1-866-903-3247, ext. 358, E-mail: