HNZ Expands its Northern Canadian Operations through Investment in Acasta Heliflight Inc.

MONTREAL, March 8, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - HNZ Group Inc. (TSX: HNZ.A, HNZ.B) (the "Corporation" or "HNZ"), an international provider of helicopter transportation and related support services, announced today it has enhanced its presence North of 60 through the creation of Acasta HeliFlight Inc. ("Acasta").

Acasta will be based in Yellowknife, NWT and provide specialized Northern Canadian VFR helicopter transportation services across all sectors of the regional economy. Acasta will be primarily under the leadership of President Adam Bembridge, a local aviation executive with experience in the North and a recognized pioneer in the area of building mutually beneficial alliances with Northern Aboriginal organizations. Bembridge personally holds an equity share in Acasta.

"We are very pleased to be expanding our onshore operations in Northern Canada", said Don Wall, President and Chief Executive Officer of HNZ Group. "Acasta is a promising partnership which combines the technical expertise, financial strength and economies of scale of HNZ with the Northern know-how of a proven innovator like Adam Bembridge, who has deep ties in all corners of the North. We believe there are exciting opportunities in the territories which will contribute to diversifying and extending the reach of HNZ. This is especially valuable in light of current market challenges facing many of the economic sectors we serve".

HNZ's approximate $3.4 million investment, made through the contribution of certain owned assets, makes it the majority shareholder in Acasta. The new company takes its name from the Acasta Gneiss, a rocky outcrop on Tlicho land in the Slave geological province roughly 300 km north of Yellowknife. Using radiometric dating, this rock – named for the nearby Acasta River east of Great Bear Lake – is said to have formed 4 billion years ago making it the oldest known intact piece of the Earth's crust.

"I'm extremely proud to not only be a part of this investment in the North personally, I'm thrilled to have a such a dynamic partner like HNZ Group making this significant investment in the future of my home community of Yellowknife," said Acasta President Adam Bembridge. "Together we see this as a strategic investment that will create stable, long-term Northern employment. I personally look at Acasta HeliFlight as an opportunity, in otherwise challenging times, to demonstrate our commitment to our fellow Northerners and do our part to contribute to the overall stability of our economy."

HNZ Group is an international provider of helicopter transportation and related support services with operations in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Southeast Asia and Antarctica. The Corporation operates in excess of 120 helicopters to support offshore and onshore charter activities. Offshore operations worldwide are provided through HNZ Global and partner Norsk Helikopterservice while onshore charter operations are managed by Canadian Helicopters in Canada, Asia-Pacific and Antarctica. Clients consist of multinational companies and government agencies including offshore and onshore oil and gas, mineral exploration, military support, hydro and utilities, forest management, construction, air ambulance and search and rescue. In addition to charter services, it provides third-party repair and maintenance services and flight training, including the internationally recognized HNZ Topflight advanced training centre in Penticton, British Columbia. HNZ Group is a publically traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: HNZ.A, HNZ.B) and is headquartered near Montreal, Canada employing approximately 700 personnel from 34 locations around the world.

Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking" statements which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Corporation, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Examples of such statements include, but are not limited to, the financial position, results of operations, objectives, dividend policy, participation in bidding processes, continuing business relationship with actual or potential key clients (in particular Rio Tinto and Shell), expected revenues from contracts with key clients, seasonal levels of activity, maintenance of contractual relationships, impact of any economic uncertainty, expected competition, use of available funds, maintenance of strategic relationships with aboriginal groups and regulations (in particular environmental and transportation regulations) and legislation (including tax legislation) applicable to the Corporation.

Although the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based upon what management of the Corporation believes are reasonable assumptions, the Corporation cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. The assumptions on which the forward-looking statements are based include, but are not limited to, general economic trends, industry trends, current contractual and business relationships, capital markets and current competitive, governmental, regulatory and legal environment.

These statements are not based on historical facts but instead reflect current expectations of management regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date of this press release. Forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties, should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether or not such results will be achieved. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the factors discussed in this press release or referred to under "Risk Factors". These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release, and the Corporation assumes no obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances, unless required by applicable laws.



For further information: HNZ Group Inc.: Matt Wright, CFA, MBA, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Tel.: 780-429-6903


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