Babcock to pay £1.6 billion for Bond parent Avincis

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Engineering support services provider Babcock will snap up up helicopter operator Avincis - the Bond Aviation and Inaer parent - for a total of £1.6 billion ($2.6 billion) from its private equity owners Investindustrial and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

The deal, which will see Babcock pay £920 million plus assume Avincis's net debts of £705 million, is still subject to approval by the former's shareholders.

Babcock, says Avincis is a "clear strategic fit" and believes the acquisition will create a strong platform for future growth.

Avincis already has a strong growth platform and its combination with Babcock will generate even greater expansion opportunities,” says Peter Rogers, Babcock chief executive.

James Drummond, CEO of Avincis, adds: “Babcock is a great strategic and cultural fit for Avincis. We provide vital, complex and life-saving services for our customers, and both share a commitment to operational excellence and the highest standards of safety.

Babcock intends to fund the acquisition through a £1.1 billion rights issue which will be voted on by shareholders on 16 April. As of 31 December Avincis operated a fleet of 343 rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft.

Separately, Avincis has entered into a deal to acquire an 84.6% stake in Sweden-based EMS provider Scandinavian Air Ambulance (SAA) for a total price of SKr707 million ($108 million).

SAA’s fleet of 22 aircraft - eight fixed-wing and 14 helicopters - annually transports more than 14,000 patients across Sweden, Finland and Denmark, says Avincis.