Canada's CHC Helicopter has arranged the final sale of non-core operations as it refocuses around its mainstream offshore oil and gas support operations.

The St John's, Newfoundland-based company has signed a memorandum of understanding to sell its two Canadian domestic divisions to a management-led group for an expected C$130 million ($88 million) in cash.

The two divisions, Canadian Helicopters Eastern and Western, together have a fleet of three heavy, 24 medium and 130 light helicopters for onshore operations, including air ambulance work. CHC will keep a C$25.5 million investment and retain a 45% stake in the operation.

CHC says this will be the last sell-off under its strategy to reduce debt and refocus on offshore support operations, where it is the largest player after last year's acquisition of Norway-based Helicopter Services Group for C$229 million.

Since then, CHC has sold Swedish onshore helicopter services company Heliflyg for C$6.1 million, Norwegian air ambulance operator Lufttransport for C$14.2 million and its 33% stake in Spain's Helicsa for $6.8 million.

Three UK operations, including six Sikorsky S-61s and four other helicopters, were sold last month to new company British International for C$76 million. The deal included scheduled passenger services from Penzance.

All sale proceeds have gone towards reducing debt, says CHC. Its major offshore operations are now Scotia Helicopter Services in Scotland, Helikopter Services in Norway, Canadian Helicopters International in Canada, Lloyd Helicopters in Australia and Court Helicopters in South Africa.

Source: Flight International