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[February 13, 2014]
Helicopter firm buys 60% stake in airport owner [Grimsby Telegraph (UK)]
(Grimsby Telegraph (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) HELICOPTER firm Bristow has bought a controlling stake in Eastern Airways, the airline that owns Humberside Airport. The 60 per cent share formalises an agreement that builds on a strong relationship between Bristow and Eastern dating back to 1999.
The investment is described as "a natural outcome of the history of the two businesses working together".
And the deal means North Lincolnshire Council keeps its 17.3 per cent stake in the Kirmington site.
Eastern Airways and the airport will continue to operate as normal, independently from Houston-headquartered Bristow, and under their own brands led by the current management teams.
Mike Imlach, Bristow Helicopters Ltd's managing director, said: "Bristow and Eastern Airways serve many of the same customers.
"Our business portfolios are highly complementary in terms of service offerings and geographic footprint.
"Through this investment, we can leverage our respective strengths to create a seamless experience for passengers travelling to offshore locations. "The Bristow brand will benefit from alignment with a known and valued fixed wing operator. Together we will be able to capitalise on the respective strengths of both organisations, offer a broader range of services, pursue growth opportunities in new markets and geographies, invest in markets where we are currently well-positioned and become even stronger in these areas." Eastern Group retains the 82.7 per cent stake in Humberside it acquired in 2012. Bristow's participation in the airport adds to its Search and Rescue (SAR) base currently under construction, to be operational next year.
Bryan Huxford, chairman of Eastern Group, said: "With Bristow making this strategic investment in Eastern, we believe that we can accelerate the success both companies have already achieved in the marketplace, which will strengthen and further develop our business and future opportunities." The airport was bought out from Manchester Airports Group last year.
It has since attracted Scandinavian Airlines as it builds on the business links while attracting more tourism traffic.
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