CHC has appointed the ANZ Bank to ‘test the market’ for interested buyers of its Australian EMS and SAR operations while at the same time bidding for a £5bn (A$8.9bn) search and rescue contract for the UK Ministry of Defence/Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
“We are conducting a strategic review in Australia with a view of improving the organisation in the conduct of current and future operations,” CHC Helicopters (Australia) managing director Chris Ridings told Australian Aviation. “While no decisions have been made in relation to the review it is likely to consider among other alternatives a possible divestiture of our EMS and SAR business unit.”
It is believed ANZ has sent an information briefing to several international companies in a bid to source an interested buyer.
For now Ridings assures that nothing has changed and it’s business as usual. “We are committed to all of our contracts. Should this situation change our customers and stakeholders can be assured we will communicate with them and seek feedback to ensure continual provision of high quality and critical services through the full term of all our contracts.”
CHC’s Australian EMS and SAR operations comprise 22 helicopters and 191 staff at 13 bases around Australia. Contracts include the Victoria Police Air Wing, RAAF SAR, Ambulance Service of NSW, ACT Snowy-Hydro Southcare and the Mackay, Queensland, based CQ Rescue helicopter service.