WASHINGTON — A group of investors have officially acquired MD Helicopters, the company announced alongside a list of new leaders.
The consortium, which includes MBIA Insurance Corp., Bardin Hill and MB Global Partners, purchased the Arizona-based business, which makes civilian and military helicopters. Brad Pedersen, who previously worked for Boeing and Sikorsky, will take the helm as CEO.
“Our immediate focus is to dramatically improve Customer Support, foster strong Supplier Relationships, and implement an aggressive Aircraft Sales Plan,” Pedersen said in Friday’s announcement.
Edward Dolanski is among several others joining MD Helicopter’s board. Dolanski, who will become chairman of the board, has help leadership positions at Boeing and Raytheon Aircraft Co.
In March, MD Helicopters filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy that would allow for the “quick and orderly” sale of the business, according to a statement from the company. The firm continued providing services to military and civilian clients, while $60 million in debtor-in-possession financing from the consortium supported the company through the sales process.
MD Helicopters would not provide the value of the acquisition, but a statement about the purchase said no money “changed hands.” The sale itself was not a normal bankruptcy proceeding, but rather a swap of debt for equity, according to a FAQ sheet provided by the business.
“Since last year, we have been exploring a potential sale of the Company that would enable us to move forward with new ownership to support MD’s continued manufacturing operations and maintenance services long into the future,” Alan Carr, the previous chairman, said in a statement in March. “After a thorough review of the options available to us, we believe this transaction and court-supervised process will help achieve our objective and create the best path forward for MD and all of our stakeholders.”
The company said it has no plans for layoffs.
The new leadership is focused on several short-term and long-term goals. More immediately, they want to better managing costs to improve competitiveness as well as secure new aircraft sales. Further into the future, they want to improve the company’s current relationship with Boeing.
Representing MD Helicopters, Grace Nakazawa, president of Aerospace Marketing Lab, said the company will continue its relationships with Lebanon, Malaysia and Kenya. She would not discuss MD Helicopter’s business pursuits in detail.
Zamone “Z” Perez is an editorial fellow at Defense News and Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa, where he helped produce podcasts. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched humanitarian intervention and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.