CHC Accepts Takeover Bid

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On the eve of the helicopter industry's biggest show came news of the helicopter industry's biggest buyout. Days before Heli-Expo 2008 got under way Sunday in Houston, Texas, the board of Vancouver-based CHC Helicopter Corp. has agreed in principle to the takeover of the company by First Reserve Corp. for a $1.5 billion offer that values the company at $3.7 billion. CHC is the largest oil platform-servicing company in the world and maintains a fleet of more than 300 helicopters all over the world. First Reserve offered shareholders $32.68 a share, a 49 percent premium over the share price of $21.88.

Of course, the share value jumped substantially on news of the announcement, with the price settling at about $30. The takeover marks a shift in the company structure that began with the death of founder Craig Dobbin in 2006. "This transaction will mark the beginning of an exciting new phase in CHC's history," CHC CEO Sylvain Allard told reporters.