Columbia Helicopters to be acquired by AE Industrial Partners

Columbia's 234 LR Chinook
Columbia’s 234 LR Chinook. Columbia photo.

AE Industrial Partners, LP (“AEI”), a private equity firm specializing in Aerospace, Defense & Government Services, Power Generation, and Specialty Industrial markets, announced July 18, 2019 that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Columbia Helicopters. Columbia’s CEO Steve Bandy will remain in his role, while majority owner Nancy Lematta will retain a significant ownership position in the Company. Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close later this year, are not being disclosed.

Columbia Helicopters is a leading owner and provider of heavy-lift rotorcraft, manufacturing, and MRO services to a variety of end markets including military support, firefighting, and on-shore oil & gas.

“This is an exciting new phase of evolution for Columbia,” said Mr. Bandy. “We have always taken pride in our dedicated people and how they deliver inspired solutions to our customers. This new partnership supports our vision of growth and diversification. With AEI’s support and experience, Columbia’s commitment to safety and operational excellence and, above all else, our people—we are positioned for even greater success well into the future.”

A previous deal for Columbia to be acquired by the Bristow Group fell through in February of this year a month after it was announced. As required in the agreement Bristow paid $20 million to Columbia as a termination fee.


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