Airport owner Bristow faces NYSE boot as shares bottom out

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 8 May 2019

The beleaguered owner of Humberside Airport has been issued with a warning by the New York Stock Exchange after its value dropped below the minimum average required to remain listed.

Bristow Group has been given a six month period to return to a more robust trading figure, after the closing price remained below a dollar for 20 consecutive trading days. It could be kicked off the prestigious listing should it fail to do so.

The plummeting value follows “material weakness in internal controls over financial reporting”, being discovered. It led to a further flouting of rules with no accounts filed for the final quarter of 2018.

The Houston-based helicopter specialist, already struggling to deal with a downturn in oil and gas, was found to have issues with aircraft and their engines being mis-matched after service and maintenance, putting high value leases it had entered into with suppliers in default. 

Glum faces at the NYSE as shares tumbled amid Chinese trade wars.

It has walked away from a potential buy-out of Columbia Helicopters, with shares sliding from $18.91 a year ago.

As well as the significant investment in the airport at Kirmington, bought in 2014 with airline Eastern Airways, it operates search and rescue services on behalf of the UK government, with 10 strategically placed bases around the country, including the one at Humberside Airport.

Read more: £4.8b - the economic mileage for the UK in EV batteries as the Humber hots up

Under Wall Street rules, Bristow’s common stock will continue to be listed and traded on the NYSE during this six-month cure period, subject to the company’s compliance with other continued listing requirements.

Eastern, which has independent management teams for both the airline and airport, has declined to comment on the performance of the parent company.

Humberside Airport.

As reported, in the full years of ownership by Bristow, revenues there have dropped 18 per cent from $144.8 million (£110.6 million) in 2015 to $118.5 (£90.6 million) in 2018, but it is understood to be faring better in the current financial year.

North Lincolnshire Council retains an 18 per cent stake in the airport, a legacy investment maintained from the times of the local authorities bringing forward the infrastructure. 

It is understood future options have been discussed at board level for the two businesses, which are described as operationally sound, operating as standalone subsidiaries.

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