PHI files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Lafayette-based helicopter firm PHI Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to address the upcoming maturity of $500 million in unsecured debt.

PHI said its businesses are operating normally and will continue to do so during the bankruptcy process.

“After working closely with our advisers since the spring of 2018, interacting with our various stakeholders and carefully evaluating all possible options, the board concluded that pursuing Chapter 11 protection is the most appropriate course of action to address our matured debt and strengthen our balance sheet,” PHI said in a statement.

The company said it is talking with the holders of its $500 million in unsecured debt to consider alternatives to addressing the firm’s outstanding obligations.

PHI said it is working to emerge from bankruptcy this summer with a more sustainable debt structure.

Headquartered in Lafayette, PHI operates more than 240 aircraft in 70 locations throughout the world, servicing oil and gas, air medical transportation and technical services. It employs 2,200 people.

In recent months, PHI has been refinancing debt and evaluating ways to improve its finances. A shareholder group and private investor have pushed the firm to sell off some of its assets.

PHI announced in December 2017 that it was leaving its large Amelia facility to consolidate operations in Houma.

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