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MD Helicopters gets new owners and leaders

MD Helicopters makes the MD 530F light attack scout helicopter. (MD Helicopters)

A consortium of creditors has acquired financially ailing MD Helicopters (MDH) and installed a new chief executive and board of directors to attempt a turnaround, the US-based aircraft manufacturer announced on 9 September.

The consortium, which is led by MBIA Insurance Corporation and investment firms Bardin Hill and MB Global Partners, has named Boeing veterans Brad Pedersen and Edward Dolanski as MDH's CEO and board chairman, respectively. Retired US Army General Gustave β€œGus” Perna is among the board's new members.

β€œMD Helicopters has been an iconic name in the rotorcraft industry, and we will build on this rich heritage to serve and support our customers worldwide,” Pedersen said. β€œOur immediate focus is to dramatically improve customer support, foster strong supplier relationships, and implement an aggressive aircraft sales plan.”

The new management also plans to streamline operations to speed up deliveries. β€œWe understand that our lead times are too long, and [we] will be working with our supply base to get our deliveries to under 12 months,” the company said. β€œAt some point, we'd like our goal to be six months for new deliveries, but that will take time.”

MDH filed for reorganisation under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code in March, saying a court-supervised process would expedite the sale of the company. The new owners declined to disclose the purchase price they paid but indicated they acquired MDH by swapping debt for equity.

β€œIt sounds like [the new owners] want to get the business in better shape so they can sell it down the road,” Douglas Royce, senior aerospace analyst at Forecast International, told Janes . β€œ

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