MD Helicopter Recapitalizes, Prepares for LUH Competition
Light helicopter manufacturer MD Helicopters, Inc. in Mesa, AZ, completed a significant restructuring transaction this month. As part of the transaction, Patriarch Partners, LLC, a New York based financial firm with approximately $4.5 billion under management, acquired a controlling interest.
The restructuring ensures that MDHI is designed to provide adequate working capital to continue production of existing product lines, aggressively improve customer support and fulfill existing orders. Following the recapitalization, MDHI is an independent Arizona-based company. As part of the recapitalization…
RDM, a Netherlands-based group who purchased the light helicopter operations in 1999 from The Boeing Company (who acquired MD in turn via its merger with Hughes), has retained a minority interest through one of its operating companies.
Patriarch Partners CEO Lynn Tilton believes that the depth of his firm’s asset base and support networks provide the long-term financial and strategic support that the Company needs to “rise to its natural level” in the light helicopter market.
MD Helicopters manufactures the twin-engine MD 900 Explorer, MD 600N, and the MD 500 Series – including the MD 520N, MD 500E and the MD 530F. The proprietary NOTAR(R) (NO TAil Rotor) anti-torque system is standard equipment on the MD 900 Explorer, MD 600N and the MD 520N; the company notes that these machines are quieter than helicopters with conventional tail rotors and have superior operating efficiencies and safety records. Yet the maker of the famed H-6 Cayuse/ “Little Bird” and MD 500 Defender military helicopters now sells mostly to police departments and civil uses.
MD Helicopters CEO Henk Schaeken said MD Helicopters’ immediate goal is to restore customer confidence in the Company and in its ability to support its products. The firm has also ignited its supply chain and production line to fulfil a backlog of 17 helicopters, including recent orders by the police departments of Houston, Glendale and Columbus and two private owners.