6-Jan-2011 Source: HeliHub.com
ONGC, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India, is increasing its shareholding in helicopter operator Pawan Hans with a cash injection of Rs96 crore – 960 million rupees – equivalent to US$21.2M.Â This takes the ONGC shareholding from 21% to 49% in the state-owned helicopter operator.Â Given this as the value of 28% would imply a company value of around US$76 million.
Further funding has been made available in five-year loans of Rs55 crore (US$12.1M) from NTPC (National Thermal Power Corp) and Rs14 crore (US$1.3M) from the Indian Government.Â Pawan Hans is also negotiating Rs100 crore (US$22.1M) from Border Roads Organisation, which would take the total cash injection to Rs265 crore (US$58.7M) if completed.
Pawan Hans intends using this cash injection to fund a fleet acquisition program which is already in progress – a further 8 helicopters are due in 2011 from an order of 15.Â There are known to include seven Eurocopter AS365N3s – see HeliHub.com report. Â The total purchase price of the 15 is said to be over Rs600 crore (US$132M)
In the statement, there was no reference given to Pawan Hans long-term plans to float the company through an IPO – Initial Public Offering – and a cycnical view could imply that this latest cash injection from ONGC is actually an intentional investment from which they hope to see a quick return, or at least an increased valuation.
Pawan Hans also announced in late December that it is starting a trial seaplane operation in Andeman and Nicobar Islands, and has leased a Cessna 208 for six months as a trial.Â The towns of Port Blair, Haverlock and Diglipur will be linked by this operation.Â The company has a long-term plan for a seaplane fleet of 20-40 and plans services to Lakshadweep, Kerala, Puri and other locations in future.