Premair Aviation Group has ceased trading at Denham, after the airfield owners changed the locks on the offices and hangars. We understand that Denham’s owners, Bickerton’s Aerodromes Ltd, had a meeting with PremiAir owner Andrew Davis in recent weeks concerning balances owed. As nothing was forthcoming after that meeting, Bickerton’s took action. A notice on the doors from SIA Group is an indication that they have been instructed to recover the amount owed. An enquiry by HeliHub.com was advised that there was “a hiccup” in the relationship between the two, but it’s clear that it’s more than that.
SIA Group – aka Southern Insolvency Agents – provides “a distinctive range of asset valuation, advisory and disposal solutions to our client base of asset based lenders, banks, financial institutions, insolvency practitioners, private equity firms, corporate and public bodies” according to their website. The company assisted the administrator in sale of business with valuation of aviation equipment and goodwill at Fairoaks Airport. Another recent project involved the valuation, tracing, repossession, marketing and sale of 29 fixed wing aircraft for finance houses when Cabair ceased to trade.
HeliHub.com understands that PremiAir’s employees at Denham are “working from home”, but with the majority of employees there directly involved in maintaining aircraft, we wonder how they are managing that. We suspect that some helicopters, potentially including customer-owned aircraft, are caught up in the situation by being in the hangar at Denham at the point the locks were changed – around the month end last week.
PremiAir is owned by Andrew Davis. Mr Davis owned the von Essen group of hotels, which collapsed in April 2011 after Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays called in administrators Ernst & Young after the group failed to make interest payments on its £250m debts. The hotels had been built up over 15 years, and were disposed of piecemeal over the last 18 months. Davis has just one hotel left from an original portfolio of 31 – the five-AA-star, 23-bedroom Forbury in Reading.
Another asset disposal by Davis was Battersea Heliport, purchased by the Reuben Brothers who also own Oxford Airport.
It’s not good seeing significant players in the helicopter market failing, and we sincerely hope that it does not come to this. Indeed, it is still feasible that Mr Davis will raise the required money to allow SIA Group to stop their actions. However, the difficulties at Denham now put the spotlight firmly on PremiAir’s main base at Blackbushe.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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