The Phoenix is Rising: MDHI Announces Growth in Deliveries
Mesa, AZ .- MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) announced today that it has achieved its primary goal of “bringing back an American legacy.” As MDHI nears the two-year anniversary of its acquisition by investment funds managed by Patriarch Partners, company Chairman and CEO Lynn Tilton said that “today MDHI is a strong, viable company with a core of world-class operational talent, and a product line that customers love.”
With 10 aircraft deliveries to date this year, MDHI is ramping up for an additional 33 by year-end 2007. MDHI expects to deliver 43 aircraft in this fiscal year and 85 aircraft during 2008. Deliveries of this magnitude have not occurred since 1999.
“We are selling, building, and delivering aircraft, and establishing a streamlined, vertically integrated company,” Tilton said. The Company’s manufacturing facility in Monterrey, Mexico, is fully operational and will support requirements by delivering 23 single-engine fuselages to the Mesa facility. Also, adding tremendous value and fostering MD’s self-sufficiency is Heritage Aviation’s robust completion and parts manufacturing capabilities.
As the Company continues to exceed major milestones and to execute on unique strategies, Tilton expressed frustration at an industry rumor mill that works overtime to turn positives into negatives, that perceives silence as problems, and that speculates without facts. “Perception may be reality for some, but reality for me is founded in truth. Let the aircraft deliveries make the announcement that MD is here to stay. Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, MDHI is an evolving American success story.”
“The rumors are not based in fact, and our quiet focus on the execution of strategies has unfortunately been twisted into hidden problems. The fact is that MD’s operational improvements have exceeded my expectations, that the Patriarch funds continue to invest in the company and we have recently repurchased most of the equity of minority shareholders. I know of no better way to reflect my unwavering belief in the future of MD. And - in the spirit of eradicating rumors - MD is not for sale,” she said.
In addition to robust aircraft deliveries, today’s MDHI is a much stronger and better-managed company. Customer confidence has increased significantly, because aircraft are being booked, manufactured and flying. MDHI’s AOG process continues to improve dramatically. AOG calls are processed within four hours; 61 percent of requirements are filled in 24 hours; and more than 75 percent are filled within four days. At the same time, the company has hired new employees with requisite skills who share Tilton’s long-term vision to rebuild MDHI.
“As I have said so often, this is a long-term journey. We have continued to make changes because the changes have been necessary. We will continue to seek improvements and will not shy away from those changes that will allow us to grow even stronger. I only hope that in time, the industry will recognize change as courageous and not as a sign of weakness,” Tilton said.
“Two years ago, the company doors were being shuttered, but now they are open and we welcome our customers to walk through them,” she said. “The rumors are rooted in the past, and we have closed that door. We are quietly focused on the future.”
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