Beleaguered Bristow Pays Millions in Executive Bonuses

 - May 8, 2019, 7:14 PM

Financially beleaguered helicopter services company Bristow Group disclosed this week that it paid $2.125 million in “retention bonuses” on May 3 to a quartet of top executives, including $945,000 to newly promoted CEO L. Don Miller. Other top Bristow executives receiving the payments included CFO Brian Allman ($400,000) and senior vice presidents Robert Phillips and Alan Corbett ($390,000 each).  

Bristow disclosed the payments in a new Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company said it made the payments “for the purpose of attracting, retaining, and incentivizing employees to perform at a high level” while concurrently saying that new financial statements would express “uncertainty as to the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

Bristow also revealed that it faces a delisting action from the New York Stock Exchange, has deferred the delivery of 22 new Airbus H175 super-medium twin helicopters, remains unable to file its quarterly financial statement for the period ending December 31, 2018 due to “material weaknesses” in its internal controls over financial reporting, and plans to amend financial statements that it had filed in 2018.

On April 15 Bristow announced that it had skipped a $12.5 million interest payment to bondholders and had new hired financial and legal advisors. One of those financial advisors, Alvarez & Marsal, recommended the executive retention bonuses, according to Bristow.