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|Articles - March 2011|
|Wednesday, March 02, 2011|
Erickson filed for a $75 million IPO in May 2010. But its revenues have been shrinking rather than growing in recent years, from $142 million in 2007 to $137 million in 2008, to $114 million in 2009. The company provides services and maintenance for heavy-lift helicopters used for logging, construction and firefighting. It has subsidiaries in Italy, Canada and Malaysia and seasonal contracts in Australia and Greece. It also manufactures helicopters in Oregon, but not many of them — selling just nine since 2002 and none in 2010.
Between falling revenues and heavy borrowing, Erickson had $88 million in debts as of Sept. 30, 2010. “We anticipate that we will not be in compliance with certain financial debt covenants,” the company wrote in a Dec. 27 SEC filing.
So landing an agreement to export five helicopters to China was a huge deal. Erickson entered into a non-binding agreement in December with China Taicang Aircrane, a subsidiary of Wan Yu Industries Groups. The White House mentioned the deal in a Jan. 19 document stressing the economic importance of exports to China. Erickson officials could not comment because of the mandatory “quiet period” that accompanies IPOs, to avoid inflating the stock price with hype.
If the deal goes through, it will bring new life to Erickson’s Central Point operation, where most of the company’s 700 employees work. (The company moved its headquarters from Southern Oregon to Portland prior to filing for an IPO.) But future manufacturing may take place in China instead of Oregon. One element of the deal outlined in SEC documents calls for “cooperation with and support of Taicang in developing the capabilities and facilities required for the manufacture, marketing and support of the Aircrane in China.”
Erickson is one of two Oregon-based companies wading through the complex process of going public since filing last May. The other is the Portland-based IT security and compliance business Tripwire. In contrast to Erickson’s falling fortunes in recent years, Tripwire has been growing revenues by more than 20% per year and has over 5,600 customers in 89 countries. Tripwire is also restricted from commenting during its quiet period.
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Is your business ready to join us in the call for action? This opening panel includes Oregon businesses who will discuss why they signed the Oregon Climate Declaration, the investments they are making to reduce carbon emissions, and how their actions are affecting their companies.
Get ready for two days of special events produced with the EPA, Portland Timbers and ISOS before and after the GoGreen Conference on October 16.
How sports tourism is driving economic growth and making cities across Oregon a better place to live.
Port of Morrow's business-ready attitude has a surprising global impact.
Through its support of the arts, the Cultural Trust is strengthening the business community.
The official launch will be Jan. 14.
In a switch on the traditional trade show, representatives from UO departments and local and state agencies will host tables to connect with businesses and vendors. The fourth Reverse Vendor Fair will take place Wednesday, Feb. 25, in Eugene.
Featuring Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Katy Coba along with high-profile Oregon Ag attorney Tim Bernasek whose recent matters include representing the Oregon wheat farmer who discovered unreleased “Roundup Ready” resistant GMO wheat growing in his fields.