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MD HELICOPTERS RECAPITALIZES BALANCE SHEET WITH NEW CONTROLLING PARTY

 

PRODUCT LINE FUTURE, CUSTOMER SUPPORT ASSURED

 

MESA, AZ, July 21, 2005 - MD Helicopters, Inc., a manufacturer of light helicopters, completed a significant restructuring transaction on July 8, 2005. As part of the transaction, Patriarch Partners, LLC, a New York based financial firm with approximately $4.5 billion under management, acquired a controlling interest in MD Helicopters, Inc.

 

The restructuring ensures that MDHI will have adequate working capital to continue production of existing product lines, aggressively improve customer support and fulfill existing orders. Following the recapitalization, MDHI is an independent Arizona-based company.

 

As part of the recapitalization, RDM, a Netherlands-based group, has retained a minority interest through one of its operating companies. RDM purchased the light helicopter operations from The Boeing Company in 1999. "I am very pleased with this transaction as it is fully in line with our efforts over the past years to support the company and its products," said Joep van den Nieuwenhuijzen, RDM's owner.

 

"This recapitalization assures our customers that MD Helicopters will have sufficient working capital to be a strong, viable company fully able to support its products and its customers in their operations," said Henk Schaeken, CEO of MD Helicopters.

 

"We are proud to add MDHI to our company portfolio. We believe that the demand for MD Helicopters' products is deep and strong. We are pleased to be part of this great product line's future. The strength of Patriarch Partners and the depth of our asset base provides the long-term financial and strategic support that the Company needs to rise to its natural level in the light helicopter market," said Lynn Tilton, the Chief Executive Officer of Patriarch Partners.

 

MD Helicopters manufactures the MD 500Ò, MD 520NÒ, MD 600NÒ and MD ExplorerÒ series of light commercial and military helicopters. MD Helicopters' products distinguish themselves by the proprietary NotarÒ no tail rotor technology. Company operations will continue to be based at existing facilities in Mesa, Arizona.

 

Schaeken said MD Helicopters' immediate goal is to restore customer confidence in the Company and in its ability to support its products. "We will be meeting with our customers and suppliers as soon as possible to restore their confidences in our long-term viability and the solid working relationships we once enjoyed," Schaeken said.

 

MD Helicopters has ignited its supply chain and production line. The company has a backlog of 17 helicopters, including recent orders by the police departments of Houston, Glendale and Columbus and two private owners. MD Helicopters also intends to bid its MD Explorer for the US Army's Light Utility Helicopter program.

 

In light of ongoing product improvements, the product line of MD Helicopters continues to be a favorite with military, law enforcement, commercial and private helicopters worldwide. The addition of the NotarÒ no tail rotor system provides significant operating efficiencies that distinguish the line from those of competitors. After 13 years in service, NotarÒ-equipped helicopters continue to be among the quietest and safest aircraft in operation.

 

"Our association with Patriarch Partners provides assurances to our customers, suppliers and our employees that MD Helicopters will, once again, be a major supplier to the helicopter industry," Schaeken said. "Our new working capital facility and the strength of our investors, provides for all concerned the confidence that MD Helicopters is in the helicopter business to stay."

 

The MD Helicopters family includes the twin-engine MD Explorer®, MD 600N®, and the MD 500® Series, including the MD 520N®, MD 500E® and the MD 530F®.

 

Only MD helicopters feature the NOTAR anti-torque system, which is standard equipment on the MD ExplorerÒ, MD 600NÒ and the MD 520NÒ. NOTARÒ system-equipped aircraft are more quiet and have superior safety records than helicopters with conventional tail rotors.

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