to ONI personnel or companies in one way and
Petroleum Helicopters Inc. Enters
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy March 15, 2019
Unable to pay off $500 million in debt that
came due, Lafayette-based helicopter services company
PHI Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a
Texas court. Click HERE to read article
Petroleum Helicopters Inc.
Chapter 11 Debt Restructuring September 04, 2019
PHI, Inc. Successfully
Completes Chapter 11 Debt Restructuring. PHI and Its
Principal U.S. Subsidiaries Are Now Well Positioned for
Long-Term Success with a More Sustainable Debt Structure
and Strengthened Balance Sheet. Click
HERE to read article.
Changing Times, Technology
Sealed Offshore Navigation's Fate January 23, 1995
Strategic planning; Southwest; Executives;
Engineering firms; Divestiture; Business
||ISSN: 0279-4527; Vol. 15
No. 29; p. 6
times, technology sealed Offshore Navigation's
George Roussel knew things
were bad at Offshore Navigation Inc. (ONI) when
he returned to the company from retirement last
September to help salvage the troubled business.
.After two years of mounting losses, the
offshore radio positioning company found itself
in a rapidly shrinking market with few
opportunities to replace shriveling revenues.
Last September, ONI executives
launched a new strategic business plan. In
October they began laying off about half the
company's 100 workers, in hopes of breathing new
life into the 49-year-old firm.But by the end of
the year it was apparent that things were too
far gone. That's when ONI's board of directors
decided to sell off the company's assets,
including its headquarters and warehouse
facility at 5728 Jefferson Highway.
The sale of the public company
is not expected to affect ONI's sister company,
Petroleum Helicopters Inc., which shares offices
with the smaller firm. The companies also share
a board chairwoman, Carrol Suggs, whose husband
was a founder of both businesses.
Market analyst G. Bryan Dutt,
with Howard, Weil, Labouisse, Friedrichs Inc. of
New Orleans, says the decision by ONI officials
to sell the company seems to be the right move
considering market conditions."It's a small
operation and its stock is completely illiquid,"
he says. Roussel says he and other members of
the company's board believed conditions would
only worsen if they delayed what appeared to be
ONI's inevitable fate. "We decided to go ahead
and sell now while we still had something to
sell ... Our business has just disappeared, and
efforts to replace it with new business have not
However, the road to that
decision was not an easy one. Until the 11th
hour, company officials held out hope that they
would find some way to save the business. ONI's
problems are rooted in advancing technology and
a constricting market, says Roussel. For years,
ONI prospered because it offered customers,
mostly oil and gas companies, high-tech
positioning, mapping and surveying services. The
company got its start in 1946, using World War
II radar equipment it bought from the U.S.
military to provide precise positioning for
offshore drilling projects.
As technology improved, so did
ONI's arsenal of equipment. In the early 1980s,
at the peak of domestic oil drilling, ONI
employed more than 200 workers who utilized the
latest in satellite positioning systems to
locate targets, to within meters, anywhere on
the globe. Roussel says business started
to slow in the mid-1980s as drilling activity
tapered and oil companies began to merge.
It was through mergers, he
says, that ONI lost many of its customers --
larger companies that bought up smaller
companies often provided their own positioning
services in-house. Roussel believes the market
will tighten even more in the coming year after
the U.S. Coast Guard begins offering satellite
navigation signals throughout the Gulf Coast.
Although the primary purpose of those signals
will be to improve maritime safety, Roussel says
anyone willing to invest in a receiver will be
able to use the broadcast to locate geographic
ONI's 1992 fiscal year marked
the beginning of a rapid decline for the
company. Over a two-year period, revenues fell a
staggering 59 percent, from $14.9 million in
1992 to just $62 million in 1994. In 1993 the
company lost $1.9 million, and in 1994 it lost
2.9 million. ONI tried to diversify its
services to bring in new revenues. One of the
more successful additions was a new land survey
service for geophysical operations. "We've done
fairly well with it," Roussel says, "but it's
not owing as fast as other businesses are
ONI has entered a wind-down
phase. In coming months, company officials will
peddle nearly 6 million of equipment and other
assets, which include offices in Houston,
Australia, Norway, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Roussel says sales of all assets may take as
long as six months.
Copyright New Orleans
Publishing Group Inc. Jan 23, 1995
©1995 UMI Company; All
Rights Reserved. Only fair use, as provided by
the United States copyright law, is permitted.
UMI Company makes no warranty regarding the
accuracy, completeness or timelines of the
Publications or the records they contain, or
any warranty, express or implied, including
any warranty of merchantability or fitness for
a particular purpose, and shall not be liable
for damages of any kind or lost profits or
other claims related to them or their use.
Portions of above
Copyright © 1997-2001, Northern Light Technology
Inc. All rights reserved.
The Story of
A 16-year-old boy picked up the
Baltimore telephone directory and looked for the
name of someone, anyone, who lived within walking
distance of his home. Finding such a name, he
lifted the telephone receiver and dialed.
"Hello," answered a voice.
"Hello. I understand you have a radio that needs
to be fixed," the boy said.
"Well yes, I do have a broken radio …"
"I'll be right over."
Click. The boy hung up without giving the voice a
chance to say no.
Charles Hastings had landed himself another
To read the rest of The
Story of Hastings-Raydist click HERE
Since the spring of 2018, PHI has been working
closely with our advisors to address the company’s
matured debt, strengthen our balance sheet, grow our
global position, and protect our future. After a
careful review of all strategic options, on March
14, 2019, PHI’s principal US entities took action to
best position the company for continued success by
filing for voluntary Chapter 11 protection in the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of
Texas. We are confident that this filing is the best
option to achieve our goals and secure a timely and
efficient resolution to protect our future.
Due to the nature of our debt structure, the
Chapter 11 filing only includes PHI’s US entities,
not our international entities. All of our business
units and services – whether included in the filing
or not – are operating as usual, including
maintaining necessary supply levels and fleet
maintenance procedures, and providing the same safe,
high-quality service that our customers know and
expect from us. This filing is also not about PHI’s
liquidity as a company – we have enough cash on hand
to continue operating business as usual and meet all
of our commitments to our stakeholders.
We are proud of the values that guide our work and
ensure the safety of our people and our customers.
We are resolute in our commitment to not only
uphold, but to purposefully ensure that our Core
Values of Safety, Quality, Efficiency and Customer
Service will remain our top priority throughout this
process. Nothing about the announcement changes our
commitment to supporting our people, our operations,
and our customers.
We are confident that we will complete this process
as a stronger company and business partner, with a
more sustainable debt structure to underpin our
long-term success well into the future. Thank you
for your continued trust and partnership in PHI.
Who recalls ONI
Mobile Op, Richard Meuller? DT: I worked with him and we
got on well. He was very friendly, always well dressed
and smartly turned out, and even then favored the
high-life. He offered to show me round Berlin at the end
of the job, but as things turned out I was sent on
another project and we never met again. Who knows, maybe
I would have become a multi-millionaire too. There
again, being British rather than German, I would
probably have ended up in the slammer, or the
run! I had completely forgotten about
Richard until Hans Karlsson sent me this report from the
US News & World Report for July 31st 1989
after a one day trial, Richard Mueller stood
in a West German federal court in Lubeck
awaiting sentence. Mueller been found guilty
of shipping $14 million worth of militarily
sensitive (mostly American) equipment to the
Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies, in
violation of an embargo agreed upon by the
United States and its principal allies,
including the Federal Republic of Germany. Mueller had supplied
the Soviet military with advanced Western
technology it could not purchase legally. At
his trial, Mueller had lied and said he had
not known there were any military
applications for the equipment he had sold.
That he had arranged
illegal sales through phony front companies
in a dozen or more countries was undeniable.
Computers seized by Swedish authorities in
1983 had been sold to fronts in South Africa
and then shipped to West Germany before they
were intercepted in Sweden on their illicit
way to the Soviet Union. Mueller's
activities did grave harm to the security of
the United States and its allies by
increasing the technical sophistication of
Soviet weapons, which, as a result, are
increasingly costly for the West to counter.
The microprocessors the Soviets now produce
on production lines supplied by Mueller can
be found in Soviet cruise missiles, advanced
munitions and antisubmarine equipment. The
Soviet Union's ability to develop reliable
military command-and-control networks owes
much to Mueller's highly profitable
A fugitive since he
was first indicted in 1979, Mueller started
selling embargoed technology when Leonid
Brezhnev ruled the Soviet Union. When he
finally was brought to trial, a member of
the Bundestag, the West German parliament,
and a founding member of the Greens Party
defended him. There wasn't, a murmur of
criticism in or out of the Bundestag. The
German press, too, was silent.
might have expected that, as he faced the
panel of judges and waited to hear his
sentence, Mueller would have been grim,
But he was
smiling. Under German law, the illegal sale
of military equipment to the Soviets is
almost always a misdemeanor. Though his
crimes took place over many years and
involved dozens of transactions, they were
lumped together by the prosecutor into a
single "first offense." Because it was a
"first offense" and only a misdemeanor, the
German government prosecutor did not request
imprisonment. He didn't, even ask for a fine
equal to Mueller's vast spoils. Instead, he
asked for a suspended sentence and a fine of
$750,000, insignificant to a
multimillionaire who maintains a vast estate
near Hamburg and has extensive landholdings
in South Africa. Mueller walked out of the
courtroom a free man.
almost cavalier, attitude of the German
government toward Mueller undoubtedly
reflects the fact that it is the United
States, not Germany, that pays to maintain
the West's defenses. With only 3 percent of
its gross national product going to defense
- half the US level - Germany has been
content to let me the US defend Europe while
it winks at its citizens who grow rich
strengthening the Warsaw Pact and other
potential adversaries. In fact, German law
encourages officials to be unduly cautious
in pursuing those suspected of illegally
exporting sensitive technology. If a German
official interferes with a shipment on the
basis of intelligence information that
subsequently proves to be wrong, he can be
held personally liable for damages.
And a Wall Street Journal
report from February 1984
Cutting from a Rio bar's promotional flyer. It features
- good looking guy on the left - ONI's head of North Sea
Navigation in Oslo, along with the Kristiansund and
Haugesund offices/workshops - Odmund Fargenes. How come?
one wonders. Well, maybe he was their best customer
(although he is reported as being "not much of a
drinker"), so possibly he was the best looking guy in
the place at the time, or perhaps he owned it!
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