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NEWS

Air Methods agrees to American Securities buy-out US-based HEMS giant Air Methods Corporation announced on 14 March that it had entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by affiliates of private equity firm American Securities LLC. Under the terms of the agreement, affiliates of American Securities will acquire all outstanding shares of Air Methods for $43.00 per share in cash. This represents a 20.4-per-cent premium to Air Methods’ stock price of $35.70 as it stood on 31 January prior to reports published that speculated a buyer was being sought. The transaction, which Air Methods said was unanimously approved by its board of directors, has a total enterprise value of approximately $2.5 billion, including net debt. Aaron Todd, Air Methods CEO, said: “This transaction will enable us to continue to execute against our strategy and strengthen our market position as a global leader in air medical transportation and air tourism.

American Securities offers us a great opportunity to continue to invest and pursue long-term growth with greater operational flexibility, and we look forward to working with such a sophisticated private equity investor. Importantly, patients, employees, customers and partners will continue to benefit as we execute against our strategy.” Air Methods boasts over 300 bases of operations serving 48 states. The company said its strategy to drive long-term growth includes a focus on improving the utilisation of its assets, growing its air medical footprint in underserved markets and increasing the revenue and profitability of its tourism operations. “We are pleased to have reached this agreement, which will deliver certain and immediate cash value and a compelling premium to our stock price prior to press speculation for our shareholders,” said C. David Kikumoto, chairman of the

Air Methods board of directors. “We are confident that today’s announcement represents the best path forward for all of Air Methods’ stakeholders and appreciate the leadership of Morad Tahbaz, the chairman of the finance and strategic planning committee, who led the board through this process.” Marc L. Saiontz, a managing director of American Securities, commented: “We strongly believe in Air Methods’ strategic direction and the opportunities to grow the company’s leading positions in the attractive air medical and air tourism markets. We respect the company’s commitment to providing access to patients in the communities that need it the most, with a focus on quality of care and safety in aviation. We look forward to partnering with the Air Methods team to drive value.” The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the second calendar quarter of 2017.

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Plasma trial results in ‘unexpected survivors’

GNAAS

Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), a UK HEMS charity, has announced that the early results of its trial

A GNAAS team with a plasma transfusion kit

using plasma onboard it helicopters has seen yet more ‘unexpected survivors’. The trial began in May 2016, and a review of

the first five months of data has revealed that the effects have been positive. “We’re delighted to see evidence that using fresh frozen plasma alongside red blood cell transfusions, when stabilising patients with life threatening injuries, has had such a positive impact,” said Dr Rachel Hawes, an experienced GNAAS aircrew doctor and consultant in anaesthesia and prehospital emergency medicine at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary. “Across the first five months of the new trial, we have seen three unexpected survivors, which is fantastic news.” During the trial period, 36 patients were treated with the procedure, something that Hawes says shows ‘how much this new approach has become routine practice’. She added: “We always hoped the balanced transfusion technique would mean more patients arriving at hospital with their bleeding under control and minimal abnormal clotting. What we didn’t expect to see was that these patients then required fewer transfusions in hospital.” GNAAS said that it is planning to build a regional Centre of Medical Excellence to enable more research projects.

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AirMed & Rescue Apr / May 2017  
AirMed & Rescue Apr / May 2017