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A CHC helicopter is about to touch down at a Statoil platform in the Norwegian North Sea


Flight simulator and training company CAE Inc. will train CHC Helicopter Corp. pilots and maintenance engineers after agreeing to acquire the oil and gas industry transportation company's training operations and its four simulators.

The Montreal-based company will train more than 2,000 people on the simulators, two of which are located in Norway, one in Britain and one in Vancouver.

Financial terms of the agreement were not provided.

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CHC Helicopter president and chief executive officer William Amelio said the agreement will allow the Vancouver-based company to focus on its core business of providing helicopter services while ensuring safety through training.

CAE president Marc Parent said it has provided CHC Helicopter with an "innovative and flexible solution" that fits its business model.

"CHC will be able to increase efficiencies and gain access to CAE's global training network," he said.

Cameron Doerksen of National Bank Financial sees the agreement as positive for CAE.

"Although the acquisition is not material from a financial point of view, we do see it as strategically positive for CAE as it adds to its presence in the helicopter training segment, which we believe has strong growth possibilities," he wrote in a report.

He said it helps CAE expand the helicopter training market as a focus growth area and accelerates its involvement in the lucrative offshore oil and gas segment.

The agreement also attracts a global leader as a long-term customer and a solid revenue stream.

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Mr. Doerksen said he believes the acquisition will add about $15-million in revenue per year to CAE, which should boost its total commercial training segment revenue to $478-million this fiscal year.

CAE operates 150 civil aviation simulators around the world, including helicopter devices in Dubai, Europe, North America and India, and will soon be in Mexico as well. CAE also operates military helicopter training centres in the U.K. and Germany and offers training on military helicopters in Italy and India. CHC Helicopter is a global leader in the offshore oil and gas industry, operating about 270 aircraft in more than 30 countries around the world. It also provides civilian search and rescue services and its subsidiary, Heli-One, provides maintenance services.

CAE is the world's largest simulator manufacturers and training providers. It has more than 7,000 employees and annual revenues exceeding $1.5-billion.

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