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23 February 2010

Mott MacDonald-advised consortium celebrates Search and Rescue Helicopter bid success

Mott MacDonald’s technical advisory team is celebrating after the CHC-led Soteria consortium, also comprising Thales UK, Royal Bank of Scotland and Sikorsky was appointed Preferred Bidder for the (circa) £6 billion Search and Rescue – Helicopter (SAR-H) PPP/PFI project.

Global management, engineering and development consultancy Mott MacDonald has been acting as Independent Technical Adviser to the consortium since early 2009, supporting the prospective Lenders who will be funding the project throughout a competitive dialogue process.

Soteria was appointed as Preferred Bidder for the 25-year commission to provide a complete search and rescue service for the UK to replace the existing Royal Navy and RAF Sea King helicopters, which are approaching the end of their useful service life.

As part of the process, Mott MacDonald has evaluated the complex technical, commercial and financial aspects of the deal, which will include the acquisition of 24 new Sikorsky S-92 helicopters and the provision of the aircrew, engineers and logistics needed to operate, maintain and support them through life, as well as aircrew and engineer training and new or refurbished infrastructure.

Majid Haquani, Mott MacDonald’s project director who led the consultancy’s technical advisory team said, "This is a major achievement for what is by no means a typical PPP/PFI project. The successful procurement and operation of the search and rescue helicopters, a fundamental service for the UK, and the associated costs of replacing the existing SAR-H fleet and infrastructure has required an extremely robust due diligence process. We’re delighted that Mott MacDonald’s technical advisory expertise has been able to contribute to such an important project."

David Rae, Soteria’s Bid Director added, "Mott MacDonald’s support has proved invaluable in getting the Lenders to understand the complexities and risks of this project. We look forward to working with Mott MacDonald and the Lenders to bring the project through to financial close later this year, and to deliver the UK’s search and rescue helicopter service beyond that."


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