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[$$] Helicopter Company PHI Faces Off With Bondholders

The air transportation provider to the medical and oil-and-gas industries filed for chapter 11 last Thursday, a day before $500 million in unsecured bonds came due. Judge Harlin DeWayne Hale in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Dallas gave interim approval to several motions often considered routine, but the debut hearing, which began on Monday afternoon and carried over to Tuesday morning, was marked by company lawyers arguing with bondholders’ representatives about PHI’s financing and what the investors believe is the undue influence of a key shareholder. One is the September 2018 replacement of a $130 million asset-backed loan from Whitney Bank with a secured term loan provided by controlling shareholder and PHI Chief Executive Al Gonsoulin.