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Air Methods to buy helicopter tour co. for $44M

DENVER (AP) -- Emergency air medical transportation company Air Methods Corp. said Friday it is buying Sundance Helicopters Inc., a tour operator based in Las Vegas, for $44 million in cash.

Sundance focuses mostly on Grand Canyon helicopter tours, but also provides helicopters to aid in firefighting, natural resource agency operations, vertical lifts, aerial photography, news gathering, and aerial surveying.

It operates a fleet of 22 helicopters. Sundance had revenue of about $52.3 million in the fiscal year that ended in March.

The deal is expected to close by year-end and to add to earnings per share.

Air Methods shares fell $3.29, or 2.9 percent, to $110.53 in midday trading as the broader markets slipped.