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Air Tindi sold

David Ryan
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 22/06) - Santa flew into Yellowknife a few days early for one aviation company.

On Tuesday, Air Tindi finalized its private deal with Discovery Air.

The principal owners of Air Tindi officially sold their stake in the company for $20 million in cash and $20 million in shares.
NNSL Photo/graphic

David Taylor, president and chief executive officer of Discovery Air, dressed the part as he showed up in Yellowknife to tuck $40 million in the stockings of Air Tindi's principals, officially making the Yk airline a wholly-owned subsidiary of Discovery. - David Ryan/NNSL photo

The Northern aviation company now becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Discovery Air, said Peter Arychuk, vice-president of customer service for Air Tindi.

"It's done, it's sold," he said.

Air Tindi will continue to operate under the same management team and none of the company's 160 full-time employees will lose their jobs, he said.

The initial deal between the two companies was struck in June. Since then, Discovery Air has raised $28.7 million to help fund the purchase.

Arychuk hopes that Tindi can continue to stretch its Northern wings by becoming part of Discovery Air.

"We can take advantage of synergies that come with being part of a larger company," he said.

Acquiring Air Tindi's 24 aircraft will help Discovery Air make strides in the North, said president and chief executive officer David Taylor, who donned a Santa suit during the official announcement.

"The (Arychuk) family built Air Tindi into a profitable, well positioned Northern company," he said.

Discovery Air has already purchased one new plane for Air Tindi and has four new helicopters on the way to Great Slave Helicopters, its other recent Northern acquisition.

"We are trying to make this a win, win, win situation," he said.

In June, Discovery Air acquired Great Slave Helicopters for $120 million in cash and stock.

Since becoming involved in the aviation industry last year, Discovery Air has made $7.7 million in profits, said Taylor.

With 90 per cent of the Discovery Air's assets situated in the North, Taylor said the company will continue to look for potential aviation businesses to purchase.

"We're continuing to grow and it's only going to create more jobs," he added.