Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)


3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2019
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Fleet. The Company’s unfunded capital commitments as of March 31, 2019 consisted primarily of agreements to purchase helicopters and totaled $80.1 million, which is payable beginning in 2019 through 2020. The Company also had $1.3 million of deposits paid on options not yet exercised. All of the Company’s capital commitments (inclusive of deposits paid on options not yet exercised) may be terminated without further liability other than aggregate liquidated damages of $2.1 million.
Included in these commitments are orders to purchase three AW189 heavy helicopters and five AW169 light twin helicopters. The AW189 helicopters are scheduled to be delivered in 2020. Delivery dates for the AW169 helicopters have yet to be determined. In addition, the Company had outstanding options to purchase up to ten additional AW189 helicopters. If these options are exercised, the helicopters would be scheduled for delivery in 2020 and 2021.
Brazilian Tax Disputes. In connection with its ownership of Aeróleo and its operations in Brazil, the Company has several ongoing legal disputes related to the local, municipal and federal taxation requirements in Brazil, including assessments associated with the import and re-export of its helicopters in Brazil. The legal disputes are related to: (i) municipal tax assessments arising under the authorities in Rio de Janeiro (for the period between 2000 and 2005) and Macaé (for the period between 2001 to 2006) (collectively, the “Municipal Tax Disputes”); (ii) social security contributions that one of its customers was required to remit from 1995 to 1998; (iii) penalties assessed due to its alleged failure to comply with certain deadlines related to the helicopters the Company imports and exports in and out of Brazil; and (iv) fines sought by taxing authorities in Brazil related to its use of certain tax credits used to offset certain social tax liabilities (collectively, the “Tax Disputes”).
The aggregate amount at issue for the Tax Disputes is $14.8 million. The Municipal Tax Disputes are the largest contributor to the total amount being sought from Aeróleo, with approximately $10.4 million at issue.
In addition to the foregoing Tax Disputes (and unrelated thereto), Aeróleo is engaged in two additional civil litigation matters relating to: (i) a dispute with its former tax consultant who has alleged that $0.5 million is due and payable as a contingency fee related to execution of certain tax strategies; and (ii) a fatal accident that occurred in 1983 that was previously settled with the plaintiffs’ in the U.S. (the “Civil Disputes”). With respect to the fatal accident, the plaintiffs are seeking to collect additional amounts in Brazil despite the previous settlement agreed upon by the parties in the U.S.
The Company continues to evaluate and assess various legal strategies for each of the Tax Disputes and the Civil Disputes. As is customary for certain legal matters in Brazil, Aeróleo has already deposited amounts as security into an escrow account to pursue further legal appeals in several of the Tax Disputes and the Civil Disputes. As of March 31, 2019, the Company has deposited $5.4 million into escrow accounts controlled by the court with respect to the Tax Disputes and the Civil Disputes, and the Company has fully reserved such amounts subject to final determination and the judicial release of such escrow deposits. These estimates are based on its assessment of the nature of these matters, their progress toward resolution, the advice of legal counsel and outside experts as well as management’s intentions and experience. Aeróleo plans to defend the cases vigorously. As of March 31, 2019, it is not possible to determine the outcome of the Tax Disputes or the Civil Disputes, but the Company does not expect that an outcome would have a material adverse effect on its business, financial position or results of operations.
General Litigation and Disputes
In the normal course of business, the Company is involved in various litigation matters including, among other things, claims by third parties for alleged property damages and personal injuries. In addition, from time to time, the Company is involved in tax and other disputes with various government agencies. Management has used estimates in determining the Company’s potential exposure to these matters and has recorded reserves in its financial statements related thereto as appropriate. It is possible that a change in its estimates related to these exposures could occur, but the Company does not expect such changes in estimated costs would have a material effect on its business, consolidated financial position or results of operations.