Business Irish

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Omega Aviation expects to secure funding deal this year

Ulick McEvaddy
Ulick McEvaddy
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Ulick and Desmond McEvaddy's Omega Aviation company has returned to the black, posting a €217,000 pre-tax profit in 2015, compared to a €1.7m loss the year before.

Omega sells aircraft spares and overhauls engines, primarily from a base in Shannon and one in the US.

A connected US firm, Omega Aerial Refuelling Services, provides in-flight refuelling services for the US armed forces and other military around the world. Those business activities are not included in the Irish company's performance, however.

Omega Aviation said that its turnover - which it did not disclose - "increased significantly" in 2015 due to an increase in leased flight hours.

Its subsidiaries also include units involved in property investment, management, and medical centre activities.

Despite returning to profitability, Omega still had a deficit of €9m in shareholder funds at the end of the year.

The company has remained in talks with third-party investors to secure funding, with the McEvaddy brothers indicating in the accounts that have just been filed with the Companies Registration Office that an agreement is likely to be reached this year.

Ulick McEvaddy - a former Army officer - declined to comment on either the financial performance of the company or the negotiations with third parties when contacted by the Irish Independent.

The significant shareholder deficit has again prompted Omega's auditor to warn that the company's financial position cast a "material uncertainty" on whether the company can continue as a going concern.

"The company is currently in the process of negotiating with third-party investors to avail of funding which is expected to address the ongoing cashflow and historical financial issues which have been the cause of many of the recent financial period losses," the accounts note.

"This new arrangement would continue the company's work in addressing the accumulated losses, giving rise to the shareholders' deficit, and improve financial resources for the company going forward."

The directors stated that at the time of signing the 2015 accounts, on January 6 this year, negotiations were continuing.

"However, the directors are of the opinion that a result beneficial to all parties would be completed in 2017," they note.

At the end of 2015, another connected US firm, Omega Air Inc and Bacchus Aviation, a trade supplier, owed a unit of US private equity giant Lone Star a total of $9.7m (€9m).

Omega Aviation has assigned to the Lone Star vehicle all of its rights, title and interest in and to aircraft agreements with Omega Air Inc and Bacchus Aviation.

The Lone Star unit acquired the loans in 2013 from Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo Irish Bank.

Omega Aerial Refuelling Services, based in San Antonio, Texas, has a deep relationship with the US military and has also provided services to other air forces.

In 2015, the US Navy completed the first ever in-flight refuelling of a drone, using an Omega Air Boeing 707 tanker.

The drone, called "Salty Dog 502", is the size of an F/A-18 Super Hornet jet fighter and weighs 20 tonnes.

The test saw the drone track the tanker from almost two kilometres away using optical sensors and a video camera as it made an approach to within six metres of the Omega tanker over the coast of Maryland.

The drone took on 1,360 kg of fuel in five minutes.

Irish Independent

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