Air Methods exits bankruptcy with $1.7 billion less debt

Adds details on debt, reorganization and background in paragraphs 2-6

Dec 28 (Reuters) - Air Methods, a private equity-owned medical helicopter company, said on Thursday it has emerged from bankruptcy nearly two months after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The restructuring process cut about $1.7 billion of the company's debt, Air Methods said. The firm entered bankruptcy with debt of about $2.24 billion.

The business had suffered due to rising interest rates, higher labor costs and a recent U.S. ban on "surprise" medical bills, which are typically sent to patients who unwittingly receive transportation services or treatment from an out-of-network provider, despite visiting a hospital or other medical facility that is in-network for their insurance.

Lenders and noteholders of the company now own Air Methods, according to the terms of the reorganization. Some of the new owners are injecting about $185 million into the company, Air Methods said.

The company provides air medical services through its fleet of 365 medical helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

Air Methods was acquired by private equity firm American Securities in 2017.

(Reporting by Sriparna Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)


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