Erickson Inc. (NASDAQ: EAC) Taps Debt Specialist as CFO

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Erickson Inc. (NASDAQ: EAC) has announced that David W. Lancelot will be joining its management team as CFO. He will take over from the outgoing CFO, Eric K. Struik. But EAC made sure to mention in a press release that it was hiring a debt financing and restructuring specialist in Lancelot.

For perspective, Erickson Inc. (NASDAQ: EAC)’s balance sheet reflected total debt of more than $475 million at the end of the latest quarter. The company’s total debt ballooned from slightly more than $469 million in the prior quarter and increased sharply from $125 million a year ago.

By hiring Lancelot, whom it praises as a debt expert, Erickson Inc. (NASDAQ: EAC) has effectively heightened concerned about its leveraged balance sheet. The question investors should be asking at this juncture is whether Lancelot is the answer that EAC needs to strengthen its financial position.

Outgoing CFO to stay around

First, Lancelot is not taking the CFO seat immediately. His appointment will be effective from June 13. EAC also said that the ongoing CFO Struik will stay around to help with a smooth transition. That sounds impressive.

Much expectation from the new CFO at Erickson Inc. (NASDAQ: EAC)

The fashion in which Erickson Inc. (NASDAQ: EAC) highlighted the profile of Lancelot in a press release left no doubt about the huge expectation the company has on him. For example, CEO, Jeff Roberts, is an airline finance veteran who is bringing extensive experience in aviation industry in the company. As such, EAC is expecting Lancelot to help it to positively transform its business.

The transformation aspect appears to be based on Lancelot’s track record as a turnaround specialist.

The mandate

At Erickson Inc. (NASDAQ: EAC), Lancelot will be responsible for the company’s financial functions that range from financial reporting to budgeting to forecasting.

What’s Lancelot’s CV?

According to Erickson Inc. (NASDAQ: EAC), Lancelot was recently the CEO of Outdoor Reservation Management. At some point he was the president of Enerjet LTD and he also served as VP and CFO of Spirit Airlines. Lancelot has also helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars for various companies he worked for through debt, equity and other arrangements.

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