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Rocky Mountain Helicopters Inc. is going public.

The company announced Friday that it has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue 1.5 million shares of stock to the public. It is anticipated that stock will sell for between $8.50 and $9.50 per share.Price as high as $9.50 per share

At $9.50 per share the company could raise as much as $14.25 million. The stock will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange as "RMHI."

The Provo-based company is one of the largest providers of helicopter support services in the United States and is the industry leader in providing aeromedical transport services to hospitals and regional ambulance authorities. It also has support facilities in Greenville, S.C., and Rialto, Calif.

85 helicopters and 20 planes

It operates a fleet of 105 aircraft, including 85 helicopters and 20 fixed-wing aircraft. At fiscal year-end in April 1990, the company posted a net income of $2.6 million.

Rocky Mountain Helicopters will join four other Utah companies that have publicly traded stock: Geneva Steel, Questar, American Stores and Smith's.

Proceeds of the stock offering will be used to repay some of the company's long-term debt and to reduce debt on its line of credit at three commercial banks.

Company needs more helicopters

With existing debt reduced, Rocky Mountain Helicopters will be able to borrow funds for other general corporate purposes, including acquisitions of additional aircraft.

According to the company's prospectus, it needs to add more helicopters to keep pace with growth.

1.5 million shares for sale

The company will offer 1.2 million shares for sale and stockholders will offer 300,000 shares.

There are 25 principal stockholders in the company at the present, with control of a total of 2.6 million shares of stock. The top four stockholders are James B. Burr, Robert C. Burr, Heidi M. Smith and Arcadian Capital Inc., which is owned by James F. Hauenstein. Each of these stockholders plans to sell some shares.

James B. Burr, founder and president of Rocky Mountain Helicopter, currently holds a 47.6 percent interest in the company and will retain a 27.8 percent interest after selling much of his stock.

Current officers will retain 53.7 percent

As a group, the company's officers and directors will control approximately 53.7 percent of the overall voting power of the company's outstanding common stock and will thus be able to retain control over most matters submitted to stockholders for approval.

The firm of Blunt, Ellis & Loewi is underwriting the offering.