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UK regulator asks CHC Group to sell helicopter services unit bought from Babcock

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(Reuters) -Britain's competition watchdog on Wednesday ordered CHC Group to sell the helicopter services business it bought from Babcock International Group.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it found that CHC and Babcock were two of just four suppliers of oil and gas offshore helicopter services in the UK.

CHC completed its purchase of Babcock's oil and gas aviation business in September for 10 million pounds ($12.59 million).

"Offshore oil and gas are important industries for the UK, and helicopter companies play a vital role in transporting workers safely to and from oil rigs," Kip Meek, chair of the CMA inquiry group, said.

The regulator asked CHC to sell the helicopter business to ensure four competitors remain in the market.

CHC said it was "disappointed" by the CMA's decision and would be analysing the final report before deciding on the next course of action.

"CMA has fundamentally failed to understand the vital need for consolidation in what is a highly challenging market environment," CHC said.

($1 = 0.7943 pounds)

(Reporting by Muhammed Husain and Sinchita Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Shounak Dasgupta)

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