Dillingham village corp. acquires majority stake in Bristol Alliance cos.

Bristol Bay Native Corp. announced June 26 that it has sold off a majority interest in a large group of its subsidiaries, but not only are those companies staying in Alaska, they are staying in the Bristol Bay region as well.

A controlling share of the large group of Bristol Alliance companies was purchased by Choggiung Ltd., the village corporation for Dillingham, in what company leaders believe is a first-of-its-kind deal between a regional and village Alaska Native corporation.

The Bristol Alliance companies are a group of eight construction, environmental and business support service companies based in Anchorage that are heavily involved in federal contracting, a common industry among Alaska Native corporation subsidiaries.

BBNC will retain a minority interest in the Bristol companies, according to a press release from the regional corporation.

“We are thrilled to see Bristol Bay village corporations like Choggiung gaining ground in the federal contracting arena,” BBNC CEO Jason Metrokin said in a formal statement. “We are confident the Bristol Alliance of companies have a bright future ahead under Choggiung’s leadership. BBNC looks forward to continuing to identify unique economic development opportunities in Bristol Bay.”

Choggiung Ltd. President Cameron Poindexter said in a brief interview that the transaction gives his corporation the opportunity to provide additional benefits to its more than 2,100 Alaska Native shareholders.

“This acquisition presents an extraordinary opportunity for Choggiung to grow its capabilities and build its financial strength,” Poindexter said.

Beyond the basic benefit of providing potentially larger dividends, the Bristol Alliance partnership will help Choggiung provide more job opportunities, workforce training and development assistance and increased scholarship support to its shareholders, according to Poindexter.

It will also grow Choggiung’s current workforce of about 90 by more than 250 employees, he added.

Poindexter and Metrokin both thanked the federal Small Business Administration for helping complete the deal. The SBA had to approve the deal because two of the Bristol Alliance companies — Bristol Prime Contractors and Bristol Site Contractors — are currently participating in the agency’s 8(a) federal contracting program for small businesses owned by minorities or individuals coming from an economically or socially disadvantaged situation.

The government’s broader goal is to award at least 5 percent of all federal contracting dollars to 8(a) eligible companies each year.

The SBA approved the deal June 20 and it is expected to close July 31, according to BBNC.

Metrokin said further that the sale was born in part out of BBNC’s In-Region Government Contracting Initiative, which the regional corporation started in 2014 to offer area village corporations mentorship, training and joint-venture opportunities in the federal contracting realm. Choggiung participates in the initiative.

“This historic partnership demonstrates the potential value the In-Region Government Contracting Initiative can bring to Bristol Bay village corporations. Choggiung has worked hard to get to this point, and BBNC hopes to continue to find more opportunities with village corporations across Bristol Bay through the IGC program,” he said.

Elwood Brehmer can be reached at [email protected].

06/29/2018 - 1:09pm