30 July 2013
Milestone Aviation Group has announced that it has secured a new $300 million credit facility that will enable the company to acquire and lease helicopters valued at US$400 million to affiliates of Bristow Group. The assets include the Sikorsky S-92, Eurocopter EC225 and AgustaWestland AW189 and AW139 aircraft.
Lloyds Bank acting through its Corporate Asset Finance division was the mandated lead arranger and facility agent while Lombard, the dedicated asset finance arm of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, and Barclays Bank served as original lenders for the credit facility.
Richard Santulli, chairman and CEO, Milestone, said: ’We are delighted to have closed this innovative, single lessee transaction with Lloyds, Barclays and Lombard. We structured this transaction with Bristow and worked together to bring it to completion. The proceeds will allow us to continue to support Bristow and grow this important relationship while diversifying our sources of capital.’
Milestone’s capital strategy is focused on developing diverse sources of funding to conservatively grow its business and best meet the needs of the helicopter community. The company has over $500 million in equity capital and has raised $1.8 billion in debt commitments from leading banks in North America, Europe and Asia as well as insurance companies and the US capital markets.
The news of the credit facility follows the announcement that the company is supporting the growth of helicopter services provider, Blueway Offshore Norge, by financing the delivery of a Eurocopter EC225 to the company for change missions to offshore oil and gas platforms in the North Sea.
Milestone leases EC225 helicopters to a number of operators throughout Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Norway and the UK.