DUBLIN, IRELAND and MEXICO, D.F. —(Marketwire – September 8, 2011)— Milestone Aviation Group, the first global finance company focused exclusively on the helicopter and private jet markets, announced today the lease to Transportes Aereos Pegaso (Pegaso) of four new Eurocopter EC-145 helicopters. Pegaso, a leading Mexican air transport company and longstanding Eurocopter customer, will use the four helicopters to serve its new long-term contract
with the Mexican Comisión Federal de Electricidad.
The transaction represents Milestone’s first with Pegaso and its first acquisition of new Eurocopter helicopters. The announcement coincides with Eurocopter’s delivery of the third and fourth machines from its manufacturing facility in Donauworth, Germany. A customer of Eurocopter for more than 30 years, Pegaso recently won a multi-year services contract with the Mexican Comisión Federal de Electricidad for eight new EC-145 helicopters. The announcement today covers the first four helicopter deliveries, with a total list price of more than $28 million.
Richard Santulli, Milestone’s Chairman, said, “We are delighted to celebrate our partnership with a first-class operator in Pegaso, as well as our first transaction with Eurocopter, the world’s largest civil helicopter manufacturer. Milestone’s hallmark is doing business creatively and quickly with high-quality operators around the world. This deal is a textbook example of how we do business, taking only six weeks from initial discussions to closing on the helicopters.”
Enrique Zepeda Navarro, Director Ejecutivo of Pegaso, said, “For a business of our size, the smart way to acquire eight new helicopters is a blend of aircraft ownership and leasing to strengthen our return on invested capital and allow us to pursue additional contracts. Fortunately Milestone could act quickly and deliver 100% lease financing on the first four helicopters, which will help us secure superior debt financing terms on the four remaining machines.”
Dieter John, Eurocopter’s CFO, said, “We are pleased to see this first transaction with Milestone come to fruition and believe this type of financing is becoming more important in the way we do business with our traditional commercial partners and for the development of new opportunities in the future. We are already looking forward to other transactions.”
Bill Kelly, Milestone’s CEO, said, “The EC-145 is a great aircraft and a valuable addition to Pegaso’s fleet and Milestone’s portfolio. The deal is our first with Eurocopter and we are excited to start working with this great company. We hope it is the first of many transactions between our two businesses.”
Since launching in August 2010, Milestone has leased over two dozen helicopters and private jets valued at more than $200 million. The company has signed commitments that will push that total to over $300 million by the end of the year.
NOTES TO EDITOR:
About Milestone Aviation Group
Milestone Aviation Group is the first global aircraft leasing company exclusively focused on helicopters and private jets. Milestone’s global aircraft leasing platform addresses the liquidity needs of a transforming marketplace through 100% operating lease financing. Further information is available at www.milestoneaviation.com.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defense and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 17,500 people. In 2010, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s number one helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market with a turnover of 4.8 billion Euros, orders for 346 new helicopters and a 49 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s helicopters account for 33 percent of the total worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. Eurocopter’s strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 30 subsidiaries and participations on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centers. There are currently 11,200 Eurocopter helicopters in service and some 2,900 customers in 147 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.
About Transportes Aereos Pegaso
Pegaso is a privately held company founded in 1981. In 2004, Transportes Aereos Pegaso became the first Mexican aviation company to earn the ISO 9001:2000 certification for quality management. Currently, Pegaso performs more than 42,000 flight operations every year and employs 60 full-time pilots. The company has four bases in Mexico and operates primarily in offshore oil and gas and electricity commission transport for both state-run and private entities.