Milestone signs $80 million deal with CHC Helicopter

Milestone Aviation Group has signed a five helicopter sale and leaseback with CHC Helicopter worth $80 million.

The specialist helicopter leasing company is buying two Sikorsky S92s and three Eurocopter AS332L2s serving oil and gas contracts in Denmark, the United Kingdom and the Falkland Islands. The first part of the transaction worth $50 million has closed, with another $30 million expected to close within the next two months. CHC is already operating the aircraft.

“It’s great to have a company like Milestone come into the helicopter-leasing space,” said William Amelio, CHC’s president and chief executive officer. “Global capabilities, creativity and the ability to provide significant amounts of capital make them an important financial partner for CHC.”

The deal is significant for Milestone as it again demonstrate how the world’s largest operators are interested in operating leasing. Milestone has also closed similar transactions with KKR owned Inaer, a Spanish operator, and Lineas Air Taxi in Brazil.

“CHC is one of the pre-eminent helicopter operators in the world and, as such, we are proud to have entered into this partnership,” said Richard Santulli, Milestone chairman.

Milestone has financed one business jet and over 20 helicopters worth $240 million. The company has already signed another $60 million in commitments for deals that will close in 2011.

The helicopter leasing company is now sourcing a significant debt facility to leverage its equity.

Terry Spruce

Terry is Senior News Editor and writes for both Corporate Jet Investor and Helicopter Investor. He is also responsible for our helicopter guides. Terry has been an aviation enthusiast since the early 1970s. He is a lapsed Private Pilot and ex-Piper Cherokee owner. He has flown a number of light aircraft and is comfortable sitting in the co-pilot's seat or the back of any aircraft. Before moving to journalism he was a banker for 20 years. You can contact him at: terry@corporatejetinvestor.com or follow him on twitter @Terry_Spruce

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