NewStar Financial and Lobo Leasing finance RLC
Lobo Leasing and Newstar Financial have jointly closed two separate deals for RLC. Lobo Leasing signed sale and leasebacks on nine Bell 407s and Bell 206L-4s helicopters. Newstar Financial arranged a $12 million loan secured by 20 other helicopters.
GSO Capital, part of The Blackstone Group, is an investor in both Newstar and Lobo and introduced the two companies when Newstar started talking with RLC (Lobo, of course, already knew the company).
“Since the oil price fell there has been a tremendous effort by operators exposed to this market to evaluate and strengthen their capital structure,” says Bill Wolf, president and CEO of Lobo Leasing. “Leasing can be a very powerful tool but it is not the only answer. We think we can offer real value to operators by partnering with other capital providers to provide a range of solutions. It was great to work with another GSO family partner and we would also be keen to work with other lenders in other markets.”
The US is not a key market for Lobo and this is its first US deal. It now has helicopters on lease in six countries.
“Working with the NewStar and Lobo team has been a very positive experience,” said Dru Milke, president and CEO of RLC in a press release. “These transactions allowed RLC to complete the desired blend of owned and leased aircraft in our fleet, while continuing to strengthen our balance sheet”
Launched in June 2004, it focuses on US deals and trades on NASDAQ as NEWS (which must have annoyed Rupert Murdoch when he split News Corp). Newstar has financed medical helicopters and some commercial fixed wing aircraft.