Perella Weinberg and Hawke Aerospace launch new helicopter leasing venture

Perella Weinberg and Hawke Aerospace launch Infinity Helicopter Leasing.
Uniflight becomes an AgustaWestland authorised service centre for AW119 and GrandNew helicopters

Uniflight becomes an AgustaWestland authorised service centre for AW119 and GrandNew helicopters

Perella Weinberg Partners Asset Based Value Strategy, a unit of Perella Weinberg Partners and Hawke Aerospace Holdings, announce the launch of Infinity Helicopter Leasing, LLC, a new helicopter equipment leasing venture

Infinity Helicopter Leasing will focus primarily on the light and medium helicopters throughout the Western Hemisphere, particularly on-shore operators in the United States and Canada, such as health care organisations, law enforcement agencies and utility operations.

Hawke Aerospace’s maintenance, repair and overhaul subsidiary, Uniflight, and flight services subsidiaries, Keystone Med-Flight and Aviation Services Unlimited, will also be involved with the venture

Infinity Helicopter Leasing and its affiliates acquired four helicopters in December 2013, the company’s first aircraft acquisitions.

David Schiff,  a Partner of Perella Weinberg Partners and Portfolio Manager of the Perella Weinberg Partners Asset Based Value Strategy, said: “We are excited to launch Infinity Helicopter Leasing in partnership with Joe Hawke and his team at Hawke Aerospace. This partnership marks our entry into the rotary-wing class of aircraft and reflects our strategy of launching new businesses with experienced management teams in markets where we see an opportunity to provide unmatched solutions. We look forward to growing Infinity Helicopter Leasing and leveraging our existing infrastructure to meet the increasing market demand in this important niche.”

Joe Hawke, chairman and CEO of Hawke Aerospace and managing director of Infinity Helicopter Leasing said:  “We are excited to be aligned with Perella Weinberg Partners Asset Based Value Strategy and to be working with David and his team. They bring an innovative approach to investing in capital equipment, focusing on the quality of the equipment and the nature of the operation, rather than the more traditional bank lending approach to credit underwriting. This partnership allows us to serve a greater segment of the helicopter industry and grow a significant portfolio of attractive equipment that will foster business development in our target markets.”

Perella Weinberg Partners Asset Based Value Strategy has grown to manage approximately $2.1 billion in equity capital through a number of different investment vehicles.

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CJI View: This is the second time that a Perella Weinberg unit has targeted helicopter leasing. In June 2011 it announced that it would be working with Lobo Leasing however that venture did not work out, mainly because Lobo Leasing was not able to find the returns that Perella Weinberg wanted on the deals that it wanted to do. The fact that Perella Weinberg chose to announce this new venture at the same time as Lobo announced its new venture with Blackstone looks odd, but probably is just a coincidence. It would be a mistake to write off Perella, for the last few years they have been one of the world’s top performing investors.

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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