Plenty of helicopter finance despite oil price
You already know the quote about bankers and umbrellas. It does not apply at the moment.
A barrel of Brent Crude may only be $65. At our London conference Clark McGinn, then of CHC, described it as the Scottish nightmare, when a barrel of oil costs less than a bottle of whisky (he clearly only drinks decent malts). But there has been a rush of capital to support oil and gas companies.
Helicopter operators supplying oil and gas companies have also got lots of options. Lessors are keen to grow and banks have capital.
This means that lease rates are still low. Chris Bradshaw, president, chief executive officer and chief financial officer of Era (with three jobs, surely the hardest working man in helicopters) says that they can no longer compete with new style lessors on vanilla deals.
“Operators are understandably examining their capital structures and there are opportunities for both leasing companies and debt provider”
Bill Wolf, president and CEO of Lobo Leasing, says they are seeing lots of opportunities as operators look at their capital structure, but they are also having to compete with lessors that are willing to place speculative orders at low rates rather than have idle aircraft.
“Operators are understandably examining their capital structures and there are opportunities for both leasing companies and debt providers,” says Wolf. “But there are too many aircraft being delivered and operators and leasing companies are having to find homes for them.”
Wolf says that while Lobo is helping manufacturers and operators with sale and leasebacks it still has no plans to place speculative orders. “We don’t have any naked aircraft which is an advantage at the moment.”