Waypoint Leasing acquires 31 helicopters from First Reserve

Waypoint Leasing will surpass $1 billion of assets as the company acquires 31 helicopters from First Reserve, the largest global private equity and infrastructure investment firm exclusively focused on energy.

First Reserve’s portfolio includes 18 AgustaWestland AW139s, 11 Sikorsky S-92s and two Sikorsky S76C++ aircraft models.

ALSO READ: Waypoint Leasing surpasses $500 million in assets

All aircraft are subject to long-term lease agreements with the CHC Group, in support of global oil and gas and search and rescue operations.

Waypoint has also secured a $75 million increase in the equity commitment from its primary sponsors – funds affiliated with MSD Capital, L.P., Soros Fund Management LLC, and Cartesian Capital Group. The increase raises the sponsors’ equity commitment to a total of $450 million.

Through this acquisition, Waypoint will increase its current fleet to 80 aircraft, valued at more than $1 billion. The fleet are on lease in 20 countries serving EMS, oil & gas, search & rescue, firefighting and other commitments.

Additionally, Waypoint has firm and option orders with aircraft manufacturers for additional helicopters valued at more than $1 billion at list prices, to be delivered over the next five years.

Ed Washecka, CEO of Waypoint, says: “This is an exciting transaction for Waypoint, acquiring such high quality aircraft that are on lease with a valued partner in CHC.”

“After only 18 months in operation, Waypoint has achieved significant scale, surpassing $1 billion in assets with a growing, broad global customer base, while remaining diversified across all four OEMs. Additionally, we are delighted to receive a further $75 million commitment from our equity sponsors, underpinning our continued growth strategy and reaffirming their conviction in our long-term prospects,” adds Washecka.

Alan Jenkins, CFO of Waypoint, says: “As part of the transaction, we will also take on very attractive debt financing to support the funding of the acquisition, enabling Waypoint to continue to diversify our financing sources. Furthermore, the additional equity commitment from our investors will support our continued fleet growth and ability to deliver industry-leading service to our customers.”

The acquisition of the 31 aircraft is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014.

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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