Ex-Im Bank approves financing for US helicopters to Latin America

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has approved the financing for sale of US-built AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters that will be used for leasing and offshore oil and gas operations in Colombia.

The loan guarantee is worth $22.4 million and will support an estimated 200 jobs at the AgustaWestland manufacturing facility in Philadelphia and the company’s supply chain.

The helicopters will be received by North Pole Investments in Panama, with finance coming from Apple Bank for Savings of New York.

ALSO READ: Ex-Im and TD Securities finance three AW139s for Omni

Fred Hochberg, chairman and president of Ex-Im Bank, made the announcement while participating as a member of the US government delegation to the Summit of the Americas conference in Panama City.

Hochberg said: “We are pleased to finance the exports of these quality, American-made helicopters because of the jobs in Philadelphia that will be sustained as a result. This transaction will empower AgustaWestland to continue to grow in Latin America while maintaining good-paying aerospace jobs here at home.”

Ex-Im Bank plans to co-finance this asset-backed transaction with Italy’s export-credit agency, Servizi Assicurativi del Commercio Estero, S.p.A. (SACE), which is anticipated to provide a guarantee for a portion of the financing covering foreign content. The majority of the export is the US content, which consists of manufacturing activities, assembly, customisation, avionics and instrumentation.

North Pole Investments is an aviation lessor headquartered in Panama City. The company leases aircraft mainly to Helistar, a civil charter services operator based in Colombia.

The transaction is Ex-Im Bank’s fourth financing of exports of US-made AgustaWestland helicopters to Latin America.

In August 2009, Ex-Im Bank assisted in financing the export of AW139 helicopters to the government of Trinidad and Tobago for use in search and rescue operations.

In December 2012 and in July 2013, the bank approved loan guarantees financing AW139 helicopters for export to Omni Taxi Aéreo to meet its transportation contracts with the oil and gas industry in Brazil.

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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