Public large helicopter debt transactions from 2012-2019

The reality of 2019 thus far is that not many people are buying helicopters, and not many helicopter companies are raising money to grow in a market that requires consolidation. A select few companies are still engaging in debt transactions, with the prevailing trend being debt-for-equity swaps for companies in Chapter 11 protection.

One lessor has stood out from the pack and has closed two public debt facilities so far this year – LCI Helicopters.

So, where are we with a list of all the major helicopter debt transactions so far in 2019? Below you will find a timeline of all the major debt transactions from 2012 to 2019

The list may not be complete, so if you have any questions or corrections, please contact: alex@corporatejetinvestor.com 

 

2019

 

Borrower: Lease Corporation International
Date: 17 July 2019
Size: $135 million
Summary: LCI closed a $135 million asset-backed facility led by CIT Group to purchase more helicopters.
Comments: Jaspal Jandu, CFO of LCI, said: “We are delighted that LCI’s long-held commitment to strong but balanced growth across multiple markets and sectors has been recognised in this vote of confidence from five major financial institutions. This facility, arranged and closed during a period of major industry realignment, will enable us to pursue the continued growth of our diversely-placed fleet.”

 

Borrower: Lease Corporation International
Date: 8 July 2019
Size: $75 million
Arranger: National Westminster Bank Plc
Summary: An oversubscribed, asset-backed financing led by CaxiaBank.
Comments: Jaspal Jandu, CFO of LCI said: “LCI’s sustained growth across multiple sectors in geographic markets around the globe is proving an attractive proposition for our financial partners, and this was recognised in the oversubscribed demand for this new asset-backed facility.”

“We are delighted to be working with CaixaBank and the consortium to help drive the growth of our fleet of next generation helicopters, whose efficiency and reliability is proving popular with the many civilian helicopter operators to whom we lease them.”

 

Borrower: Bristow Group
Date: 5 July 2019
Size: $150 million
Lenders: Wells Fargo Bank, DWV Maples Investments, Highbridge Capital Management, Whitebox Advisors and Bain Capital Management.
Summary: A debt facility to pay down outstanding secured notes.

 

2018

 

Borrower: Bristow Group
Date: March 2018
Size: $350 million
Summary: Private $350 million notes offering to pay off a revolving credit facility that expires in 2022.

 

Borrower: Lease Corporation International
Date: February 2018
Size: $55 million
Summary: LCI closed its first capital markets financing to acquire six new SAR helicopters.
Assets: Six AW139s and AW169s
Comments: Jaspal Jandu, CFO of LCI said: “LCI’s fast-growing helicopter leasing platform has now achieved the size for us to undertake our maiden capital markets placement. The transaction enables us to diversify our capital base and lower our cost of capital, further increasing the efficiency of our operations.”

 

2017

 

Borrower: Waypoint Leasing
Date: 5 September 2017
Size: $87.5 million
Arranger: Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC)
Comments: Alan Jenkins, CFO & COO of Waypoint: “We are very pleased that SMBC and MUFG have led this latest financing facility for Waypoint, SMBC will also act as agent for the lender group. Lenders recognise the value of Waypoint’s global platform and leading position in the helicopter leasing sector, which has bolstered our strength through a challenging market environment.”

Oliver Althoff, MD of Capital Markets and Treasury at Waypoint: “Waypoint continues to execute on our financing strategy and is very excited to have additional new lenders join the leads and Waypoint’s diversified bank group. The addition of Asia-Pacific based lenders as part of this transaction will further facilitate opportunities for regional engagement and growth. This facility is well-structured, backed by a very attractive portfolio of aircraft and enables Waypoint to continue to support our customers for the long-term”

Koichi Tanaka, General Manager of Global Aviation and Maritime Finance Department at SMBC Europe: “We are pleased to announce this term-loan transaction with Waypoint. Our support reflects the prominent role Waypoint has established in the helicopter leasing market, and we look forward to opportunities to support their continued success.”

 

Borrower: Iris Helicopter
Date: March 2017
Assets: Nine H135 helicopters and one Bell 429.
Arranger: Société Générale
Legal advisers: Watson Farley & Williams (SG), Mayer Brown (Iris)
Summary: Iris Helicopter is a joint venture between Nova Capital and Rive Private Investment.

 

Borrower: Bristow Group
Date: 2 February 2017
Size: $230 million
Assets: Various aircraft
Interest: Libor plus 500bp
Arranger: PK Airfinance (part of Gecas – which also owns Milestone)
Summary: As part of loan, Milestone agrees to defer payments on Airbus H225s. Bristow also agreed to extend three S-92 leases by two years.

 

Borrower: Bristow Group
Date: 1 February 2017
Size: $200 million
Interest: Libor plus 5.35%
Assets: 20 helicopters
Term: Five years
Owner trustee: Wells Fargo
Arranger: Macquarie
Note: Bristow also agreed to lease five helicopters from Macquarie

 

2016

 

Borrower: Bristow Group
Date: 11 November 2016
Size: $200 million
Assets: Three Sikorsky S-92s, five Leonardo AW189s
Structure: Two secured loan
Term: Seven years (with balloon)
Interest: Libor plus 225 bp
Arranger: Lombard
Summary: First tranche of $109.9 million in December 2017

Comments: Don Miller, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Bristow: “These $200 million equivalent financings provide additional support for Bristow’s partnership with the UK government as we continue our successful implementation of the UK SAR contract. These helicopters will deliver an important service to all the citizens of the UK for years to come.”

Mark Jamieson, head of helicopter finance at Lombard: “Bristow has had a long standing relationship with Royal Bank of Scotland so we are delighted that this partnership has been extended to Lombard and that we have been able to facilitate the funding to finance the helicopters for this prestigious SAR contract. We are also proud to finance life-saving helicopters that will safeguard our shores for many years to come. Lombard Aviation has seen strong growth in the helicopter market over recent years but the deal with Bristow firmly cements Lombard as a leading player in the market. Much of the success of our dedicated team is down to accumulated knowledge and commitment to understanding the specific needs of our customers.”

 

Borrower: Waypoint Leasing
Date: 19 April 2016
Size: $100 million
Structure: Secured loan
Term: Six years
Notes: Can be drawn in dollars, euros and sterling. Used to refinance aircraft Waypoint’s revolving credit facility and aircraft being delivered in 2016 and 2017.

Comments: Alan Jenkins, CFO, Waypoint: “Waypoint continues to execute on our financing strategy with the closing of this very attractive $100 million term loan facility. This facility will free up further debt capacity for Waypoint, allowing us to support our helicopter operator customers with leasing solutions and provide operational and financial flexibility in the current challenging market.”

Oliver Althoff, MD of Capital Markets and Treasury, Waypoint: “We are very pleased that Lombard has led this facility, closing a further financing and consolidating a very important lender relationship. This transaction adds additional and very attractive long-term financing to our debt maturity profile.”

Mark Jamieson, Head of Helicopter Finance, Lombard: “We’re delighted to announce this transaction with Waypoint. The funding support we’ve provided is indicative of our long-term involvement in rotary wing assets, as well as in Waypoint’s ongoing success. This deal is a great example of how Lombard can support strategic growth amongst both global lessors and operators.”

 

2015

 

Borrower: Waypoint Leasing
Date: October 2015
Structure: Unsecured revolving credit facility increase
Lenders: Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs & Co (existing lead arrangers SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and MUFG Union)
Comments: Alan Jenkins, CFO, of Waypoint: “Waypoint appreciates the continued support of our financing partners. These recent modifications to our unsecured revolver improve the company’s financial flexibility and further extend our debt maturity profile. We are very pleased to expand and extend this facility, which is another validation of Waypoint’s strong market position and performance in the helicopter leasing market.”

Oliver Althoff, MD of Capital Markets and Treasury, Waypoint: “Waypoint continues to build out its capital base with diversified debt products and investor groups to achieve a conservative but flexible capital structure.”

 

Borrower: Lease Corporation International
Date: October 2015
Structure: Loan for four new AgustaWestland AW139s
Sole lender: Westpac Banking Corporation
Notes: Aircraft on lease to Australia’s Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service (North South Wales Ambulance)

Comments: Jaspal Jandu, chief financial officer of LCI: “We are delighted that Westpac and National Australia Bank have underpinned our commitment to provide new, state-of-the-art helicopters to the emergency medical service sector in Australia.”

“These long-term, multi-currency financings cover pre-delivery payments, fit-out costs and 10-year term loans, so are both comprehensive and bespoke. Both banks have handled them superbly and we look forward to working together with them in the future”

 

Borrower: Lease Corporation International
Date: October 2015
Structure: 10 year loan for six new AgustaWestland AW139
Security trustee, agent, lender and hedge counterparty: Westpac Banking Corporation
Lender and hedge counterparty: National Australia Bank
Notes: Aircraft on lease to Australian Helicopters for Air Ambulance Australia
Comments: Jaspal Jandu, chief financial officer, LCI: “We are delighted that Westpac and National Australia Bank have underpinned our commitment to provide new, state-of-the-art helicopters to the emergency medical service sector in Australia.”

“These long-term, multi-currency financings cover pre-delivery payments, fit-out costs and 10-year term loans, so are both comprehensive and bespoke. Both banks have handled them superbly and we look forward to working together with them in the future”

Greg Hampton, global head, Asset Finance & Leasing, National Australia Bank: “We’re delighted to have helped finance the renewal of Air Ambulance Victoria’s fleet, enabling them to improve their operational efficiency with these new, state-of-the-art helicopters. We’re also proud to have played a key role in developing this innovative financing solution for LCI which supports their significant growth ambitions in the Asia Pacific region.”

 

Borrower: Waypoint Leasing
Date: September 2015
Size: $200 million
Structure: senior secured notes
Joint placement agents: Goldman Sachs and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey
Senior co-placement agent: Mitsubishi UFJ Securities
Co-placement agents: Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas and RBC Capital Markets
Notes: Three tranches: $125 million, $50 million and $45 million. Seven year average life. Can draw-down in dollars and Euros.

 

Borrower: Lease Corporation International
Date: July 2015
Structure: Master Murabaha facility agreement
Mandated lead arranger, security agent and inter-creditor agent: Lloyds Bank
Islamic finance participant: Bank of London and the Middle East

 

Borrower: Waypoint Leasing
Date: April 2015
Size: $60 million
Structure: unsecured loan
Lead arrangers: SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and MUFG Union Bank

 

Borrower: Waypoint Leasing
Date: March 2015
Size: $85 million loan
Lead arranger: Deutsche Bank

 

Borrower: Waypoint Leasing
Date: April 2015
Size: $40 million increase to $300 million Term Loan
Lead arranger: BNP Paribas, MUFG Union Bank, RBC Capital Markets and Wells Fargo Securities.

 

2014

 

Borrower: Lease Corporation International
Date: December 2014
Size: $25 million
Structure: pre-delivery facility
Lead arranger: Bank of London and the Middle East

 

Borrower: Lobo Leasing
Date: December 2014
Size: $225 million (can be upsized to $325 million)
Structure: Term loan
Joint lead arrangers: Barclays Bank, Citi and Nomura

 

Borrower: Lease Corporation International
Date: October 2014
Size: $325 million facility (option to increase to $425 million)
Joint lead arrangers and book runners: CIT Group, Inc., Nomura Corporate Funding Americas, LLC, and BNP Paribas.
Administrative agent and collateral agent: CIT
Co-syndication agents: Citibank, EverBank Financial Corp. and Barclays Bank PLC
Co-documentation agents: The Huntington National Bank and Lombard North Central
Participating lenders: Amalgamated Bank, Siemens Financial Services and National Australia Bank

 

Borrower: Waypoint Leasing
Date: September 2014
Size: $300 million revolver (can be expanded to $400 million)
Lead arrangers: BNP Paribas, MUFG Union Bank, RBC Capital Markets and Wells Fargo Securities
Lenders: Lombard, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Everbank Commercial Finance, Capital One, National Association

 

Borrower: Waypoint Leasing
Date: June 2014
Size: $133 million extension to November facility (option to expand to $550 million)
Lenders: Barclays Bank, Citi, RBC Capital Markets, Lombard

 

Borrower: Waypoint Leasing
Date: May 2014
Size: $72.5 million five-year term loan
Lead arranger: Goldman Sachs

 

Borrower: Milestone Aviation Group
Date: January 2014
Size: $ 200 million revolving credit line
Joint Lead Arranger and Sole Bookrunner: SunTrust Robinson Humphrey
Join lead arrangers: JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank
Participating lenders: Jefferies, Nomura, Bank of America, The Huntington National Bank.

 

Borrower: Milestone Aviation Group
Date: January 2014
Size: $575 million notes
Sole bookrunner and lead placement agent: Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith
Co-lead placement agents: Deutsche Bank and Nomura Securities
Co-placement agents: Merrill, DB, Nomura, The Huntington Investment Company and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey

 

2013

 

Borrower: Milestone Aviation Group
Date: December 2013
Size: $250 million 144a private bond placement
Bookrunners: Jefferies, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Nomura
Term: Five year
Coupon: 8.625%
Issue: 100
Yield: 8.625%
Rating: Unrated
Maturity: 12/15/2017

 

Borrower: Waypoint Leasing
Date: November 2013
Size: $335 million revolver
Joint bookrunner and agent: Credit Suisse
Joint bookrunners: SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, CIT Finance
Lenders: Goldman Sachs, Union Bank., Fifth Third Bank and 1st Source Bank.

 

Borrower: Milestone Aviation Group
Date: July 2013
Size: $300 million credit facility
Mandated lead arranger and facility agent: Lloyds Bank
Lenders: Lombard and Barclays

 

Borrower: Milestone Aviation Group
Date: June 2013
Size: $187 million Ex-Im bond
Arranger: Deutsche Bank
Refinanced: March 2013 Ex-Im loan

 

Borrower: Milestone Aviation Group
Date: March 2013
Size: $187 million Ex-Im Loan
Arranger: Deutsche Bank
Notes: Financed nine Sikorsky S-92s on lease to Bond, Bristow, Lider, Omni. Later refinanced by bond.

 

2012

 

Borrower: Milestone Aviation Group
Date: March 2012
Size: $265 million term loan
Arranger: Deutsche Bank
Participants: Nomura, Huntington Bank, CIT, 1st Source Bank, EverBank Commercial Finance and Credit Suisse

 

Borrower: Milestone Aviation Group
Date: February 2012
Size: $75 million loan
Arranger: SEB
Notes: Funded helicopters for Scandinavian operators

 

Borrower: Milestone Aviation Group
Date: February 2012
Size: $75 million loan
Arranger: SG
Notes: Facility to cover pre-delivery payments (PDP).

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