KKR likes helicopters (again)

AW109 and AW139 helicopters flying

An AW109 and AW139 in flight.

KKR invests $100 million in Lease Corporation International.

I don’t know if a lot of sightseeing helicopters pass by the windows of KKR’s New York offices when its different teams are scratching their heads looking for investment opportunities, but KKR really likes helicopters.

Today, KKR announced it is investing $100 million in Lease Corporation International (LCI). In October, it bought into Weststar in Malaysia and it already has a large stake in Avincis. Each of these investments was made by a completely independent group, but it is fascinating how they all like the helicopter industry.

The latest investment in LCI is yet another development in the fast maturing helicopter finance market. With its $400 million order with AgustaWestland in 2012, LCI can claim to be one of the first two helicopter lessors.

LCI has now taken five helicopters from its order, but this extra cash deliveries will speed up further. “We didn’t need this money to compete,” says Crispin Maunder, chairman of LCI, “but it means we can accelerate our business even faster.”

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