LCI and US public pension group launch JV to build $300m-plus portfolio


Operating lessor LCI has revealed a joint venture with a US public pension (UPP) group, with plans to build an aviation and helicopter portfolio valued at more than $300m. This is said to be the first direct-to-pension fund joint venture in the rotary market.

The inaugural transaction is the acquisition of seven modern helicopters, manufactured by Airbus (pictured), Leonardo, and Sikorsky valued at more than $70m. The helicopters will mainly fly utility missions in Europe, the Americas and Africa. The unnamed UPP and LCI are co-investors in the vehicle, with LCI also acting as manager.

The partnership will focus on identifying and acquiring real asset opportunities, initially in the helicopter market, utilising a disciplined and strategic approach to portfolio management,” according to an LCI statement. The partnership with LCI is designed to connect operators and end-users with the expertise, resources and capital of both organisations. UPP manages funds of more than $10bn.

Jaspal Jandu, CEO, LCI said the lessor was delighted to forge the new partnership with UPP. “Real assets, including helicopters, have long been recognised as a valuable and stable investment class, and investing requires specialised knowledge and extensive resources,”  he said. “This new JV will accelerate our strategy of bringing innovative financial solutions to our customers by providing them with access to alternative, unlevered and patient capital.”

The  chief investment officer, of the UPP added: “Real assets offer tremendous potential in today’s environment and through our combined expertise, we aim to create a new investment model that will deliver robust returns and diversification benefits to our long-standing members.”