RIVE Private Investment sells six medical transport helicopters deployed in Aus


European investment company RIVE Private Investment, Thora Capital and LCI are to sell six medical transport helicopters operated in Australia to private equity firm Astatine Investment Partners.

The portfolio consists of six Leonardo AW139 emergency medical services (EMS) helicopters leased to Babcock International Group in Victoria, Australia. All the aircraft are operated under long-term contracts by Babcock.

The sale is being made through the RIVE Tangible Asset Income Funds (RTAIF), which focuses on investing in transport assets. The Leonardo AW139 was selected as one of the most capable aircraft in the medium-sized helicopter sector, said RIVE.

This transaction illustrates RIVE’s dynamic management strategy for its portfolio of specialised transport assets and its ability to create financial liquidity and attract new investment players to this asset class, according to the company. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Camille Brunel, partner, RIVE Private Investment said: “This transaction demonstrates RIVE’s ambition in the specialised and critical services transport sector, which is emerging as an asset class as such, particularly attractive to investors looking for long-term visibility and resilient performance.”

After a decade of investment in specialised air transport – which includes medical, sea rescue and fire-fighting missions – the sector has become a strategic asset class for RIVE, added Brunel. “We are continuing to roll out our RTAIF fund, through which we have already invested in over one hundred assets with more than €200 million equity.” The company said it has financed more than €2.3bn of assets through more than 100 transactions in about 15 countries worldwide.

RIVE’s RTAIF business aims to invest in assets that contribute to the decarbonisation of the transport sector and/or serve essential needs. Examples include specialised aviation, the maritime sector – such as electric ferries and support for offshore wind farms – and rail. Pictured is a Leonardo AW139 helicopter.

Meanwhile, last June RIVE, LCI and Turning Rock Partners revealed a plan to buy 19 helicopters worth $115m from Lobo Leasing.