Milestone Aviation Group closes a series of debt facilities


Deutsche Bank led facility is the first ever for helicopter leasing company and highlights support for global lenders

Milestone Aviation Group announced that it has closed on a series of debt facilities totalling $400 million. The company will use the  proceeds to support its partners and provide additional liquidity to the global helicopter market.

“These are important milestones for our company,” said Richard Santulli, Milestone’s chairman. “We thank Deutsche Bank and our financing partners for providing additional capital to fuel our growth. Lenders’ enthusiasm for the offerings further validates the strength of our business model and highlights the important role Milestone plays for the rotary sector.”

“By structuring and leading this innovative facility, which is widely acknowledged to be the first of its kind in the market, this has helped Milestone to execute on its growth strategy,” said Richard Moody, managing director, Deutsche Bank. “In addition, the market reacted positively to the sponsor, and the financing structure resulting in the facility being over-subscribed.”

The combined $400 million in debt facilities include, an oversubscribed $265 million facility led by Deutsche Bank, along with Nomura, Huntington Bank, CIT, 1st Source Bank, EverBank Commercial Finance and Credit Suisse as lenders – this portfolio financing is generally recognised as the first facility of this type undertaken in the market. A $75 million facility with SEB and three facilities totalling more than $60 million with Société Générale – including a facility to cover certain of Milestone’s pre-delivery payments (PDP).

Milestone launched in August 2010 having raised $500 million in equity from the Jordan Company and Nautic Partners to provide operating lease financing to the helicopter industry. Since then Milestone has leased 53 aircraft valued at more than $600 million. The company presently leases helicopters to 20 operators spread over four continents including leases with three of the four largest global helicopter operators. By the end of 2012, the company expects to have leased assets operating on six continents and valued at more than $1 billion.