LCI closes $325 million secured asset backed facility


AgustaWestland AW139

Lease Corporation International (LCI), the aviation leasing division of the Libra Group, has successfully closed a five-year, $325 million asset-backed credit facility for its helicopter-leasing arm, LCI Helicopters.

The funds will be used to expand the company’s helicopter fleet. There is also an option to increase the facility by $100 million to $425 million.

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The commitments for the facility come from a total of eleven lenders from North America, Europe and Asia, including nine new to LCI Helicopters. The transaction was supported by commitments from three main institutions acting as joint lead arrangers and bookrunners: CIT Group, Inc., Nomura Corporate Funding Americas, LLC, and BNP Paribas.

CIT will act as administrative agent and collateral agent; Citibank, N.A., EverBank Financial Corp. and Barclays Bank PLC as co- syndication agents, and The Huntington National Bank and Lombard North Central PLC as co-documentation agents. The other participating lenders include: Amalgamated Bank, Siemens Financial Services, Inc. and National Australia Bank Limited.

Jaspal Jandu, LCI’s chief financial officer said: “Helicopter operating leasing is a relatively new and dynamic development in the aviation sector. LCI offers flexible leasing options and a solid capital base to our lessees and we are pleased to have the support of our banking partners which demonstrates continued confidence and assurance in our approach.”

Chris Cantwell, group head and managing director, CIT Corporate Finance, Aerospace & Defense added: “As existing lenders to LCI, we have been consistently impressed with the company’s vision, management and leasing platform. This new facility endorses that view and model throughout the financing community and provides committed debt capital to the company to meet its impressive growth plans.”

LCI Helicopter division has a fleet of delivered or ordered of nearly 90 aircraft, including the AgustaWestland AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters along with Airbus Helicopters EC175 and EC225e, for which LCI is a launch customer.

LCI announced almost $1 billion in new orders at the HAI Heli-Expo in Anaheim, California, earlier this year and has also attracted investment of more than US$100 million from KKR Financial Holdings, LLC.