Lombard closes $200 million loan for Bristow SAR


AgustaWestland AW189 SAR

Lombard, the asset finance division of Royal Bank of Scotland, has financed eight Bristow helicopters that are used on the UK search and rescue programme. The loan is worth $200 million.

“We would like to thank Lombard and The Royal Bank of Scotland for their support of Bristow. These credit facilities increase our liquidity, term out debt through 2023, and demonstrate our access to capital as a leader in industrial aviation,” said Jonathan Baliff, president and CEO. “We will continue to prudently manage our liquidity and balance sheet as we successfully manage through the current oil and gas industry downturn,” said Bristow

Bristow says that nine of 10 UK SAR bases are operational. The final base is expected to open in mid-2017.

“Bristow has had a long standing relationship with Royal Bank of Scotland so we are delighted that this partnership has been extended to Lombard and that we have been able to facilitate the funding to finance the helicopters for this prestigious SAR contract,” said Mark Jamieson, head of helicopter finance at Lombard. “We are also proud to finance life-saving helicopters that will safeguard our shores for many years to come.”

Jamieson added: “Lombard Aviation has seen strong growth in the helicopter market over recent years but the deal with Bristow firmly cements Lombard as a leading player in the market. Much of the success of our dedicated team is down to accumulated knowledge and commitment to understanding the specific needs of our customers.”

Borrower: Bristow
Size: $200 million
Date: Drawdown in 2017
Assets: Three Sikorsky S-92s, five Leonardo AW189s
Structure: Two secured loan
Term: Seven years (with balloon)
Arranger: Lombard
Note: Subject to UK and US government approval

Borrowers comment: Don Miller, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Bristow: “These $200 million equivalent financings provide additional support for Bristow’s partnership with the UK government as we continue our successful implementation of the UK SAR contract. These helicopters will deliver an important service to all the citizens of the UK for years to come.”