Thora Capital closes first helicopter funding round


Newcomer to the helicopter investor space Thora Capital has closed its initial helicopter funding round and revealed the details of its second transaction.

So far, the company has raised approximately $50m though its initial Thora Capital Offshore Fund, according to a recent SEC Filing. Contributors to the fund include family offices, high net worth individuals and RIAs.

“We sincerely appreciate the trust placed in us by our investment partners,” said Matthew Rothschild, Chief Executive Officer of Thora.  “With $50 million of capital commitments and co-investment assets under management, Thora is well-positioned to support the financing needs of the industry during this period of elevated demand for creative capital solutions.”

In this second transaction, Thora financed the acquisition of two utility helicopters to be placed on long-term leases with Uniflight Global. The value and models of the helicopters were not specified.

Both aircraft will be leased to Rome, New York-based operator Aviation Services Unlimited (ASU). One of the helicopters will be acquired by ASU on a sale and leaseback agreement and one aircraft imported from Canada.

Vedder Price, Washington DC, was legal counsel to Thora Capital on the transaction and McAfee and Taft, Oklahoma City, was aviation counsel.

“We are delighted to be able to provide this financing to Uniflight Global in support of their growth in the utility space.  This deal also provides Thora with further diversification of aircraft and mission type as we continue to expand our portfolio,” said Russell Christopher, Managing Director of Thora Capital.  Mr. Christopher leads Thora’s origination, sourcing, and portfolio management efforts.

Thora’s first financing was with medical transport operator Apollo MedFlight for two Airbus Helicopters worth in excess of $10 million.

A New Face

The decision Thora Capital made to open a helicopter fund in what is currently a down market was certainly unexpected. But with a well-reported dearth of capital coming into the market, it was a welcome venture.

When Helicopter Investor spoke to Thora Capital last year, we asked why they decided to enter he helicopter market in a downturn. Thora Capital’s CEO Matthew Rothschild said:

“Thora was specifically created with the intent of avoiding cyclical investing. We firmly believe that there exists a secular growth opportunity as operating lease adoption for helicopter financing follows a growth curve similar to, if not more rapidly than, commercial jets.”