Milestone Inks $300M Credit Facility for Bristow Deal

 - July 30, 2013, 4:25 PM

Milestone Aviation Group, the helicopter leasing firm headed by NetJets founder Richard Santulli, closed a new $300 million credit facility yesterday. The company will use these proceeds to acquire and lease helicopters–including Sikorsky S-92s, Eurocopter EC225s and AgustaWestland AW189s and AW139s–valued at $400 million to affiliates of Bristow Group. The credit facility is the largest ever for a helicopter lessor, the company said.

“We are delighted to have closed this single lessee transaction,” said Milestone chairman and CEO Richard Santulli. “The proceeds will allow us to continue to support Bristow and expand this important relationship while diversifying our sources of capital.”

In other news, Milestone financed the delivery of a Eurocopter EC225 to Blueway Offshore Norge, a subsidiary of Blueway. The Norwegian-registered helicopter will be used for crew-change missions to offshore oil and gas platforms in the North Sea. This European delivery is the first since the aircraft was cleared for a full return to flight, it said.

To date, the company has 10 EC225s in its fleet portfolio, with these aircraft currently on lease to four operators. Milestone also has 30 EC225s worth $850 million on order, and these aircraft are scheduled to be delivered over the next five years, starting later this year.