New Lease Fund Targets Single-engine Helicopters

 - March 22, 2023, 10:28 AM
A leased Airbus Helicopters H130 in EMS configuration. (Photo: LCI)

Paris-based Nova Capital is launching the $54 million Nova Capital Light Aviation Debt Fund, a private debt vehicle backed by single-engine helicopters and light fixed-wing utility aircraft. Concurrently, the company announced that it has acquired 12 new single-engine helicopters over the last two quarters, bringing its portfolio of that type to 54 with a combined asset value of more than $200 million.

Olivier Piot, founder and CEO of Nova Capital, said, “We are thrilled to lead the way with our first in-house managed debt fund, which will be the perfect addition to our usual banking debt. It will definitively be a game changer in our current funding mix while increasing our underwriting capacity.”

Launched in 2002, Nova became the fourth-largest helicopter lessor in the world by 2019 with an asset portfolio of aircraft worth $350 million. It sold its twin-engine helicopter portfolio to aircraft lessor LCI in 2021 to concentrate on the single-engine, on-shore mission-critical services business. Piot has long maintained that this market segment offers higher returns and lower risk than the cyclical offshore energy business.