Helicopter lessor LCI and Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing (SMFL) have agreed to establish a joint-venture helicopter leasing business. While they are co-investors in the partnership, LCI will act as the manager.
The joint venture was launched with the acquisition of 19 helicopters valued at $230 million that will be used for a variety of missions, including air ambulance, search and rescue, and transport to offshore energy platforms. LCI and SMFL said the aircraft portfolio has “a strong lessee profile, long average lease tenor, and full power-by-the-hour maintenance coverage” and “offers a robust profile for the investors.”
“This partnership promises sustained and exciting growth for LCI’s rotary-wing business, which has already proved highly resilient during the global pandemic,” said George Logothetis, chairman and CEO of LCI parent company Libra Group.
SMFL, which already operates aircraft and engine leasing companies, provides aircraft and engine leases and other asset-backed finance products, including leases, debt, and equity investments in sectors including real estate and energy. LCI’s current aircraft fleet, valued at approximately $1 billion, is deployed across four continents and serves the emergency medical services, offshore wind, search and rescue, maritime pilot transfer, and oil-and-gas transportation markets. The fleet includes medium and super-medium helicopters manufactured by Leonardo, Airbus, and Sikorsky.