- Landmark Facility Highlights Company Successes as It Marks Third Anniversary -
DUBLIN - Friday, August 9th 2013 [ME NewsWire]
(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Milestone Aviation Group, the global leader in helicopter leasing, announced today that it has closed on a five-year, US$600 million revolving credit line that includes an unfunded revolving accordion feature to expand the borrowing capacity up to US$750 million.
This revolver represents the largest-ever debt facility for a helicopter lessor and will be used to fund growth initiatives and acquisitions.
"As we celebrate Milestone’s third anniversary, this revolver will enable Milestone to provide our customers with the ability to close transactions quicker and with increased flexibility. It will also further improve our ability to strategically match assets with appropriate long-term investors,” said Milestone’s Chairman and CEO Richard Santulli.
"This facility is further testament that Milestone is recognized in the marketplace as the global leader. A facility of this size – which was upsized to accommodate strong demand – and the involvement of lenders from North America, Europe and Asia alike, is unprecedented for a helicopter leasing company, reflecting the investment community’s confidence in Milestone’s strategy, management and the strength of helicopters as an asset class,” Santulli added.
"Three years after our launch, I could not be more excited with what the Milestone team has achieved and what’s in store for our company in the future,” he concluded.
Three-Year Anniversary Accomplishments
Since its launch, Milestone has grown its business to best meet the needs of the global helicopter community. Over the past three years, the Company has:
Acquired more than 100 aircraft valued at over US$1.5 billion, and closed leases with 22 operators in over 20 countries;
Placed future firm helicopter orders and secured options valued at more than US$2.2 billion; and
Raised more than US$500 million in equity capital and US$2.4 billion in debt commitments from leading banks in North America, Europe and Asia, as well as insurance companies and the US capital markets.
Global Mix of Financial Partners for New Facility
A global mix of 12 financial institutions were involved in the facility, including nine that have participated in prior Milestone financings as well as three new financial partners:
The Huntington National Bank, as Administrative Agent;
The Huntington National Bank, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Incorporated, Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch, Nomura Corporate Funding Americas, LLC and Suntrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., as Joint Bookrunners and Joint Lead Arrangers;
Bank of America, N.A., as Syndication Agent;
Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch, Nomura Corporate Funding Americas, LLC, Suntrust Bank, BNP Paribas and Union Bank, N.A., as Co-Documentation Agents;
CIT Finance LLC, Everbank Commercial Finance, Inc., People’s United Bank and 1st Source Bank as Participants; and
Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, as Collateral Agent.
"We are extremely pleased to have played a lead role in structuring and arranging this very important senior secured revolving credit facility,” said Chairman, President and CEO Steve Steinour of Huntington Bank. "Huntington has worked with Milestone since it was founded, and this facility provides access to another level of the Capital Markets, which further validates Milestone’s successful business model and strong management team.”
Note to the Editor:
ABOUT MILESTONE AVIATION GROUP
Milestone Aviation Group is the global leader in helicopter leasing. The company partners with helicopter operators worldwide and supports them through 100 percent operating-lease financing. Milestone provides financing for helicopters, serving a variety of industries, including offshore oil-and-gas, search-and-rescue, emergency medical services, police surveillance, mining and other utility missions. Further information is available at www.milestoneaviation.com.
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