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LCI, a leading helicopter lessor and the aviation division of the Libra Group, and Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company, Limited (SMFL) have agreed to establish and operate a joint venture helicopter leasing business.
The vehicle has launched with the initial acquisition of 19 next generation helicopters with a value of $230 million. SMFL and LCI are co-investors in the partnership, with LCI also acting as manager.
The helicopters acquired by the joint venture will be used by operators across the globe on a range of missions including emergency medical services (EMS), search-and-rescue (SAR), and transportation to offshore wind farms. With a strong lessee profile, long average lease tenor and full power by the hour maintenance coverage, the portfolio offers a robust profile for the investors.
“LCI is delighted to be launching this new leasing vehicle with SMFL. Our joint venture with this renowned partner highlights the opportunities available in the helicopter leasing marketplace, and demonstrates how these aircraft have now become a proven and attractive asset class,” said Jaspal Jandu, chief financial officer of LCI.
“LCI’s experience, expertise and reputation makes them a natural business partner for SMFL, and we look forward to working with them and combining our respective financial strengths to jointly and professionally manage a successful and dynamic venture,” added Shinichiro Watanabe, managing executive officer of SMFL.