LCI, Sumitomo launch $230M leasing venture
LCI, the aviation division of the Libra Group focusing on helicopter and commercial aircraft leasing, and Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company have established a joint venture helicopter leasing business.
The vehicle has launched an the initial acquisition of 19 modern helicopters with a value of US$230 million. Sumitomo Mitsui Finance (SMFL) and LCI are co-investors in the partnership, with LCI also acting as manager.
LCI explains the helicopters acquired by the joint venture will be used by operators across the globe in a range of missions, including Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Search and Rescue (SAR), and transportation to offshore wind farms.
“LCI is delighted to be launching this new leasing vehicle with SMFL,” said Jaspal Jandu, CFO of LCI. “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.”
Founded in 2004, LCI’s current overall fleet comprises approximately US$1 billion of assets in service, on order and under management, focusing on medium and super medium helicopters manufactured by Leonardo, Airbus and Sikorsky. This fleet is in operation across four continents in multiple sectors, including emergency medical services, offshore wind, search and rescue, maritime pilot transfer and oil-and-gas transportation.
“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,” said Shinichiro Watanabe, managing executive officer, SMFL.
Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing, owned by Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, has been one of the largest Japanese leasing companies for more than 50 years. SMFL provides aircraft and engine leases to the global aviation industry and other asset-based finance such as real estate and energy facilities.