Milestone closes $300m bank facility to fund asset spree

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Milestone Aviation has closed a $300 million bank credit facility with three British banks.

The lessor says in a release today it will use the proceeds to "acquire and lease" helicopters valued at $400 million. The assets include Sikorsky S-92s, Eurocopter EC225s and AgustaWestland AW189 and AW139 aircraft that will be operated by affiliates of the Bristow Group, says Milestone.

Lloyds Bank acted as lead arranger and facility agent on the deal. Lombard, the asset finance arm of the Royal Bank of Scotland, and Barclays Bank served as original lenders for the credit facility.

Milestone says it has over $500 million in equity capital and has raised $1.8 billion in debt commitments from banks in North America, Europe and Asia as well as insurance companies and the US capital markets.

The lessor, which launched operations in August 2010, has acquired more than 100 aircraft valued at over $1.5 billion and closed leases with 22 operators in more than 20 countries.