Sunday 22 April 2018

KKR set to invest more than $100m in Dublin-based helicopter leasing firm

Billionaire financier George Soros. Photo: Reuters
Billionaire financier George Soros. Photo: Reuters

Robert Wall

New York-based private equity firm KKR plans to invest more than $100m (€74m) in a Dublin-based helicopter leasing firm.

KKR said it is making the investment in Lease Corporation International's helicopter unit to tap growing demand from the oil and gas sector.

Ireland's helicopter leasing business has long flown under the radar at home but attracts attention from some of the world's biggest investors. KKR said yesterday it could eventually own helicopters worth around $1bn.

Two months ago, George Soros-backed Waypoint Leasing secured additional borrowing capacity to expand its Limerick-based helicopter business which may increase borrowing there by $500m.

KKR said yesterday it will receive a minority equity stake in LCI's helicopter arm. "Having a strong investor like KKR allows us to accelerate our business plan," LCI chairman Crispin Maunder said.

LCI, owned by New York-based Libra Group, entered the helicopter market in 2012. It has placed helicopters with operators including Malaysia's Weststar Aviation Services, in which KKR agreed to buy a stake of about $200m last year, and Avincis Group, parent of Bond Offshore Helicopters. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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