Waypoint Sponsors Increase Equity Commitment from $375 Million to $450 Million
Waypoint Leasing (“Waypoint”), a leading global helicopter leasing company, today announced that it has reached an agreement with First Reserve, the largest global private equity and infrastructure investment firm exclusively focused on energy, to acquire a portfolio of 31 in-demand, new technology aircraft. The portfolio includes 18 AgustaWestland AW139s, 11 Sikorsky S-92s and two Sikorsky S76C++ aircraft models. All aircraft are subject to long-term lease agreements with the CHC Group Ltd. (NYSE: HELI), in support of global oil and gas and search and rescue operations.
In addition to the 31 aircraft acquisition, Waypoint also announced that it secured a $75 million increase in the equity commitment from its primary sponsors – funds affiliated with MSD Capital, L.P., Soros Fund Management LLC, and Cartesian Capital Group. The increase raises the sponsors’ equity commitment to a total of $450 million.
Through this acquisition, Waypoint will increase its current fleet to 80 aircraft, valued at more than $1 billion. The fleet includes aircraft from Finmeccanica – AgustaWestland, Airbus Helicopters, Bell Helicopter and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. The aircraft are on lease and generating revenue through long-term lease contracts, operating in 20 countries around the world in oil & gas, EMS, search & rescue, firefighting, governmental support and other operations. Additionally, Waypoint has firm and option orders with aircraft manufacturers for additional helicopters valued at more than $1 billion at list prices, to be delivered over the next five years.
Ed Washecka, CEO of Waypoint, said, “This is an exciting transaction for Waypoint, acquiring such high quality aircraft that are on lease with a valued partner in CHC. After only 18 months in operation, Waypoint has achieved significant scale, surpassing $1 billion in assets with a growing, broad global customer base, while remaining diversified across all four OEMs. Additionally, we are delighted to receive a further $75 million commitment from our equity sponsors, underpinning our continued growth strategy and reaffirming their conviction in our long-term prospects.”
Alan Jenkins, CFO of Waypoint, added, “As part of the transaction, we will also take on very attractive debt financing to support the funding of the acquisition, enabling Waypoint to continue to diversify our financing sources. Furthermore, the additional equity commitment from our investors will support our continued fleet growth and ability to deliver industry-leading service to our customers.”
The acquisition of the 31 aircraft is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014.
About Waypoint Leasing:
Waypoint Leasing is a global helicopter leasing company that provides operating lease and financing solutions to helicopter operators worldwide. Headquartered in Limerick, Ireland, and with operations in Darien, CT, Waypoint Leasing differentiates itself with a senior management team that has direct helicopter operating and leasing experience in key helicopter markets around the world, having leased helicopters across Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North and South America. Waypoint Leasing serves a wide range of sectors including oil and gas, emergency medical service, search and rescue, firefighting and governmental support. Further information is available at www.waypointleasing.com.
About First Reserve:
First Reserve is the largest global private equity and infrastructure investment firm exclusively focused on energy. With over 30 years of industry insight, investment expertise and operational excellence, the Firm has cultivated an enduring network of global relationships and raised more than USD $30 billion of aggregate capital since inception. First Reserve has completed more than 475 transactions (including platform investments and add-on acquisitions) on six continents. Its portfolio companies operate in approximately 50 countries and span the energy spectrum from upstream oil and gas to midstream and downstream, including resources, equipment and services and infrastructure.
First Reserve has offices in Greenwich, CT; Houston, TX; London, U.K. and Hong Kong. Please visit www.firstreserve.com for more information.
Media Contacts for Waypoint
Sard Verbinnen & Co
Andrew Cole/Jared Levy
Media Contacts for First Reserve
212-279-3115 ext. 222
212-279-3115 ext. 234