Bristow Group now has funding to finance eight search and rescue (SAR) helicopters, which will be used under an SAR contract with the U.K. Department for Transport. The company said it has entered into two, seven-year secured equipment financings with The Royal Bank of Scotland's Lombard. The aggregate total for the financings is $200 million.
These seven-year terms have balloon payments at maturity, meaning that only a portion of the loan's principal balance is reduced or extinguished over the term, leaving a large final payment at the end. Bristow’s obligations will be secured by three Sikorsky S-92s for one creditor, and five Leonardo AW189s for the other.
Lombard is also playing a role in Bristow’s other U.K. SAR bases. Of its 10, nine bases are currently operational. The 10th base is expected to be operational by mid-2017. Credit facilities term out debt for Bristow through 2023. The new financings are expected to start by the end of March 2017, but are both subject to U.K. and U.S. governmental approvals.
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