NewStar Financial Inc.(Nasdaq: NEWS), a specialized commercial finance company, and Lobo Leasing, a leading global helicopter leasing company, announced today that they have provided a comprehensive fleet financing solution to RLC, LLC, the largest privately-held helicopter services company operating in the Gulf of Mexico. The deal combined a sale/leaseback transaction with Lobo involving 9 Bell helicopters (Bell 407s and Bell 206L-4s) and a $12 million equipment loan provided by NewStar secured by 20 other helicopters in RLC’s fleet. The proceeds of the transactions were used to refinance existing debt and provide additional working capital, enhancing the Company’s financial flexibility, while supporting management’s strategy to expand its operations in the region serving independent energy services providers.
For NewStar, the transaction represents a great opportunity to expand aircraft financing activities with a partner like Lobo. The deal marks Lobo’s first in the US and expands its global reach to six countries.
Lobo’s chief executive officer, William Wolf, said, “Today’s announcement is the product of a coordinated effort by RLC, NewStar and Lobo to customize a financing for RLC which brings flexibility and stability to RLC as it executes its business plans going forward. All of us at Lobo are pleased to play a part in this partnership which brought not just lease financing provided by Lobo but also the critical term debt piece provided by NewStar.”
“We were pleased to team up with Lobo Leasing to provide a complete financing solution that not only strengthened the balance sheet, but also helped position the company and its experienced management team to execute their business strategy,” said Steve O’Leary, Head of NewStar’s Equipment Finance group.
RLC’s president and CEO, Dru Milke, said, “Working with the NewStar and Lobo team has been a very positive experience. These transactions allowed RLC to complete the desired blend of owned and leased aircraft in our fleet, while continuing to strengthen our balance sheet. This will position our organization for our continued expansion.”
RLC is the largest privately held helicopter operator in the Gulf of Mexico serving energy services providers and oil and gas producers. RLC’s fleet of offshore equipped helicopters transports personnel and equipment to offshore production platforms and drilling rigs. Founded in 1990, RLC is an FAA certified FAR 135 operator and also FAA certified to provide full-service helicopter maintenance at its own repair services facility.
About NewStar Financial, Inc.
NewStar Financial (Nasdaq:NEWS) is a specialized commercial finance company focused on meeting the complex financing needs of companies and private investors in the middle markets. The Company specializes in providing a range of senior secured debt financing options to mid-sized companies to fund working capital, growth strategies, acquisitions and recapitalizations, as well as equipment purchases. NewStar originates loans and leases directly through teams of experienced, senior bankers and marketing officers organized around key industry and market segments. The Company targets 'hold' positions of up to $50 million and will selectively underwrite or arrange larger transactions for syndication to other lenders. NewStar is headquartered in Boston MA and has regional offices in Atlanta GA, Chicago IL, Dallas TX, Darien CT, New York NY, Portland OR, and San Francisco CA. Please visit our website at www.newstarfin.com for more detailed information.