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December 1, 2021

LCI acquires helicopter lessor Nova Capital Aviation for undisclosed amount

By Alejandro Gonzalez

LCI has agreed to acquire helicopter leasing company Nova Capital Aviation (Ireland) Limited, a division of the Nova Capital Group, for an undisclosed amount.

On its website, Nova Capital describes itself as a specialist helicopter lessor “with an asset portfolio approaching $500m between owned and managed assets” made up of a portfolio focused on on-shore, mission-critical aircraft.

In a press release, LCI said Nova Capital Aviation (Ireland) Limited represents the twin-engine rotary and fixed-wing aircraft lease division of the Nova Capital Group, with single-engine operations remaining within the Group.

It added the acquisition will result in a substantial expansion of LCI’s leasing platform to over 140 twin-engine rotary and fixed-wing aircraft and will also take the proportion of aircraft deployed on emergency medical services (EMS), search and rescue (SAR), off-shore wind and utility missions, to over 80 per cent of the entire leasing platform.

Crispin Maunder, executive chairman of LCI, said:

“The Nova brand is highly regarded, and is a major presence in the mission-critical EMS market which perfectly complements our own.

“Our agreement reflects the current trend towards industry consolidation and is testament to the robust leasing platform we have built. It expands our customer base, introduces new aircraft types to our fleet, and cements LCI’s long-term commitment to growth.”

Last year, Nova Capital further expanded its fleet with the addition of eight factory-new twin-engine EMS helicopters valued at over US$90m, reaching half-a-billion total fleet value at 2021 year-end. Nova Capital will now focus on the development of its single-engine helicopter, light utility fixed-wing aircraft, and other advanced air mobility operations, in partnership with LCI.

Olivier Piot, founder and CEO of Nova Capital, said:

“Over 20 years, we have developed a market-leading leasing operation that specialises in providing asset financing solutions to helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft operators, primarily in onshore mission-critical services.

“We are delighted to conclude this agreement with such a complementary business as LCI. Their proven leasing platform, extensive experience in both the fixed-wing and rotary-wing leasing markets, and immersion in mission-critical helicopter operations, makes them a natural choice.

“I am looking forward to continuing Nova Capital’s journey, under this new set-up and exciting partnership.”

Since its inception in 2004, LCI has done over US$8bn of transactions in the fixed-wing and helicopter markets, according to a statement. LCI is owned by Libra Group (www.libra.com), an international business group with 30 subsidiaries active in 35 countries across six continents.

Nova Capital, founded in 2002, is a privately-owned company with offices in Ireland, France and Portugal.

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