SOURCE: Milestone Aviation Group

Milestone Aviation Group

February 13, 2012 04:00 ET

Milestone Aviation Group Announces Helicopter Leasing Transaction With Bristow Group

DALLAS, TX--(Marketwire - Feb 13, 2012) - Milestone Aviation Group, the global leader in helicopter leasing, announced at the HAI Heli-Expo that it has reached agreement with Bristow Group Inc. (NYSE: BRS) to lease five large helicopters.

The companies completed operating leases in December 2011 for two Eurocopter EC-225s deliverable in mid-2012 and anticipates closing the leases for three 2011 Sikorsky S-92 helicopters later this quarter. All five helicopters are expected to operate in the North Sea. The total value of the five aircraft is in the range of $125 to $135 million.

Richard Santulli, Milestone Chairman, said, "We are delighted to enter into a financing relationship with Bristow, which operates the world's largest fleet of commercial helicopters for the offshore oil and gas industry. Our level of commitment combined with the reputation of this world-class operator truly makes this a landmark deal for Milestone."

William E. Chiles, Bristow Group President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "The terms of these agreements, with Milestone covering 100% of the acquisition cost of the aircraft, meet our commercial needs to better manage our financial performance. What's more, Milestone brought capital, creativity and commitment to the transaction process. We look forward to building a broader relationship with the Milestone team in the future."

Today, helicopter operators are utilizing operating leases more frequently to diversify their capital structure, take advantage of the low capital requirements, improve cash flow, reduce risk and increase operational flexibility. Milestone is uniquely positioned to structure and execute lease transactions that meet the diverse needs of operators worldwide and also provide capital to operators during periods when alternative sources are limited or unavailable due to market constraints.

This agreement with Bristow Group marks the largest for Milestone Aviation Group since its launch in August 2010. The company currently has an asset portfolio representing more than $500 million in financing commitments and now holds leases with three of the four largest global helicopter operators in the world.

Milestone Aviation Group is the first global aircraft leasing company exclusively focused on helicopters. Milestone's global aircraft leasing platform addresses the liquidity needs of the market through 100% operating lease financing. Since launching in August 2010, Milestone has leased more than 40 aircraft valued at more than $500 million. Further information is available at

Bristow Group Inc. is the leading provider of helicopter services to the worldwide offshore energy industry based on the number of aircraft operated and one of two helicopter service providers to the offshore energy industry with global operations. The Company has major transportation operations in the North Sea, Nigeria and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and in most of the other major offshore oil and gas producing regions of the world, including Alaska, Australia, Brazil, Russia and Trinidad. For more information, visit the Company's website at