This transaction showcased the value of Investec’s global presence, with the facility being jointly underwritten by Investec’s UK and South African aviation teams.

Joseph Barnwell, Senior Associate, Investec Aviation Finance:

“The financing solution we provided for the Challenge Group highlights Investec’s ability to create an innovative financing package that not only takes into account the value of the aircraft in their passenger and freighter configurations, but also Challenge Group’s ability to utilise these assets before and after conversion. We are excited to partner with Challenge as the group plays a growing role in the global air freight market.”

Michael Koish, Chief Investment Officer at Challenge Group:

“This conversion program is the keystone in Challenge Group’s expansion strategy as it allows it to increase its current fleet of eight widebody freighters. This was no straight-forward financing deal but thanks to strong cooperation and out-of-the box thinking we were able to solve some of the complicated issues that popped up along the way. Hopefully this will be the first of many deals to come with Investec, as Challenge Group continues to assert its ambition to strengthen its position in the air cargo sector.”

Challenge Group is a leading provider of unique integrated end-to-end air cargo solutions for freight businesses worldwide. Its main focus is non-standard cargo that requires innovative, industry-specific handling solutions, such as oversized cargo. With three AOCs and operating from Malta, Belgium and Israel, the group owns a cargo terminal in Liège, Belgium and a fleet of eight widebody freighters (4x B747-400F and 4x B767-300ER BDSF). It employs 1,000 people all over the world.

Investec’s Aviation Finance team operates across the UK, South Africa, the US, Singapore and Dublin. Over the past 10 years it has originated c.$10bn of aviation debt.

Investec Aviation Finance has full alignment with investors via meaningful co-investment in all managed platforms.

Investec was advised by Holland & Knight LLP and Challenge Group by HFW.