Investec has closed its first transaction with LEVL Leasing Limited, a joint venture between Lobo Leasing Limited and EMP Structured Assets GmbH, in a key transaction servicing the specialist search and rescue (SAR), emergency medical services (EMS) and firefighting aviation segment.
Investec provided a facility financing fifteen helicopters and five specialist fixed wing aircraft – including Airbus H125, Airbus H145, Bell 412 and AirTractor AT-802 aircraft. The aircraft are to be used by five lessees for government support services across SAR, EMS and firefighting, operating in Spain, France and Kenya.
LEVL Leasing is a joint venture that brings together Lobo Leasing’s full suite capabilities as a helicopter leasing platform with EMP’s capabilities in structuring financing solutions and raising capital for diverse aviation financing projects.
The portfolio of aircraft forms part of LEVL’s planned deployment of EUR75 million of committed equity funding (together with debt leverage where appropriate) in sustainable linked aviation such as EMS, firefighting, SAR and other ESG-compliant transactions.
The transaction is a further sign of Investec’s growing helicopter financing strategy. According to John Shaw, Aviation Finance associate at Investec: “This asset type has proven its versatility, providing essential work across a diversified user base that includes EMS, SAR, aerial policing, firefighting, offshore energy services and VIP transportation.”
“With more and more people living and working in regions vulnerable to extreme weather events such as storms, flooding and forest fires, SAR, EMS, firefighting and other related services have assumed an important role when it comes to the adoption of environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles,” says Shaw.
The transaction is the first transaction between Investec and LEVL Leasing. According to Dan Roberts CEO of Lobo Leasing: “We are happy to work with Investec’s aviation team to conclude our first financing for LEVL Leasing. We were particularly impressed with Investec’s flexibility, speed of execution and understanding of the unique requirements of the helicopter sector.”
Ulf Hüttmeyer, Executive Vice President of EMP Structured Assets, commented: “this was a transaction of many firsts and we are pleased to close the debt financing with Investec across a sub-fleet of LEVL’s diversified operating lease portfolio. The assets are providing critical services such as EMS, firefighting, and SAR – a sustainable investment in line with the EU taxonomy. Together with Investec we are looking forward to further develop the helicopter ESG financing segment and future transactions.”