GE Capital finances new partnership's acquisition of Universal Helicopters
MONTREAL--GE Capital is providing a $10 million senior credit facility to a group of investors to purchase and operate Universal Helicopters Newfoundland and Labrador ("UHNL"), a regional helicopter services company. The new owners, through a limited partnership formed by Nunatsiavut Group of Companies, Tasiujatsoak Trust and CAPE Fund LP, are acquiring UNHL from its majority shareholder, Harry R. Steele, and minority shareholder, Norman Noseworthy.
Universal Helicopters operates 20 helicopters, primarily in Labrador and Newfoundland but also in the Ungava peninsula, the Arctic and Greenland, providing passenger transport, mineral exploration, search and rescue, forest fire suppression, film and media applications, cargo hauling, camp services and helicopter maintenance services.
"We appreciate working with GE Capital, particularly given their knowledge of the helicopter industry and their ability to lend against the full value of the company's aircraft," said Peter Forton, managing director, CAPE Fund. "The team at GE provided us with real expertise as well as the capital we needed to make this acquisition possible."
"We're pleased to be able to support this transaction," said Alain Dupont, leader, manufacturing and corporate aviation, GE Capital, Canada. "We were able to contribute our expertise in corporate acquisitions and in financing aircraft equipment."
Universal Helicopters Newfoundland and Labrador LP is one of the most experienced helicopter companies in Canada providing specialty helicopter services to a wide range of clients for the past 50 years. UHNL's corporate head office, main stores and accounting services are situated in Goose Bay, Labrador with other bases situated in St. John's, Pasadena and Gander, Newfoundland. Each location has permanent base personnel and hangar support facilities for year round operations and maintenance. UHNL has five decades of experience in maintaining and overhauling aircraft in support of remote field operations. With the completion of its new 900 sq. meter facility in Goose Bay, this centre has now become the prime maintenance facility for UHNL in providing running maintenance, major airframe and component overhauls and inspections for in-house requirements and third party clients.
NGC Nunatsiavut Inc., operating as the Nunatsiavut Group of Companies (NGC), is the business arm of the Nunatsiavut Government. Reporting to the Labrador Inuit Capital Strategy Trust, NGC's mission is to create wealth in trust for Nunatsiavut Beneficiaries by owning profitable, sustainable businesses. NGC's business lines include marine transportation, commercial real estate, construction, remote camp operations, logistics, heavy civil and air transportation. NGC brings capacity and expertise to projects in Labrador and beyond.
The Tasiujatsoak Trust was settled pursuant to a Trust Deed on April 30, 2004 to receive, hold and administer the Trust Fund for the benefit of Eligible Trust Beneficiaries. The purpose of the Trust is to accumulate and invest some or all of the Trust Fund from time to time or to distribute some or all of the Trust Fund to the Eligible Trust Beneficiaries in accordance with the objects of the Trust Deed. The objects include the promotion, advancement and development of financial, business, entrepreneurial and economic skills by loan of the funds. Eligible Trust Beneficiaries include the Nunatsiavut Government.
CAPE Fund LP is a $50 million private-sector investment fund founded by the family of the Right Honourable Paul Martin and 21 of Canada's leading companies, individuals and international Foundations, whose visionary leadership has supported the creation of the Fund and its novel approach to encourage increased Aboriginal participation in Canada's economy.
CAPE Fund is focused on mid-market opportunities with a strong degree of Aboriginal involvement and connection to Aboriginal communities throughout Canada. CAPE Fund's mission is to further a culture of economic independence, ownership, entrepreneurship, and enterprise management among Aboriginal peoples, through the creation and growth of successful businesses. For more information, including a complete list of disclosed investors, please visit www.capefund.ca.
With 17 offices throughout Canada, GE Capital (gecapital.ca) offers a wide variety of financial products and services to address commercial financing needs in many phases of a business' lifecycle. From equipment finance to working capital and growth financing to large asset-based and restructuring loans, we apply our wealth of industry expertise to develop custom solutions for our customers. Some of the industries in which we specialize include transportation, construction, manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, food & bev., mining, energy, retail, wholesale, restaurant and hotel franchise financing.