Chicago-based Thora Capital has advised an investor group on the successful consummation of a helicopter acquisition and leaseback involving three Airbus EC135s in emergency medical services (EMS) configuration. The aircraft are leased and operated by Apollo MedFlight, headquartered in Texas.
“We are pleased to be able to advise this particular investor group on its first fully unilateral helicopter acquisition, while also bolstering our growing portfolio of managed assets,” comments Matthew Rothschild, CEO of Thora. The helicopters will be used in Nebraska for both emergency and non-emergency medical transport. “We are delighted to continue to support our investors in this way and also to be supporting the important work that Apollo MedFlight does across the USA,” adds Russell Christopher, managing director of Thora Capital. “These are popular and versatile aircraft and will be used to save lives and help Apollo, an existing lessee of Thora's capital partners, to grow its footprint and serve its mission. The deal required us to provide our full underwriting expertise to assist the investor group in its investment decision-making. Our established underwriting practices and procedures facilitated an accelerated closing, which took less than four weeks from executing the letter of intent to funding and delivery.”
Vedder Price, Washington DC, was legal counsel to the transaction. Uniflight Global, based in Grand Prairie, Texas, is technical servicer and will provide collateral monitoring to the asset manager.
Thora has also hired Marc Schechter as MD. Schechter brings over a decade of experience in the helicopter industry to Thora. “Our team is thrilled to welcome such an impressive talent to the organisation,” states Adam Gerchen, Thora chairman. “Marc's wealth of experience will further enhance both our origination and underwriting capabilities.”
Prior to joining Thora, Schechter was head of risk and credit at Macquarie, one of the world's largest aircraft leasing organisations. While there, he managed over $1 billion of aircraft leased across thirty countries. He also integrated two different underwriting and credit management platforms after his former employer completed an acquisition.