Libra Group, a privately owned international business group has announced today that Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Co., Ltd. (SMFL) has agreed to acquire a 35% stake in its aviation subsidiary, LCI. Additionally, SMFL and Libra Group plan to grow LCI’s business by USD1.5 billion over the coming years with significant capital investment by shareholders, according to a press release. “LCI’s first partnership with SMFL began in 2020 with the launch of a USD230 million helicopter leasing joint venture (JV) of 19 next-generation helicopters. Since that time, the JV has expanded and now has a portfolio of over 50 aircraft valued at over USD550 million,” said the release.“In addition to this transaction, senior representatives of both Libra Group and SMFL have signed a framework agreement that will serve to further cement the close business relationship that exists between the two groups. Libra and SMFL intend to expand their collaboration across additional Libra Group industries and business verticals.
LCI’s modern aviation technology portfolio includes an agreement signed in January 2023 with Elroy Air, a developer of advanced autonomous cargo aircraft systems, to acquire up to 40 of the company’s Chaparral vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. In April 2022, LCI signed a deal with BETA Technologies to acquire up to 125 state-of-the-art electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Upon the delivery of all its new orders, LCI will have a fleet of close to 350 aircraft that will be leased across the world.
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