GE Capital to acquire Milestone Aviation
October 14, 2014 ByCarey Fredericks
Oct. 14, 2014, Stamford, Conn. - GE Capital Aviation Services has announced it has agreed to acquire Dublin-based helicopter lessor Milestone Aviation Group for $1.775 billion.
The acquisition is part of GE Capital's strategic plan of increasing
its focus on core areas aligned with the company's industrial domains
including energy, aviation, oil & gas and healthcare, while reducing
the overall size of GE Capital through the sale of non-strategic
Keith Sherin, Chairman & CEO of GE Capital said, "The
Milestone acquisition is a great fit for GE – it combines GECAS' global
reach and 45+ years in leasing commercial jets with a fast-growing
helicopter financing platform that will diversify our business and put
our capital to work at good returns. The addition of Milestone will
deepen our domain expertise in aviation and oil and gas, two critical GE
Milestone Aviation was founded in August 2010 by aviation and
leasing industry veteran Richard Santulli and other members of the
former NetJets executive management team.
Milestone's fleet currently includes 168 helicopters worth $2.8
billion, as well as a forward order book of 131 firm and option
aircraft with an estimated aggregate purchase price of $3 billion with a
variety of helicopter manufacturers.
The helicopters in Milestone's fleet are primarily used in
offshore oil and gas, search and rescue, emergency medical services and
mining, as well as other industries, and are currently leased to 31
operators in 25 countries.
Santulli will serve as chairman of the helicopter leasing
business and will become an officer of GE. Milestone president Daniel
Rosenthal will serve as president of the business, which will continue
to operate as "Milestone Aviation Group."
Other co-founding executives John Burns, Robert Thor Dranitzke
and Matthew Harris and the rest of the Milestone team will continue in
their current roles.
In a separate press release, GE's Intelligent Platforms
business said that it has received a $2.6 million order from BAE Systems
Platforms and Services, a unit of BAE Systems plc, for a
quantity of its latest generation 3U VPX COTS Rugged Systems that
deliver High Performance Embedded Computing or HPEC capability.
The COTS Rugged Systems will be deployed as part of the U.S.
Army's Common Embedded Training Unit or CETU, and will be used on-board
the Bradley Fighting Vehicle for training and simulation.
GE noted that its solution is notable for its small size,
weight and power or SWaP characteristics, which means that it can
provide all the functionality required within the confined environment
of the Bradley vehicle.
The system is housed in a rugged, 5-slot enclosure and includes
a GE 3U VPX single board computer that features an Intel Core i7
processor as well as a rugged graphics board that takes advantage of the
performance of an NVIDIA 384-core 'Kepler' GPU.
GE noted that the graphics board is a result of its close
working relationship with NVIDIA that has enabled GE to incorporate
truly rugged technology rather than commercial/benign environment
The GE Intelligent Platforms CRS-D5I-3VC1 Rugged COTS System,
on which the CETU product is based, is a packaged, pre-validated 5-slot
video processing, display and control computer system that is fully
integrated and ready to be deployed.
GE noted that it allows the elimination of non-recurring
engineering expense to lower program cost, while program risk is
minimized due the fact that it is pre-configured and pre-tested.