Libra Group has announced that Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing (SMFL) is to take a 35% stake in its aviation business LCI. The move follows the two companies’ joint venture, which began in 2020 with a 19-helicopter portfolio valued at US$230m. Since then, that portfolio has more than doubled to more than 50 aircraft and has a value in excess of US$550m.

Following the stock acquisition, the two companies plan to increase LCI’s business by $1.5bn over the coming years through significant capital investment.

Commenting on the announcement, Libra Group Executive Chairman George M. Logothetis said: “We are honoured to partner with SMFL, a visionary global organisation with a rich and profound history. Every person at SMFL we have dealt with has shown the highest level of professionality, moral and ethical character, as well as a deep commitment to sustainability and social impact. It is these shared values that will create an enduring partnership. We expect to progressively grow and deepen our relationship with SMFL over the years, our long-term outlook and belief system are strikingly similar. The possibilities for collaboration are endless, from aviation to maritime, to renewable energy, to all that lies in between. We look forward to working together over many years and across many industries to meet tomorrow’s challenges.”

Meanwhile, Masaki Tachibana, President of SMFL,  added, “We relish this opportunity to make a significant equity investment into LCI and to deepen our relationship with Libra Group, a business partner that has already won our respect and admiration. The investment by SMFL into LCI is the next step in what we hope will be a series of strategic collaborations across the helicopter and relevant industries, which enables both of us to further strengthen LCI’s business. Libra Group shares our values and commitment to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and we see many exciting opportunities ahead for partnership, innovation, and impact to societies.”

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