IBQ readies $43.5m loan for Gulf Helicopters
Doha, June 28, 2011
The International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) said it has extended a QR158.8 million ($43.5 million) term loan facility to Doha-based Gulf Helicopters Company (GHC).
GHC, a subsidiary of Gulf International Services, is a leading helicopter operator in the Middle East region. The Qatari company currently operates a fleet of 29 helicopters in the region with operations extending to India, Yemen, and Libya.
IBQ is the sole provider of the loan facility to GHC which is aimed at supporting the growth and diversification of one of the region’s leading helicopter operators, said George Nasra, managing director of IBQ after signing the deal with Mohammed Al Mohannadi, chief executive officer of GHC.
Established in Qatar in 1970, GHC provides a range of helicopter transportation services to the oil and gas sector for both onshore and offshore operations.
The company recently diversified its operations to include both emergency and domestic flight services.
'GHC also operates its own in-house maintenance facility and is now positioned to become a regional service centre for major helicopter manufacturers, including, among others, AgustaWestland, MD, Bell, Sikorsky and Eurocopter,' remarked Al Mohannadi.
Additionally, GHC will continue to further diversify its operations into emergency medical services, firefighting, aerial photography, and VVIP and executive transport, he added.
According to him, the IBQ term loan will support the company's future growth plans, which include expanding its fleet to over 70 helicopters in the next decade to meet increasing demand.
'IBQ has been able to provide us with highly competitive financing terms that are characterised by flexibility and speed, reflecting the solid performance of our business.'
“Established here in Qatar more than four decades ago, Gulf Helicopters is now a leader in its field in the region,” he added.
On the deal, Nasra said, “Today’s announcement demonstrates that IBQ is committed to supporting Qatari companies with commercially compelling long-term expansion and development plans.”
“Backed by a strong management team and with a clear focus on innovation, Gulf Helicopters is now even more strongly positioned to achieve the next phase in its organic growth,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service