Element inks railcar deal, acquires portfolio; plans to raise $1 billion

TORONTO, Cananda – Element Financial Corp. (TSX:EFN) said Monday it has signed a deal to provide lease financing for up to $2 billion worth of rail cars over the next two years and acquire a US$245-million of portfolio of financial assets secured by helicopters

The equipment financing company also announced plans to raise $1 billion in new capital through a combination of common shares, preferred shares and a $600-million term loan.

Element said the railcar financing deal with Trinity Industries and helicopter portfolio acquisition from a subsidiary of GE Capital are expected to add to earnings in the second half of next year.

“With these two transactions, Element has firmly anchored itself as a North American leader in two of our five core equipment finance verticals — aviation finance and railcar finance,” Element chairman and chief executive Steven Hudson said.

“Working alongside the leading manufacturers that we support in these verticals, we expect to originate growing volumes of diversified high quality finance assets over the next several quarters as a result of these initiatives.”

The helicopter portfolio includes 59 individual helicopters operated by more than a dozen customers in a variety of industries including oil and gas resource development and medevac services.

The company said the portfolio has no history of losses and a credit profile in line with its existing book of aviation financings.

To raise the $1 billion, Element said it has signed a deal to issue more than 23.6 million shares at a price of $13.75 per share to raise about $325 million. Element has also agreed to issue three million preferred shares at $25 per share to raise an additional $75 million.

If the overallottment options are fully exercised, the common and preferred share offerings will raise a total of $460 million.