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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Soros-Backed Waypoint Wins $550 Million Helicopter Debt

Waypoint Leasing, a specialist in helicopter deals whose backers include Soros Fund Management LLC, reached an agreement for borrowing capacity of as much as $550 million to secure $1 billion in assets by the end of 2014.

Waypoint has transactions lined up to bring its fleet under management to 21 helicopters exceeding $300 million in value by the end of this year, Chief Executive Officer Ed Washecka said. The models, acquired largely through sale-leaseback agreements, include aircraft from Eurocopter SAS, Finmeccanica SpA (FNC)’s AgustaWestland unit and United Technologies Corp. (UTX)’s Sikorsky.

Waypoint raised $375 million in equity this year from MSD Capital, Cartesian Capital Group and Soros to help build up its Limerick, Ireland-based helicopter leasing arm and tap demand for models used in the oil and gas industry. The debt facility includes a five-year, $335 million revolving credit line that can be expanded to $550 million, the company said in a statement.


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George Soros was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1930. His father was taken prisoner during World War I and eventually fled from captivity in Russia to reunite with his family in Budapest. Soros was thirteen years old when Hitler's Wehrmacht seized Hungary and began deporting the country's Jews to extermination camps. In 1946, as the Soviet Union was taking control of the country, Soros attended a conference in the West and defected. He emigrated in 1947 to England, supported himself by working as a railroad porter and a restaurant waiter, graduated in 1952 from the London School of Economics, and obtained an entry-level position with an investment bank.

In 1956, Soros immigrated to the United States, working as a trader and analyst until 1963. During that time, he developed his own theory of markets called 'reflexivity', which he has laid out in his recent books THE ALCHEMY OF FINANCE and THE CREDIT CRISIS OF 2008 AND WHAT IT MEANS. In 1967 he helped establish an offshore investment fund; and in 1973 he set up a private investment firm that eventually evolved into the Quantum Fund, one of the first hedge funds, through which he accumulated a vast fortune.