Brazil’s Lí­der Gets Six Sikorsky Choppers

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has approved approximately US$ 41 million in financing to support the sale of six S-76C++ helicopters and spare parts by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation of Stratford, Conn., to LÀ­der Aviação of Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Ex-Im Bank is providing a seven-year direct loan to Lí­der Aviação in the second transaction that the Bank has authorized to support the sale of Sikorsky helicopters and spare parts to Lí­der Aviação, a leading provider of offshore helicopter services in Brazil.

The first transaction, supporting the export of 10 Sikorsky S-76C+ helicopters and spare parts, was authorized by Ex-Im Bank’s board of directors in August 2004.

"Ex-Im Bank is pleased to announce its second financing to support the export of Sikorsky helicopters to Lí­der Aviação. This transaction will support jobs at Sikorsky in Connecticut and will help the company strengthen its market presence in Brazil.

"We are also delighted to build on our successful relationship with Lí­der Aviação and look forward to supporting more of their purchases of U.S. exports," said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President (Acting) James H. Lambright.

"We thank Ex-Im Bank for their continued support of our efforts to expand Sikorsky Aircraft’s presence in Brazil, an important and growing market for American companies," said Jeff Pino, Sikorsky senior vice president for Corporate Strategy, Marketing and Commercial Programs.

"We are very happy to expand our business relationship with Ex-Im Bank, a key partner in our strategy to maintain a leading position in the logistics for the oil and gas exploration market in Brazil. We look forward to Ex-Im Bank’s support for our future transactions with U.S. manufacturers," said Lí­der Aviação CEO Eduardo de Pereira Vaz.

Ex-Im Bank’s support was needed to "level the playing field" for Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, which was facing competition for the Brazilian sale from a French competitor that was offering financing supported by the French export credit agency.

The transaction will enable Lí­der Aviação to expand its fleet of Sikorsky helicopters for its chartering contracts with Petrobras and other customers to support offshore oil and gas exploration and operations.

Ex-Im Bank, the official export credit agency of the United States, is in its 71st year of helping finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance and direct loans.

In fiscal year 2005, Ex-Im Bank authorized US$ 14 billion in transactions supporting an estimated US$ 17.9 billion of U.S. exports to markets worldwide.

Export-Import Bank of the United States – www.exim.gov

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