The U.S. Export-Import Bank announced Monday that U.S. business aircraft and helicopters manufacturers will benefit from a new process to assess credit risks and expedite foreign-buyer financing.
The bank hopes the new process will further facilitate the country’s exports of U.S.-made business aircraft.
“Ex-Im Bank understands that business-aircraft transactions require specialized knowledge and experience but has limited resources to meet the growing demand for export financing in this industry,” said Bank Chairman Fred P. Hochberg, in a statement. “By leveraging private-sector expertise to assist and support our evaluation of these credits, we will be able to expand Ex-Im Bank’s support for U.S. business-aircraft exports and the manufacturing jobs that they sustain.”
The bank will expedite these applications, the approval and closing process for foreign borrowers of Ex-Im-supported financing in business aircraft transactions. Using qualified advisors is also expected to provide enhanced credit structures, resulting in additional credit protections for Ex-Im Bank.
“The process is designed to benefit manufacturers that do not have a captive financing company, but which can now designate one or more advisors to work with their foreign buyers,” Ex-Im Bank said.
Ex-Im Bank said it developed the process following on the successful model of its $500 million loan facility approved in 2009 that provided funds to assist Textron Inc. in financing exports of two of its companies, Cessna Aircraft Co. and Bell Helicopter Textron. The loan allowed Textron to provide competitive terms and interest rates to finance the export of more than 100 Cessna aircraft exports and six Bell helicopters.
Last week, Ex-Im Bank’s board approved a second facility for Textron, providing a guarantee of a $350 million loan from PNC Bank to a Textron subsidiary to finance the export of additional Cessna aircraft and Bell helicopters. The repayment term is 12 years.
“We anticipate that this facility will add to the success of the first such financing for Textron, which has helped to support hundreds of manufacturing jobs in Kansas, Georgia and Texas," Hochberg said.
In fiscal year 2011, Ex-Im Bank authorized more than $12.6 billion in financing to support the export of U.S.-manufactured aircraft of all types, including about $90 million for 10 business aircraft and helicopters exports to four countries – Brazil, Mexico, Panama and Switzerland.