GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the aircraft leasing unit of GE signed an agreement to acquire Milestone Aviation Group, the Dublin-based helicopter lessor, for $1.775 bn. The acquisition is in line with GE Capital’s strategic plan of growing and enhancing value in core areas aligned with GE’s industrial domains including energy, aviation, oil & gas and healthcare, while reducing the overall size of GE Capital through the disposition of non-strategic assets such as the recently executed IPO and planned split-off of our North American Retail Finance business and the sale of our consumer banks in the Nordics. Helicopter finance represents a fast-growing sector in aviation. Since Milestone’s founding in August 2010 by aviation and leasing industry veteran Richard T. Santulli and other members of the former NetJets executive management team, the company has quickly grown into a leading helicopter leasing company. Today, Milestone’s fleet includes 168 helicopters worth $2.8bn as well as a strong forward order and option book of $3bn with a variety of helicopter manufacturers. The helicopters in Milestone’s fleet are primarily used in offshore oil and gas, search and rescue, emergency medical services and mining, as well as other industries, and are currently leased to 31 operators in 25 countries.