Launched in early 2012, Canada’s Element Capital is a brand new corporate jet financier.
The new division of Element Financial Corporation, an independent finance company listed on the Toronto stock exchange, will finance a range of assets. However, business aviation is very much a focus. “The background team that joined me were aircraft people, and what we have done over our first quarter is mostly aircraft,” says Tony Bergeron, executive vice president, Element Capital.
Bergeron has over 20 years of experience in asset finance and has a strong aviation background from his days at GE Capital. “We do have a good knowledge of aircraft and while we are close to manufacturers, we do understand the new and pre-owned market for aircraft,” he says.
Element Capital was set up to deal with transactions ranging between $2 million and $200 million. It will focus on five markets: aircraft owners and operators; helicopters operators; construction, oil and gas, and mining; transportation; and aerospace and manufacturing. The head office is in Montreal but it also has offices in Toronto and Calgary.
He adds: “We do small turboprops, but we don’t do pistons. The maximum age for us is 30 years for an aircraft. If you want to buy a Challenger 601 that is 20 years old, we’ll do that, because we are comfortable with the asset.”
Though the division may not have been founded in the most promising economic climate, Bergeron is more optimistic than many of his peers. “Personally, I think the worse is behind us,” he says. “I truly believe that in the pre-owned aircraft market, values are picking up. The deals we’re doing right now are very attractive given that the prices are still low, but we are doing deals in a more conservative way compared to what was done during the peak of the market.”
Still a company in its infancy, the company is now looking to crack the international market. “We’re new in the market,” says Bergeron. “[Our customers] are Canadian for now, but our intention is to go out and grow our business in the US in 2012.”