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Ex-Im Bank To Leverage Industry Expertise To Expedite Export Financing for Business Aircraft and Helicopters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 13, 2012

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Phil Cogan or Linda Formella (202-565-3200)

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: U.S. manufacturers of business aircraft and helicopters will benefit from a new process to assess credit risks and expedite foreign-buyer financing from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). Ex-Im Bank will work with qualified industry experts to perform due diligence and credit analysis to facilitate the Bank's support for U.S. business-aircraft exports.

The announcement was made today by Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg at the 12th annual European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE), being held in Geneva, Switzerland, May 14-16.

“Business aircraft and helicopters are a vital part of the U.S. aerospace industry that is one of the most competitive sectors of the economy and employs thousands of Americans. 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. 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,” Chairman Hochberg said.

Ex-Im Bank is implementing the new process to address the increased demand for export credits for business aircraft and helicopters arising from the growing percentage of U.S.-manufactured aircraft that are sold to foreign buyers. The process is intended to result in a more complete and comprehensive transaction package being submitted to Ex-Im Bank. The more complete package will expedite the application, 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.

The process will be available immediately through any advisor that has demonstrated the requisite knowledge, experience and expertise with business-aircraft financing. Ex-Im Bank developed the process following upon 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 Company and Bell Helicopter Textron. The facility enabled Textron's Finance segment 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 of directors approved a second facility for Textron's Finance segment, 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.

In FY 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 approximately $90 million for 10 business aircraft and helicopters exports to four countries - Brazil, Mexico, Panama and Switzerland.

About Ex-Im Bank:
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. In the past five years, Ex-Im Bank has earned for U.S. taxpayers $1.9 billion above the cost of operations. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.

Ex-Im Bank approved $32.7 billion in total authorizations in FY 2011 -- an all-time Ex-Im record. This total includes more than $6 billion directly supporting small-business export sales -- also an Ex-Im record. Ex-Im Bank's total authorizations are supporting an estimated $41 billion in U.S. export sales and approximately 290,000 American jobs in communities across the country. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.