Thora Hires Managing Director, Advises on Sale-Leaseback of Three Helicopters

Thora Capital, a Chicago-based alternative asset manager dedicated to aviation finance, hired Marc Schechter as managing director. Schechter has more than a decade of experience in the helicopter industry.

“Our team at Thora is thrilled to welcome such an impressive talent to the organization,” Adam Gerchen, chairman of Thora Capital, said. “Marc’s wealth of experience will further enhance both our origination and underwriting capabilities.”

In his role prior to joining Thora Capital, Schechter was head of risk and credit at an aircraft leasing organization. While there, he managed more than $1 billion of aircraft leased across 30 countries. He also integrated two different underwriting and credit management platforms after his former employer completed an acquisition.

Separately, Thora advised an investor group on the consummation of a helicopter acquisition and leaseback involving three Airbus EC135s in emergency medical services (EMS) configuration. The aircraft are leased and operated by Apollo MedFlight, headquartered in Texas.

“We are pleased to be able to advise this particular investor group on its first fully unilateral helicopter acquisition while also bolstering our growing portfolio of managed assets,” Matthew Rothschild, CEO of Thora Capital, said.

The helicopters will be used in Nebraska for both emergency and non-emergency medical transport.

“We are delighted to continue to support our investors in this way and also to be supporting the important work that Apollo MedFlight does across the USA,” Russell Christopher, managing director of Thora Capital and the leader of this transaction, said. “These are popular and versatile aircraft and will be used to save lives and help Apollo, an existing lessee of Thora’s capital partners, to grow their footprint and serve its mission.

“The deal required Thora to provide its full underwriting expertise to assist the investor group in its investment decision-making. Thora’s established underwriting practices and procedures facilitated an accelerated closing, which took less than four weeks from executing the letter of intent to funding and delivery.”

Vedder Price was legal counsel for the transaction. Uniflight Global, based in Grand Prairie, TX, is technical servicer and will provide collateral monitoring to the asset manager.

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