General Electric finance unit to buy helicopter leasing company for $1.78 billion

Associated Press

General Electric Co.'s finance unit, GE Capital, plans to expand into the helicopter leasing business by buying Milestone Aviation Group for $1.78 billion.

GE said Monday that Milestone will fall under its GE Capital Aviation Services unit, which rents planes and offers loans for buying aircrafts.

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Milestone, which is based in Dublin and founded four years ago, has a fleet of 168 helicopters that are rented to the offshore oil and gas industry, emergency medical service providers and other types of companies.

"The addition of Milestone will deepen our domain expertise in aviation and oil and gas, two critical GE industries," said GE Capital CEO Keith Sherin, in a statement.

The deal is expected to close next year.

Shares of GE, based in Fairfield, Connecticut, slipped 6 cents to $24.21 in morning trading Monday.