A Diligent Search Leads to a Creative Financing Structure for Bridger Aerospace

Bridger Aerospace is an industry leader in aerial wildfire management, relief and suppression, delivering powerful firefighting services using next-generation technology. They selected MountainSeed to identify a lender who could provide competitive financing for the purchase and operation of two CL-415EAF Super Scooper planes. The acquisition of these purpose-built fire suppression aircraft would allow Bridger Aerospace to continue providing best-in-class solutions within the aerial firefighting sector.

The Challenge

 

Initially, Bridger Aerospace’s in-house team attempted to secure financing through their own channels; however, they were unsuccessful in finding the right type of bank-level financing they required. Part of their challenge was the unique nature of the purchase – firefighting aircraft are rare and their production in Canada and importation into the U.S. market only further complicated the transaction. The MountainSeed team was brought on to identify a lender with an understanding of this specialized niche market that could navigate its complex closing process.

Understanding that the right loan would significantly enhance our client’s service offering, the MountainSeed team leveraged our nationwide network of banks to request loan estimates from multiple lenders. We spoke with more than 70 lenders in a four-week period before identifying a lender specializing in USDA programs and largescale aircraft finance. Upon selection, we further evaluated the lender’s estimate and negotiated the terms and rates to ensure the financing supported Bridger Aerospace’s long-term financial goals.

The Solution

 

MountainSeed identified the optimum program that best aligned Bridger Aerospace’s project with its overall business. Through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rural development initiative to expand infrastructure in Montana, we selected the Business and Industry loan program. Our team then partnered with a government guaranteed lender to provide Bridger Aerospace $38 million in financing under an extended 15-year term with a 24-month interest-only period at prime plus 1.5% floating rate for the two Super Scooper firefighting aircraft.

The Results

With help from MountainSeed, Bridger Aerospace was able to overcome a challenging situation and obtain financing for two crucial firefighting planes. The veteran-owned company was able to grow their fleet, create six new jobs and save 49 additional jobs in rural Montana. In the summer and fall of 2020, their newly acquired Super Scooper planes fought several wildfires in the western U.S., protecting lives, property and U.S. wildlands.