- About Us
- Global Reach
A MARITIME LEGACY
Between 1976 and 1994 we built up a fleet of reefers, investing heavily during market downturns. In 1997 we sold the majority of the reefers in order to embark on diversification of the fleet. In the ensuing years we invested in container ships, tankers, bulk carriers and offshore vessels culminating in a 50-strong fleet.
CREATION OF LIBRA
The Libra Group was created with the specific intention of building a group of businesses that was diversified both in terms of geography and business sector. Our shipping legacy which included numerous joint ventures with cargo interests gave us an international footprint and insight into commercial cultures across the globe.
In 2004 we commenced the sale of many of our ships during what was to become one of the most significant upturns ever seen in global shipping. In the same year we created Lease Corporation International, our first business outside shipping which grew rapidly to become the world's largest privately owned aircraft lessor.
Our first major foray into residential real estate began in Singapore in 2004 with the creation of First Oriental. We acquired 120 properties in Singapore's prime residential areas. First Oriental's transactions have exceeded $300 million since its inception.
In 2004 we created First South American Investments (FSA), a holding company now comprising real estate development and brokerage, construction and hospitality subsidiaries. FSA owns over three million sq ft of prime real estate, completed or under development in Argentina.
Our first hospitality investment came with the acquisition of a collection of hotels, restaurants and banqueting facilities as well as an exclusive marina in New England's Kennebunkport resort. Today our US Hotels subsidiary comprises eight properties in New England including the acclaimed White Barn Inn.
MAJOR FLEET SALE
As our fleet reached 50 ships, we began the 24 month process of selling almost all of our reefers, container ships, bulk carriers and tankers. This enabled further expansion and diversification of the Libra Group.
LCI FLEET GROWS
2005 marked a year of major investment by Lease Corporation International. The company embarked on an acquisition programme that saw its aircraft fleet rise from eight to 18 inside 12 months.
In 2006 we undertook major expansion of First Mediterranean Investments (FMI), a holding company for our interests in the South Eastern Mediterranean and Balkan regions. Today FMI spans hospitality, energy and real estate.
LAST OF 67 SHIPS SOLD
The sale of four platform supply vessels as the shipping upturn reached its peak brought our total fleet sales to 67 vessels over three years. In the ensuing years we maintained a modest fleet but were poised for re-investment in shipping when conditions were right. This was realised with our major re-investment in shipping in 2009.
BANGKOK REAL ESTATE
In 2006 we commenced development of the Belgravia Residences condominium in the heart of Bangkok. This joint venture with a leading Thai property developer provided 48 ultra-luxurious homes within a few minutes' walk of the city centre.
By 2006, just two years after its formation, FSA became one of the largest privately owned property developers in Argentina. Its projects range from city centre luxury residential and commercial developments to major suburban residential complexes and the largest business park in Buenos Aires.
FIRST CENTRAL AMERICA
2006 saw an energetic investment programme in Central America with the launch of First Central America. The company's initial focus was on ownership of prime commercial real estate in Panama with strong covenants from blue-chip tenants. More recently the company has invested in residential real estate in Miami, Florida.
SALE OF AIRCRAFT FLEET
In November 2007 LCI completed the $1 billion sale of its entire fleet of 21 aircraft during a cyclical high point. The company later re-invested in the sector with a significant programme of acquisitions in 2009.
KOH SAMUI RESORT
Representing our largest single hospitality investment, First Oriental completed the acquisition of prime land in the island resort of Koh Samui, Thailand. When completed this six-star villa-only development combining a lavish hotel with luxury residences for sale will become a flagship complex.
SINGAPORE PROPERTY SOLD
Just three years after our major investment in residential real estate in Singapore we took advantage of the cyclical high point in 2007 and sold the vast majority of the apartments we had acquired.
Creation of EuroEnergy, our first investment in the emerging renewable energy market. EuroEnergy's grid-connected solar energy parks in Greece have a capacity of 22 MW. The company is also investing in wind energy farms.
GRACE HOTELS LAUNCH
In 2007 we created our own boutique hotel brand, Grace Hotels. Our hotels on the islands of Mykonos and Santorini opened to global critical acclaim including numerous industry awards. Grace Hotels is now expanding across the Americas and beyond.
Two years after completion of our major fleet sale we ordered two newbuilding timber carriers for delivery in 2010/11. This was followed by the acquisition of the Allocean fleet of 26 vessels in 2009.
160 ACRES IN VERMONT
US Hotels added the Windham Hill Inn in Vermont to its Elite hotels collection. This 160 acre property later joins the White Barn Inn as part of the exclusive Relais & Châteaux collection of the world's finest hotels.
REAL ESTATE GROWTH
2008 saw further property investment in both Singapore and Argentina. In Buenos Aires the Forum development became fully occupied and we commenced phase two of Optima Business Park. Optima is now home to Unilever's regional headquarters.
LCI ORDERS 32 AIRCRAFT
Major re-investment in aircraft by LCI with acquisition of 32 aircraft valued at $2.5 billion. Comprises an order for 20 Bombardier CSeries new generation aircraft (plus options for 20 more) and a further 12 Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
64 SHIPS AND PLANES
In 2009 Libra Group subsidiaries were among the most acquisitive in the global transportation sector: a total of 64 ships and aircraft were acquired during the year.
JOHN NEGROPONTE ADVISORY ROLE
In July 2009 Hon. John Negroponte, formerly US Deputy Secretary of State, Director of National Intelligence and Ambassador to the United Nations was appointed as Senior Advisor to the Libra Board of Directors.
$325m FLEET PURCHASE
December 2009 saw large-scale re-entry into shipping market with Lomar's $325 million acquisition of Allocean group and its mixed fleet of 26 modern vessels. Today Lomar's fleet stands at 38 ships.
2010 saw the opening of Libra Group representative offices in Beijing, China and Hamburg, Germany. These offices provide a gateway to all of Libra's commercial interests 'under one roof'.
FLORIDA REAL ESTATE
FCA opens an office in Miami, Florida and undertakes investment in a substantial portfolio of residential properties in southeast Florida.
Acquisition of Greenwood Fuels in July 2010. This Wisconsin-based renewable energy company converts industrial by-products into sustainable alternatives to coal and serves the power generation needs of industrial companies and utilities across the USA.
In 2010 Grace Hotels appeared in the prestigious Condé Nast Hot List for the third year running. 2010 also saw major expansion of the group's global footprint with the announcement of new Grace hotels in Panama City and Newport, Rhode Island and Cafayate, Argentina.
UNILEVER AND IBM AMONG ANCHOR TENANTS AT FSA’S OPTIMA BUSINESS PARK
August 2010 - FSA Group, Libra's South American commercial and property arm, marks a successful five years on the South American continent with the launch of the third phase of Optima Business Park in Greater Buenos Aires. Anchor tenants on this prestigious office development include Unilever, IBM and Mapfre.
During the year we further expanded our shipping fleet with the purchase of 10 vessels. We also took delivery of previously ordered aircraft, bringing our total fleet to 36 aircraft.
WORK STARTS ON ARGENTINA’S BECCAR PLAZA PHASE II
January 2011 - FSA Group, Libra's holding company for operations in South America, strikes ground on Beccar Plaza II, the second development phase of a premium, exclusive residential community in Buenos Aires with investment valued at over $25m.
EUROENERGY IN LATVIA
EuroEnergy opens an office in Latvia and enters joint venture to develop a series of biogas production facilities. The initial agreement covers six plants, the first of which has already been built.
Principal Media is nominated for an Emmy Award for its TV series First Ascent in the 'Best Camerawork, Sports' category. The series which profiles extreme adventure athletes aired on the Travel Channel in the U.S. and on National Geographic throughout the world.
GRACE ENTERS ASIA
Following its expansion into the Americas in 2010 Grace Hotels opens its first hotel in Asia: the Grace Beijing hotel and restaurant in the heart of the city's iconic 798 Art District, a thriving cultural centre.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH ADDRESSES LIBRA SPONSORED SUMMIT
On 20th September, 2011, President George W. Bush gave the keynote address at the inaugural Concordia Summit, sponsored by the Libra Group. This counter-extremism conference was attended by heads of state, business leaders, government officials and counter-terrorism experts. See The Concordia Summit.
LIBRA INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME LAUNCHED
September 2011 sees the creation of the Libra Internship Programme run in cooperation with The American College of Greece and the Greek America Foundation. The programme will initially select 20 students to intern with the Libra Group and its subsidiaries around the world.
GREENWOOD ENERGY LAUNCHED
Following the 2010 acquisition of waste-to-energy specialist, Greenwood Fuels, October 2011 sees the creation of Greenwood Energy which encompasses both Greenwood's fuel pellet technology and a new power division investing in clean power generation projects. The company has already completed several power deals.
FCA GROUP POSTS £75M OF REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS IN 2011
December 2011 - FCA Group, the North and Central American real estate investment arm of the Libra Group, makes a record $75m of property acquisitions in 2011 including around 500 condominium units in Florida and the Twist Tower development in Panama, bringing the portfolio to over 700,000 square feet across North and Central America.
LIBRA ENTERS HELICOPTER MARKET WITH $400m DEAL
February 2012 sees LCI break into the helicopter leasing market with a $400m order for AgustaWestland helicopters. Due for delivery over the next five years, the helicopters will be deployed in a diverse range of offshore and other civilian situations throughout the world.
LOMAR ORDERS NEW 'ULTRAMAX' BULK CARRIERS
February 2012 - Lomar places an order for up to six new 'Ultramax' bulk carrier vessels with COSCO of China. The 64,000 dwt ships represent a breakthrough in design and engineering, and meet the highest standards for fuel efficency and environmental compliance.
LOMAR ORDERS NEW CONTAINER SHIPS FROM CHINA
March 2012 - Lomar orders up to six new design container ships from the Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard in South China. The 2,200 TEU capacity vessels meet the highest standards for fuel efficiency and environmental compliance. They are the latest generation in their class and bring the Lomar fleet close to 50 vessels.
FCA GROUP UNVEILS NEW HEADQUARTERS AND PROPERTY MANAGEMENT ARM
April 2012 - FCA Group, the North and Central American real estate arm of the Libra Group acquires a new luxury property in Miami for its national headquarters and establishes a property management division for its portfolio of real estate assets throughout the Americas.
FURTHER LOMAR ORDER FOR NEW CONTAINER SHIPS
May 2012 - Lomar places an order for up to six 1,100 TEU container ship s from China's Yangzijiang Shipbuilding (Holdings) Ltd for delivery from May 2014. The new, fuel-efficient SDARI-designed vessels are cutting edge and take the Lomar fleet to over 50 vessels.
US HOTELS ACQUIRES TWO ADDITIONAL HOTELS
US Hotels acquires two boutique hotels from the Carlyle Group: The Orchards in Williamstown is a classic rural property situated in the Berkshire Mountains, MA, while The Centennial in the heart of Concord, NH, offers modern accommodation within a Victorian landmark property.
NEW COMPANY TO FOCUS ON PRIVATE INVESTMENTS
Libra Group launches Aamina, a new business for its diversified portfolio with a focus on strategic interests in private and start-up companies throughout the Middle East and North Africa region.
PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON SPEAKS AT CONCORDIA SUMMIT
September 2012 - President Bill Clinton and Senator John McCain were keynote speakers at the Concordia Summit, a non-profit organization that seeks to enhance the scale and effectiveness of public-private partnerships. Libra Group was the lead sponsor of the summit for the second year in succession.
LIBRA GROUP FUNDS AND MANAGES HELLENIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP AWARD
The Libra Group launches the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award on behalf of the Hellenic Initiative with a commitment of €5 million. The annual award offers entrepreneurs in Greece the chance to receive funding of up to €500,000 for a new business venture - plus mentoring and support from senior members of the Libra Group.
AAMINA OPENS OFFICE IN KURDISTAN
November 2012 - Aamina, the strategic investment and Middle East arm of the Libra Group, has opened a new office in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. The region is an emerging market for both direct inward investment and international advisory services.
GREENWOOD ENERGY AND BIOSAR JOINT VENTURE
Greenwood Energy announces a new USA-based joint venture with Biosar Energy S.A., a global leader in the construction of photo-voltaic (PV) solar systems throughout Europe. Biosar brings engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) capabilities that complement Greenwood's existing capabilities.
FCA GROUP'S FLORIDA RESIDENTIAL PORTFOLIO APPROACHES 1,000 UNITS
December 2012 - FCA Group, Libra's North and Central American real estate arm, takes its portfolio to well over 1 million square feet and approaching 1,000 condominium units in Florida alone following the acquisition of 222 residential apartments on the 'Jasmine at Tamarac' development.
EUROENERGY BRINGS SOLAR ENERGY TO ROMANIA
EuroEnergy, Libra's European renewable energy company, has expanded its portfolio of solar energy parks with the announcement of new photovoltaic projects in Romania. This follows the completion in 2012 of several solar projects in Greece which are now connected to the country's national grid.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP AWARD WINNERS NAMED
Four Greek businesses named as the first recipients of the Libra Group funded and managed Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award. The winners will receive mentoring and support from the Libra Group and share over €500,000 in business start-up funding. 838 people registered for the award resulting in 295 submitted business plans.
GRACE HOTELS NOW ON FIVE CONTINENTS
April 2013 - Grace Hotels announces its entry into the North African region with the acquisition of the Les Terres M'Barka, a luxury boutique hotel just outside Marrakech. The Moroccan hideaway with views of the Atlas Mountains will be renamed Grace Marrakech. There are now Grace hotels on five continents.
LOMAR ADDS SEVEN FURTHER SHIPS TO FLEET
May 2013 - Lomar acquires four container vessels: the 2,500 TEU Luna built in 2002 and the 1,100 TEU Stadt Muenchen built in 1999 plus the Rio Verde and Rio Valiente, both 2,500 TEU and built in 2003. Additionally, Lomar has added three 2007-built 11,200 dwt chemical tankers: Clipper Katja, Clipper Kitty and Clipper Klara.
HYATT PLACE BREAKS INTO BRAZIL WITH FSA GROUP
June 2013 - Hyatt Hotels Corporation signs a $270m landmark joint venture with FSA Group to develop and own nine Hyatt Place hotels throughout Brazil.
FURTHER HISTORIC NEW ENGLAND BOUTIQUE HOTEL FOR USH
June 2013 - US Hotels acquires luxury boutique hotel, The Wolfeboro Inn, in New Hampshire. The 44-room hotel alongside Lake Winnipesaukee offers guests the ideal combination of rustic charm with modern amenities. It is also home to the legendary Wolfe's Tavern dating back to 1812.
NEW WIND FARMS FOR EUROENERGY IN GREECE
July 2013 - EuroEnergy acquires new wind farms in Greece. With a combined generating capacity of over 40 MW, they will produce in excess of 75 GWh for the Greek national grid.
TRIO OF GRACE HOTELS FOR NEW ENGLAND
August 2013 - Grace Hotels announces that it will add The White Barn Inn in Kennebunk, ME, to the Grace family and acquires the iconic Mayflower Inn & Spa in Washington, CT. Together with Vanderbilt Grace in Newport, RI, this will create a trio of the finest hotels in New England.
LIBRA SPONSORS THIRD CONCORDIA SUMMIT
September 2013 - Held over two days in New York, the summit convened delegates and speakers from the business, public and non-profit sectors including world leaders from Chile, Spain, Georgia and Estonia. The theme was 'investing in youth' and how public-private partnerships can empower the next generation.
GRACE HOTELS ACQUIRES ICONIC PROPERTY IN ST. MORITZ
October 2013 - Grace Hotels acquires the historic La Margna hotel in the heart of St. Moritz, Switzerland. The hotel will undergo an extensive programme of renovation and transformation to create Grace St. Moritz which will include an all-new spa, three restaurants and luxury Grace-serviced apartments for sale.