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PIF unit buys StanChart’s jet leasing business for $3.6bn

AviLease will acquire a portfolio of 100 narrow-body aircraft and become a servicer for another 22 aircraft Airbus
AviLease will acquire a portfolio of 100 narrow-body aircraft and become a servicer for another 22 aircraft

Aircraft Leasing Company (AviLease) has agreed to buy the aircraft leasing business of UK-based Standard Chartered for $3.6 billion as it aims to become a top 10 global lessor by 2030.

Based in Riyadh and backed by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the jet lessor will acquire a portfolio of 100 narrow-body aircraft and become a servicer for another 22 aircraft. 

The combined platform will own and manage 167 aircraft, consisting of an owned fleet of 145 aircraft valued at $6 billion and 22 managed aircraft valued at $800 million. The company leases aircraft to 46 airlines globally, AviLease said in a statement.

As part of the transaction, AviLease secured $2.1 billion worth of bridge financing commitments from four banks: BNP Paribas, Citibank, HSBC Bank Middle East and MUFG Bank.

AviLease chairman Fahad Al Saif said the acquisition will propel the company and will, in turn, support Saudi Arabia’s aviation ecosystem and Vision 2030’s objective of diversifying the economy.

CEO Edward O’Byrne added that the deal accelerates the scale-up and lessee diversification of AviLease’s fleet, demonstrating the ability to execute its investment strategy.

The transaction is expected to close in Q4 2023.

AviLease secured $1.1 billion in June in its inaugural funding round.

In the same month, the company purchased 13 aircraft, including seven Airbus A320neos, two A330neos and a Boeing 737 Max 8, from Ireland-based leasing company Avolon to bolster its growth plans.

In July 2022, the PIF subsidiary signed its first leasing agreement with Saudi airline Flynas, purchasing 12 new A320neo aircraft and leasing them to the local low-cost airline.

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