AviLease, the start-up global aircraft lessor owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), has announced the completion of its acquisition of Standard Chartered’s aircraft leasing business.

The $3.6bn landmark deal further cements AviLease’s position in the global aircraft financing sector.

With this acquisition, the combined business now owns and manages 167 aircraft leased to 46 airlines worldwide.

The transaction comes only 16 months after it was launched, in July 2022.

AviLease acquisition

The syndication of the bridge financing of $2.1bn committed as part of the transaction was successfully completed with support from a group of ten banks, including Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Mizuho Bank, Natixis and Standard Chartered Bank.

They joined the initial underwriting banks BNP Paribas, Citibank N.A., HSBC Bank Middle East and MUFG Bank.

Edward O’Byrne, chief executive officer, said: “Today marks an important milestone for AviLease. With the completion of this acquisition, we are strengthening our position in the global aircraft leasing sector, in line with our ambition to become a top-10 global lessor by 2030.

“Through the expanded scale and synergies, we aim to accelerate our path towards an investment-grade rating. We are pleased to welcome our new colleagues to the AviLease team.”

The transaction was originally announced in August 2023.

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