Global aircraft lessor AviLease, which is wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, has agreed to purchase the aircraft leasing business of Standard Chartered, which includes Dublin-based Pembroke Group.

AviLease said the acquisition will bring together two strategically complementary businesses, providing the company with the scale, global diversification and opportunity to leverage Standard Chartered’s operating capabilities.

The transaction is expected to close in Q4 2023.

AviLease portfolio

As part of the $3.6bn acquisition, AviLease will acquire a portfolio of 100 narrow body aircraft while also becoming servicer for another 22 aircraft.

The combined platform will own and manage 167 of the latest technology, fuel efficient aircraft, consisting of 145 owned valued at circa $6bn and 22 managed aircraft valued at circa $800mn leased to 46 airlines globally.

As part of the transaction, AviLease successfully arranged $2.1bn of competitive bridge financing commitments from four banks: BNP Paribas, Citibank N.A., HSBC Bank Middle East and MUFG Bank.

AviLease Chairman, Fahad Al-Saif, said: “The Standard Chartered leasing business is an industry-leading platform combined with a team of high-calibre professionals with an outstanding reputation.

“This acquisition will propel AviLease and will in turn support Saudi Arabia’s aviation ecosystem, on our path to help realise the Saudi Vision 2030’s objective of diversifying the economy and adding high value employment opportunities for Saudi citizens.”

‘Next step in AviLease’s young existence’

AviLease CEO, Edward O’Byrne, said: “This acquisition is a fantastic next step in AviLease’s young existence. We are purchasing a very high-quality portfolio of narrow body aircraft on lease to top-tier airlines globally. The transaction accelerates the scale-up and lessee diversification of our fleet, demonstrating our ability to execute on our investment strategy.

“Equally important is the ability for us to combine forces and leverage the high-quality capabilities of the Standard Chartered platform. We have the ambition to become a top-10 global aircraft lessor and this acquisition brings us one step closer.”

Simon Cooper, CEO of Corporate, Commercial & Institutional Banking and Europe & Americas at Standard Chartered, said: “We wish AviLease every success with its strategy to develop further the business for continued growth, and delivering on its ambition, to be a significant global player in the aviation leasing sector.

“I want to thank our Standard Chartered Aviation Finance colleagues, whose strong commitment to building an outstanding franchise over more than 15 years has enabled the success of this transaction.”
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