Leasing firm on verge of $300m deal
Avolon, the aircraft leasing firm that was established by Clare entrepreneur Domhnal Slattery, is poised to secure as much as $300m (€215m) in funding from a Singapore sovereign wealth fund.
The deal, if nailed down this week, will bring to more than $4bn the amount the company has raised in debt and equity since it was launched last year.
Major private equity groups Civen, CVC Capital Partners and Oak Hill Capital Partners stumped up a combined $750m in equity for Avolon when it was launched, while a further $615m in debt financing was also raised at the time.
Earlier this year, Avolon raised an additional $465m by way of a long-term debt facility from Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Citi.
Just days prior to that the leasing firm had raised $650m in debt and equity for the business, which buys aircraft that are then leased to airlines around the world.
At present it has 25 customers in 18 countries and 88 committed aircraft in its fleet.
Avolon chief commercial officer John Higgins has previously said that the company would probably seek to raise a further $650m in debt financing this year and it signed a $600m debt-raising deal during the summer. Since last year it has raised $1.1bn in equity and $2.6bn in debt.
Avolon is understood to be in talks with the Government Investment Corporation with a view to securing $300m in equity that will add financial firepower to the business, which incurs huge costs in buying aircraft.
It recently signed a sale and leaseback deal with both Ryanair and Malaysia-based AirAsia, a low-cost carrier which former Ryanair executive Conor McCarthy helped to start up. Avolon agreed to lease five Boeing 737s to Ryanair and four Airbus aircraft to AirAsia.
A spokesman for Avolon declined to comment when contacted yesterday. Mr Slattery is Avolon's chief executive officer.
A number of key executives from RBS Aviation Leasing -- which Mr Slattery had originally established as International Aviation Management -- were lured to work at Avolon.