Dublin-based Avolon tipped to buy $12bn of CIT planes
Dublin-headquartered aircraft leasing firm Avolon, which was co-founded and is headed by Dómhnal Slattery, is now believed to be a front-runner in a race to acquire $12bn of aircraft assets being sold by US financial group CIT.
CIT is selling its portfolio of 350 jets, and second-round bids are due next week.
It's been reported that first-round bids came in at more than $4bn. A decision on a buyer is likely to be made soon after the second-round bids have been submitted.
Bohai Leasing, a division of China's HNA conglomerate, bought Avolon last year for $2.5bn, and has ambitions to significantly increase the size of Avolon, which is already the world's fourth-biggest aircraft lessor.
US-based CIT is selling its aircraft leasing arm to concentrate on its other lending units.
Its aircraft leasing division, which has its main office in Dublin, operates in 50 countries and has more than 100 customers.
Its clients include American airline Delta, Gulf carrier Etihad, and Israel's El-Al.
Avolon currently has an active fleet of 220 owned and 22 managed aircraft. It has an additional 199 aircraft on order.