Dublin-based aircraft lessor Goshawk appears to have valued at at least $747m (€668m) following a recent inter-company non-cash share transaction.
But its pre-pandemic valuation was likely significantly higher based on accounts filed in the Cayman Islands for the main company behind the business - Goshawk Aviation. They show $1.6bn (€1.4bn) in equity on its balance sheet at the end of 2018.
New filings at the Companies Registration Office (CRO) also show that a number of executives from Goshawk's Hong Kong-based co-owners, NWS and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, have joined the board of Dublin-based Goshawk Management, having been directors of Goshawk Aviation in the Cayman Islands since its foundation.
Chow Tai Fook Enterprises is privately owned by the family of the late Hong Kong billionaire Cheng Yu-tung, and is a majority shareholder in NWS.
Goshawk is headed by chief executive Ruth Kelly. The company was catapulted into the top 10 league of aircraft lessors in 2018 when it acquired Dublin-based Sky Leasing, for a fair value of $1.85bn (€1.64bn). That excluded loans and borrowings totalling $726m at the time.
That deal added 51 aircraft to Goshawk's portfolio, boosting its fleet to 181 jets, with an asset value of more than $9bn. It now has about 233 aircraft.
Of the total acquisition price for Sky Leasing, 70pc was funded with debt and the rest from Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and NWS.
Sky Leasing was owned by Canada's huge pension investment manager, Public Sector Pension Investment Board, and private equity firm ATL Partners.
Brian Cheng Chi-ming, an NWS executive director, told Hong Kong's 'The Standard' newspaper when the deal was done that Goshawk's next step would be to secure a credit rating, with a stock market flotation of the lessor on the cards after that.
Filings here show that four Hong Kong-based executives were appointed directors of Goshawk Management in Ireland in April, while chief industry affairs executive Andrew Carlisle retired from the board.
The four NWS and Chow Tai Fook executives appointed are Brian Cheng Chi-ming, Ho Gilbert Chi Hang, Patrick Tsang on Yip, and Cheng Chi-him. Peter Caley, Goshawk's chief legal officer, has also been made a director of the company.
The latest set of accounts for Cayman Islands-based Goshawk Aviation show that the lessor made a pre-tax profit of $124.1m in 2018, which was up from $113.2m in 2017.
Its total revenue in 2019 was $549.2m, which included $528.7m in lease revenue. Of its revenue, $219.5m was generated in Asia, excluding China, and $25m in China.
The figures included just over three months of ownership of Sky Leasing. Subsequent to the year end, $77m in dividends were paid to Goshawk's shareholders.
It had borrowings totalling $5.4bn at the end of 2018.