Friday 23 February 2018

Japanese bank completes €5.9bn RBS Aviation deal

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

JAPAN's Sumitomo Mitsui bank has completed its $7.3bn (€5.9bn) acquisition of Dublin-headquartered aviation leasing group RBS Aviation Capital -- the fourth-largest aircraft leasing group in the world.

The leasing unit will now be known as SMBC Aviation Capital. Sumitomo Mitsui clinched the RBS deal last January and was given approval for the transaction by the European Commission earlier last month.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Peter Barrett, who headed RBS Aviation and continues to serve as chief executive of SMBC Aviation Capital, welcomed the deal.

"It's a very good outcome for all involved," he said, adding that Sumitomo Mitsui would give the operation "great strength and advantage".

SMBC Aviation Capital currently has 203 aircraft in its portfolio, with commitments to buy an additional 82 by 2015. It supplies aircraft to 100 airlines in 40 countries. Most of the growth is focused on developing and emerging markets in regions including Asia and Latin America.

He said that Sumitomo Mitsui has a commitment to using its "robust capital structure and global reach" to help the leasing unit deliver significant future growth.

RBS Aviation Capital was originally co-founded by entrepreneur Domhnal Slattery as International Aviation Management. RBS acquired the business in 2001 for an estimated €45m. Mr Slattery has since gone on to found aircraft leasing firm Avolon.

He poached a number of key executives from RBS Aviation for his start-up.

Mr Barrett said that the aircraft leasing sector remained one of Ireland's unsung success stories.

He ranks the country as the leading aircraft leasing centre in the world.

Irish Independent

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