Monday 16 September 2019

Market turmoil delays planned UK IPO of Millar's jet leasing vehicle

Aviation: Howard Millar is a former Ryanair CFO
Aviation: Howard Millar is a former Ryanair CFO
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

A planned stock market flotation of an aircraft-leasing fund vehicle co-founded by former Ryanair chief financial officer Howard Millar has been delayed until early next month.

The initial public offering (IPO) of Sirius Aircraft Leasing Fund had originally been set for London tomorrow.

The firm intends to raise at least an initial $250m (€218m) from investors, with the equity raised matched by debt to give Sirius the capacity to buy between 20 and 25 single-aisle, second-hand jets.

Sirius is targeting an 8pc dividend yield, and a total return target of an internal rate of return of 10pc.

It hopes to have $1.5bn (€1.3bn) in funds within the next three years. Market sources said that Brexit-related turmoil, particularly after last week's events, probably influenced the decision to extend the flotation timetable.

A number of stock market flotations have been postponed as political and economic uncertainty dog the UK and spill over into Ireland.

Last month, a planned £10bn (€11.2bn) flotation of mobile operator O2 was put on hold until after Brexit. The UK is due to leave the EU at the end of next March.

Irish homebuilder DRes, a partnership between Durkan Residential's Patrick Durkan and US equity giant Lone Star, has also postponed its €300m-plus stock market flotation until next year due to market turmoil.

In a notice to the stock exchange yesterday, Sirius said it is extending its planned admission to December 5. The latest time for the receipt of applications under the subscription offer is now November 29.

Mr Millar, who is still a non-executive director with Ryanair, has established Sirius with aviation executives Ed Coughlan and Ed Hansom.

The trio worked together at aviation management and finance firm Stellwagen until last year.

That firm later took legal action against the executives in an effort to prevent them from allegedly planning to use "highly confidential material", to compete with Stellwagen.

The three executives have denied Stellwagen's claims. At the weekend, it was reported that Sirius has been put on notice that Stellwagen may seek to have the fledgling firm joined to the legal proceedings against the trio.

Irish Independent

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