Aircraft lessor SMBC Aviation closes $7 billion takeover of rival Goshawk, sources say

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The SMBC Aviation Captial logo is seen in this illustration taken on May 4, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

by Anirban Sen and David French

(Reuters) – SMBC Aviation Capital, one of the world’s largest aircraft lessors, is nearing a deal to buy smaller rival Goshawk for about $7 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The deal between the two privately held Irish lessors in Dublin could be announced as early as next week, sources said on condition of anonymity. It will create a global aircraft leasing giant as consolidation sweeps across the industry.

Last year, Ireland’s AerCap, the world’s two largest aircraft leasing companies, and General Electric’s leasing arm, GECAS, merged in a deal worth more than $30 billion.

Owned by a consortium including Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation and Sumitomo Mitsui (NYSE: ) Financial Group, SMBC Aviation Capital has more than 750 owned, managed and committed aircraft, primarily Boeing (NYSE: ) and Airbus Short-haul type, according to its website.

Goshawk, a 50-50 joint venture between Hong Kong-based conglomerates NWS Holdings Ltd and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd, has an owned, managed and committed fleet of 222 aircraft, according to its website.

A spokesman for SMBC Aviation Capital declined to comment. Goshawk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The trade publication AirFinance Journal first reported on the talks between the two companies in November.

A series of deals has reshaped the global aviation finance industry that has attracted a lot of capital in recent years.

Aviation investment arm of private equity firm Carlyle Group (NASDAQ:) Inc last year agreed to buy aircraft leasing company Fly Leasing (NYSE:) Ltd for $2.36 billion, including debt. In December, Carlyle’s aviation division also agreed to acquire the aircraft portfolio of Irish leasing company AMCK Aviation.

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