SMBC Aviation Capital, which is owned by a consortium including Japan’s Sumitomo Corp and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, has a fleet of more than 750 owned, managed and committed aircraft, mostly Boeing and Airbus short-haul models, according to its website. Goshawk, which is a 50-50 joint venture between Hong Kong-based conglomerate NWS Holdings Limited and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited, has an owned, managed and committed fleet that consists of 222 aircraft, its website showed.
People familiar with the situation said on Friday that SMBC Aviation Capital, one of the world’s largest aircraft lessors, is close to agreeing to buy smaller rival Goshawk for around $7 billion, including debt. The merger between the two privately held lessors located in Dublin, Ireland, could be revealed as soon as next week, according to sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity. As the business consolidates, it would create a global aircraft leasing behemoth. In a merger worth more than $30 billion, the world’s two largest aeroplane leasing companies, Ireland’s AerCap and GE’s leasing subsidiary GECAS, merged last year.
A spokesperson for SMBC Aviation Capital declined comment. Goshawk did not immediately respond to a comment request. The trade publication AirFinance Journal first reported the talks between the two companies in November.
A flurry of deals has reshaped a global air finance industry that has attracted a huge swathe of capital in recent years. The aviation investment arm of private equity firm Carlyle Group Inc agreed last year to buy aircraft leasing company Fly Leasing Ltd for $2.36 billion, including debt. In December, Carlyle’s aviation arm also agreed to buy Irish leasing firm AMCK Aviation’s portfolio of aircraft.
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