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  • Ahmed Saleh

PIF-owned AviLease buys Standard Chartered's aircraft leasing division.

Riyadh, August 28, 2023, AviLease, the burgeoning international aircraft lessor completely owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), revealed today that it has signed a binding contract to buy Standard Chartered's aircraft leasing division, which includes Pembroke Group in Dublin. By combining two businesses that are strategically complementary, the purchase will give AviLease scale, global diversification, and the chance to take advantage of Standard Chartered's top-notch staff and operating capabilities. 100 narrow-body aircraft will be added to AviLease's portfolio as part of the USD3.6 billion transaction, and the company will also take over the servicing of an additional 22 aircraft. The merged platform would own and manage 167 modern, fuel-efficient aircraft, including 145 owned for around USD6 billion and 22 managed for around USD800 million that are leased to 46 airlines throughout the world. BNP Paribas, Citibank N.A., HSBC Bank Middle East, and MUFG Bank all agreed to provide USD 2.1 billion in competitive bridge finance commitments as part of the transaction, which was successfully handled by AviLease. Fahad Al-Saif, the chairman of AviLease, stated: "The Standard Chartered leasing business is an industry-leading platform paired with a team of high-calibre experts with an amazing reputation. The Saudi Vision 2030's goal of diversifying the economy and expanding high-value employment opportunities for Saudi nationals will be furthered by this acquisition, which will also boost Saudi Arabia's aviation ecosystem. This acquisition is a fantastic next step in AviLease's young existence," stated Edward O'Byrne, CEO of AviLease. We are acquiring a highly premium fleet of narrow-body aircraft that are being leased by premier airlines all over the world. The deal shows our capacity to carry out our investment strategy by hastening the scale-up and lessee diversification of our fleet. The capacity for us to work together and make use of the excellent features of the Standard Chartered platform is equally significant. With this acquisition, we move one step closer to achieving our goal of ranking among the top 10 global aircraft lessors. We wish AviLease every success with its strategy to develop the business further for continued growth and deliver on its ambition to be a significant global player in the aviation leasing sector," said Simon Cooper, CEO of Corporate, Commercial, and Institutional Banking and Europe and Americas at Standard Chartered. I want to express my gratitude to our Standard Chartered Aviation Finance coworkers, whose unwavering dedication to creating an excellent franchise over the course of more than 15 years made this transaction successful. The deal is anticipated to be finalized in Q4 2023. For this purchase, AviLease was advised financially by Citigroup, legally by Allen & Overy and Arthur Cox LLP, and tax-wise by KPMG. J.P. Morgan Securities PLC provided financial advice, Clifford Chance LLP and McCann FitzGerald LLP provided legal assistance, while PwC provided tax advice for Standard Chartered.

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