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Two buyers emerge for Aircastle just two weeks after announcing strategic review
Posted on Wednesday, 06 November 2019 13:12
Marubeni and Mizuho Leasing have reached an agreement to acquire Bermuda-incorporated and Connecticut-based commercial jet seller Aircastle for USD 7.40 billion, including debt, via a newly-formed entity.

Under the terms of the transaction, the buyers are offering USD 32.00 per item of stock held in cash, representing a premium of 16.0 per cent to the New York-listed target’s close of USD 27.59 prior to the announcement yesterday.

The price is also 34.1 per cent higher than the USD 23.86 Aircastle was trading at when the bell rang on 23rd October 2019 before publicly disclosing its plans to review strategic alternatives.

Exactly two weeks ago today, the group issued a statement to say its board is evaluating alternatives including a sale after receiving non-binding expressions of interest from multiple third parties.

It retained Citigroup Global Markets to advise on the options at the time and cautioned there is no guarantee the process will result in a deal.

Peter Ueberroth, chairman of Aircastle, said: “After a review of strategic alternatives by our board of directors, we are pleased to reach this agreement with Marubeni and Mizuho Leasing, which delivers tremendous value and immediate liquidity to our shareholders.”

The company, which acquires, leases and sells commercial jet aircrafts to airlines around the world, will not host a third quarter earnings call and has no plan to publish the financial results for the nine months ended 30th September 2019 given the pending transaction.

Completion is expected in the first half of 2020 and remains subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Aircastle owned and managed 277 aircraft leased to 87 customers in 48 countries as of 30th September 2019.

Marubeni is a Japanese integrated trading and investment business conglomerate, while Mizuho Leasing is a general leasing company under the initiative of the Industrial Bank of Japan.

During the six months to 30th June 2019, Aircastle generated total revenues of USD 437.34 million, a 7.5 per cent increase on USD 406.96 million in the corresponding period of 2018.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation for the company in the first half of this year rose 6.9 per cent to USD 410.24 million (H1 2018: USD 383.75 million).

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