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HNA's plane leasing unit sells 41 aircraft

By Zhu Wenqian | China Daily | Updated: 2018-03-28 10:31

Bohai Capital Holding Co Ltd, a finance leasing company and a sub-affiliate of HNA Capital, said its wholly-owned aircraft lessor Avolon Holdings Ltd has sold 41 aircraft to Sapphire Aviation Finance I Ltd, as the troubled HNA continues to sell assets to improve liquidity.

The Ireland-headquartered international aircraft leasing company Avolon Holdings, and Sapphire Aviation, a newly established special purpose company, closed a deal for $884 million last week, according to a statement by Bohai Capital released on Monday.

Avolon Holdings will continue to manage the leases of the 41 aircraft, and it will charge management fees of 3 percent of the rental income, it said in the statement.

Since Jan 17, Shenzhen-listed Bohai Capital has suspended trading in its shares, and the company said it is currently undergoing significant asset reorganizations.

The portfolio comprises a mix of wide-body and narrow-body aircraft with, as of February, an average age of about 12 years and an average remaining leasing period of 4.4 years.

Since 1999, Bohai Capital has purchased airplanes directly from aircraft manufacturers. Earlier, it made a string of overseas acquisitions, including the purchase of aircraft leasing company Avolon Holdings and the airplane assets of GE Capital Aviation Services, in addition to buying US commercial jet leasing firm C2 Aviation Capital.

Meanwhile, Avolon Holdings plans to contribute no more than $10 million and hold a stake in Sapphire of less than 10 percent. Third-party investors will purchase the remaining notes.

Bohai Capital said in the statement that the latest sales will help the company improve liquidity, maintain a young fleet and purchase the new generation of aircraft. It will also help the company to raise its competitiveness in the global aircraft leasing market and upgrade its asset structure.

Domhnal Slattery, CEO of Avolon Holdings, said: "The disposal of 41 aircraft from the Avolon fleet, facilitated by the launch of the Sapphire vehicle, opens another channel for Avolon to bring third-party investment into the midlife aircraft space while increasing our managed fleet and expanding our footprint as a servicer in the asset-backed security market."

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