BOC to bid for aircraft leasing company

Updated: 2006-11-17 14:46

Bank of China (BOC) and two partners will make a bid for Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise (SALE), the largest aircraft leasing enterprise in Asia, according to the China Securities Journal.

The newspaper cited a source said that BOC, together with Mitsubishi Trading Corporation and Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, planned to offer 1 billion U.S. dollars for Singapore Aircraft.

It is the first time the BOC has been involved in an overseas takeover operation in the non-financial sector, the reprot said.

BOC has hired Morgan Stanley and UBS to advise it on the deal, according to other reports.

A SALE spokesman said the deal may not go through before March 2007.

SALE, which leases aircraft to 34 airlines in the world, has been profitable for 13 consecutive years. One of its shareholders, Singapore Airlines, saw profits decline in the third quarter by 15 percent.

Analysts say the aircraft leasing business is the only high-margin activity in the aviation sector at the present time, and the deal will give BOC an opportunity to develop the aircraft leasing business at a time when domestic airlines lack both aircraft and funds.

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