Fifth Street Finance Corp. reported the formation of a new portfolio company in the aircraft leasing sector, First Star Aviation. Pradeep Hathiramani, former Principal and Sector Head of Transportation at KKR Asset Management, will lead the operations of First Star as Managing Director. Mr. Hathiramani will help build an experienced team focused on acquiring and leasing a portfolio of commercial aircraft to operators around the world. Mr. Hathiramani has more than 15 years of lending and leasing experience in the transportation industry. Most recently, he was responsible for originating and managing a portfolio of leveraged loans, high yield and mezzanine investments at KKR. Prior to that, he spent seven years at GATX Financial Corporation as Director of the Aircraft Leasing Group. First Star recently closed its first investment in the aircraft industry, which consisted of three commercial aircraft on lease to a U.S. airline. In connection with this transaction, Fifth Street provided First Star with debt and equity capital to execute on the strategy.
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