Through the signing of a definitive agreement, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has announced its intention to acquire the AWAS group of companies, a leading global aircraft leasing company. While terms of the transaction have not been disclosed, it is understood that it will be financed from funds managed by Terra Firma Capital Partners and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board.
DAE is majority-owned by the Dubai government holding company Investment Corporation of Dubai, which also controls the parent company of Dubai airline Emirates. DAE reported having a portfolio of 112 aircraft earlier this month, while AWAS currently has a fleet of 263 owned, managed and committed narrow-body and wide-body aircraft, with a further 23 new aircraft on order for delivery prior to the end of 2018. The takeover will see the total fleet reach 394 aircraft with a combined value in excess of US$14 billion.
DAE Managing Director Khalifa H. AlDaboos said: “This acquisition of AWAS is strategically compelling and propels DAE into a top 10 aircraft leasing platform. Our leasing business has been growing at a rapid clip and this acquisition will more than double the current size of our business, providing the necessary scale for DAE to best serve its customers.”
DAE Chief Executive Officer Firoz Tarapore said: “Over three decades AWAS has built a respected brand, a highly experienced workforce, and a world-class platform with all key capabilities in-house. We are delighted to be able to acquire this platform, and to combine it with our capabilities to offer our global customers an even wider range of aviation solutions. In addition, this combination results in a well-diversified portfolio with the ability to generate strong risk-adjusted returns.”
DAE was advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC. DAE was also advised by KPMG and Latham and Watkins LLP.
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