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Carlyle Aviation Partners to take Fly Leasing private in $2.4bn deal

Mon 29 March 2021 12:25 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Fly Leasing is being acquired by The Carlyle Group in a $2.36bn deal, it was announced on Monday.

The Dublin-based aircraft leasing firm, which is listed in New York, said it was being acquired by Carlyle Aviation Partners, the private equity giant's commercial aviation investment arm.

Under the terms of the deal, Fly Leasing shareholders will receive $17.05 per share in cash, a 29% premium to the closing price on 26 March.

Colm Barrington, chief executive, said the deal represented good value when airlines were facing an "extremely difficult" environment. "Smaller aircraft lessors are disadvantaged in the debt markets," he added.

"After a thorough review and evaluation of its options, Fly's board of director's enthusiastically recommends this transaction to its shareholders."

Robert Korn, president of Carlyle Aviation Partners, which has total assets under management of $6.1bn, told Reuters: "We believe in the long-term resilience of the aviation industry. History tells us when we get past a crisis, we will see a return of traffic as people return to travelling. We think we are buying this at an attractive price."

Fly Leasing currently owns 84 planes and seven engines, which are on lease to 37 airlines across 22 countries. Funded by Carlyle Aviation Partners' fifth aviation fund, SASOF V, the transaction will be the firm's largest fleet acquisition to date.

The deal is expected to close by the third quarter of 2021, subject to shareholder approval and regulatory clearance.

As at 1315 BST shares in Fly had surged 27% in pre-market trading.

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