Irish aircraft-leasing firm closes sale of $500m unsecured notes

Irish aircraft-leasing giant SMBC has closed the sale of $500m (€442m) of its 3.55pc senior unsecured notes that are due in April 2024.

Proceeds from the sale will be used for general corporate purposes, which may include the purchase of aircraft and the repayment of existing debt.  

Barry Flannery, chief financial officer of SMBC Aviation Capital, said:

“The successful completion and attractive pricing of this transaction is yet another endorsement from the market of SMBC Aviation Capital’s strategy and long-term growth prospects.”

“The pricing achieved proves that our quality portfolio and long track record combined with our strong balance sheet and future prospects are compelling and differentiating factors for us, and this transaction is another significant milestone in the development of our third-party funding plans for the business.”

This successful bond placement is priced at US Treasuries plus 125 basis points.

The close of the sale follows an announcement in November last year that the company had received an A- rating from S&P (along with its existing A- rating from Fitch), and is now the joint highest rated lessor in the industry.

SMBC Aviation Capital is one of the world’s top five largest aircraft lessors, with 87 airline customers in 41 countries. 

As of 31st December 2018, the company owns, manages and is committed to purchase 663 aircraft. 

Established in 2001, the company was acquired in 2012 following by a consortium comprising two of Japan’s biggest companies SMFG and Sumitomo Corporation.

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