Dublin-based aircraft lease firm in major merger
DUBLIN-BASED aircraft leasing company SMBC Aviation Capital is set to merge with two related companies located in Amsterdam in what will be one of the biggest corporate transactions involving an Irish corporate.
This will add about $2 billion in aircraft assets to SMBC’s portfolio in Dublin, bringing its assets managed here to $10 billion.
The plan will be announced today alongside the official launch in Tokyo of SMBC, which has been rebranded after its acquisition earlier this year by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation of Japan for $7.3 billion from Royal Bank of Scotland.
The business was previously known as RBS Aviation Capital. Its launch in Dublin will take place on Wednesday.
Subject to regulatory clearance, SMBC is set to merge with SMFL Aircraft Capital Corporation and Sumisho Aircraft Asset Management. Both companies are based in Amsterdam.
All three entities have the same ultimate parent company although they have operated separately from each other until now.
The merger will result in the number of owned and managed aircraft in SMBC’s portfolio increasing from 240 to 331.
SMBC chief executive Peter Barrett said the transaction was a “positive development” for the Dublin-based company and would make it the “clear” number three aircraft leasing company in the world.
“We believe that there is likely to be further consolidation in the aircraft leasing industry in the future and this will help to position us to take advantage of that trend,” Mr Barrett said.
He added that SMBC is hoping to add 10 to 12 new jobs to its operation in Ireland in the near future as the business continues to grow. It had 69 staff at the time of its acquisition by Sumitomo.
Speaking in Tokyo, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said: “Japanese interests hold a lot of assets abroad and we have a lot of assets for sale, so we would hope that this would be a forerunner of other things.”
Mr Noonan is in Tokyo attending the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group.
Based in Dublin, SMBC has offices in 10 other locations around the world. It was established in 2001 by Irishman Domhnal Slattery, who sold it to RBS.