Howard Millar delays plane leasing IPO to next month

Sirius Aviation Capital aims to raise $250 million for aircraft purchases

Former Ryanair finance chief and current chief executive of Sirius Aviation Capital Howard Millar.

Former Ryanair finance chief and current chief executive of Sirius Aviation Capital Howard Millar.

 

Former Ryanair finance chief Howard Millar’s new aircraft leasing business, Sirius Aircraft Leasing Fund, has delayed its planned flotation on the London Stock Exchange by two weeks to next month, amid volatility across European equity markets.

Sirius aims to raise $250 million (€218.7 million) in an initial public offering (IPO) to go about buying second hand planes and lease them to airlines that are looking to expand their fleets. The company expects to raise additional funds on the market in follow-up share sales, with the hope of having $1.5 billion in funds within three years.

Sirius said on Monday that its planned admission to the London Stock Exchange, which was originally expected to take place on Wednesday, has been put back to December 5th. Davy and UK-based Liberum Capital are advising Sirius on the deal.

Fund

Mr Millar served as chief financial officer and deputy chief executive of Ryanair until 2014. He is now a board member of the airline and chairs its remuneration committee.

He was chief operating officer of aircraft financier, Stellwagen, but left a year ago. Stellwagen subsequently went to the High Court seeking an order preventing Mr Millar, and fellow executives Edward Coughlan and Edward Hansom, from disclosing company information to others.

Mr Millar is chief executive of Sirius Aviation Capital, the investment adviser that will run the publicly-quoted fund. Mr Coughlan has been lined up as Sirius Aviation Capital’s chief commercial officer and Mr Hansom as chief investment officer.

The Sunday Times reported over the weekend that Stellwagen has put Sirius on notice that it may be joined to legal proceedings against the three executives at its investment advisory company.

Another former Stellwagen executive, Kieran Ryan, is chief financial officer of the new business.

Volatility

Financial market volatility has hit the IPO ambitions of a number of Irish-run businesses in recent times.

The Irish Times reported in the past month that that Lone Star’s plans for the flotation of a housebuilder called Dres, set up in partnership with Pat Durkan, has been put on hold until next year, while pub and hotel group Press-Up Entertainment has decided to mothball plans for a flotation.

This newspaper also first reported last month that US private equity group Oaktree and Dublin-based Sigma Retail Partners have delayed Ireland’s first retail real-estate investment trust IPO until 2019, while it reported last week that a recent slump in oil prices have put off a planned IPO of T5 Oil & Gas, the Pat Plunkett-led, Africa-focused exploration company.

The Sunday Times reported earlier this month that property investment and hospitality company Tetrarch has shelved plans for a 2018 flotation due to market conditions.