Chinese tycoon to buy Irish aircraft lessor for about $2.8bn

posted on 10th July 2018 by Justin Burns
Chinese tycoon to buy Irish aircraft lessor for about $2.8bn

Hong Kong billionaire Henry Cheng’s jewelry-to-property business empire will acquire Dublin-based aircraft lessor Sky Leasing for about $2.8 billion, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The report said though the Cheng family’s Goshawk Aviation Ltd announced the deal last month, it didn’t disclose the value at the time. It also said 70 per cent of the purchase will be funded with debt and the rest from Goshawk parent firms Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd and NWS Holdings Ltd.

The aircraft lessor market continues to expand as demand for aircraft grows strongly and last year leased aircraft reportedly made up about 42 per cent of the world’s fleet, while Europe and Asia Pacific hold about 30 per cent of this. Asian companies own many of the world’s biggest lessors.

Using figures from FlightGlobal, the report also cites the world’s biggest aircraft lessor in 2017 was AerCap at $31.94 billion with GECAS second at $25.76 billion, while the overall market was worth $167 billiion.

Bloomberg reports that the transaction, subject to approvals, will add 51 aircraft to its fleet of about 130.

Sky Leasing has a young narrow-body aircraft portfolio and its clients cover all continents and include American Airlines, United Airlines, easyJet, Aeroflot, Emirates, British Airways, IndiGo, Wizz Air, Air China, and China Southern.