29 March 2021
Carlyle Group Inc. has agreed to buy Fly Leasing Ltd., taking the aircraft company private in a deal with an enterprise value of $2.36 billion.
Washington-based Carlyle will pay $17.05 per share in cash for Fly Leasing, adding 84 aircraft to the private equity firm’s commercial aviation investment and servicing arm, according to a statement Monday. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021.
Fly Leasing’s sale comes on the heels of AerCap Holdings NV’s $30 billion deal to buy General Electric Co.’s plane-leasing arm. While air travel is slowly beginning to pick up, leasing firms have suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic. They play a critical financing role in keeping deliveries flowing, often with sale-leaseback deals that hand vital cash to airline carriers.
Carlyle Aviation Partners, which sits within the firm’s global credit group, has total assets under management of $6.1 billion and more than 90 employees and offices in the U.S., Ireland and Singapore. The business has 246 aircraft owned, managed or committed to purchase with 93 airline lessees in 53 countries.
The U.S.-traded shares of Fly Leasing, led by former Aer Lingus chairman Colm Barrington, gained 90% over the last year through Friday. Fly Leasing was trading up 26% at $16.72 at 7:19 a.m. in New York Monday.