Willis Lease Finance Completes $390MM ABS Offering
Published September 24, 2012
Categories: Industry News
Willis Lease Finance, a lessor of commercial jet engines, reported that its wholly owned subsidiary Willis Engine Securitization Trust II (WEST II), a newly established asset backed securities (ABS) issuer, completed the sale of $390 million of senior secured notes on September 17, 2012. The proceeds of the notes will be used to repay the existing ABS notes of Willis Lease’s subsidiary, Willis Engine Securitization Trust (WEST).
The WEST II ABS securities are a single class of senior notes with a fixed coupon of 5.50%, an expected maturity of 10 years, a weighted average life of 7.3 years and a final maturity of 25 years. The notes are secured by 79 aircraft engines acquired from Willis Lease at a loan to appraised value of approximately 70%.
“The closing of WEST II is a remarkable achievement for Willis Lease and demonstrates our leadership position in the engine leasing marketplace,” said Charles F. Willis, CEO and chairman. “Access to capital is one of the most important success factors for any asset-based business. Our successful track record as a previous ABS issuer, leadership position in the market, strong platform and solid reputation have all combined to provide continued access to the capital markets at competitive rates. Our access to low-cost, long-term capital is an important competitive advantage for Willis Lease. The completion of this offering, along with our newly upsized revolving credit facility, as well as our successful joint venture with Mitsui places Willis Lease at the forefront of the global aircraft engine leasing market.”
For this transaction, Credit Agricole Securities was the sole structuring agent and a joint bookrunner along with Goldman, Sachs. Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman provided legal counsel for WEST II and the company. Clifford Chance US provided counsel to the underwriters. The WEST II Notes were rated A(sf) by both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.
To read the full Willis Lease news release click here.