Avolon Closes $768.4MM of Notes Issued by Sapphire Aviation Finance



International aircraft leasing company Avolon announced that Sapphire Aviation Finance I Limited and Sapphire Aviation Finance I (U.S.) (collectively the issuers), newly established special purpose companies, closed a total of $768.4 million of fixed rate secured notes.

The issue is comprised of $633 million of 4.25% Series A Fixed Rate Secured Notes issued at a 4.30% yield, $97 million of 5.926% Series B Fixed Rate Secured Notes issued at a 6.00% yield and $38.38 million of 7.385% Series C Fixed Rate Secured Notes issued at a 7.50% yield.

The notes are backed by a portfolio of 41 aircraft, with an appraised value of $962.4 million, which will be acquired by SAPA 2018-1 from Avolon using the proceeds of the issuance.

The portfolio comprises a mix of narrow-body and twin-aisle aircraft leased to 30 lessees based in 19 countries. As of February 9, 2018, the portfolio had an average weighted age of 12 years. Avolon will act as servicer with respect to the portfolio and any additional aircraft acquired by the Issuers.

Dómhnal Slattery, CEO of Avolon, said, “The disposal of 41 aircraft from the Avolon fleet, facilitated by the launch of the Sapphire vehicle, Opens another channel for Avolon to bring third party investment into the mid-life aircraft space whilst increasing our managed fleet and expanding our footprint as a servicer in the ABS market.”

Wells Fargo acted as sole structuring agent, sole E note placement agent and joint bookrunner. BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole also acted as joint bookrunners for the transaction. BNP Paribas was the liquidity facility provider to the issuers.

Clifford Chance advised Avolon and the issuers, and Hughes Hubbard & Reed acted as counsel to the joint lead structuring agents.

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