Castlelake Establishes Corporate Lessor of Commercial Aircraft

Castlelake, an alternative investment firm and provider of aircraft investing, leasing and servicing, created Castlelake Aviation Limited, a corporate lessor of commercial aircraft that will finance a portfolio of modern aircraft.

“We are thrilled to create Castlelake Aviation Limited, which is an exciting and natural next step in the evolution of our industry leading aviation finance business,” Evan Carruthers, managing partner and co-founder of Castlelake, said. “This is a powerful demonstration of our commitment to staying at the forefront of the aviation financing industry and ensuring we are well positioned to nimbly provide bespoke financing solutions to our partners.”

The formation of Castlelake Aviation Limited follows Castlelake’s establishment of an aviation lending business in late 2020 and its reopening of its activity in the aircraft ABS market with Castlelake Aircraft Structured Trust 2021-1 in January.

Since its inception, Castlelake has invested more than $14 billion in aviation-related opportunities. With a team of more than 60 aviation professionals, the firm currently directly manages and services a global fleet of more than 350 aircraft.

Joe McConnell and Otto Verhoeff will serve on Castlelake Aviation Limited’s board and be directly involved in the development, execution and oversight of its growth strategy.

Upon its formation, Castlelake Aviation Limited’s initial portfolio is composed primarily of next generation, narrowbody aircraft on long-term leases to international airlines. Castlelake Aviation Limited’s growth trajectory will be supported by Castlelake’s near-term pipeline of investing opportunities, including active negotiations for more than 40 aircraft representing more than $2 billion in potential investments, primarily in newer technology assets.

Castlelake Aviation Limited’s portfolio will be financed by a mix of secured and unsecured debt instruments in addition to equity capital provided by funds managed by Castlelake.

Castlelake Aviation Limited received the following credit ratings:

  • S&P: BB-
  • Moody’s Investor Services: Ba3
  • Fitch Ratings: BB
  • Kroll Bond Rating Agency: BB+

Milbank acted as U.S. counsel to Castlelake during this process.

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