Stonebriar Adds Sandler, Launches Business Aviation Unit

Stonebriar Commercial Finance acquired the Guggenheim Business Aircraft Investments team, led by Nicholas M. Sandler, along with 16 aircraft under long-term leases with an asset value in excess of $220 million.

Sandler, from Guggenheim Partners, served as portfolio manager for the Guggenheim Aircraft Opportunity Fund.

In conjunction with the acquisition, Stonebriar is launching SCF Business Aviation which will be led by Michael Amalfitano, EVP, senior managing director along with Sandler, EVP, senior managing director. Sandler, in addition to his leadership, will oversee capital planning and funding for the business.

SCF Business Aviation investments will include secured loans, operating and finance leases, pre-delivery payments, dealer floor plan and bridge financing. Capital can be deployed against both new and used assets, in full recourse and non-recourse (asset based) structures. Clients and aircraft can be based domestically as well as internationally.

Additionally, Kenn Ricci of Directional Aviation joined Stonebriar’s board. For over 30 years, Ricci has been a leading investor in and operator of business aviation companies including FlexJet and was previously a member of GAOF’s advisory board.

“Michael and Nick bring together a full spectrum of investment skills, vast industry experience and strong relationships in business aviation. They immediately make Stonebriar a leading provider of capital solutions to the business aviation industry” said Dave B. Fate, Stonebriar president and CEO. “We are excited about starting 2016 with this acquisition which continues to build on our significant momentum over the past year.”

SCF Business Aviation has closed 27 aircraft transactions since its inception in 2015. SCF Business Aviation plans to further build out its team in 2016.

“Our strategy is to leverage the people, assets and unique capabilities of Stonebriar, a well-funded and nimble organization, by providing financial terms and structures not generally offered by traditional sources to a broad array of clients across both the Domestic U.S. and global business aviation markets,” said Amalfitano.

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