Stonepeak & Bellinger Acquire $1.1B Aircraft Loan Portfolio, Launch Aviation Investment Platform

Funds managed by Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm specializing in infrastructure investing, partnered with Bellinger Asset Management to complete the acquisition of a $1.1 billion performing aircraft loan portfolio from National Australia Bank.

The portfolio consists of 27 loan facilities secured by 159 aircraft with a collateral valuation of $1.4 billion. The weighted average remaining loan term of the portfolio is approximately 5.6 years and the underlying collateral consists of mostly new generation aircraft with a weighted average age of approximately 4.6 years.

The portfolio acquisition represents the first joint investment made by Stonepeak and Bellinger and the launch of an independent aviation platform that will seek to deploy capital across the aviation sector. Funds managed by Stonepeak committed $500 million in further equity capital for future investment in partnership with Bellinger in the aviation platform. Stonepeak’s investment will be made through a combination of Stonepeak’s infrastructure-focused private equity and credit funds.

“We view aviation as a critical infrastructure sector and key industry within the firm’s broader transportation investment strategy,” Luke Taylor, senior managing director and executive committee member of Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, said. “The portfolio acquisition is the culmination of several years of thematic sourcing efforts in the aviation sector and continues our successful track record of targeting investments backed by high quality real assets with strong contracted cash flows and downside protection. We are excited to have partnered with Bellinger on this transaction and to continue working with the senior team there to grow our investments in the sector.”

“Aviation has been a strategic area of focus for our credit business, and we expect to continue to pursue opportunistic capital deployments in the space,” Jack Howell, senior managing director and executive committee member of Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, said.

“This acquisition is consistent with our investment strategy in aviation and our history of investing up and down the capital structure at different points of the economic cycle,” René Mansveld, managing partner of Bellinger Asset Management, said. “At a time of significant disruption in the global aviation industry, the acquisition provides us with exposure to a portfolio of high quality, senior ranking loan assets secured by young, new generation aircraft and a diversified group of borrowers comprising investment grade lessors and major North American and state-owned or supported airlines. We are delighted to have partnered with the experienced and respected team at Stonepeak to complete this transaction.”

Allen & Overy served as legal advisor on the transaction. Deutsche Bank Securities served as financial advisor on the transaction.

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