Stratos Acquires Magi Aviation Capital

Stratos, an independent aircraft investment specialist, reached an agreement to acquire Magi Aviation Capital, a fellow independent aircraft finance specialist and aircraft asset manager and its various subsidiaries. The all-cash deal, which recently received regulatory approval from the UK Financial Conduct Authority, will allow Stratos to acquire Magi in its entirety and is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

As part of the acquisition, Stratos will inherit management contracts of four aircraft (comprising one A380 and three 777’s, excluding pipeline) leased to leading Middle Eastern airlines. This takes Stratos’ managed portfolio to over 60 aircraft worth $3 billion with annual rental receipts in excess of $300 million.

Stratos will also take the total Stratos team of more than 30 professionals. The Magi team includes industry veterans Neil Lewis – head of operations; Jason Bewley – head of business development; Fraser Chestney – senior vice president of corporate finance; Jelena Stefanovic – senior vice president of corporate finance; Annika Hansson – vice president of lease management and Tina Richards – financial controller.

Magi co-founder and current executive chairman Peter Vardigans will continue as part of the combined team in an advisory capacity. Sean Cleghorn, fellow co-founder and former CEO, will be leaving the business upon completion of the acquisition.

The deal will also see Stratos acquiring offices in London, Doha and Brisbane, to add to its existing presence in Shannon, Monaco and Tokyo. Stratos will also inherit fund-related licenses including UK FCA regulated activities to complement Stratos’ existing servicer ranking from Standard & Poors.

K&L Gates (UK) and Streets (UK) were retained respectively as legal and tax advisors by Stratos, Osborne Clarke and Gerald Edelman advised Magi.

“We are delighted to welcome the Magi team into the Stratos family,” Gary Fitzgerald, CEO, Stratos, said. “Magi has accrued an impeccable track record in equity and debt investments on the largest widebodies, delivering consistent profits to its investor base and a particularly strong presence in Korea and the Middle East with both airlines and investors.

“The team’s experience, expertise and capabilities – coupled with our expanded international footprint and new licences – will be pivotal in establishing new industry relationships, securing new deals and ultimately helping us drive Stratos’ next chapter of growth.”

“The Magi team is excited to join Gary and the Stratos team to create a merged entity which will be more than the sum of its parts, building on the two companies’ previous successes in terms of enhanced market coverage, business relationships and specialised experience and skills,” Peter Vardigans, co-founder and executive chairman, Magi Aviation Capital, said. “Stratos’ rapidly growing and highly regarded lease management and remarketing platform, in combination with Magi’s existing managed portfolio, will provide an even stronger foundation supporting the growth of the combined group’s investor base and airline customers alike.

“We look forward in particular to working with the current Stratos team to continue offering highly professional and creative solutions to our customers old and new.”

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