Ireland’s AerCap buys GE Capital Aviation in $30bn deal

Dublin-based aircraft leasing giant AerCap Holdings N.V. announced it entered a definitive agreement with General Electric to acquire GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) in a deal worth more than $30 billion.

“The combined company will be an industry leader across all areas of aviation leasing, with over 2,000 owned and managed aircraft, over 900 owned and managed engines, over 300 owned helicopters and approximately 300 customers around the world,” said AerCap.

Under the terms of the agreement, unanimously approved by the boards of GE and AerCap, GE will receive 111.5 million newly issued AerCap shares, $24 billion of cash and $1 billion of AerCap notes and/or cash.

Upon completion of the transaction, GE is expected to own 46% of the combined company and will be entitled to nominate two directors to the AerCap board.

Citi and Goldman Sachs have provided AerCap with $24 billion of committed financing for the transaction.

AerCap said it expects to maintain its current investment grade credit ratings with S&P, Moody’s and Fitch.

AerCap is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has its headquarters in Dublin with offices in Shannon, Los Angeles, Singapore, Amsterdam, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, Seattle and Toulouse.

AerCap CEO Aengus Kelly said: We are excited about this opportunity to bring together two leaders in aviation leasing.

“AerCap and GECAS both have industry-leading teams, attractive portfolios, diversified customer bases and order books of the most in-demand new technology assets.

“This combination will enhance our ability to provide innovative and attractive solutions for our customers and will strengthen our cash flows, earnings and profitability.

“GECAS is a highly attractive business and this transaction continues our strong track record of capital allocation.

“As the recovery in air travel gathers pace, this transaction represents a unique opportunity that we believe will create long-term value for our investors.

“This business combination will also strengthen our longstanding partnership with GE Aviation, which we look forward to working with closely in the future.”

GE chairman and CEO Larry Culp said: “AerCap is the right partner for our exceptional GECAS team.

“Combining these complementary franchises will deliver strategic and financial value for both companies and their stakeholders.

“Together we’re creating an industry-leading aviation lessor with expertise, scale and reach to better serve customers around the world, while GE gains both cash and upside in the stronger combined company as the aviation industry recovers.”