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Dublin-based Japanese lessor SMBC Aviation Capital expects to close the acquisition of Goshawk Aviation in the coming weeks. SMBC announced the acquisition in May and said then it would be closed in the second half of the year.

SMBC will pay $6.7 billion for Goshawk and acquire 176 owned and managed aircraft as part of the transaction from the 216 aircraft in Goshawk’s portfolio. The combined fleet will have 709 owned and managed aircraft, including 261 Airbus and Boeing aircraft on order, SMBC said in May. Once the acquisition is completed, shareholders SMBC and Sumitomo Corporation will provide $1.36 billion in additional funding.

The completion comes at a moment of strong demand for aircraft in the leasing industry, says SMBC Aviation Capital: “The global air travel sector continues to go from strength to strength through the recovery, with the reopening of much of the Asia Pacific region, driving even greater demand for our assets”, said Chief Financial Officer Aisling Kenny today in the HY1 2022 earnings release. “Despite earlier concerns about macroeconomic headwinds, the strength of travel-related spending and forward bookings, point toward a positive outlook for Q4 and the transition into 2023.” 

Kenny added: “Airlines are increasingly confident that the post-Covid recovery is being sustained and we expect to be able to capitalize on similarly strong demand for aircraft trading.  We are planning to close the acquisition of Goshawk in the coming weeks, which will further strengthen our competitive position.”

SMBC reported a $134 million pre-tax profit for the first six months of its financial year 2022, up 43 percent on the same period of FY21. It grew its portfolio by 32 aircraft from its own order book, sale and leasebacks, and other acquisitions. Five aircraft were sold for $13.8 million, reflecting the strength of the secondary market. Agreements for the sale of another 24 aircraft were ready in September but the transactions still need to be confirmed.

SMBC Capital raised $2.4 billion in funding since April, including $1.7 billion as a global syndicated transaction in September that was supported by thirteen banks. Total assets stood at $17.6 billion, and total debt and equity were at $16.9 billion.

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Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News and until July 1 2023 in a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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