Saudi PIF-owned AviLease buys Standard Chartered aircraft leasing business 

PIF-owned AviLease is expanding its portfolio of aircraft with an all-cash transaction
Petr Bonek /

The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF)-owned company completed the transaction on August 28, 2023, according to an announcement made by Standard Chartered the following day. The deal set AviLease back $0.7 billion in cash, with the price being determined after “arm’s length negotiations as part of a competitive process”.  

“The sale of our Aviation Finance leasing allows us to continue to focus our efforts on those areas where we are most differentiated and to further progress our Return on Tangible Equity journey,” said Simon Cooper, the chief executive officer of Corporate, Commercial & Institutional Banking and Europe & Americas at Standard Chartered. 

According to SC, it managed a portfolio of over 120 aircraft, which were leased to 30 airlines globally. In 2022, the aviation leasing business netted a profit-after-tax (PAT) of $15.6 million and had $300 million in net assets. The business’ gross asset value was $3.8 billion, per the announcement. 

“The transaction includes the sale of 100% shareholding in each of Pembroke Group Limited (Isle of Man), Pembroke Aircraft Leasing Holdings Limited (Ireland) and Pembroke Aircraft Leasing (Tianjin) Limited (China),” the release said. 

Meanwhile, AviLease was delighted with the transaction, saying that it was “a significant milestone” for the Saudi Arabian company to become a “a key player in the global aircraft leasing industry”. 

“This strategic move will unite two complementary businesses under the AviLease banner, ushering in unprecedented scale, enhanced diversification, and access to Standard Chartered’s distinctive team and capabilities,” AviLease added. 

In total, the two companies will manage 167 aircraft that are leased to 46 different airlines, the Saudi aircraft leasing company said. 

According to data, AviLease’s portfolio of aircraft currently consists of 11 Airbus A320neo aircraft, all leased to Saudi Arabia-based low-cost carriers flyadeal (three A320neos) and flynas (eight A320neos). However, shows that the lessor has 24 aircraft owned under unknown Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV). 

Meanwhile, Standard Chartered’s portfolio of aircraft, including those managed and/or purchased through SPVs, is 133 aircraft, data showed. The aircraft range from the Airbus A319ceo, to the A320neo and A321neo, Boeing 737s, including Akasa Air’s Boeing 737 MAX 8-200, as well as several wide-body aircraft, including two Emirates Boeing 777-300ERs. 

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