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Published on March 30th, 2021 | by Alan Dwyer

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Carlyle Aviation to Acquire Fly Leasing

Dublin based aircraft leasing company, Fly Leasing announced on 29th March that it had entered an agreement to be acquired by Carlyle Aviation Partners. Under the terms of the merger agreement, FLY shareholders will receive US$17.05 per share in cash, representing a total equity valuation of approximately US$520 million. The total value of the transaction is approximately US$2.36 billion. FLY’s portfolio of 84 aircraft and seven engines is on lease to 37 airlines in 22 countries. The per share cash consideration represents a premium of approximately 29% to FLY’s closing price on March 26th, 2021 and a 43% premium to the volume-weighted average share price during the last 30 trading days.

Commenting on the transaction, CEO of FLY Leasing, Colm Barrington said, “This transaction represents strong value for FLY shareholders at a time when airlines are facing an extremely difficult environment and smaller aircraft lessors are disadvantaged in the debt markets. After a thorough review and evaluation of its options, FLY’s Board of Directors enthusiastically recommends this transaction to its shareholders.”

The Board of Directors of FLY has approved the Merger Agreement, acting upon the recommendation of a special committee appointed by the Board of Directors and consisting solely of independent and disinterested directors, and has recommended that FLY shareholders vote in favour of the transaction. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory clearance and the approval of FLY’s shareholders. Carlyle Aviation Partners has total assets under management of $6.1 billion, with a team of more than 90 employees and offices in the US, Ireland and Singapore. Carlyle Aviation Partners has 246 aircraft owned, managed or committed to purchase with 93 airline lessees in 53 countries.

Also commenting on the deal was William Hoffman, Chairman of Carlyle Aviation Partners who said, “This transaction, our largest fleet acquisition to date, will add 84 predominantly mid-life aircraft on lease to a diversified group of airlines to our managed portfolio. These aircraft fit strategically within our business and will give us an opportunity to create meaningful value for our investors.”

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