x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Abu Dhabi’s Waha Capital sells stake in AerLift Leasing to US company

At the end of 2012, Waha had a 60.4 per cent stake in AerLift Leasing, which is incorporated in the Isle of Man, according to Waha's most recent annual report.

Salem Rashid Al Noaimi, the chief executive and managing director of Waha Capital, says the divestment was part of the company's strategy to focus on core assets. Delores Johnson / The National
Salem Rashid Al Noaimi, the chief executive and managing director of Waha Capital, says the divestment was part of the company's strategy to focus on core assets. Delores Johnson / The National

The Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Waha Capital said it had sold its stake in AerLift Leasing to a newly established US-based aircraft leasing company.

Waha Capital, which also owns a stake in the New York-listed aircraft leasing company AerCap, said that Goldman Sachs acted as an adviser to the sale of its 60.7 per cent stake in AerLift.

AerLift owns a portfolio of 11 commercial aircraft operated by a number of international airlines, it said.

Waha Capital did not disclose the value of the sale nor did it identity the buyer. The firm’s spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

“The disposal of our stake in Aerlift demonstrates the rapidly accelerating implementation of our strategy to focus on our core assets and become a leading regional investment management company,” said Salem Rashid Al Noaimi, the chief executive and managing director of Waha Capital. “We have crystallised a good return to our shareholders through this sale, which adds to the capital base we are building to make future investments in areas of strong growth potential.”

AerCap, in which Waha Capital has a 26.3 per cent stake, said in December that it had agreed to buy the insurer American International Group’s aircraft leasing business in a deal valued at more than US$5 billion.

Under the terms of the transaction, which will increase the size of AerCap’s fleet to more than 1,300 aircraft, AIG will receive $3bn in cash in addition to 97.5 million AerCap shares for its wholly-owned subsidiary International Lease Finance Corporation.

Waha Capital’s share price yesterday rose 1.4 per cent to Dh2.76. The shares have gained 28.5 per cent this year.

mkassem@thenational.ae

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