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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 October 2018

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise says closed $800m loan facility

Lessor aims to double its fleet by 2030 following strong performance this year

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise said it closed the $800m revolving loan facility it signed in May, as it works to further boost its liquidity and execute a strategy to double its fleet by 2030.

“The successful closing, and oversubscription of the credit facility is confirmation of the confidence that banks have shown in DAE’s performance and strategic plan,” Firoz Tarapore, chief executive of DAE, said in a statement to media on Thursday.

“This strong appetite from such a large group of banks reinforces the strong liquidity available in the local and regional market.”

Ratings agencies S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service upwardly revised DAE’s corporate credit rating in August on its “successful” integration of Dublin-based lessor Awas last summer, which raised DAE’s portfolio to around 400 planes worth a total $14 billion (Dh51.4bn). Following some exits since the acquisition, DAE has around 375 planes at present.

Mr Tarapore told The National in an interview in August that Dubai government-owned DAE plans to double its fleet over the coming decade as it continues to expand its operations globally.

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The company is in talks with plane makers Boeing and Airbus for a potential multi-billion dollar order of about 400 narrow-body jets, Mr Tarapore said. DAE is also in talks to issue a $500m sukuk, either this year or next.

The $800m credit facility, initially launched for $480m, attracted appetite from a “broad group of banks and achieved substantial oversubscriptions”, DAE said on Thursday.

Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait served as the coordinating mandated lead arranger and bookrunner, and as joint mandated lead arranger and bookrunner with First Abu Dhabi Bank. Dubai-based Noor Bank acted as mandated lead arranger.

Eight additional banks entered the facility to bring the total to $800m, DAE said.