Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Dubai plane lessor DAE secures $490m in loans to fund growth

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise signs agreements for three loans, with maturities ranging from three to seven years

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise reported a decline in third quarter profit as revenues slipped. Courtesy: DAE
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise reported a decline in third quarter profit as revenues slipped. Courtesy: DAE

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), the Middle East's biggest plane lessor, secured $490 million (Dh1.79 billion) in loans to finance its growth plans.

DAE signed three loan agreements to raise the funds, it said in a statement on Monday. The loans will have maturities ranging from three to seven years.

"We continue to bolster our liquidity cushion to support our growth ambitions and opportunities," said Firoz Tarapore, chief executive of DAE. "Our very strong balance sheet and solid operating model continue to attract lenders, new and existing, to DAE.”

The company declined to identify the lenders or provide details on the precise use of the funds.

DAE, which was established in 2006, became one of the world’s biggest aircraft lessors after acquiring Dublin-based Awas in 2017. At the end of 2018, its fleet comprised 354 aircraft valued at about $14bn.

In July, the global lessor said it raised a $440m syndicated bank loan. DAE signed a long-term unsecured revolving credit facility with First Abu Dhabi Bank and HSBC Bank Middle East as bookrunners and mandated lead arrangers. The oversubscribed facility was with a group of 12 lenders and DAE will use the money to support the "future financing needs of the business", it said without providing details.

Last month, DAE said it delivered and committed to deliver $1.1bn in aircraft assets during the first half of 2019 as it expanded its portfolio.

The state-controlled company repurchased about 4 per cent of its common shares owned by Emaar Properties, the biggest real estate developer in the UAE by market capitalisation, in a deal Emaar valued at $107m. The transaction, expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2019, means DAE is 100 per cent owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the investment arm of the Dubai Government.

DAE posted a 3 per cent increase in first-quarter profit to $99m from the same period a year ago. First-quarter revenues climbed 2.2 per cent to $360m year-on-year.

Updated: August 5, 2019 04:04 PM

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