x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Waha signs Dh 1.39bn deal with Dutch aircraft firmIt ha

A Dh1.39bn deal has been struck between Waha Capital of Abu Dhabi and AerCap Holdings, a Dutch aircraft leasing firm.

It has been a good week for Waha Capital, which announced profit gains and acquired a big stake in a major aircraft leasing company.

On Saturday, Waha announced a net profit of Dh77 million for the first nine months of this year, a rise of more than 239 per cent over the same period last year. Yesterday, it underlined its status as a deal maker when it took a 20 per cent stake in the Dutch aircraft lessor AerCap in a transaction valued at US$380m.

The deal comes after an earlier tie-up, called AerVenture, with the company. That deal was signed in April last year and entailed a 50-50 joint venture that had 47 aircraft under management and leased the assets to commercial airlines around the world.

Under the terms of yesterday’s deal, Waha agreed to transfer its stake in the AerVenture partnership to AerCap, plus a 40 per cent stake in a 16-aircraft portfolio it wholly owns, as well as $105m in liabilities and cash. Waha officials said the deal would see its aircraft move under the management of one of the best aircraft lessors in the world, while AerCap will gain entry into the growing MENA region aviation market, with plans to open a representative office in Abu Dhabi soon.

Waha has mushroomed into a diversified investment company since it was founded in 1997. Its investments now focus on infrastructure and property, the maritime sector and financial services, and all have recorded measurable progress recently. Waha shares fell heavily yesterday on profit taking from the previous day’s big rise.

Over the past 12 months the stock has been a laggard, off almost 20 per cent on this time last year. Over the past three months it has made up much-needed ground but looks like it may have much further to go.

igale@thenational.ae