REPORTS: Standard Chartered may sell aviation unit

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Standard Chartered is considering a sale of its aviation unit, which according to an industry publication owns a fleet worth around $3.7 billion. The UK-headquartered bank said the aircraft leasing business represented around 2 percent of its group income. The unit, based in Ireland, owns and manages more than 120 planes on lease to 30 airlines, according to its website.

“We believe that a new owner can drive the next phase of growth whilst we continue to focus on our commitment to improve shareholder returns and delivering on our 2024 targets,” Simon Cooper, CEO of StanChart’s corporate, commercial & institutional banking business, said in a statement.

StanChart’s aviation financing business was ranked as the 21st biggest lessor based on the $3.7 billion market value of its fleet in publisher Airfinance Journal’s 2022 rankings.

The aviation business, including Dublin-based Pembroke, manages more than 230 aircraft leased and financed to airlines worldwide, according to its website. The bank acquired Pembroke, which was founded in 1993, for an undisclosed amount in 2007 as it sought to take advantage of increased demand for aircraft leasing services in its markets in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

While the bank plans to sell its leasing business, KKR & Co in the US said it will invest $1.15 billion in leased commercial aircraft through its partnership with aviation finance firm Altavair, according to a Bloomberg report. The bet on air travel, made through KKR’s credit and infrastructure funds, adds to the roughly $8.3 billion that the alternative-asset manager has put into the aviation sector since 2015. KKR owns about 50 percent of Altavair. The investment “underscores the conviction that we have in this space and our confidence in Altavair as a partner,” Dan Pietrzak, KKR’s co-head of private credit, said in a statement.


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